Monday, April 6, 2009

At the Beach?

Yea, we've been at the beach all weekend! We truly are not beach people. It takes a beach trip every couple of years to remember how much we hate it. Truly. It's so much hotter than Greenville, everywhere you walk sand gets stuck to my legs, the air smells different from all the salt influence, sand gets everywhere it should not be and I just never feel clean. The tap water tastes horrible, so I don't end up drinking as much water as I do here, the list goes on. We, as a family, are just not beach people. Unfortunately, the kids loved it. They want to go back already.

The backstory: 58 years ago my great grandparents bought this house on Tybee Island. It's a barrier island outside of Savannah, GA. If you've never been to Savannah, it is an awesome little southern city. But my mother was 2 when her grandparents bought this house. Now for her 60th birthday she wanted all of her kids and grandkids together at the house. The ownership has splintered over the years but it has stayed completely in the family. It's pink, near the lighthouse, and beachfront. Our land goes all the way to the water, so a private beach is really nice. And that house holds memories and the kind of generational bridging that can never be replaced. My mother went there with her grandparents when she was the same age as her grandkids are now.

Now Sandra Bullock bought a house on the island, so did John Cougar Mellencamp, and Jennifer Lopez. So the local island goverment is trying to encourage big money developments. Our house is a part of the old fort Screven, a revolutionary war fort. So the walls are concrete 2 feet thick, and it's been there for 200 years and is on the national historic registry. The whole fort is like that, not just our house. The govt is trying to get the whole fort taken off of the national historic registry so that it can be demolished to make room for bigger newer houses. They have also raised the assessed value of the house so high that it jacked the property taxes up to over $1500 a month. for a little 2 br nothing of a house. Nobody in my family can afford that, so we're going to have to sell it before too long. and that's what the city govt wants. So my folks have been in and out of court, dealing with lawyers (and when you have to bring in a lawyer, the lawyer is the only one who wins). My greater family is having a difficult time seeing the silver lining. And that's a big part of why this trip is so important to my mom. End of backstory.

Now John Cougar's wife is a Victoria's Secret model, and his house is on the same side of the island that our house is on. So Kelley just new if she put on a bathing suit and went out on the beach she was going to have a freaking Victoria's Secret model plopped down on the next towel. Yes, that's just her luck. She did not put on the bathing suit, and we did not run into anyone famous or their spouses. Time for some pictures of what did actually go down.

The girls just loved being at the beachouse. Here they are playing on the back porch looking into the house.

Dad, Morgan and I went fishing with a guide in the back rivers around Tybee. We didn't go into the ocean or the Savannah River, just sort of stayed in the back water. I caught one trout and this redfish, the guide caught a couple of trout just to add to the load, and that was it. Morgan and dad came back empty handed. Bigun was scared and grossed out when she touched the fish.

Kelley and Bigun hanging out on the beach. The light reflection on the sand kind of washed out this photo, but since Kelley took most of the pics, this is about the only proof that she was actually on the sand. You can tell we are not beach people; she is wearing a long sleeve shirt and jeans on the beach when it's 78 degrees and sunny out there. Fish out of water.

Here are my parents with their grandkids on the same beach my mother has been playing on since she was their age. You can see the lighthouse in the background. This is the closest we could come to making the kids stand still while on the beach.

A great shot of bigun with the lighthouse in the background. She kept getting completely naked just to go play in that puddle left over from high tide. She's nuts!

Evil Genius playing with the lighthouse in the background. She was able to refrain from complete nudity. I say she missed out on a chance she will soon grow out of.

Both kids playing in the puddle. They freaking loved it! It opened their eyes to a whole new set of toys and playing medium.

Morgan and Bigun sitting down for once. I think Bigun is plotting her next toy run. Kite or shovel? How can you pic just one, Unc? they call Morgan "Unc", he loves it.

Morgan in his more natural position. This is the wild unmarried adult male in his natural habitat. A rare sighting indeed.

Evil Genius and my dad flying a kite. Every other sentence out of the kids mouths on the way down there was about flying a kite with grandad. Then the wind was actually too heavy for those kites to get up into the air. Still, they had fun trying.

So what else happened while we were down there? Well, we went down thursday night in the pouring rain. The kids travelled ok, which is rare. I guess we found the right combination of movies to keep them entertained for 4 and a half hours. I had to unpack the van in the rain, that wasn't fun.

