For the love of Spring Break

I am truly blessed to have parents who plan their own vacation around my once per year Spring Break excursion to North Myrtle Beach. They move into my house, and together, my mom and dad take over my parenting role, which involves everything from doing laundry, making meals, chauffeuring the kids to school and activities, helping with homework, playing games, and making sure no one burns the place down while I get the week off.

I am a lucky girl indeed. Here’s how I traditionally enjoy my six days:

Walking the wide expanse of white sand beach on gorgeous cool and sunny days interacting with very few humans.

Walking the wide expanse of white sand beach on gorgeous cool and sunny days interacting with very few humans.

Look at this day! Low 70s and a slight breeze. Perfect.

When I’m not at the beach, I do a little bit of this:

Jigsaw Puzzle Southern-Style

Jigsaw Puzzle Southern-Style

Stop and smell the flowers...

Stop and smell the flowers…

 

Writing, eating, visiting family, binge-watching HBO and Netflix, shopping, touring the gardens, working on puzzles, reading, visiting the aquarium, weaving, doing my nails, bike riding…

 

It’s not all fun of course. I usually bring about one hundred or more assignments/reports to grade. I just make sure I shake out the sand before I pack up to leave.

I would be a much nicer person if I could put my feet here once a day.

I would be a much nicer person if I could put my feet here once a day.

Photographs © Karin Blaski, 2016

The Annual Road Trip

The open road. North Carolina. Photo © Nic Blaski June 2015

The open road. North Carolina. Photo © Nic Blaski June 2015

Summers are made for road trips. My family and I embarked on our annual road trip to South Carolina in early June. The northern Illinois deep freeze had ended and the ice had finally melted off the highways. Gas prices were at an all time low. Our van hadn’t entirely succumbed to the rust spreading along its once sleek exterior. Why not load up and head out?

Funny how six states seem smaller when looking at them on a map.

Observations (by state) along the way:

  1. Illinois has two road conditions: icy or construction.
  2. Indiana is a very tall state. Driving from the top to the bottom takes ALL DAY.
  3. Kentucky bluegrass is green in June (and not native to Kentucky or even North America BTW)
  4. Tennessee is pretty.
  5. North Carolina is pretty too. And a fun drive. Hills, turns, tunnels, and falling rock.
  6. South Carolinians drive fastest in the rain. Not kidding. Sunshine=fast driving; cloudy=faster driving; raining=fastest driving ever. 90 MPH and they can dodge the drops.

Three days later we arrived at our destination.

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Photo © Karin Blaski June 2015

Thank you SIRI. Sand, surf, and smorgasboard awaited. We partook. A good time was had by all.

Oh and before I forget, while we were in Myrtle Beach we did this with the kids:

Aargh Ye Matey "Tis A Pirate Ship I See

“Aargh Ye Matey ‘Tis A Pirate Ship I See.” Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, Myrtle Beach, SC, photo © Karin Blaski June 2015

Which was “incredible fun for the whole family” and highly recommended. If you have a ten year old daughter, be sure to splurge on the Pirate Makeover (there’s a Mermaid Makeover if she’d rather not get the five o’clock shadow).

Then, on the way back home, we went here:

The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC; photo © Nic Blaski June 2015

The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC; photo © Nic Blaski June 2015

Which was amazing enough for its own blog post for a later date.

So another successful road trip came to a close. Three cheers to the 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan which continues to carry us safely from point A to point B and every point between. The only thing that raised a few eyebrows on our trip was this:

SW stands for Sweltering, Photo © Nic Blaski June 2015

SW stands for Sweltering, Photo © Nic Blaski June 2015

It was worth it though when the view looked like this:

North Carolina mountains, Photo © Nic Blaski June 2015

North Carolina mountains, Photo © Nic Blaski June 2015

Why I Get Nothing Done During Spring Break

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North Myrtle Beach, S. Carolina

I actually do take a stack of grading to the beach with me. I pull out a report. Start reading.

Is that a dolphin? Oooo it’s two.

Look down and try to find where I left off. Jot down a comment.

Oh look. A gull landed so close I can touch him. “Hey guy. How you doing?”

Look down again. Read the same paragraph.

This would be so much better if I took my shoes off, and you know, squish my toes in the sand.

Set report aside. Take off shoes and socks. Dig feet into sand. Dig for a long while. Pull out report. Read the same paragraph.

Oh the heck with it. I’ll grade on the plane.