A Weekend With Papa

This past Monday, I dropped my dad off at the airport, concluding a short but sweet weekend trip to Myrtle Beach. Although he only had a few days with us, it was a memorable time. For tonight’s blog post, I figured I would use the format I often employ when writing about these special visits/trips and outline what we did by recapping each day.

A photo of my dad and I from the fun weekend we shared.

Friday, Oct. 27 – Dad arrived in Myrtle Beach at 10:30 a.m. after overnight flights. By the time the taxi took him to our house, I was just getting off work as I had taken a half day. I rushed to our home and as I approached the porch my dad swung open the door and gave me a hug.

We ate deli sandwiches for lunch and then we went off to the daycare center to pick up a very special little girl. My dad teared up when we walked inside the center and saw Sloan playing in the middle of the room. We loaded her up and my dad rode in the back of the vehicle with her.

We spent the early afternoon playing with Sloan. My dad held her, took lots of photos/videos, pushed her on the backyard swing and gave her plenty of kisses (he had to give her extra from grandma back in Spokane). Later that night we went to Sidney’s trunk-or-treat event at her school. My dad watched Sloan “trick-or-treat” at the various vehicles as Sid’s co-workers and the parents of her students remarked about how cute our little flamingo was. We then went out to eat at River City Café, a popular burger joint in Myrtle Beach. Returning home after our meal, he helped us put Sloan down for the night. Even though he slept through most of it (he had traveled across the country with little sleep), we concluded the night by watching game 3 of the World Series.

My dad was reunited with Sloan this past Friday after 3+ months.

Saturday, Oct. 28 – As Sid and I fed Sloan early in the morning, my dad came down to watch/assist. After the feeding and some play time, Sloan took a nap. My dad and I took the opportunity to grab breakfast. I took him to Broadway at the Beach where we ate at Paula Deen’s restaurant. Little did he know the treat that was in store (you have not experienced breakfast until you eat at Paula Deen’s). We feasted on the family style servings of grit cakes, potatoes, casseroles, pancakes, bacon, and more. It was the perfect hearty meal we needed to hold us off until tailgating later on in the day.

Some photos of us enjoying breakfast at Paula Deen’s along with dad feeding Sloan that morning.

After breakfast we picked up drinks for later on in the day and returned home. My dad played with Sloan, taking more pictures and giving her more kisses. She laughed and clapped for her papa, delighting him tremendously. Pretty soon, my father-in-law arrived at the house. My dad and Mr. Sid had a great time catching up, just like two longtime friends picking up right where they left off. After about an hour or so, the three of us men drove to the campus of Coastal Carolina University. We pulled into the tailgating parking lot, set up some chairs, and chatted about guy stuff. About 90 minutes later, the girls (Sidney, Sloan, and my mother-in-law) arrived. Bringing with them a large spread, we ate a delicious meal.

Once we concluded with our tailgate, the six of us jumped on the shuttle and went to Brooks Stadium for Sloan’s first football game. We entered the venue and walked to our seats. We took turns holding Sloan as she sat patiently in our laps. A perfect angel for the entire first half, Sloan and the women left at the start of the third quarter as the temperature started to cool and our daughter’s bedtime approached. Us guys left in the fourth quarter as the rain started to fall and Texas State’s lead over Coastal increased. Despite the tough night for the Chanticleers, my dad loved every moment of his CCU gameday experience.

We had a great time tailgating and watching the game.

Back at our house, Sidney’s parents visited with us for a bit before returning to their home. We put Sloan down for the night and then my dad and I watched game 4 of the World Series.

Sunday, Oct. 29 – The early morning was spent watching Sloan play in the living room. At around 10:30 a.m., my dad, the little girl, and I went off to St. Andrew for 11 a.m. mass. It was my dad’s first time at that church since our wedding. Sloan couldn’t have been better during the service, waiting until after the homily to fall asleep. We then went to Walmart to pick up our weekly groceries before returning home. We ate sandwiches made out of leftovers from Saturday’s tailgate and enjoyed ourselves.

A couple hours later, Sid’s mom and sister came by to take Sloan shopping for shoes. With the little one out of the house, my dad and I ventured out to go souvenir shopping. My dad found what he wanted and then the two of us visited one of our neighborhood bars to enjoy a couple beers.

We returned home shortly after Sloan did. We took her and placed her in the high chair in a way that allowed her to face a giant orange thing. It was time to carve Sloan’s first pumpkin! My dad, with Sloan’s assistance of course, performed the entire carving. Before cutting in, he brought the pumpkin over to Sloan so she could examine it and touch it. When the carving was completed, my daughter was looking at a pumpkin that had a one-tooth grin, just like her! Aside from the pumpkin carving, we got into the Halloween spirit when Sidney dressed Sloan in her flamingo costume so papa could have a special viewing.

Photos of my dad and Sloan carving a pumpkin.

Later that night, my in-laws had us over for dinner. We ate chicken casserole and my dad couldn’t stop raving about it. We visited for a bit after dinner and then we returned home. We put Sloan to sleep and then we concluded the night just like the previous two by watching the World Series.

My in-laws, my dad,, and my daughter after dinner on Sunday night.

Monday, Oct. 30 – My dad drove with me to drop Sloan off at daycare. It was sad for him to say goodbye to his granddaughter but luckily Sloan was asleep, preventing her from seeing the tears in her papa’s eyes. I dropped my dad back off at the house and went to work. During the lunch hour I returned and we ate a quick sandwich together. I then took him to the airport. We both thanked each other and commented on how excited we were for late December when we would all be together again.

My dad and I right before I took him to the airport.

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Wow, with that recap it sounds like we did a lot. However, it was pretty mellow. My dad kept saying how “relaxing” the weekend was and as we drove to the airport he stated that things went exactly how he wanted them to. All of us, especially Sloan, already miss him. Don’t Blink.