Getting Nostalgic About Game Boy

I have made it well-known that my parents did not believe in buying us gaming systems growing up. If we wanted to play Nintendo or Sega, we had to convince one of our friends to let us play it at their house. However, there was one “exception”.

Although I don’t know if you can call it a gaming system per se, the three of us Reser children did have Game Boys growing up. One Christmas, Santa surprised my sister and I with the handheld gaming consoles at our grandparents’ house. A few years later my brother would get one as well. Whatever amount my parents paid for the Game Boys, I am sure every cent they spent was returned to them tenfold within the first year we had them based solely on how they got us to shut up on car trips.

This past Saturday marked the 29th anniversary of the Game Boy release. It made me reflect a bit on the hours I spent with my own through the years.

I learned about Game Boy’s 29th anniversary via Timehop.

It is funny, but the Game Boy game I hated the most ended up becoming the one I liked the best. Santa gave me my Game Boy when I was probably 7 or 8. At the time, the only game that came with it was Tetris. I remember spending that Christmas trying to figure out how to play it. My young brain couldn’t grasp the concept of positioning the shapes to make lines so I resorted to stacking the blocks as quickly as possible, recording successive Game Overs in record time. It was a steep learning curve, one I had little patience for at the time.

However, as time went on I understood and embraced the intellectual challenge of Tetris. As I entered my late teens, I resurrected my aging Game Boy and played many riveting games of Tetris. My friend and I performed road construction over the course of a couple summers after high school. The work would take us on long road trips to work sites. We would pass the time by taking turns on the Game Boy, seeing who could record more lines than the other. When we turned the Game Boy off and actually started doing the road construction work, our brains would still be in “Tetris Mode,” organizing blocks in our heads as we removed road stripes from the pavement.

The Game Boy is a classic toy that occupied many hours of my time as a child (and as a young adult).

Between my Tetris frustration and my Tetris Nirvana, I played a lot of Super Mario. It was a great game, one I took pleasure in beating after much practice. Donkey Kong was another Game Boy classic that I pursued endlessly. Much to the chagrin of my parents, I tried to sneak games of Mortal Combat in every now and then. Of course I devoted a lot of hours to the sports games as well, playing ones such as Big Hurt Baseball, NBA Jam, Madden, and NCAA Basketball.

This is my brother’s Game Boy but my Donkey Kong and Madden 1995 games (thanks for taking the photo, mom).

My parents had rules for our Game Boys. The sound was to be muted at all times while in the car, we had to share the games, and we couldn’t play longer than hour stretches. If I got too worked up while playing, which happened often, my parents would tell me to turn the Game Boy off, saying that the machine “needed a rest.”

I fondly remember the red battery light of the Game Boy, the up-to-down scrolling Nintendo logo that would appear before you started any game, the black Game Boy case I had, and the simple control layout of the console. Ahhhhh, good times.

Even though I haven’t played Game Boy in probably 10 years, I could still pick one up and play it as if I was riding a bike. Perhaps for next year’s 30th anniversary I will try to get my hands on one and play for old time’s sake. Don’t Blink.

Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival

Over the past few years, I feel as if the food truck concept has been romanticized. Social media, movies, and news organizations hail them as quirky mini restaurants on wheels with delicious and creative food. Brightly colored food trucks with social media handles plastered on them have become commonplace on our nation’s streets.

With the success of food trucks, it didn’t take long for event organizers to ask a question: What is better than a food truck? Easy! How about a couple dozen food trucks?! Thus, the birth of food truck festivals.

The second annual Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival was held this past weekend. The backdrop for the fest was the ocean (this is not my photo).

This past weekend, the second annual Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival took place. As someone who has found himself swept up in the hype of food trucks I described above, it didn’t take much convincing when Sidney asked me if I wanted to go. So, on Saturday, our little family, plus my in-laws, ventured to downtown Myrtle Beach. Hearing about large crowds and a food shortage that plagued last year’s event, we made sure to show up right when the festival opened at 11 a.m.

Sid and Sloan at the second annual Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival.

