Charleston/Myrtle Beach, Summer 2014.

Summer is over. Boo. Finally.

Before you have school-aged kids you don’t realize what a social abyss the summer months can be. With everyone’s kids home, adult outings are sidelined. Phone conversations are curtailed to short barks of “See you at the pool!” and “Not today. At camp.”

I’ve had ambivalent feelings the last couple of weeks — on the one hand, I’ve enjoyed having the kiddos home. No schedule, no where to get to, a pajama day whenever the fancy strikes. On the other, another day of pretend games gone south, of preparing 3 square homemade meals a day, of not being able to read more than a few scattered pages of a book, no THANKS!

Because of the move we didn’t make any big plans for travel this summer. Friends who know us know that this is highly unusual: the hubby, and increasingly me!, gets restless with more than a couple months at home. But this time we stuck close to home while our friends spent weeks in Europe or visiting their far flung families.

Not that this turned out to be a bad thing at all. We discovered spots close by that still provided a getaway without really getting away. Day trips to Annapolis, Va., and river tubing at a state park were just enough to provide some relief from the stupor of the week without needing elaborate planning. Our biggest trip came last week with a visit to South Carolina’s charming Charleston and Myrtle Beach area.

The city was pretty but the heat takes out a lot of the charm off the south for us. A supposedly educational plus adventure trip to the civil war’s Fort Sumter was a disaster for everyone but me. The boys wilted in the piercing sun, while their dad turned even more crabby than usual. They all sought out the air conditioned museum and refused to budge the whole time. No history lesson for anyone there.

An afternoon break at the hotel pool revived spirits somewhat but it also tuckered them out. Not good news when an evening excursion of the town was in the plans. Amidst much whining and general grumpiness we managed to get them into the car for the evening, only to have to lug a sleepy child through attractions.

IMG_8747We were able to jolt him awake with promises of ice cream/popcorn, which allowed us to catch a sidewalk market in Charleston’s historic city centre and a short walk through the town.

Myrtle beach fared infinitely better, as a beach and proximity to water on a hot day is wont to do. As tacky as the town is, the kids had a great time frolicking on the sand and in the tepid ocean with sizeable waves.

And now another summer is over. I can’t say I’m too sad. Looking forward actually to getting back to some writing, cookie decorating, mom coffees, swimming, and everything that comes with a routine. School year, here we come!

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