Each family usually sets aside a night for a date night out and or a day to do some type of one on one activity with a kiddo or something like that when we are all there and can help one another out (it takes a village). I'm such a people person that I'm typically all about the togetherness vs. a date night when we're at the beach (just keepin' it real), but we did do a one on one outing with Kennedy this year. Because Kennedy was 3.5 before Avery joined our crew she was well accustomed to one on one time with not only Tim and I as individuals but together too. To this day she craves and requests "dates" or "alone time". It could be more of a function of her personality than their spacing per say but either way it's a request that Avery has never made nor one I feel she's familiar with. So...we try to make sure to do special things with Kennedy and we've begun to do some of that with Avery too, knowing that whether she knows to want it or not...it's still special time for her.
It's no secret that we like a little activity in our family so on our special outing we chose to take a bike ride on some of the trails at Fort Pulaski. I wish I could go on and on about how perfect of a choice it was and what an amazing experience it was but Kennedy struggled on our outing. I'm not sure if it was the late bedtime and increased activity and sun or what but home girl just couldn't really get herself together that day. She was struggling on her bike, it was muddy, there were mosquitoes, etc. Typically Kennedy is pretty tough and can go with the flow in just about any and all situations (except ones that involve mass amounts of people she doesn't know...she gets that from her Daddy ;). Well on this day, there were tears and LOTS of them. I could tell each time she got stuck in mud and was forced to dismount her bike that she was trying to regain composure but she just didn't have the fuel/resources on decreased sleep and energy to do so. We made the best we could of it but it was a MUCH shorter outing than what I anticipated. Lesson learned.
The first of two trails we took led us out to the Cockspur Lighthouse. Lighthouses are so cool, aren't they? Even cooler - ones that have survived the test of time and are literally out in the water. This light house is estimated to have been built between 1837-1839. I mean, that is kind of awesome, am I right? We saw tons of scurrying crabs and oyster beds on our trek out to get a closer look, but this is about as close as we could get to it as it's out in the Savannah River.
My girl is an explorer and we both wished we could get out there to it and into that little door to see what we could see. Alas...there was no way for us to do so. After taking some pics we headed back down the trail (My Momma heart praying for Kennedy the whole way).
Once we got back up near the fort, we tried to convince her to take the trail around the perimeter back to the car but she just couldn't get it together. The mosquitoes were OUT OF CONTROL...like swarmed us as soon as we stood still they were just covering our arms and legs. Kennedy is super sensitive to insect bites so it helped her hysteria NONE. Tim rode around the fort to get some pictures and I took my girl back to the car. She ended up not even being able to make the ride back so I walked her to the car and then gathered the two bikes (getting eaten alive the entire way) and walked them to the car. Oh a Mother's love.
We decided this moat was likely the culprit for the plague like quantities of mosquitoes. We also learned later in the evening that two alligators apparently live in this moat full time - I wished we'd tried to see them. Perhaps next year.
I'm thankful that our super special date didn't end there because it would have just been pitiful. We went from the Fort to a little restaurant with great reviews on Trip Advisor called Coco's Sunset Grille. They have a catch your food and bring it in to cook it kind of thing going on and the food was DELICIOUS. Yummy hush puppies, yummy fried shrimp...just yummy fresh seafood. Growing up in Charleston I'm a tad spoiled when it comes to seafood and I pretty much don't eat it unless I'm in Charleston or in a situation like this where you know your food hasn't been on a plane, train or ocean liner for days before getting to you. High maintenance? Maybe, but it just is what is. Having said that, however, it makes delicious seafood all the more of a treat. Coco's did not disappoint. Kennedy was allowed to order whatever she wanted and she ordered Sprite, a hot dog and french fries. Ha! This little guy was right out our window.
This brings me to the end of my Tybee posts. We had a great time at the beach watching the kids play and interact. We learned some valuable lessons that I hope will only make this experience richer and more enjoyable each year to come. I think mostly I feel absolutely fortunate to be able to give my kids the experience each summer. It's not a blessing I take for granted AT ALL. If it weren't for the generosity of some very dear people, we simply could not afford to do this each year. This house is loaned to us for a week for free. I mean, really? It's just amazing. We just show up and promise to leave it how we found it and get to live in this amazing place like it's ours for an entire week...mere steps from the boardwalk that leads us to the beach. It is my hope that if Tim and I should ever be financially blessed enough to own a property like this that we would do the very same for others.