we made it

so we made the trip safely, all limbs still attached, boat only slightly scratched, a little sun-fried... but proud to say we had a fun time and will definitely do it again. woo-hoo!

it wasn't 'stress free' 
but what vacation of ours ever is? please forgive me if i have ever made our vacations appear that way. but i was thrilled the stress was not at the level i had anticipated. 
we had a lot of "well now we know" moments.
the drive down was great... we launched the boat at a beautiful state park, avoided the stumps, went through the locks like we knew what we were doing ;), enjoyed a picnic lunch, music... no major issues.

the kids indulged in one last dip right before the locks... 
alligator infested waters lay beyond 'them doors'
and yes... that's for reals!
this that is a very-very long time on a boat for littles
mary claire did great, but got a little bored and winey at times.
seriously... you meet and see all kinds within these steel walls
and beyond them ;)
the next two pictures; a big fat recipe for disaster!

it was super smooth sailing until we hit the charleston bay.  a storm had passed, (thankfully) narrowly missing us but leaving the ocean a little lot on the choppy side.  thankfully my kids thought this was 'so fun.' like a roller coater ride lasting a half hour.

but man was it beautiful!

docking the boat... holy cow! many of the boats in the charleston marina had the retail value... of who knows what!  the current was incredibly fast moving. we managed to find spot d27 with only slight aggravation... only every few spots were numbered. but we found it, right between a beautiful sailboat and a million dollar yacht. again, the current was insane! i.n.s.a.n.e. something that appeared to be so easy turned out to be so difficult!

take one:   jeff attempts to park the boat and is blown sideways. 
take two:   jeff attempts to park the boat and bumps the beautiful sailboat! 
take three: jeff attempts to park the boat and slams into the million dollar yacht.  

all boats were unharmed but the stress level was rising... faster than the tide.

at least we weren't parked amongst the 'mega' rich southern folk... 
at the 'mega-dock'
how's that for a unique and humble name?
but the boats were definitely mega boats!
i bet the owners live in the 'mega-neighborhood'

arriving without land transportation was the one thing i was worried about the most ...  as it turns out, it was the one thing that stressed me out the most! now we know. i  checked the distance between the marina and the hotel. about one mile apart. 'about?' maybe as a crow flies, but in walking miles... triple that.  the walk from slip d27 to the end of the not so mega dock was 'about' a mile. the big kids walked ahead while we secured the boat. after the dock hike in the heat, with bags and a winey tired eight year old... we called a cab. 

the sweet cab driver delivered us to the hotel.
we unloaded. 
then reloaded. 
it was the wrong hotel... because i told him the wrong hotel. 

holiday inn and holiday inn express are two different places. i knew that :/
we picked up the kids. they were still walking...

LONG story short... the kids wanted walk the city...but not all the way there and back. we were too far to walk, cab rides and trolleys would be a pain... so we rented a car. which turned out to be a great deal, $50 a day verses a 3 mile cab ride at $25. but picking up and delivering the rental car, without a car... was another set of stress in itself.  but now we know... 

so we drove and walked down town and had a fun silly time walking off the stress.

love that town!
 mary claire was out before her head hit the pillow. the rest of us tucked ourselves in, snacked, watched a little shark week and an episode of forensic files... about women being bound with duct tape, rope, bricks and dropped in the ocean.

strange how i will not let my littles watch pg-13 movies... but instead terrify them with reality... i need to pray on that!
the big boats i was worried about were fascinating! 

 i would love-love-love to know the story about each and every one! and i would love to know what's inside of each and every container. i too so many pictures... i'm anticipating a sc transportation book report in our future.

alligators. yes we saw some. we were doing some serious looking! and it was so exciting when we spotted one. "they are as afraid of us as we are of them," as long as we are inside the boat. that's my story and i'm sticking to it! 
we spotted dolphin... we all wanted so desperately to scream shark. because we're shark experts you know and that would have thrilled us to no end ;) but they were harmless dolphins. darn those sweet dolphins!

driving downtown... loved!

we spied the citadel.
a place bennett plans to tour on one of his college visit days.
we shall see!

then it was time head back up river. 
a drive minus all the anticipation of stress was fantastic!

i could fill an entire post with pictures of this crane we see every time. 
we're sticking to, "it's the same crane and he thinks he powers the lock doors."

{checking crab traps}
love virginia beth's hair!

the girls lemon juiced their hair, determined to enhance their already blonde locks! 

delirium was setting in after 12ish hours on the boat... 

so this is the last check we will be able to make on our summer bucket list! school starts tomorrow. the tent camping box remains un-checked... so sad we couldn't make that happen. next time maybe we'll pitch a tent on the boat and camp in the middle of the ocean... yeah right! that will never happen!

farewell summer 2012... it's been a blast!
Living Life in the Lowcountry said...

Looks like a lot of fun! I would have been totally stressed about docking the boat, especially near an expensive yacht and then husband and I would have gotten into a huge argument! :)
Said a little prayer for y'all when I heard some boaters had some trouble yesterday on Lake Moultrie, was so glad it wasn't you!
Talking about alligators in the lake, I'll have to post a photo on my blog of one that was killed not long ago on Lake Marion! It is unbelievably HUGE!

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