When the girls were younger, we often vacationed in Pawley’s Island. And while I still LOVE the quiet, secluded, laid-back style of Pawley’s, the girls at this age are up for a little more action and adventure. However, we are still not into the overly-commercial, crowded beaches like Myrtle. Folly Beach was a great combination of easy-going and still fun and interesting. The vibe is young, active, and casual. It was PERFECT!
Any of you who know me at all also know that three VERY important members of my family are my fur babies Penny, Peyton, and Pepper. It is super-important to us to find somewhere where we can take them along with us. The one and only time we tried to board Penny, she did NOT do well. Her anxiety was just too much and it broke my heart when we picked her up to see how distraught she was. Since then, we have made the decision that they will vacation with us. We found a great little place just a couple of blocks from the beach with a gorgeous fenced in yard for them and a super-cute, funky interior for us. It was a great little place with just the right amount of space and amenities. The ONLY thing I would have changed is that there was only only one bathroom with two daughters, but we made it through that little hiccup without any scars, so….
They LOVED the beach, especially Peyton who is always the most adventurous one. Penny, the scaredy-cat pitbull, in her true form was pretty much afraid of the waves, the birds, and her own shadow. She warmed up a little bit after a couple of trips to the beach but that poor girl is just so anxious. If any of you are still among the few misguided souls who believe pitbulls are ferocious, please come by and visit Penny some time. She is such a big cuddly baby! Perhaps prepare to be licked to death, but that’s about it. In total transparency, I promise we did NOT plan for Roger to wear this t-shirt which says ‘DOGS (because people suck)’ when I took these photos, it’s just one that he wears A LOT. I’m kinda diggin’ it, though!
Taking walks around the island and sniffing ALL. THE. THINGS. in the backyard were great fun for all three of them.
One of their favorite activities was napping on the quilt on the couch. (Mine too, honestly.)
This photo of Makenzie and Peyton is quite possibly one of my very favorite photos of all time!!!! Just LOOK AT THAT FACE!!! (And Makenzie’s pretty cute, too!)
On our first full day there, we had a relaxing spa day at Woodhouse Day Spa. We all got messages and all the girls got manicures. Even though we weren’t with one another when we picked out our nail colors, all three of us picked almost the exact same shade of pink. These girls are mine for sure!
We enjoyed some beach time just relaxing on the sand and playing in the water. Well, truthfully, Roger and the girls played in the water. I’m not a fan of swimming in the ocean. Too many unseen things. I just can’t. Too creepy. I’ll get in up to my knees but that’s about it. Give me a book and an umbrella (and of course, a camera) and I’m good to go all day long.
Our next big adventure was parasailing with Tidal Wave Water Sports. The first time I did this was in Key West with some friends of mine and it was amazingly fun! The girls wanted to go, so away we went! It was a perfect, beautiful day and they loved it!
Most mornings, I started the day off sitting on the back patio with a cup of coffee and my new book, Home Body, by Joanna Gaines. I admit, I have a little bit of a girl-crush on her. Visiting Waco and Magnolia Market is on my bucket list for sure. Most nights ended up with the family on the couch watching a movie or sitting around the table playing a late-night game of Catan.
No trip to the beach would be complete for me without a little photo session with my girls. This has been a tradition since they were teeny-tiny and these beach photos are always some of my favorites. I have so many pictures of the two of them hand-in-hand walking down a boardwalk, in the sand, or through the surf framed around my home! So this year was no exception. I just can’t believe that they aren’t tiny little girls giggling and making sand castles any more.
Next, we headed out with Charleston Outdoor Adventures and our amazing tour guide, Luke, on a dolphin-sighting eco tour which included a stop at Morris Island Lighthouse. He knew so much about the wildlife around Charleston Harbor and we got some really great shots of the animals, especially the local dolphins. In fact, Luke knew just from observing their behavior along the shoreline that we were in for a very rare treat on our dolphin encounter. The dolphins cooperatively round up a school of fish and force them up onto the shore in a feeding method called ‘strand feeding.’ He allowed us to wait and watch for this to happen, and sure enough, that is exactly what they did! It was so amazing to watch. The dolphins splashed up onto the shore herding the fish in front of them, fed, then wiggled their way right back into the water. It was SO cool to watch! I felt so thankful that we had a tour guide who knew exactly what was about to happen so that we could watch it all go down!!!!
Once we arrived on Morris Island, we had the opportunity to wander around the island and view the lighthouse and wildlife. I loved it. It was right up my alley.
Have you ever seen a crab within a crab??? So weird. And this old pelican knew exactly where to hang out right by the local seafood boats where the fishermen bring in their daily haul. Smart guy.
Makenzie captured this photo of a bird hanging out in the surf, and I just love it. Maybe she takes after her mom a little bit!!!
Of course, one of our family’s favorite activities is EATING! Always!!!
We had stumbled upon (quite by accident) a great little place called Coleman Public House on our last trip to Charleston for our anniversary. Although it is nothing special from the outside, it is totally a hidden gem. Hands down, THE best blue cheese burger I’ve ever had. All the food was delicious and they have a great selection of craft beers. We made sure to hit them up for lunch on this trip as well!
Two new places we discovered and LOVED were The Crab Shack and Taco Boy right on the island. Taco Boy was the hands down favorite for the girls, although I have to say I can also put away some Mexican food and this place had awesome nachos! Makenzie and I are big fans of seafood and The Crab Shack did not disappoint! The mussels, shrimp scampi, and crab legs were amazing. We also hit an old standby, Outback. I mean, is it even vacay if you don’t eat a Bloomin’ Onion with extra sauce???
I thought it might be fun to share some behind-the-scenes shots with you guys, too! I tend to always be BEHIND the camera so I asked Roger while we were there to just casually take some shots of me (without me knowing if possible because I’m so awkward in FRONT of the camera) and he did great! It was fun to pair up the photos I was taking with the BTS shots, and I had to giggle at myself a little looking at some of the positions I got myself into to get these shots.
Makenzie also snapped these two photos…one of me in my favorite Vintage 1971 t-shirt (It was such a good year!! No need to do the math…) and a behind the scenes of her dad, too!
It was really great for Roger and I to have this family time with our girls and to just relax and enjoy one another. It is so important but something we have to consciously make a choice to do in the busyness of life. I really do LOVE this man.
On our last evening at Folly, we decided to take a little sunset walk to the gorgeous pier and take a few more portraits of the girls. These ended up being some of my favorites of the trip. <3
This was a magical, sun-kissed week with the people and fur babies I love the most. I think we will definitely be revisiting Folly Beach in the future! Sending a little prayer of thanks for the blessings He has given us…
So. Much. Love.
To see more of our family’s story, click here!