Dear Mother Nature,
This morning I feel indebted to you.
Your hospitality was at its peak as we explored Kiawah Island this weekend with our friends.
You should know that my husband is one of your greatest fans. While the attraction of sleep kept me firmly rooted to my bed, the appeal of watching the sun rise on the beach pulled him away from it. Twice he ventured out early to explore your beaches and its wildlife. Speaking of wildlife...
Take a look at that sneaky fellow!
Not to worry (*insert a note of sarcasm here), the kids and I were with him when he snapped this picture. The alligator was spotted as we peddled past a pond during a morning bike ride with our friends.
(You read that right, dear reader. A 33 week pregnant Ali Flegal rode a bike this weekend. I'm not sure if my bum has forgiven me yet for those 15 miles. However, the scenery and the delight expressed by my children made each of those Braxton Hicks worth it.)
Confused as to why everyone seemed calm in the gator's presence, I did my best to be discreet as I waddled my bike further up the path. As the adults took turns pointing out the alligator to the children, I heard the comment that explained their laid back reactions. If the alligator suddenly turned hostile, Jimmy had a plan.
"I just know that I can run faster than Ali."
If he hadn't been then one to help reunite me to my spouse after the kids and I spent 35 minutes LOST on the island the day before, I would have pelted him with a small object. Consider yourself spared of the details involving that particular misadventure. Had a Jack, Desmond or a Sawyer been involved, I would be singing a merrier tune.
Kiawah's pristine beaches were calm as the expected crowd of holiday tourists were busy occupying other tourist related hot spots. Eliza's appreciation compensated for the small number of vacationers. I have yet to witness my daughter grow weary of the sand and waves.
While Eliza focused on the waves, Henry's attention stayed on the sand. Mustering up a batch of social skills I didn't know he had, Henry did his best to charm his way into the good graces of a family we'd never met. It was clear that they were well seasoned in the art of beaching as they came prepared with kick ball equipment, boogie boards, an assortment of Disney princesses and last but not least, a convoy of dump trucks.
His schmoozing paid off. He was in dump truck heaven.
Andrew brought along his favorite "beach toy."
Such a simple thing, a pile of sand.
Hours of enjoyment were derived from that mound... as well as the remaining puddle/hole it left behind.
Que the parents:
"Hey kids, come here." Ignoring our request entirely, we whip out a serving of reverse psychology.
"Uh-oh! You better not pour that bucket of water on my head!"
Running at full speed, our trusting four year-old kids unknowingly head straight for the hidden pit that has recently been covered by the incoming tide. We laugh as they unexpectedly plunge into the man-made hole. Their contributing laughter erases the guilt in tricking them.
The weather, scenery and absence of a hurricane named Earl was appreciated by all. As ideal as the conditions were, the best part of our trip was the company we kept. More to come on the awesome nature of our friends, our return to Charleston and the fancy schmancy bathroom I discovered while meandering through the French Quarter.