Sidney, Sloan, Beau, and I were blessed to visit my wife’s family (and our old home) this past month. Myrtle Beach treated us well as we celebrated the holidays and spent time with loved ones who hold special spots in our hearts. To summarize our trip, I thought it would be wise to briefly describe 10 happenings/themes from our time in South Carolina.
Staycation – Sid’s parents rented a condo right on the beach for our family and the families of Sid’s two sisters. We spent several days playing at the resort’s water park, creating Christmas crafts, eating family dinners, and enjoying the beautiful ocean scenery. It was a great opportunity to for everyone to come together, catch up, and get into the Christmas spirit.
Christmas Eve/Christmas Day – Ah yes, the reason for the season! We attended the 4 p.m. Christmas Eve mass at St. Andrew. After that we went over to my sister-in-law’s house to hang out and eat baked ziti. We came back to my mother-in-law’s house and I stayed up until midnight until it was officially Christmas. On Christmas morning we all gathered to open gifts and later that day we went back over to my sister-in-law’s house for a prime rib Christmas dinner.
Gorgeous Weather – The previous two times we traveled back to Myrtle Beach we had no shortage of rain and cold. Not this time. We basked in numerous 75 degree and sunny days over the course of the two weeks we were there. The conditions allowed me to take Sloan to the park, play basketball outside with my nephew, and go for a run through my in-laws’ neighborhood. While Spokane was being pounded with snow, I made sure the savor the sunshine and warm temperatures.
Old Friends – In addition to spending time with Sid’s family, we also got to re-connect with some of our dearest Myrtle Beach friends. One particular day Sloan got to visit the trampoline park and go out to lunch with Jacqueline, the BFF she was inseparable with when we lived in South Carolina. The day before we traveled back home, we went over to the home of our spiritual mentors, Tim and Kathy McCormick, for breakfast. I even got to see my former Knights of Columbus brothers when they invited me to drop by before one of their meetings.
Old Places – Over the course of our trip I worked out at the gym I used to exercise at on a daily basis, Iron Legacy. It is still old school and it still has the nicest owners. Best of all, we returned to St. Andrew a few different times for mass. So many good things happened to our family within those walls and it is always special to return to worship God.
Baby Jack – We had plenty of time to see the newest addition to the Mathis family, Jack. When we visited Myrtle in June, he was only a couple weeks old. Now past the 7-month mark, he had grown considerably but was still as sweet as could be. It was fun and hilarious to watch Beau interact with his new cousin. Sid and I each made sure to get our snuggles with our handsome nephew over the time we were there.
Sing 2 – The second week we were there a group of us went to see “Sing 2.” It was a super cute film that had us singing and dancing in our seats the whole time. Just having the opportunity to watch a movie in a theater was a special experience by itself.
On the Small Screen – Going to the theater was really nice but watching programming on television wasn’t bad either. I had the pleasure of watching numerous college football games. Laying in bed at night, Sid and I would watch “Fear Factor” re-runs and after she fell asleep I watched poker. Probably best of all was watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve. Believe it or not, I had never watched the movie until that point. I truly was missing out!
Good Food – We ate and we ate and we ate. The best part? It was all delicious. From the prime rib Christmas dinner to our takeout favorites to the baked ziti we didn’t obsess over calorie counting. All the baked goods available kept us munching the whole trip.
Bananagram – A game we played both at the condo and at Sud’s parents’ house was Bananagram. It is kind of like a more individualistic, faster-paced Scrabble. It was the perfect game to relax and enjoy a snack with. I had a nice time playing it and even won a few rounds.
What a blessing it was to spend some solid time with Sid’s family. We were sad to leave everyone in South Carolina but thankful for the memories we were able to bring back. We can’t wait for our next visit. Don’t Blink.