Prior to vacation, Emily developed a stomach bug that lasted about 1 week. Luckily, she didn't get dehydrated and it didn't seem to bother her that her poo was like liquid! She was still a happy baby for the most part, but Mom and Dad were really starting to dread the diapers! She was pretty much back to normal by the time we had our vacation in Hilton Head Island, SC. We stayed for seven full days! We had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, we had two full days of rain and one cloudy day. The other days were gorgeous. On our first rainy day, we went outlet mall shopping. Emily got hooked up at the Carter's outlet and we bought new black Mary Janes at Stride Rite. On the other rainy day, we enjoyed a long bike ride before the rain settled in for the day. I got a relaxing pedicure and Jeremy and I had a date night that evening.
Emily was SO much more fun at the beach this year compared to last year as a 7 week old baby! She loved the beach. She enjoyed walking up and down the coast in search of whatever treasure she could find to give to whoever her walking partner happened to be at the time. (We all took turns walking with her.) Grancy and Poppy packed a green beach chair for her that was perfect! She loved to climb in and out of her chair or she would steal someone else's chair if you got out of your seat. It was really precious to see her walk confidently on the beach and wave to all the strangers, pat the dogs, or chase after sea gulls. From time to time, she would find a shell on the ground, pick it up with those tiny fingers, and hand it to me. Moments like that made the THIRTEEN hour car ride worth it! This year, I rented a bike with a toddler seat on it. The Shipyard section of Hilton Head has miles and miles of wonderful bike trails that meander through trees, lagoons, golf courses and neighborhoods. It is a wonderful way to experience the island. One day, we rode our bikes on the beach during low tide which made me feel like I was in a movie!
Speaking of travel, Emily did pretty well, but it is just a long drive for everyone. We had to make more stops for diaper changes, mini melt-downs, or just to let her stretch her legs (which added 1-2 hrs to the trip, easily.) We tried to let her run off as much energy as possible at all of our stops. She did take long naps and she always fell asleep by 7:30 or 8 pm when we were still driving. Jeremy and I debated about whether we should have driven through the night to get there. It would have been hard on us, but I believe we could have made much better time as she would have slept almost the whole way (She sleeps 11-12 hrs at night.) We elected to not do that, but maybe next time, we will be brave enough to pull an all-nighter.
Vacation was wonderful and we were thankful to be able to take a trip and have grandparents' help us with Emily (4-1 ratio of adults to baby is good!) With every trip, I'm reminded how different our life is now with Emily. She brings joy to our lives and old activities feel new again as she experiences things for the first time. I also miss my one on one time with Jeremy and the vacations we used to share with just the two of us. I do hope that one day, we will be able to take a romantic trip again...maybe for our 5th year anniversary!!!