Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving at Wild Dunes

This Thanksgiving we went to the Wild Dunes resort in the Isle of Palms South Carolina. Grandma Alice and Grandpa Rick also made the trip for part of the time and stayed in a hotel in the same area, but a bit outside the resort.

We stayed in the Lagoon Villas in unit number 11. It was on the bottom floor, which was nice, and it was clean and nicely decorated. We liked that it was near the entrance to the Lagoon Villas. We took a video tour of it when we arrived, before we unpacked our things and made a mess of everything.

At the beginning of our trip, we rented bikes and signed up for the daily tennis clinics. The first couple days, the kids were the only ones in the clinics for the kids, but they had a lot of fun together. Andrea and I only had a few other people with us early in the week, but as more people came to the resort for the holiday, the clinics started to fill up. Towards the end of the week, the kid's clinic and our clinics were pretty full. We did tennis every morning except on the actual day of Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving day, we went down to the main boulevard to watch the parade. The residents and people staying at the resort had decorated their golf carts with Thanksgiving and Christmas themed decorations and were also throwing candy to the kids. It turned out to be longer and more fun than were were expecting and it was worth missing tennis to see it.

For the actual Thanksgiving meal, we had a reservation for the Thanksgiving Buffet at the Sweetgrass Pavilion. Andrea and I aren't big fans of buffets, however it was probably the nicest buffet we'd been to. There were three kinds of turkey (smoked, drunk nutty butter, and herb roasted), prime rib, ham, seafood, and lots of choices for sides. We all had plenty to eat and it was nice that we didn't have to spend our day preparing it or cleaning it up. The only big downside is that we didn't have lots of leftovers to pick at for the next few days.

The week was fun and relaxing. It was nice to have Grandma and Grandpa around, but I wish they'd stayed a bit closer. While I was working on one day, the kids went to their place to walk the dogs on the beach and see all the dogs that were vacationing.

The kids loved playing at the park, it was always one of their daily requests. They met a nice little boy there named Maliki and would go to his place and ring his doorbell if he wasn't already at the park.

We played a lot of "ball tag" with some old tennis balls that we found nearby (the park was next to the tennis courts), and the kids were always begging everyone to play with them. Grandma and Grandpa even go in to the ball tag on our last day together and I got it on video.

We rented bikes the first day and every day we would use them to get somewhere. We were a little sad we couldn't bring our new golf cart to the resort, which would have been fun, but the bikes were handy and it is a nice way to see everything and get around.

We drove back this morning, and although there was a little traffic, we got home safely. We are thankful for many things this year, but most of all we're thankful for our wonderful family and that we're all healthy and happy.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Jaguars game with Steve and Cooper

On Sunday, Connor and I went to the Jaguars game with Steve and Cooper Froehlich. Our friends have season passes and had four tickets they weren't planning to use. We had been thinking about going as a family, but thought that it would be more fun as a guys thing. I don't think Paige would have enjoyed it very much.

The Jags were favored to win by 2.5 points, but they ended up losing by 3. It was actually a surprisingly close game, with quite a few ups and downs, however the Jags started it off by throwing a pick 6 and they trailed the entire game.

I made sure to get Connor some yummy goodies to eat, and he enjoyed hanging out and talking football with Cooper. After we got home, he got out his stuffed NFL guys and has been playing with them and looking up NFL stats again. He's starting to like football again, which is surprising because he's usually pretty uninterested until playoffs start.

It was definitely a fun day! Go Jags!

Shawn's 37th birthday

On Friday, 11/11/2016, I celebrated my 37th birthday with the family. In the morning I played some tennis with Ross and some other guys at the club and then had lunch. After work, we went to Queen's Harbor tennis facility to watch Connor compete in his team's tennis match. He played line 1 singles and had a very tough match. He won 6-5, but it was a close thing and if he'd lost two more points at the end, he would have lost! He also won 6-4 playing doubles and we were all super proud of our little tennis star.

After Connor's tennis match we drove over to Cantina Louie's for dinner and ate outside.