Friday I got in a bike ride of 21 miles. I had the energy to go farther, but the island is only about 3 miles wide so I was just bored. They run the Tybee Island marathon there every year in February, and I don't see how they found 26.2 miles in a loop. But one year i'm going to run that thing. Bike ride was great, it was flat and fast, and I left Jenny in the big chainring the whole time Got up to about 26 mph, and averaged about 18 mph. Then mom kept the girls during naptime, and Kelley and I went out playing on the island. We went down to the public beach on the south side of the island, and hit a restaurant and did some drinking. Good times!

Saturday Kelley got in a small run, and I ran 8.3 miles. The cool part was the speed again. It felt like I was flying! I made it 6.5 miles before I had to stop and walk some, and averaged about 9:20 pace in there. That was so cool. I felt good, ran nice and strong, and everything was ok. Then Saturday afternoon Dad, Morgan and I went fishing while Kelley and Michael's wife went out drinking. Michael was playing a show in New York City and couldn't make the trip.

Then sunday we packed up and drove home. I took the girls to a nearby park while Kelley cleaned the house. Bigun rode her bike down to the park, and it was the first time ever that she really put the ability to pedal together. She finally made the mental connection between legs and movement and steering, but pedaling backwards to put the brakes on was still too advanced. So she hit a little downhill and picked up too much speed and that was it. So I ended up putting her on my shoulders and carrying the bike the rest of the way to the park. Still, it was a blast. And they were calm the entire drive home.

This drive was 4.5 hours each way, and in two weeks we're driving 4.5 hours each way to Raleigh for the triathlon. I really hope we can get this type of calm during that drive as well.

I will eventually get caught up reading all of those race reports, I hope everyone did well in New Orleans this weekend! I'm so far behind from taking a day off of work it's nuts. But I will get caught up. Hope your weekend was as good as mine.


Sarah said...

I don't think I have ever ridden 18mph. Close, maybe 17 at St. Anthony's? I want to get faster on the bike...and the run...and and...well, you know how that goes.

Vacation looks splendid, I want to go. But very sad about the development and the taxes getting jacked up.

Jess said...

Sounds like a fun weekend. The beach is my favorite place in the world so I'm glad you had some fun even though you aren't a beach person!

Nick said...

wow, those pictures of Tybee really bring me back. I'm from Savannah and we had a little old un-air conditioned beach house near the fort. Is that old rusty tank still out there? I spent a lot of my childhood out there on that beach. And when I wasn't living with my dad in Sav. I was living in a two bedroom cinder block beach house on Hilton Head with my mom. So I'm a beach person to the core - salt in my blood!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

What the f*ck is WRONG with you, Cletus? Who doesn't love the beach? Especially a private beach on an exclusive island that is so hoity-toity that John Cougar Menstralcramp has a house there?

But - haha! - the kids love it so you'll have to "suffer" thru vacations there for THEIR sake!

GO BIGUN AND EVIL GENIUS!1! Make daddy suffer!

Nice job getting the run and bike ride in, but, really, send me the keys to that place: Teh 'Bride, the boy and I will take it off your hands for a few weeks and we won't even charge you.

Amanda said...

That makes me sad about the government basically forcing your family to sell the house. Lol at Kelley in her long sleeves all bundled up on the beach:)

tfh said...

Shouldn't those rock star-model-actor types be protesting the overdevelopment of the island and destruction of historical landmarks? Geez. You'd think they'd do something useful to complement the whole "looking good in swimsuits" thing. But honestly, I think Kelley looks damned good in her long-sleeved shirt. You know the thing I hate most about the beach? Sand fleas. But it's nice to see you two making sacrifices for the young'uns and I'm sure the smiles on their faces make it worth it.

joyRuN said...

Ugh. I HATE hearing about local governments disregarding history & legacy for the sake of $$$. Ocean City's become also an example of that.

I'm not really a beach person either, but have developed a tolerance for it since the kids just love love love it.

nwgdc said...

I'm pretty sure finding a male bachelor in his natural habitat isn't all that rare.

Absolutely great photos!

teacherwoman said...

Your weekend looks like is was great! That is awesome!

Sarah said...

Great pictures!!!! And I would LOVE to be neighbors somehow with Sandra Bullock. Even if I hated the beach, running into her at the grocery store would keep me going back :)

Lily on the Road said...

Oh boy, what a fabulous weekend and what a lovely location. I LOVE the beach, water, sun and warm weather. Trade you, it is snowing here today!

carrie said...

There is such a thing as "not beach people?!?!" I had no idea!

healthy ashley said...

You might not like the beach very much but the vacation sounds wonderful. You got some great photos, too!

And for your bike ride- averaging 18mph is good! Faster than me! ;)

Alisa said...

Your family is soooo cute.

I can't believe you're not a beach person? How does that happen? I LOVE the beach! My dream is to live in a beach house (or shack, I don't care!).