Swamps, Fountains and The Road (Days 9 & 10)

Yesterday was our last full day at the lake. Today we pressed on to the coast where we will converge with the southern/southern contingent of my family. Lonny’s sister is only part southern (by marriage and relocation).

The family portrait. I always end up being the heavy and dragging everyone onto the porch for the picture.

The family portrait. I always end up being the heavy and dragging everyone onto the porch for the picture.

My southern/southern side harkens from South Carolina. My grandmother attended a bona-fide cotillion for chrissakes. And a coming out party, when it meant altogether something different than it means now.

I wonder how many Asians will be there? Something tells me it will feel like Salt Lake City High, Class of 1990 all over again. S’okay.

I basked in our last day at the lake. It’s sad to think this may be our last time here, unless the house doesn’t sell. For Karen’s sake I hope it does. For my sake I hope it doesn’t. I like to think of it as a win/win situation.

I will miss this view.

I will miss this view.

Our last day reminded me of the things that are challenging about this vacation. For one, there is the water issue. Something always happens with the water while we’re here. This year the pipes backed up. As in poop coming out of the shower drain and filling up the basement. We had a six-hour water moratorium.

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You can’t waterski when it is windy, but you can go on the dragger. Why do people think this is fun? It’s terrifying!

The lack of water has absolved us of any guilt about leaving dishes in the sink or preparing meals. Everyone here is pretty type-A about keeping the kitchen clean so this is rather exotic.

With the exception of the men who were deeply ensconced in the world of plumbing (Yay for gender defined roles!) there was plenty of flopping around going on. The hot wind drove us inside and I occupied myself by 1) napping 2) reading Dark Passage – thanks for the tip Alana! 3) eating ice cream straight out of the carton.

The other night the girls were groaning in pleasure over the amazgood coffee ice cream. I, the paragon of strength, refrained. But not today. It did not rock my world but I sacrificed myself and finished up the carton. You know … dishes.

I even let my boys dink around with the iPad. What’s a few hours of Where’s Perry? when we’re on vacation? I’m reading a trashy novel, people are playing board games, it’s one of those days to not worry about productivity. Feels good.

Here is a pictorial travelogue of today’s adventures.

We started off by driving to Francis Beidler Swamp Sanctuary. It is one of the last two old-growth cyprus swamps left. The temperature couldn’t have been more pleasant and the bugs were preoccupied with biting the kids. Score!

I cannot recommend this area more. The self-guided book was beautifully written and I developed a new appreciation for swamps and learned so much.

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Oh yes he did. We’re ugly tourists.

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Raising the water table.

The boys got a little out of it. Doing anything that requires restraint or silence (i.e. bird watching or nature walks) doesn’t go to well with them, but they did enjoy the scenery and looking for giant spiders and minnows.

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Just so you know, there is no pool. It’s a FOUNTAIN! God. Americans are so stupid.

We went to Charleston afterwards for lunch at the famed Magnolia. It was one of those meals (like all of them) that would have benefitted from NO KIDS but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Then we went to the dock to cool off in the fountain and engage in HIGH RISK wading in 1 inch of water.

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Okay, maybe it was a little risky.

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