Because we showed up right when it started, we had an unobstructed path to browse the 30 (yes, THIRTY) food trucks that had parked on the site of the old pavilion, right next to the boardwalk. The selection covered all genres from sandwiches to burgers to burritos to pastas to fried foods to noodles to desserts to anything else you could imagine. Alcoholic beverages were available, a band was playing, and kid activities were offered. It was a neat setup.

I enjoyed BBQ chicken macaroni and cheese from the Downtown Curbside Kithcen.

Here is what we ended up deciding on:
Me: BBQ chicken macaroni and cheese from Downtown Curbside Kitchen (based in Charleston)
Sid: Buffalo chicken flatbread pizza from Charleston Flats
Brenda (mother-in-law): Classic grilled cheese sandwich from EZ Cheezy
Mr. Sid (father-in-law): Sausage dog
Sloan: Bucket of Fries
Shareables: Funnel cake and deep fried Oreos

This is the food truck I got my mac and cheese from, Downtown Curbside Kitchen.

As I put together a plan for my food festival experience, I envisioned splurging and purchasing at least two different entrees. However, the mac and cheese dish I got came with homemade chips and a mini Moon Pie, draining my enthusiasm (and stomach space) to buy something else. I still ate half of Sidney’s pizza and a good portion of Sloan’s fries though.

Sidney’s buffalo chicken pizza from Charleston Flats.

Our desserts, fried batter at its finest, also made me think twice about visiting a second food truck. It was for the best. I got to sit comfortably with my girls and in-laws as we chowed down and sipped adult beverages while enjoying the band.

These deep fried Oreos were on point.

For the most part, the food was good. Not exceptional cuisine by any means, but it did hit the spot. As I alluded to above, pop culture attributes food trucks to offering mouth-watering and unique food. I would say that once you take off the rose-colored glasses, the “unique” part of the description is usually more true than the “mouth-watering” part.

This is the E.Z. Cheezey Grilled Cheese food truck that Brenda got her sandwich from.

We had a good time at the Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival and would go back again. I think arriving early was a key to our enjoyment and I can imagine we will be early birds again in 2019. Don’t Blink.

Remember Maury Povich Thursday Rundown

Good evening to everyone taking a couple minutes to read Don’t Blink. Tonight is the Thursday Rundown so let’s get started…

Latin Food in Myrtle Beach – Last Saturday, Sid and I had the chance to slip out of the house for an hour to go to dinner while my in-laws looked after Sloan. We went to a brand new place right next to our house called Sol Y Luna. Specializing in Latin food, the cuisine is well-represented by the atmosphere. Right when you walk in the small eatery you can immediately sense a vibe, exactly what you would expect from a cantina. Sidney ordered a burrito but I was a bit more adventurous. I went with the pollo en coco, which translates to coconut chicken. Although it was nice to try something that you normally can’t get in Myrtle Beach, Sid and I weren’t blown away by the food. But we still had a fun time enjoying our dining experience together.

I look at the exterior of Sol Y Luna along with our entrees.

Another Photo of Sid and Sloan – This is a Don’t Blink exclusive. I took this upside down photo of mommy and daughter last night. Sid was making Sloan laugh hysterically as they rolled around playing on the floor. Sidney calls Sloan her best friend and whenever I watch them together it is easy to see why.

Sid and Sloan playing hard.

Southwest Airlines Death – I wanted to offer my sympathies to the woman who lost her life on the Southwest plane that had its engine explode. Can you imagine sleeping on an aircraft only to wake up and find yourself half way out the window? The horrific bad luck that targeted Jennifer Riordan makes me very sad. I am inspired by the pilot who performed a successful emergency landing but I can’t stop thinking about Riordan and her family.

Toys R Us Disappointment – Aside from a last ditch effort from a bidder to buy the floundering toy chain, Toys R Us will soon be a thing of the past. Stores across the country are holding going out of business sales. Over the weekend, the three of us went to our local Myrtle Beach location to grab some deals. What we walked into was an underwhelming marketing ploy. The closing signs were plastered everywhere but the prices to reflect it were nowhere to be found. If the merchandise was in fact on sale, most of it was 10% off. Some select inventory was marked off at 30%, the biggest discount that was offered. My issue with this is that my wife went to Toys R Us well over a month ago and the discounts were the exact same. At the pace the sale is going, they probably won’t get to 50% until after Christmas. 

