Our original 4th of July (my dads birthday) plans were quashed by Donna's job (once again) My younger bonus sister was hosting the 4th this year & I was really excited for our gathering & making of a 4th of July tradition.4th of July 2014, all the grandchildren,
Clark, Tucker, Aliyah, Nadia, Kellan, Caden, Chandler & Garren
Donna was asked to go to Charleston to help out the station there for a week. Traveling to my bonus sister's place, then home & to Charleston the next day was going to be too much. Since we couldn't make it to our original plans, the boys & I decided to tag along with Donna to Charleston for a few days. None of us had been to Charleston before, so I was pretty excited to check it out.
Although Donna wasn't scheduled to be there until Sunday, we headed up friday night so we could take in some of the attractions on the 4th.
The boys LOVED the hotel & would have been perfectly content playing there
all weekend long but we were cruel & took them out into the city.
There was a fancy outlet mall close to the hotel so we started out there on Saturday. Caden & Garren picked out some new tennis shoes for school but Kellan was still pouting about having to leave the hotel. Kellan did try on one pair but they were too small & they didn't have the next size up, so he went back to pouting. After a little shopping & lunch we headed back to the hotel for a nap in preparation of a late night out watching fireworks.
When everyone woke up we decided to go to Patriots Point to see fireworks over the USS Yorktown. (idenote: the New York Tim.es said that Patriot Point was one the best 4th of July parties in the nation, I think the New York Tim.es needs to visit umm, maybe Bradenton, FL. Maybe I'm a little bias but I don't think I have been to or seen better fireworks than my hometowns since I left there 18 years ago)Patriots Point was awesome, I loved seeing the USS Yorktown but as far as a party, it was not. There was a bounce house & an inflatable slide for the kids. Two restaurants had booths set up for food&there was a beer tent & another cocktail booth.There were some small name bands playing on a stage that no one paid any mind to. A couple news stations also had booths but that was pretty much it. The boys bounced & slid to their little hearts content, we got some drinks & walked the whole place before deciding to get a blanket & claim our plot to watch fireworks from.
Garren & of course a little girl
The boys & surrounding kids had fun blowing bubbles & playing chase while we waited for fireworks but about 8:15 the sky turned dark & everyone's phones started beeping with weather alerts. People were waiting it out & people were still arriving too. We waited it out a bit & when the boys announced those were "nasty clouds!" we headed to the car. We made it just in time too, as soon as we got in the car the rain started to pour. We decided to head back to the hotel, order room service & watch fireworks on tv.
The USS Yorktown just before we fled the storm
Sunday we headed out to The City Market downtown. It was great, such an eclectic collection of shops. We walked downtown just a little before the boys gave out on us & we needed to head back to the car. We would love to go again either with a babysitter in tow or alone. It is a lot for little kids & I'm sure not that interesting, at least for our 3.
From Downtown we headed to Boone Hall Plantation...
The Avenue of Oaks
Cotton Gin, under construction
Caden, Garren, Kellan, finally cooperating for a picture
cute little building next to the butterfly aviary
Monday, I decided to take the boys to the South Carolina Aquarium while Donna worked. They had never been to an aquarium before but LOVE all things sea life so I was pretty sure it would be fun for them.
A fountain for 3 on our way in :)
We started at the stingray & shark pool where we were able to pet the stingrays & bonnet head sharks. Stingrays are Garrens new favorite!
Garren & Caden then dissected some owl pellets, Kellan was having no part of the grossness
There were play areas all over for the kids, this was suiting for Garren, lol
Playing amongst the Meerkats
Pulling in a crab trap
Jelly fish have been a long standing favorite of the boys'
Checking out some fish & turtles
Ready to go with their new toys
The boys enjoyed the aquarium, they loved all the touch tanks & actually listened & learned a little about sea life. They LOVED the giant tank with the sea turtles, sharks & really BIG fish!
Every night of our trip Caden asked to go home. He did this on our beach vacation too, I think our biggest boy gets home sick & misses his pup pups & kitty cats. In bed he would cry & say he needed his puppies. Donna worked quite late monday & felt horrible about it, so I decided to head home with the boys on tuesday. They had had enough fun & I didn't want Donna worrying about getting back to us while she was working.
A little comic relief from Caden on the drive home.
Charleston was awesome! I can see why people travel with a babysitter now though. There was a lot we would have enjoyed more if not for having to keep 3 littles entertained or maybe it was just that it was a holiday weekend? We will definitely go back again, maybe in a year or 2 & not on a holiday.
We're checking visit a new city, see fireworks (fail) & visit an aquarium of our Summer Bucket List :)