We spent the holiday with the in-laws this year, as we do most. SodaBoy's parents live on a coastal barrier island in the south, a gorgeous location replete with white sand beaches and rippling salt marshes, miles of paved bike paths and recreational opportunities galore. SodaBoy's sister and her family were there as well, so we got to enjoy the antics of the nephews, always a good source of entertainment. There was much to be thankful for.
However, I always chafe a bit under the regiment of planned activities. Part of the problem is the trip was so short, that there was little spare time, but in general, free will is not a big part of spending time with the in-laws. Every activity is choreographed, with little tolerance for deviation.
We arrived Thursday, and SodaBoy and I begged off immediately for a quick walk to stretch our legs after the flights. We hurried down to the beach and snapped some photos, but quickly returned so as not to upset the balance. The rest of the day was spent cooking, eating, and cleaning the kitchen. At least by us womenfolk... the men were free to watch football, drink voluminously, and nap. Thrilling, no? However, hors d'oeuvres before dinner included shrimp fresh off the boat, a delight so sweet and crispy you wouldn't know they were the same creature marketed as shrimp in my local inland markets.
Friday: kayaking, followed by an oyster roast at the country club. Saturday: golf for the menfolk and biking for the women and kiddies, followed by dinner at a resort restaurant. Sunday: fly home. Busy, busy, busy.
I *love* the kayaking there. It is hands-down my favorite low country activity. We see dolphins in the tidal creeks, this year a mother and juvenile, and birds and crabs and all sorts of neat stuff. The funny thing is that SodaBoy's father is convinced that kayaking is dangerous, a daredevil pursuit akin to bungee jumping or skydiving. These are guided tours, with two guides assigned to each small group. It is not exactly life threatening. He just doesn't get it, though, and was all prepared to notify next of kin.
I am so glad I have today off to decompress before returning to work. Even though SodaBoy's parents live in a beautiful place that draws many visitors, and we get get to do some amazing things there, it never quite feels like a vacation to me. Puppets can't relax. Puttering around the house last night unpacking and squeezing the kitties? Now that is something to be thankful for.