Hilton Head day 1 | Saturday / by Carey

I didn't grow up going to the beach.  My grandparents took us several times when we were little, but shhh! Don't tell them.  I don't remember any of those visits!!!  Not a one!  I know my family took one beach trip when we were little... I don't remember the beach from that trip.  All I do remember is stopping in Rocky Mount on the way home to visit my great grandparents and using clorox on the back porch to clean the sand dollars we found.   There was one trip in high school when my dad took the three of us kids to Myrtle Beach.  Those were my beach experiences.

I always envied those kids who grew up in families who took a family vacation every single summer.  Having this be part of my family has always been a goal of mine.  Early on in our marriage, Shawn and I decided that we'd place a high priority on traveling and activities and adventures...


things... making


... instead of gathering


around us.

Sometimes that false way of thinking finds its way into my head.  "

All that money and nothing to show for it

".  Did anyone ever harp that into you growing up?  And I start to wonder... what do we have to show for ourselves?

The thing about traveling and adventures is... it is a lot of money, and when you come back home, there's nothing to set on the mantle to show for it.  And if you believe in that line of thinking, you could shy away from making memories.  But memories are all we really have in this life.  All of the material things are temporal and fleeting.

I want my kids to REMEMBER their adventures with us.  Unlike me.   I want my kids to be able to sit up late for night after night reminiscing about the adventures and incidents we got into.  And we can't do that without spending some money that at the end of the day, we'll have nothing to show for it, but the invisible bond it created for my family.

We journeyed to Hilton Head, South Carolina the first week of September for a week with Shawn's family.  I utterly adore Hilton Head.  There is just something so powerful, serene, and majestic about the coast.  I love being at the beach.  But Hilton Head takes it to a whole other level.

The beach is just ENORMOUS.  It's so, so incredibly wide.  Even when the tide is all the way up, there is just so much BEACH left.  It's never been crowded for us.  I like the packed sand that isn't hard to walk on.  I like that the shells are few and far between so no one is stepping and cutting their feet.  I like how the water is shallow and the kids can play in it without us fearing for their lives (okay, let's clarify, ME fearing).  And I like that there's still 'stuff' to do in the inside of the Island.  It's isn't just houses... there are shops and restaurants and such.  But it's NICE.  Just so nice.

We left on Saturday September 3rd - Labor Day weekend.  Here are the images from day one.

Heading out... 7:17am

We're there!!! 11:57am (aka, "I" did not do the driving)

I love how excited he is to see the Ocean!

This child LOVES to play pranks and Pop indulges him. He laughed his HEAD off coating Pop in a sand cast.

She is my little ocean buddy.  Fearless.  Simply fearless.  She loves the waves.  

They come to tell me they are going to look for creatures.  A few minutes later they come back with this jellyfish in his bug catcher!!!  This was the only one we saw all week that had these tentacles.  All the rest were the non stinging kind.  But we kept this little dude all week and he survived... and we let him go again.  

I shot these with my 


, and the

 Nikon 14-24 f2.8