A photo I took of the Myrtle Beach Toys R Us.

Funny Advertisement – Earlier this work week, I found myself behind this car. I think the person inside is the guy Maury Povich calls up to administer the paternity tests on his talk show. All jokes aside, the advertisement did its job by capturing my eye and drawing a laugh.

I got a laugh out of this advertisement.

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Hope everyone gets some nice weather this weekend. I appreciate your support of my blog and I look forward to touching base next week. Don’t Blink.

Kettle Corn Ice Cream

Looking at my Timehop app on my phone always seems to spark ideas. When glancing at it today, two separate events inspired me to think of a product that would likely do extremely well. Let me explain.

Five years ago, I wrote about kettle corn. Why? Well, because my name is Brent Reser and I write a blog that deals with random, miniscule topics that no one cares about. To be honest, I was inspired to address kettle corn because I had ate it the night before I wrote the post and I found myself flooded with nostalgia. As a kid, I always knew I was at a legit event or festival if the sweet aroma of kettle corn was in the air.

This was me five years ago enjoying some kettle corn in my office.

On this day three years ago, I achieved one of the greatest accomplishments of my life when I successfully completed the Waterdog Challenge at a local Myrtle Beach ice cream shop. I managed to stuff down an ice cream platter that consisted of SEVEN scoops of ice cream and FIVE toppings. I faced adversity and doubted myself at times but when the clock expired I had consumed the entire ice cream mountain, including the waffle plate it was served on.

I received a t-shirt (I am pictured with the store employee who conducted my challenge) for completing it.

So, as I reflected on my kettle corn obsession and my ice cream eating gluttony binge, a pretty spectacular idea occurred to me.

(my brain) Kettle corn, ice cream. Ice cream, kettle corn. Kettle corn, ice cream. Ice cream, kettle corn. Kettle corn, ice cream. Ice cream, kettle corn. Kettle corn, ice cream. Ice cream, kettle corn. OH MY GOSH…how about kettle corn ice cream?

I am going to go out on a limb but I think a kettle corn flavored ice cream would be a huge hit. I am thinking big enough and original enough that Baskin-Robbins might be calling to buy rights to it. Perhaps nothing carries with it a more signature taste than kettle corn. Of course there are many products that capitalize on a sweet and salty taste but kettle corn’s flavor seems to pack with it a hint of something extra. As I mentioned above, kettle corn is synonymous with special occasions and big events. When you eat it, not only are your taste buds treated to a flavorful sugary adventure, but your mind conjures up pleasant memories.

Folks would be willing to try kettle corn ice cream in a heartbeat. It wouldn’t be one of those deals where someone would say, “Well, I like kettle corn and I like ice cream but I don’t think I would like kettle corn ice cream.” (Which reminds me, I don’t think I have ever written about the grape Kool-Aid Pop Rocks blizzard I had at Dairy Queen several years ago…it was bad). To me, kettle corn ice cream seems like a natural combination.

Am I on to something or is it just another one of my failed harebrained ideas? I honestly think it would do well, once the obvious question is answered: What would be the perfect topping for kettle corn ice cream? Don’t Blink.

Spying on Sloan at Daycare

When a “Big Brother” season is airing, Sidney and I will supplement watching the actual episodes with viewing the live feeds of the Big Brother house that are active 24/7. Watching the unfiltered, raw content is pretty entertaining.

However, it is the month of April and “Big Brother” won’t return until June. But don’t worry about us, we have something even better to watch than the Big Brother live feeds; we have the Oxford Children’s Academy live feed!!

You can see everything that goes on within the walls of Oxford Children’s Academy, even if you are miles away!

When we changed Sloan’s daycare provider, we entered a technological renaissance. We now check her in electronically, view her daily logs online, and receive notifications the second she enters or leaves the center. But the best modern tool we have gained with the switch is the live streaming service.

