Saturday, March 28, 2015

Big Eggs

I found these big eggs at Five Below! I packed them full of all kinds of yummy candy and taped them up. I learned through Pinterest that I could send these in the mail, so I addressed them to each missionary from our ward including Alex and his companion, and I sent the Easter eggs in the mail exactly as they look right now. I was so excited about this brilliant discovery!! Who wouldn't love an Easter egg in the mail? :)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Break--Myrtle Beach

A couple of years ago, we bought into the Marriott Vacation Club. It is kind of like a timeshare, but they've changed it to a points program. We bought club points and we can use the points anytime at any of their resorts. We get our points replenished every year. 

After we first purchased it, I had buyer's remorse and wished we hadn't bought it. Now, after a couple of years of using the points on various vacations, I can say that it has proved to be a very valuable asset. We still have a lot to learn about the program, but we have enjoyed all the resorts that we've stayed at and they have lots of activities and programs for the kids. One thing I really like about the points system is that you can use fewer points during off season to get the same resorts and then you can squeeze in two or three vacations with your points in a year. Also, you don't have to use a whole week, you can use a couple of days at a time if you like and you can check in and check out any day of the week. 

Anyway, back to Myrtle Beach. We used our club points to get this resort for 3 nights, and it was very low points because it was off-season.  The place turned out to be amazing!! We were on the top floor on a corner villa, and our view was amazing!

Micah loves to ride the luggage cart up to the room

View from our room

View from our room looking the other direction

Hotel pools and hot tubs

The kids were amazed at the place when we first got there.

Living, dining, and kitchen area

Micah loved the view from our bedroom so much that he would just sit and look out the window

The first night we were there, Micah woke up in the night screaming and was completely inconsolable. In an attempt to calm him down, I went and sat down in this blue chair by the window and let him look out at the lights.It worked! After that, he would wake up in the night and insist on looking out the window. (Not so fun when you'd rather be sleeping). If there was a downside to this place, it was definitely Micah's poor sleeping during the nights.

His favorite blue chair
Jarem found Alex's old phone and even though it didn't have service, he discovered lots of fun games that didn't require internet.

I gave them a hard time about wasting away their time on video games on vacation.
The girls taking selfies on the beach

 One of the activities they had for the kids was: make your own apple cider float. They were unsure if they would be good, but they loved them. They will often have root beer floats, smoothies, or hot chocolate bar at the vacation clubs.
Jesikah made dinner at the villa for the kids on the night we went out to dinner.

One of their favorite things that we did was making pottery. Each of the kids, except Micah, painted their own pottery. All the pictures were on Tessa's phone, which decided to become unrepairable, so they are gone.:( Anyway, above is Jesikah's ice cream dish and spoon. Tessa and I made beach Christmas ornaments and Jarem made a penguin plate. They all turned out awesome and it was a good time.

Another fun thing we did was visit the Ron Jon store. That's somewhere we always stop when in Cocoa Beach.

Our favorite evening activity was playing Bingo. We all won. Some other people that were playing thought it was unfair, but we didn't cheat, I swear. We got some great South Carolina mugs and a couple other things as prizes.

Sunset over Myrtle Beach

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spring Break--Charleston, SC

We took the kids to Charleston, SC for spring break so they could see where we'll be moving. We really only got a very small taste of this place before we headed to Myrtle Beach for a few days. We did check out Fort Moultrie and the beach as well as did some house hunting.

Here's a little about Fort Moultrie: 

Fort Moultrie is located on Sullivan's Island, and has been around since Revolutionary war times. It was still incomplete when 9 warships attacked it on June 28, 1776. After a 9 hour battle, the ships were forced to retire. Charleston was saved from British occupation and the fort was named in honor of its commander, Colonel William Moultrie. In 1780, the British did capture Charleston, agreeing to abandon only on the advent of peace. 

After the Revolutionary War, Fort Moultrie was neglected, but by 1798, it was rebuilt along with 20 new forts along the East Coast for coastal fortifications.

In December 1860 when South Carolina seceded from the Union, the federal garrison abandoned Fort Moultrie for the stronger Sumter. Three and a half months later, confederate troops shelled Sumter into submission, plunging into the civil war. In April 1863, Federal iron-clads and shore batteries began a 20 month bombardment of Sumter and Moultrie, yet Charleston's defense held.  This left Sumter in a pile of rubble and Moultrie under the band of sand. 

It was restored again in the 1880's by President Grover Cleveland to reflect new technology and was used as a harbor entrance control post during World War II. Today it's been restored to reflect its period of most use during World War II as a control post and also the palmetto log fort of 1776.

Beautiful Ravenel bridge across the bay

Fort Sumter is the island with the flags across the water

I couldn't resist this vibrant flag flying over the Fort.

We had lunch on Sullivan's island. It was delicious but so cold being seated outside.

Tessa will not appreciate this picture, but her face and body language demonstrate the cold.

This was my meal and it was delicious. I loved the sweet potato fries.

Mexican corn on the cob

This boat on wheels drove by while we were having lunch. It was unique for sure.
 Some pictures on the beach:

That evening Eric and I went on a date night downtown Charleston and we crossed the beautiful Ravenel bridge at sunset. It was a gorgeous sight. We enjoyed the night market and some delicious shrimp and grits and hush puppies downtown on King Street at the Crab House. We walked around the pier and then found a frozen yogurt shop a little later. It was a lovely evening.