After dinner we went back to the house and played "Apples to Apples" with Grandma and Grandpa. It's one of Connor's favorite games at the moment. It was a fun day, I'm so thankful for my family all coming together to celebrate with me.

Omni weekend for Shawn's Birthday

On November 4th, Andrea and I went to the Omni resort and stayed at the courtside villas so we could play some tennis, relax, and celebrate my birthday. The weather was cooling off, and we had a good time on Saturday morning playing tennis in the clinics. We ate steak dinner at Marche Burette, and were a little disappointed on Sunday when we woke up and it was raining. We didn't get to do any tennis on Sunday, but it was still an enjoyable weekend together. Thanks to Andrea for putting it together and to Grandma Alice and Grandpa Rick for watching the kids again so we could have our adult weekend.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween fell on a Monday this year, which definitely wasn't ideal. Andrea had the kids wear some Halloween appropriate outfits for school and I got a picture of them out front before the bus came. After school, the kids ate dinner, relaxed for a bit and then we got them dressed up around 5:30. Grandma Alice and Grandpa Rick came over and we took a few pictures out front with everyone before heading out.

Connor was a hotdog this year. He'd really wanted to be the Zodiac killer or something super scary. We went to Target to look at costumes and he kind of liked a shark costume, so it was in the cart for a little while. Andrea and Connor went around a corner and at the same time they both spotted the hotdog and got so excited. Andrea thought it was hilarious, and Connor absolutely loved it. He was a little torn between the shark and hotdog, but in the end the hotdog won.

Paige dressed up as "Poison Ivy", a DC comic-book villain. We've played a Lego Batman Xbox game in the past, and Paige always like to play as the females in the game and Poison Ivy was one of her favorites. Poison Ivy would use plant powers to attack and her signature move was to kiss her enemies, which would poison them.

This year we came up with some new plans for trick-or-treating. The past few years we've enjoyed going over to Gina's house to hang out with neighbors for a bit and then we'd frantically chase the children as they sprinted from house to house. Unfortunately Gina wasn't having a party this year, so we decided we should take the opportunity to enjoy our new neighborhood. The tricky thing about our new neighborhood is that the houses are a bit larger and the lots are a bit larger, so everything is pretty spread out. We knew if we did our regular plan and pushed a stroller through the neighborhood we wouldn't get very far before we all wanted to ride in the stroller. So, we had been trying to decide how to make trick-or-treating enjoyable.

On Wednesday this last week we did our family pictures and borrowed a friend's golf cart so we could get around on the golf course with our photographer. We had so much fun driving it around we thought it would be awesome to rent one for Halloween. Unfortunately, there weren't any available. We decided that maybe it was time to buy one, so on Friday we went out and talked to a company that is fairly highly regarded in the Nocatee neighborhood. We went through all the options and were thrilled that they thought they'd be able to get us the cart by Monday. They actually did one day better and delivered it on Sunday. It was the perfect way to get around on Halloween. The kids could jump in and out easily and it was small and quiet and easy to maneuver.

We started up in the North Island part of the neighborhood and eventually made our way down to the Lamplighter section. We ended on Kingfisher and near our house. Everyone was super friendly and had a big variety of goodies. Most people didn't recognize Paige's Poison Ivy costume, but Connor's costume was a big hit, everyone loved the hotdog.

After we got home, the kids put on their pajamas and then turned on the porch lights, hoping to get some trick-or-treaters. Two groups came to the door and I took a short video of the kids handing out candy.

It turned out to be a beautiful night and the new plan was a relaxing and fun way to enjoy Halloween. Connor and Paige enjoyed themselves and we were so proud of their good manners. They would both say "Trick or Treat" when someone opened the door and then would say "Thank you" and "Happy Halloween" after they got their goodies. They are cute and polite to boot! They are both still dog-crazy and loved seeing some of the dogs in their costumes. Connor cracked us up at one house when he saw a dog in the driveway and he said "I hope he doesn't smell my hotdog and try to eat me!"