Whether on a computer or from my phone, I can check on Sloan whenever I please, thanks to a camera that is set up in her classroom that pans the entire area. The Oxford Children’s Academy partners with Watch Me Grow, a streaming video system service built specifically for childcare centers. Watch Me Grow is the industry leader and for good reason. The product delivered is not a rinky-dink, convenient store black and white shaky picture. Rather it is a colorful and comprehensive clear look into our daughter’s classroom.

It didn’t take us long to start taking advantage of the resource. The first time I logged in and saw Sloan’s vibrant classroom with babies crawling all over was pretty cool. Up until that point, I had always wondered what Sloan did and how she interacted with others at daycare. I now had an idea.

I didn’t know it before, but watching babies play together and do silly things is so much more pleasurable to watch than adults cussing at each other and engaging in drunken behavior (i.e. Big Brother live feeds). Better yet, having your baby daughter as one of the stars of the production makes it that much more entertaining…

Perhaps too entertaining.

Like with all good things, moderation is key. It is easy to become preoccupied with the live feed in a way that you are constantly signing in to check on your baby. If you lack will power or are just completely obsessed with your child, the streaming option could be your own worst enemy. Nobody wins when you sacrifice all productivity to watch nap time.

Even when we can’t be with Sloan at home, we can still see her at daycare.

In my case, I try to use the daycare live feed as a reward. I will challenge myself to tackle several items on my checklist before briefly scoping out the action in the Little Clouds (name of Sloan’s age group) classroom. If I work hard enough, this incentive usually allows me to view Sloan 3-4 times per day, with the lunch hour included in that allotment. I try to look for just a minute or so but it is enough to give me a boost. When I am done I find myself more motivated to get back to work because of the peace of mind and happiness I received from viewing my daughter in a safe and nurturing environment.

The live stream at our daycare is great for spouses. Sidney and I update each other on how Sloan is doing during the day. Because we sign in at different times, we help paint a more comprehensive picture by “comparing our notes.” Usually our updates tilt toward the humorous side (Sloan is stealing someone’s snack again/How embarrassing, she is eating her socks). The live feed even allows us to monitor each other! Yesterday evening I went to pick up Sloan. I started looking in her cubbie and around the classroom for her shoes. All of a sudden I had an incoming call. It was Sidney. Before I could say anything, she told me she didn’t send Sloan with shoes today. Because she was watching the stream, she was able to put me out of my misery before I embarrassed myself too much looking for shoes that weren’t there.

Despite all the positives I listed above, the most redeeming quality of the live feed is this: Sloan’s daycare is confident and transparent enough to install cameras that allow picky and protective parents to watch every single moment that occurs in those classrooms. In my opinion, that is comforting.

The Oxford Children’s Academy show will go on! I know Sid and I will continue to get plenty more laughs and assurances out of it. Move over “Big Brother,” we are watching something much better. Don’t Blink.

My Pleasure

Hello, my name is Brent Reser and I have not uttered the words, “No problem!” for three years.

This past weekend, I ripped past my Friday the 13th Life’s Little Instruction page to see the latest one pictured below. It immediately made me smile and think about the customer service training I have received since arriving at CCU almost four years ago.

This was my Instagram post from my Life’s Little Instructions calendar this past Saturday.

Some people might be shocked to hear this (I know I was at first), but cheerfully telling someone “no problem” is frowned upon in the customer service world. Luckily, thanks to the Feel the Teal program at Coastal Carolina University, I have refrained from saying this troublesome phrase for the past few trips around the sun. “No problem” didn’t evaporate from my lexicon immediately, but the more I tried my best not to use it and the more I realized how bad the phrase actually is, it eventually stopped slipping off my tongue.

When someone says “no problem,” it insinuates that there is/was a problem. When someone expresses their gratitude to you, it doesn’t make sense to respond by saying something that doesn’t convey any sort of warmth or sentiment.

At best, “no problem” means nothing. How is it acknowledging what someone said to you?

This of course brings us to the preferred response when someone offers thanks. At CCU and thousands of other places where customer service is valued, the response “my pleasure” is encouraged. Although some people might immediately think of chicken sandwiches when you say it, the phrase is starting to lose its Chick-fil-A association and be recognized simply as the polite and proper way to acknowledge someone’s gratitude.

