...and saw this:
I know what you're thinking. "Don't you...live at the beach?" More or less. My family decided to vacation 40 minutes from where we actually live, which does sound a little strange. But it's super difficult to get us all in one place. Three of my cousins work at the same restaurant in various capacities, so they were in and out of the house. But if we'd been farther away they wouldn't have been able to join us at all. Plus I've never stayed on the inlet before, so it was really a lovely new experience.
This was the view every night. Exquisite. A little to the right was the Marshwalk at Murrell's Inlet, which is a row of restaurants and a sort of boardwalk. At night it lights up and you can hear live music clear across the inlet. With sunsets like these, why would you want to go more than 40 minutes from where you live?
We took the boat to the Marshwalk one night and hung out at Bubba's Love Shak. Right next to Restaurant Row is a little place called Goat Island, which is basically a little strip of land where a bunch of goats live. It's kind of my worst nightmare. But taking the boat out for a little nightlife was one of my favorite things to do. It was incredibly serene and so relaxing.
Speaking of wildlife, we had birds out the wazoo. These ducks liked to come for an evening swim. They didn't bother us much, but there were other birds that liked to fly up to the porch and stare at us.
Grady and my sister were only able to come for a day of our beach week. He totally loved the beach! He liked grabbing the sand (and may have eaten a little). When he stuck his toes in the water and a wave splashed him, it didn't faze him a bit. And seriously, have you seen anything cuter than a baby in sunglasses and a bucket hat? I think not.
We did quite a bit of fishing and crabbing. By we I mean my cousin's boyfriend, Roddy. But I watched a lot! I don't have my fishing license, so I couldn't exactly fish anyway. Although I did hook a crab before it fell off my line. One of the cool things we caught was this stingray! We threw it back of course, but not before I took a couple of pictures.
Our first day of having the crab trap out we caught a blowfish! Okay first of all, I didn't even know we had blowfish in these waters. Secondly, we didn't realize what it was until it started puffing up! And thirdly, I'm glad it managed to escape somehow because I don't know who was going to be responsible for removing it from the cage.
We took out the boat quite a few times, but one of my favorite moments was seeing my cousin, James, and his nephew, Trevor, tubing. Trevor just looked so happy, and James made the tube rock back and forth a bit for some extra excitement. Lest you worry, James is the only one who fell off.
Our last meal was a good ol' Lowcountry Boil. We used all the crabs we'd caught (26 in all I think), shrimp from the local seafood markets, farmer's market corn, potatoes, and sausage. Roddy also dug up some clams that he steamed. This is absolutely one of my favorite meals. Part of it is the experience of pouring everything out over newspaper and eating directly on the table.
We adored the house we stayed in and had an absolute blast. It had been a few years since we'd had a family vacation, and this was well worth the wait. I hope y'all can have a super-fun trip with your families this summer, even if it is only 40 minutes away from where you live!