After spending a few days with Greg and Heidi in Raleigh, I figured it was about time for Dax and I to begin our journey back home. Fully knowing that Dallas was insane busy with work, I figured we would take our time and explore along the way. Daxton was an incredible trooper allowing me to pull over randomly every hour or so to take pictures of the gorgeous landscape. I am constantly amazed at how stunning and diverse our country is!
Somewhere in South Carolina...
Somewhere in South Carolina...
I had heard wonderful things about Hilton Head, South Carolina and since it was about half way to Fort Lauderdale from Raleigh, I figured it would be a great place to stay for the night. We found the Marriott beach front resort on Hilton Head and immediately fell in love, so that one night ended up turning into three. The best part was since it was the off season, everything was 50% off or more. Plus there were literally about 15 people staying at the entire resort, so all the workers doted on Daxton. The concierge was constantly giving him free treats and ice cream when ever we passed by and even gave us some lunches for free. We had the entire indoor pool to ourselves at all hours of the day, which made this little fish pretty happy!
Daxton loved the sand castles in the lobby which we visited quite often for the complimentary hot chocolate...
Our room was awesome and had the best views of the ocean. It was a MUCH colder ocean than what we were used to, but still pretty amazing. We were even able to see several dolphin from our balcony. I just kept thinking how stunning this place must be in the peak summer months.
One of the days we decided to explore the Hilton Head marina. It was pretty cold that afternoon, but this little man didn't mind and ran to his heart's content. He loved looking at all the different boats docked.
Such a beautiful marina!
At one point we noticed some movement in the water off the pier a ways and sat down to watch. There were a couple dolphin playing in the marina! Daxton and I had so much fun sitting on the dock watching them swim and look for fish below.
I love his golden curls in the picture below!
Saying goodbye to the dolphin...
On another day we decided to explore the deserted grounds and beach. It was pretty funny because I think the temps were in the low 50s, but to us Floridians we were freezing! Daxton brought his sword to protect me on our journey and did quite the job of fighting off bad guys.
He thought these hammocks were pretty funny, but refused to actually lay in one. It didn't help that they were damp from the rain and cold in the air.
This sums up our day...
Running, running, running!
It was so fun to explore another beach. The sand was much harder and packed than the sand in south Florida. We saw several locals biking along the beach, which is something you could never do where we are from. The beach also stretches out very far with a calm slow tide that washes in.
There are several things that strike me about the picture below. First, Dax looks adorable in winter clothes, especially that hat. Second, when did he grow up!? Third, I love raising this crazy, active, boy.
The sword came in handy as we were drawing pictures and words in the sand. Does it change the meaning of the phrase "The Pen is mightier than the sword" when you're using that sword as a pen??
Through it all, we missed Dallas.
Don't get me wrong, I am totally comfortable and capable traveling and taking care of this little rugrat while Dallas is working. But I often look around at these times, all the fun we are having and memories we are making, and can't help but wish daddy was there with us. Everything is that much more magical with daddy around. We love him and miss him when he's away.
I also feel an immense amount of gratitude for his determination and hard work to excel at all he does. Because of his hard work, we are able to live the life that we do. We are able to expose our little man to all sorts of experiences and opportunities.
We love Daddy, that's for sure!
My heart is overwhelmed when I see the picture below. How blessed I am to be Daxton's mommy. How blessed I am to have a front row seat to the joy and laughter this perfect boy emanates daily. At one point while exploring the beach, I looked over and he was rolling in the sand giggling. He looked at me and said, "Mom, I'm so happy!" I couldn't agree with him more.
As we checked out of our hotel, we said one more goodbye to our killer view from the balcony. We were met with a gorgeous sunrise before driving the rest of the way home.
All in all, road tripping with a toddler can be pretty magical.