When you say “my pleasure,” it conveys a feeling inside of you. It lets the person know that the act or service performed was at your humble discretion. It is much more personal than a meaningless “no problem.”

My Life’s Little Instruction post generated a lot of interaction. Some people endorsed the advice right away while some wondered about alternatives (remember, always use my pleasure!). Please note, I never judge anyone who utters “no problem”. I understand that it is a common phrase in our culture and that not everyone associates a negative connotation with it. To some, “my pleasure” sounds too over the top. I get it.

But for those of us working in the customer service world, I think it is important to respond in a thoughtful way. Perhaps as a society we aren’t at the point where we automatically respond with “my pleasure” when we buy a friend a drink or lend someone a couple quarters for the vending machine. However, in a customer service setting, I think we can always respond in a way that is modern and appropriate. Don’t Blink.

A Sloan-Less Thursday Rundown

Hola mis amigos! It is everyone’s favorite Don’t Blink weekly blog post…the Thursday Rundown. Despite my joke earlier in the week that I would not be writing an entry today, I have five topics ready to go.

The Trendy Meme – Last week, the #IfYouDontLoveMeAtMy meme was trending on Twitter. This is how it works: You post two photos, one where you look like hell and another where you look decent. You then stagger your text so that the words if you don’t love me at my hovers over your “worst” photo and the words then you don’t deserve me at my hovers over your “best” photo. In essence, the words and the photos combine to state If you don’t love me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best. Of course, I had to tweet out my own! It is a good thing Sidney didn’t meet me my junior year of high school because I honestly don’t know if she would have loved me with my hideous long hair.

This is my version of the #IfYouDontLoveMeAtMy meme.

Losing Keys – I had another maddening episode of losing an important item yesterday. I got into work on Wednesday morning and had a bunch of different things to do. In the middle of it all, I realized I was missing my keys. With the knowledge that my keys were definitely in the building I work in, I frantically tried to find them. Just as my student-worker was about to drive me to my off-campus meeting, I looked in my office garbage can and found them. During my rush to get things done, I must have accidentally swiped my keys off my desk and into the trash. Thank you, St. Anthony!! Also, thank you to Judy, Tad, and Scott for trying to help me find them.

I dropped my keys by accident into my office garbage can.

Roseanne – At Sidney’s urging, I finally got around to catching an episode of the “Roseanne” re-boot on Tuesday night. After watching this week’s new episode, I went back and watched the premiere. I was not a regular “Roseanne” watcher when the original series was on the air so I didn’t have any strong nostalgic ties. I think the new version is pretty funny but it definitely didn’t reduce me to laughing fits on the floor. I did find Roseanne herself to be pretty humorous. I think she plays a character (or is it even a character?) that we can all look at and say “Hey, I know someone just like that!” I have a feeling that “Roseanne” will follow the same road that “Fuller House” did: the first episode was hilarious and nostalgic but it went progressively downhill from there. I think a single reunion show is the way to go over a complete re-boot season.

The new Roseanne is decent….it isn’t the best thing in the world, though.

Pelicans Game – Sadly, Sidney and I didn’t attend one Myrtle Beach Pelicans game during the 2017 season. Committed to not doing the same thing in 2018, we attended the team’s second game of the season this past Friday. It was the first Minor League Baseball game I had ever attended in April. However, despite the Pelicans losing 10-0, it was just as fun as going to one in July. My dad came with us and we enjoyed boiled peanuts, beer, Italian sausages, and ice cream! We hope to go to a couple more games in the coming months.

After a hiatus of an entire season, it was great to get back to the ballpark and watch the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Blockers – On Saturday afternoon, Sidney and I went to our first movie at the theater since we saw Girls Trip in August. The film we saw this time around, “Blockers,” was much better. In my advanced age, I don’t get too excited about watching movies that deal with the exploits of high school girls but I found this one to be funny and creative. Because of adult content, I don’t want to get into the plot of “Blockers” but know that it deals with three high school girls and three parents (one parent for each girl). John Cena plays the dad of one of the girls and he is a terrible actor but he will make you appreciate what a giant human being he is. Although you can wait until the movie hits a streaming service or DVD to watch it, we sure enjoyed it.

