My dad had a week off work so while I was talking to him on the phone one day he suggested that we meet up with him and mom somewhere and do something over the weekend (he actually said Tuesday but we did have work so we changed it to the weekend).
We decided to meet in Jacksonville. It's almost equidistant between Beaufort and Tallahassee and 2.5 hours in a car isn't bad for just a couple of days. We arrived at around 12:30, checked into the hotel (Carson and I got the pull-out couch), and went off to explore. We stopped at some thrift stores on our drive, to Carson's delight, and ran by a couple other stores for various things before we finally made it to the beach. We just wanted to see it, put our feet in the water, but not actually stay. Fair to say, it's a bit larger and more crowded than any beaches we've seen in Florida so far.
Right after we took this picture, Carson and I were standing in the water, about ankle deep when I realized that something non-human was swimming nearby... a shark! I think it was a little over three feet and Carson said five, but either way it was only a few feet away, so he quickly warned the family that it was swimming toward. Nothing exciting happened, thankfully, but I'm glad we weren't intending to spend the day in the water there. I love the beach but hate water at the beach because of whatever might be lurking.
Carson and I hadn't eaten, and by the time we decided to eat, it was 4:30, so we stopped at a Rita's. I was happy to spot it, because there used to be one in Beaufort (it's now a Jimmy Johns) and I think I kept them in business the summer of 2008 when I'd come there with my girls all the time.
That actually held us over until dinner. Carson, Dad and I sat in the hot tub at the hotel pool after that and chatted with an interesting man who was there for a kickball tournament! At around 7, we showered and got ready for dinner. We drove around for some time looking for something local and different, but ended up at Longhorn (Carson was PUMPED because he'd never been but loved the "you can't fake steak" line in their commercials) because the local place looked sub-par.
Speaking of par, we went mini-golfing after dinner. I think some of us were more excited about this adventure than others (Dad was excited, the rest of us were tired) but it was a lot of fun. I'm not great at putt-putt, and my Dad more than holds his own in real golf, so I wasn't looking forward to the game so much. I ended up getting the first hole in one, and I definitely didn't win but was better than I'd expected. Carson and Dad tied.
While waiting on us, Dad sat here... then we noticed the sign.
In the morning, we got sunscreened up and headed to the water park. There was a Groupon for four people and so we went for it. The sunscreen Dad put on didn't soak in so well and he sort of looked like a corpse or a blueberry.
Mom and I relaxed while Carson and Dad enjoyed the slides first, then went on the lazy river (the whole reason Mom suggested the water park) for awhile.
While Mom was in the river, the three of us took advantage of the "free attraction" the Groupon offered us.
We chose to play another round of putt-putt, this time on the second course the park offered.
I wasn't so good this day. Not sure of my score, but I know Carson kept writing a much lower number on the card than I deserved, just to be nice.
I wore Mom's hat on the ride home. Very shady, but I'm not really a hat person.
We got Sam's Club pizza on the way back and ate it in the hotel room. Then what else, but get in the water again? I didn't venture into the very cold pool once, but stayed in the nice hot tub.
Carson and I left right after, and Mom and Dad stayed another night. It was so much fun! We all ended up with some sunburn and I think Carson had it worse than anyone. My back was really red but next to him, I look pale. With his permission, here are his poor little lobster legs. Reapplying sunscreen didn't work for us!
I'm hoping we'll be able to do something like this again with my parents. It was fun and relaxing to meet up and visit a new place and I love spending time with them!