We just returned from our family vacation—the first one we have had in 3 years. It’s very different vacationing with adult children than when they were little. For one thing- not all our boys could make it. ( I got over it, really. Really, I was fine with it….) The married one had to use vacation time for his honeymoon-so only two came with us- one son flew in from AZ, the other brought his girlfriend- to meet the rest of our extended Georgia family—totaling 20-my siblings, spouses, nieces, nephews, girlfriends, fiancé’s, grandparents. We were all there. Almost.
It was kinda nice to have grown kids on vacation. No need to remind about reapplying sunscreen, REAL help in schlepping beach gear to and from the house, relieved of the burden of constant beach entertainment, they paid for their own meals when we went out to eat AND they even picked up stock groceries…twice! <woo-hoo!!>
When our boys were young, the yearly trip to South Carolina beaches meant seeing extended family, who drove from the Atlanta area, all 19 people squeezed into one giant house, playing at the ocean edge, riding bicycles, teaching them to play Spades (our fav fam card game) and eating our weight in fresh shrimp. We loaded up the van with bikes and boogie boards and would pull out in the wee hours of the night to begin the 10 hour haul to Myrtle Beach and later the Isle of Palms.
When we crossed over into North Carolina, we would start to see signs for a place called South of the Border, a tourist trap right over the South Carolina border. Back in the old days, we used it as a pit stop for the guys (since they were all current on their shots and guys pee standing up), but we were paranoid about spending too much time there. Seedy.
We knew it was going to be that way due to the over abundance of O-B-N-O-X-I-O-U-S signs that we had to endure the entire 329 miles of I -95 in North Carolina. The signs had this little guy in a Mexican sombrero named Pedro and he always had something to say. The signs WERE entertaining (and let’s face it—anything that entertains 3 boys for several hours that doesn’t involve electronics or the twentieth round of the ABC game—I’m all for!) and so I made up a game that they played every year as we drove through NC. I saved dimes and nickels the month before and I made up a play sheet that I distributed as we crossed the NC state line—let the game begin.
Oh-one more thing. There is a tower welcoming people to South of the Border that can be seen miles away. The first one to see the tower got a dollar. (They were little, OK?) It was a highlight, trust me, back in the day.
Side note: Once the boys hit their teens, I used the captive audience car ride for an even more fun game called: What Would Emily Post Do? I highly recommend it as a way to teach young men where to put their napkins in a nice restaurant and how to enter and exit a cab with a young lady—(trickier than you’d guess). So much fun for all of us! Yeah, I mean yes, I am that mom.
Anyhoo- my hub and I had a delightful car ride to SC, alone with conversation uninterrupted as we caravanned (sort of) with our youngest and his gal. As we got into NC – he sent me the following text:(on his girlfriend’s phone as his battery had died—one of the great things about having adult kids…their problems are not yours…well sort of.)
There are lots of adjustments to be made in life once the kids are on their own. Some good, some sad…some are grand! Like getting to keep all my nickels and dimes!
Stephanie, I love reading your stories! You and your sweet family are a blessing!
We stopped at South of The Border once. It reminded me to get my tetanus shot.