“Blockers” was better than what I thought it was going to be.

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I feel awful. I didn’t mention Sloan once in this entire Rundown. Don’t worry, she is doing great! I will give a more detailed update in next week’s post. Don’t Blink.

Why You Need To Watch “Wild, Wild Country”

Not since “Making A Murderer” has a documentary series been so well-done and so engaging. But I don’t need to tell you that. Watch a morning show or read an entertainment magazine and you will encounter rave reviews for “Wild, Wild Country.” It is currently the trendy thing to watch…with good reason.

It is worth your time to watch “Wild, Wild Country.”

Before I delve into why people can’t get enough of it, I did want to offer my personal assessment on the series. Watching the six episodes over six consecutive nights, I became more and more intrigued as I worked my way through it. The documentary tells a gripping tale of contrasting cultures in a sleepy Oregon town. The citizens of Antelope went to bed one night and woke up the next day to find that eccentric new neighbors had moved nearby. These newcomers brought a way of life completely different from that of the conservative longtime residents.

You will be blown away by the Rajneeshees.

A culture war ensued.

As someone who is fascinated by these sociological power struggles, I couldn’t keep my eye off the screen. The Rajneeshees transplanted to Oregon from India, introducing a lifestyle that would make any average townsperson blush. They were passionate and they were extreme. Learning about their beliefs and observing their motivation was very interesting to me.

“Wild, Wild Country” is definitely a bit bizarre.

But aside from the culture clash, I was drawn in by the storytelling aspect. The documentary creators used a combination of honest and revealing interviews combined with vivid and shocking archived footage to tell a wild tale. The interviews were conducted with key people, both Rajneeshees and individuals who opposed the Rajneeshees, to give both sides of the story. The accounts by these complex people, many who you will get to know really well, are given to the backdrop of both beautiful and shocking video.

For me, the ultimate part of “Wild, Wild County,” topping both the culture battle and the effective storytelling, is the portrayal of the person who started it all…the Bhagwan (aka Rajneesh or Osho). There is just something intriguing about a “guru” with a long beard, a fragile demeanor, and a taste for Rolls Royces. Looking like he was at least 100 years old, I couldn’t get enough of the guy. From how he attracted thousands of followers to how he went years without speaking to how he made a crazy last minute attempt to evade authorities – it was fascinating.

This guy (the Bhagwan) is really something else.

Why do people not interested in sociological themes, filmmaking, and bearded old dudes like “Wild, Wild Country”? I would say because it has everything.

It has mystery, sex, conflict, eastern world mysticism, greed, betrayal, and all the other things that people enjoy. What took place was nothing short of outrageous and we all like to see a good trainwreck every now and then. It has something for everyone and is structured in a way meant for easy, structured watching.

I highly recommend “Wild, Wild Country.” It will surely pose questions and make you think. If you care to do so, I would be more than happy to entertain your thoughts about the documentary. Give it a try! Don’t Blink.

The Highlights of Sloan’s Spokane Grandparents in Myrtle Beach

At the end of last week and through the weekend, my parents visited our little family here in Myrtle Beach. It was great to see them and catch up. Most of all, it was special to watch them bond with Sloan. My parents arrived on Wednesday and left on Monday. I thought the best way to organize this trip recap would be to describe my favorite moment from each day they spent here. If that is okay with you, I will begin.

Wednesday, April 4: The highlight of this initial day was just watching the joy of my parents as they reconnected with Sloan after 100 days apart. We thought Sloan would be a little apprehensive toward my mom and dad since it had been so long, but she picked right back up at the same comfort level from where she left off. My mom was able to give her granddaughter all the kisses she had saved up over the last several months and you could just tell that both of my parents were at total peace in Sloan’s presence.

My parents were so overjoyed to see Sloan again that first day.

Thursday, April 5: The aspect of this day that really stands out to me is the dinner the five of us shared. We went to Rivertown Bistro, a creative and tasty restaurant in downtown Conway that is beloved by the entire Grand Strand community. If you want to treat yourself, it is the place to go. We were given upstairs seating where we sat at a booth that overlooked scenic 3rd Avenue. The food was incredible and Sloan was on her best behavior as she sat at the head of the table in her cute outfit and bow. It was a relaxing and memorable experience.

