Sunday, June 27, 2010

PHFC Beach Retreat

I can not acurately describe this trip through pictures. We were at the beach with 50 other people on a retreat with the children's home that Zach and I work at. But, I'm not realy allowed to post pictures of the kids (although trust me I took plenty) so I will just focus instead on the bean.

This retreat was fantastic. We stayed at Garden City Chapel near Myrtle beach and had 4 fabulous days of summer fun. (We had to leave a day early so unfortunately we missed the water park).

On day one we arrived and went for a walk down the beach, to the pier and then stopped at the yum yum shop for some delicious ice cream.

Haley really liked the beach at first. She liked putting her toes in the edge of the water and crawling in the sand. She also had fun people watching at the pier.

Sleeping in a room with 20 other girls was a different story. There was so much excitement that Haley just wouldn't let herself fall asleep. I even tried to cover her bed to block out some of the light and noise, but she just found a hole in the fort. I think it was at least 11:30 before she was really asleep.

On day 2 we played at the beach and in the pool. We also went to play putt putt. It was a great course. My team "The bushy beard and the barnacles" almost won the trip wide competition with a 45 average. But everyone was a winner when they got to pick out an ice cream, Haley and I shared a snow cone. She really liked chomping on the flavored ice.

When we waded waist deep into the water Haley was terrified of the waves.

We decided to focus instead on the sand. Haley had a lot of fun crawling up the beach.

But even that got old quickly, so we decided to retreat to the pool.

They wouldn't let Haley swim in the big pool since she's not potty trained. (kind of silly in my opinion, but I don't make the rules I just try to follow them). They were kind enough to get out a raft we could fill with water and turn into a baby Haley pool. She loved it!

Thus little pool also ended up being her daily bath while we were there. I learned quickly that the showers at GCC made Haley scream and that the sinks in the bathroom were too little to make a Haley tub. I just decided to embrace the sand, and appreciate the little pool she had (oh and to limit the number of people who held her after she went for a dip)

Haley played putt putt on her daddy's back. He actually played much better with her there to help him balance. After we were done Haley said hi to some of the animals around the course.

The next morning we covered ourselves in more sunscreen and headed back to the sand, this time with bucket in tow. That afternoon we went to a 3D movie at the Imax, and the Ripley's aquarium. Haley took a long nap and was all energized for games and devotions with the GCC staff.

Haley loves her bucket and shovel. She spent a long time playing in the shade of some ladies' umbrellas. She also ate a lot of sand, you would think one or two bites would make her realize it didn't taste very good. But she kept forgetting.

Haley's favorite part of the Imax was the glasses. Zach spent a lot of time bouncing her around in the back. The 3D movie was a pretty neat experience, I would love to go back to watch a real movie like Avatar.

Haley also loved the aquarium. She was fascinated by all of the colors and the fish swimming over her head. When we left we stopped by the gift shop and she got a stuffed turtle. It's her new favorite.

Haley is a big fan of riding the bus sans car seat (this is not something we normally do, it was her first and probably her last time riding in the car without a car seat). She kept looking out of the windows and showing off her new top teeth with big belly laughs.

By the end of the day she was wiped out. But don't let the nap fool you, she stayed up until about 11 again.

Haley spent the week mastering her clapping skills and learning to cheer along with the crowd. The gathering with the GCC staff was the perfect opportunity for her to show off what she learned.
That night we also took Haley for a drive to get her to sleep. It was the first time we ever went cruising just for the sake of helping her get some rest. But it only took 2 times around the block before she was out.

Our final full day at GCC was packed with fun activities. We had a restful morning getting our soda and ice cream from the sea shack (the whole group was treated to T shirts and a free drink and scoop of ice cream each day, yummy!) We played volleyball, did crafts, went to the beach, played at the Haley pool and enjoyed another great devotion by our speaker for the week. To finish the night in style we loaded up the buses and went back to the Grand Ol' Opry for the good vibrations show. The show was a wonderful mix of music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I had a great time singing and dancing along to it all with the kids. Haley had a restful night back at home with her dad.

There were 4 kids under 3 at the beach, Haley and one of her buddies had fun playing the piano together while they evaded the peak hours of sun.

When we finally made our way back into the water we just sat at the edge of the waves. Haley had fun sitting here splashing and looking at and munching on sea shells.

We went back to the pool for some more splashing and some more fun playing with the bucket.

On our final morning Haley woke up early so we went back to the pier. I was hoping to see some sharks, but even without that we had fun walking down the beach as a family (plus 2 of the littler boys).

All in all I would say Haley's first trip to the beach was a success. I am excited to go back next year and watch her run around and hopefully grow a bit more accustomed to the waves.


the Jernigans said...

This was such a fun post! I felt as if I was there with you guys! I'm so glad yall were able to go and have a great time! :)

Lindsay said...

What a fun trip - great memories! I especially like the pic of the pouty lip :-) Kudos to you for being so flexible with her schedule. I was so rigid with my 1st that I look back and see how ridiculous it was. Nothing wrong with going to bed at 11 pm every now and again, or rolling with the punches - makes for a well-adjusted baby. :-)

Oh, and the life jacket is great, but I'm guessing since H didn't like the waves, she wouldn't like the life jacket, unless of course you just need it for a boat ride. It really is like a straight jacket though - not much movement with that neck thingy. Oh well...