In school this year, Kyle and Owen’s class did a huge segment on “Needs and Wants.” It has triggered many conversations in our family over the past months. What do we need? What do we want? When is a want actually a need? Etcetera. As the month of May ratcheted up– with all of its birthday hoopla, end-of-school-madness, and chaotic winding-up-to-wind-down-for-summer — I began to feel a familiar tug: the tug to get away. The push to break free. The pull to pull my family together. With no vacation on the horizon (the house-selling had made vacation-planning impossible), I was really feeling the wear-and-tear of a long year. And the telltale signs were there– I knew the rest of my family was feeling it too. Surely we did not need a vacation. We live a life of much privilege and plenty. We don’t often need for anything that we don’t already have. But it felt much larger and much deeper than a want.
And so it was that we made a very last minute decision to grasp the one and only window of opportunity that we saw for a summer vacation for our family– a string of six days with not too much on the calendar that couldn’t easily be cancelled– and a great deal on an online auction for a family getaway to our beloved Charleston, South Carolina (for prior post about Charleston click here). We packed our bags, picked up the boys from their last day of school, and hit the road directly from the school parking lot.
There is something about the open road, the long stretches of distance, the five of us together in such a small space… something about the boredom, the shifting landscape, the forced surrender to the inability to do anything but just drive… something about the hours that unfurl as we count the “Welcome to Delaware/Maryland/Virginia/North Carolina/South Carolina!”-signs on the side of the highway and calculate the hours left and watch the little dot move on the GPS… something about the road trip, the car snacks, the videos showing in the backseat and the audio books blaring in the front seat… the mutually defined goal to make it as far as we possibly can. There is something about all of it that just makes us feel like we can take a nice, long, deep sigh of relief.
Our kids love a road trip. We did approximately 7+ hours, for two days in a row, just to make it down the east coast, and we did it again to come back up. We made it easy on ourselves with over-nights at highway hotels each way. But still, it was a total of about 30 hours on the road, and that is a lot of driving for a short 3-night stay. For us, though, without any doubt, a long drive is well worth it for the change of scenery and the total departure from day-to-day-life-as-we-know-it.
We stayed at the The Charleston Harbor Resort. Braydon and I had been there once before– 13 years ago– for a celebration vacation when Braydon finished his doctorate degree. We knew it was a great place, and it lived up to our memories.
Braydon and I have a long history with Charleston. It was fun, and eye-opening, and thought-provoking, to return to this place now, many years later, married and with three kids and almost two decades of life experience making us different people now. We had a little balcony on our room, and we all five spent a lot of time looking out from that balcony, and talking, and sitting in silence, and letting our minds wander.
There were huge ships passing by. And dolphins jumping just offshore. It was a true get-away, with all the magic of new things to explore, and the jolting refreshing change of pace that goes along with it.
It was short, but it was good. Here are four of the main reasons why:
#1 It was a Quintessential Beach Vacation~
Complete with Copious Amounts of Boogie Boarding!
Shell Collecting and Sandcastle Making!
And Post-Ocean-Rinse-the-Salt-Off Dips In the Hotel Pool! (and End-of-Day Poolside Drinks!)