We had such a lovely dinner at Rivertown Bistro in Conway.

Friday, April 6: For obvious reasons, my parents weren’t able to attend Sloan’s birthday party on March 17. However, we made up for it. After I got off work on Friday afternoon, the five of us gathered around the table for an encore celebration of Sloan’s birthday. We had an extra smash cake stored away that we brought out. I cued up the slideshow I created for her birthday party and Sidney stuck a candle in the cake and we sang “Happy Birthday.” It was an intimate celebration that made my parents feel included in her birthday festivities and that allowed Sloan to stuff her face with more cake!

Sloan enjoying her second birthday celebration, this time with grandma and papa.

Saturday, April 7: My mom and dad kept talking about how much they enjoyed this morning so it was a no-brainer to include it as the Saturday highlight. We went to the Paula Deen Family Kitchen for breakfast, a restaurant that serves meals family style. We all ate way too much but we then walked it off by exploring Broadway at the Beach, an outdoor entertainment area in the heart of Myrtle Beach. With the weather absolutely perfect, we strolled around the premises while my parents shopped for souvenirs. Sloan enjoyed the favorable conditions as we all took turns pushing her in the stroller. It was a very pleasant way to spend the first half of the day.

My parents having some fun at the Paula Deen restaurant at Broadway at the Beach.

Sunday, April 8: The dinner we had this evening was just as memorable and delicious as the dinner we had on Thursday. We met Sidney’s parents at Greg Norman’s Australian Grille for some good food and better conversation. It was important to Sid and I that we got both sets of Sloan’s grandparents together. The fact was not lost on anyone that during those moments, the six people who love Sloan the most were all seated around her at the same table.

Both sets of Sloan’s grandparents outside of Greg Norman’s Australian Grill on April 8.

Monday, April 9: My parents said goodbye to Sloan in the morning, right before I took her to daycare. However, since their flight didn’t leave until 2:30 p.m., I was able to take my lunch break to meet up with them one final time. We convenrd at Chick-fil-A for a quick lunch. As we ate, we talked about how much we enjoyed our time together and how much we appreciated each other. We recapped our trip and my parents never missed an opportunity to tell me how lucky I am to have two wonderful girls in my life. It was the perfect way to cap off the trip.

My parents at Chick-Fil-A on April 9. Great way to conclude the trip.

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My parents keep thanking us for letting them come stay at our house but they have it all wrong. Sidney, Sloan and I want to be the ones to say THANK YOU. We were spoiled and catered to the entire duration of their stay. Mom and dad, we already miss you. Sloan can’t wait to see you this summer. Don’t Blink.

A Preview of What’s to Come

Well, Monday is here. I had an awesome weekend that was highlighted by a visit from my parents. Mom and dad headed back home early this afternoon and will be flying throughout the night before they finally land in Spokane.

It was a special weekend with my parents in town.

With the pleasure of entertaining special visitors over the past several days, I didn’t take time to work on my blog nor prep for any posts that I will publish throughout the week. Because of that, for the first time ever, I have decided to use an actual blog post (this one) to set the stage for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow I will recap the time that Sid, Sloan, and I spent with my parents. I always try to write these summaries in a unique way and I already have an idea on how I will present this latest trip. I will save the details for tomorrow but I can tell you now that we all had a fantastic time.

As my parents watched with us, Sid and I finished the wildly popular documentary series “Wild, Wild Country” on Friday night. I will reveal my personal thoughts on the crazy saga and do my best to describe why it is the hottest option on Netflix right now.

Then, on Thursday, I will do something else for the first time ever – I won’t write a Thursday Rundown.

Psych! Please excuse my April Fools’ joke because you will definitely get a Rundown this Thursday. However, I will keep you guessing on the five topics.

Hope everyone had a great start to their week. If you live in Myrtle Beach and made it through the constant rain and cool temperatures, you can make it through any Monday. Hope you choose to return to Don’t Blink over the next few days. Don’t Blink.