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The Long Drive South

Posted by | June 30, 2015 | BAMBINOS | 4 Comments

IMG_9008It is a long drive from Bethlehem, PA to Harbor Island, SC. Literally and figuratively. We made it in record time this year –(relatively quick!) — we did 8 hours the first day and 6 hours the second day (each year the kids are older these drives are easier and easier). But it is still far, far away and it feels good to go the distance.

Still. We are a TRAVELING CIRCUS! This year was even crazier, since we had not only Dash with us, but Pearl as well. This cat is seriously the best cat ever; she rode in that car like a pro the entire time as though it was no biggie whatsoever for little ‘ole her. Meera loved it.IMG_9015Kyle loves this drive — he gives us a running commentary on the historic sites and Civil War battlefields all along the route.IMG_9040Of course, the biggest mile marker of all along that east-coast-route is the South of the Border tower. Amazingly (and awesomely for us) not once has any of our three bambinos requested we stop there. Thank heavens.IMG_9041IMG_9046 IMG_9047Also awesomely for us, and thank heavens, they are all lovers of that unique southern delicacy — the hot glazed Krispy Kreme. Lucky for us, the hot light was on in Florence, SC and we got a hot glazed dozen (which were gone in less time than it took to pull on and off the highway. because. Owen.).11694298_10153525948926501_546032071_nAnd then, before we know it, we’re light years away, and we’re seeing palm trees, and bridges, and we’ve got the windows open and the marsh air is thick and the Spanish moss is almost as thick, and we know we’ve made it — to our home away from home in the Southland.

Driving through Beaufort, Owen announces proudly: “I recognize it! Visually and smellithly!” Love him!

Meera says: “This is so familiar! Spanish moss!” She’s probably the biggest lover of South Carolina of all of us. She tells us each year that we’re visiting that she wishes she lived here year-round. The mildness of it, the depth of it, all the sweet and salty and good of the Southern coast — it’s exactly Meera Grace.

All the bad of it — the hard bitter explosiveness of the South rippling just beneath the surface here, the cutting grit and edge of it — we hold it in our hands with the good and we understand it in its fullness and entirety and learn through it and from it. It is important to be on the edge of our comfort zone, on the horizon of easy, to re-center ourselves in our core and keep learning who we are vis-a-vis the rest of the big, complex world.IMG_9049 IMG_9050The beach house is awaiting, and the view off the back deck is unwavering. There is something so anchoring about this annual time-away-from-the-rest-of-the-year…IMG_9092…and there is nothing like a Lowcountry sunset to remind us of the importance of wide open spaces and expanded horizons.IMG_1151I’ll be posting from Harbor Island, South Carolina for the next five weeks. Thanks for reading y’all!

“Summer in the deep South is not only a season, a climate, it’s a dimension. Floating in it, one must be submerged.” ~Eugene WalterIMG_1155


  • KJ says:

    I am so curious about how the racial tension feels this summer compared to the past. I imagine it is much different right now. I love this tradition you have and your ability to give your kids this Southern Summer.

    • Heather says:

      KJ, Thanks for thinking of us and thinking of how the racial tension feels for us. So far, no difference, but we haven’t ventured out very far yet. Although- big huge deal for us—- we met another White/Black ADOPTIVE FAMILY (white parents, 2 Ethiopian-American boys) at the grocery store Sunday. They are vacationing here from Tennessee, and that’s the first time we’ve encountered another family that looks like ours while in the deep south (like, EVER, in all of the years we’ve done trips here). Both of our sets of families were enamored with the entire experience right there in the produce aisle! 😉 We’ll be in Charleston for a day trip later this week—- will see how that goes. Thank you for reading, ~Heather

  • Rebecca says:

    SC welcomes you back : ) At least in my little corner of the state, we have emerged from the last few weeks united in grief, rather then torn apart. I drive past the state house & the flag rallies every day. Most of us are embarrassed that we’re even having that debate in 2015.

    I’m curious to hear your family’s perspective on the Palmetto state this summer, & I hope for positive experiences for you.

  • Hope says:

    I love the fact that you take your pets with you on vacation! My husband and I have an almost 11 year old Boxer, and he has seen more states that most people, due to all the traveling we have done for work and play. Nothing is better than traveling and vacationing with my Ace! Now with a new dog, Trooper, we have began to break him in, and he has traveled to 3 states in the past 7 months.

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