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16 September, 2014

Labor Day Weekend in Beaufort

Our family was long over due for a trip to The Low Country.  We'd spent several months trying to find a weekend when the Buergler clan could travel together to Beaufort, SC to visit Aunt Jo.  Eric's Great Aunt Jo was/is his grandmother's sister.  Eric's grandparents passed years ago, so his Great Aunt and Uncle more or less stepped into that role.  

Eric's uncle, Jim, had passed away since we had last visited.  Aunt Jo was recovering from neck surgery and heart valve replacement surgery. We weren't quite sure what to expect out of the visit, but as always it was a great trip.  

The crew agreed to head South over Labor Day weekend.  Eric took Friday off so we hit the road after Maggie's mid morning feeding.  We had a million taco fixings left over from dinner the night before, so I made a stack of quesadillas to eat for a lunch picnic on our road trip. Quite possibly my most brilliant parenting moment to date.
 We loaded up the CR-V.  Not bad for a family of four with two little kids in cloth diapers, eh?
 Remember how we always hit bizarre traffic on our way to or from Savannah / Beaufort (tornado, hail, snow, and a burning tuna truck)?  This time we escaped the bizarre, but hit the regular  Where-The-EEEFFFFFF-Did-These-Cars-Come-From Traffic Phenomenon at the 75 South Hudson Bridge Exit.  If you're from Atlanta you know what I am talking about.
 We stopped at basically the only exit between Macon and Savannah (they're about 120 miles apart) with any semblance of civilization.  I fed Maggie as Eric took Evie on the playset at a Burger King. (PS: Don't get their Oreo Milkshake)
 What seemed like a million hours (okay, 5) later, we finally found the ocean (okay, the Intercoastal Waterway).  Ahhhh. My Florida Girl's heart was happy.
 We settled in to our rental house for the weekend (thanks to Eric's parents!).  Once the rest of Eric's family arrived, we ate dinner in town and strolled around eating ice cream and let the kids play on the playground.

The next day we lounged for a bit before meeting up with Aunt Jo The Super Great. This is what we determined for Evie to call her.

Dan took Evie and Luke out for a run. What a trooper. It was only 99.9% humidity that weekend. Actually, it's been less humid while raining. Pretty sure.
 It was game day.  We dressed in our finest Notre Dame regalia and set off for Aunt Jo's house.  We went out for lunch and then back to her house to watch the game and let the kids nap. Notre Dame fried beat Rice.
 No trip to Beaufort is complete without a trip to the Chocolate Tree.  During half time we booked it over to the shop.  Evie loved getting a turn in "the kangaroo pouch". My stomach loved getting some dark chocolate sea salt caramels.
 Saturday night we went back to the rental house for a cookout. We intended on play cards but I think we ended up watching TV.

Sunday morning we went to Mass. We were promised a quick homily from a great priest, but seriously....we end up with terrible experiences at this parish when we visit..... It was a visiting priest (I think the same one we had at The Worst Easter Mass Ever the year before) who gave about 3 unrelated homilies in one. Rough when you're the ONLY people at Mass under 67, and definitely the only one with kids in the building. Oh well, we survived.

We went to town for a bit that day.  After lunch, Eric and I found a toy store and bought a few puzzle games to keep Evie busy while we played cards that afternoon.
It's shrimp season in The Low Country, so we went out for dinner to our usual spot down on the water.  The restaurant has shrimp boats out back.  Thankfully Aunt Jo "knows a guy" and got us in without a long wait. Others were waiting nearly 2 hours.  We didn't order the big steamer pots of Low Country Boil this time (it takes too long and it's too messy while trying to wrangle the kids), but our individual dinners did not disappoint.  Love me some shrimp and grits.
After dinner we were beat from the heat and full bellies.  We watched Mary Poppins as a family and went to bed early.  Monday morning we were up and on the road by 9 to beat the Hilton Head Island traffic back to Atlanta.
It was a great family weekend.  We certainly missed Uncle Jim, especially during the Notre Dame game!  Aunt Jo is doing great -- even after heart valve replacement surgery.  I hope I am as spunky as her at that age!  It's a lot of work to take two little people on a 5 hour road trip for a long weekend, but well worth it.  The girls are such great travelers.  We look forward to many opportunities to visit Aunt Jo and Beaufort in the future!

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