Monday, June 27, 2016

Beach Vacation 2016: Hilton Head Island

We spent last week on our annual beach vacation to Hilton Head Island, SC. As usual we had a fantastic trip. It is not necessarily an easy, relaxing vacation to take a 4 year old to the beach (understatement alert!), but we love making these beach memories with our girl. BD and I are both "beach people" so it's fun to expose MC to something that BD and I have been enjoying together since the beginning of our relationship.

We had beautiful weather all week, so we spent a ton of time on the beach.



We spent lots of time digging and building in the sand.



And eating snacks on the beach.


But just like last year, MC's absolute favorite part was playing in the waves. She would have stayed out there for hours if we let her.









Riding to the beach in style, with a purple popsicle at 9am! The condo that we rent every year is across the street from the beach but has private beach access, so it's an easy and convenient walk to the beach - especially with this wagon to help haul all our gear.


We took advantage of the ocean breeze and flew our kites on several afternoons. This picture also gives you a good idea of how wide and flat the HHI beaches are when the tide is out - tons of room to run & play!




We did take a break from the beach to have some other island adventures. We found a couple new, fun playgrounds to explore.


And introduced MC to putt-putt golf. She was interested for about 3 holes before she was over it. I think we made it through maybe 6 holes total before calling it quits.




On our very first trip to the beach with MC, when she had just turned 1, we tried to eat at this Mexican restaurant. (BD and I have a tradition of trying out Mexican restaurants when we travel.) It was the biggest restaurant fail that we've ever had with MC in tow, and we ended up leaving before they even brought us our drinks. Last year we were still too traumatized to try this place again, but this year we were feeling brave and decided to go for it. It was a fun success, so we took a family selfie to commemorate the occasion! 


The restaurant is located in an area of HHI called Shelter Cove - with a marina and shops and some family friendly entertainment in the evenings.


We saw Shannon Tanner perform his kid friendly show and found out that he also performs in Breckenridge during the winter -- one of our other favorite places to vacation!



MC enjoyed clapping along to the music.


And even went down to join some of the other kids for a dancing song!


We had some watermelon - a beach trip staple!


And one morning, on the way to check out a community playground, we stopped for a sprinkle doughnut for breakfast.


We spent one afternoon at the children's museum, where MC played grocery store cashier. This exhibit was actually still under construction, but she was so thrilled that it had a working scanner and conveyor belt - just like the real grocery store!


She spent quite a while in the art room.


And worked on her plumbing skills in the construction area.


After we had spent several hours at the museum, we decided it was time for an afternoon snack, so we headed over to Hilton Head Ice Cream Shop for a sweet treat. We found this place last year for the first time, and I have been looking forward to going back for a year now! I got my ultimate favorite - mint chocolate chip in a chocolate dipped waffle cone. I don't usually use the pregnancy excuse to overeat, but I definitely indulged on this day -- and I ate every bite!


MC got vanilla with sprinkles in a cone - her first cone (instead of a cup)!


On our last full day we visited Harbour Town to see the famous lighthouse and check out a fun playground that we had heard about. This was the hottest and most humid day of our entire trip, so I wish we would have gone earlier in the week.



BD and MC climbed all the way to the top of the lighthouse! (While I sat on a rocker in the shade and watched the boats come and go.)


Top of the lighthouse selfie!


Even though we all came home pretty exhausted, we had a fantastic trip! As I told one of my friends when we returned...we had a four year old at the beach - we did not relax, but we also did not get sunburned or bitten by a shark, so I'll consider that a successful trip!

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