I try my best to keep things in order around here for my mental blog sanity, but I’m just too excited about our Mother’s Day this year, so I’m skipping ahead. A little background – I was on my second weekend in a row of traveling, so I was a little tired and a lot disorganized. We spent the weekend in Florida on a mini-vacation, which was ah-mazing (more on that later!), and spent Mother’s Day making the long drive from Eglin Air Force Base back to Camp Lejeune. These two military bases certainly hold a special place in my heart, because we have so many amazing memories from being stationed at each of them. A whole weekend of soaking in the Florida beaches and my family, with a few fun dates thrown in the mix, was such a blessing. I expected nothing more out of Mother’s Day than a twelve hour drive and maybe some gas station Chex Mix on the way. We originally planned to stop at Parris Island, South Carolina on the way south (home of the Marine Corps boot camp), because our friend is a drill instructor and is stationed there with his family! But the Crucible called and he was unexpectedly called into work on Thursday, so we rearranged our dinner plans for Sunday and only made a pitstop to use their bathroom and let the kids crumble Subway chips all over their carpet. That’s how you know they’re good friends. Our plans for Sunday included dinner, but no place in particular. Tiffany scoped out Trip Advisor and found this place, called Buffalo’s. She said it had good reviews and looked South Carolina-y. I called to double check the hours and ask whether we needed a reservation, and they said most people go to the “nicer” restaurant in the community so they typically aren’t busy on Mother’s Day. Even better.
Y’all, when we started driving into the resort, we were a little confused. First, we had no idea it was at a resort. Second, it was a gated community and the only gates we go through are at the front of military bases where we flash our military ID’s to a guy in a pair of cammies with his rifle slung over his shoulder. But sure enough, we were waved right into the resort for our dinner. The drive wound through miles of quaint road shaded by the Spanish moss until we found ourselves in the nicest little community. At first we were a little confused about just how perfect it was and wondering if we found ourselves in the very place that inspired The Stepford Wives, ha! This place was downright amazing, and it would be such a wonderful place to vacation (or live if you’re insanely rich). We found the place a few minutes before our friends, which gave me time to dig a button down for Steve and a dress for Julia out of the trunk. Her soggy diaper and pajama top combo just weren’t going to cut it for this place. Once we were more appropriately dressed for our surprise fancy dinner, you better believe I pulled out the camera. And not one complaint from the husband about the billion pictures! The Mother’s Day coupled with the gorgeous scenery combo made for the perfect excuse to con everyone into a family picture. Mommy and Daddy say cheese and everyone else look into the distance and act bored! Nailed it.
Julia has reached the hugging stage and hands them out freely. But if you ask for a kiss she’s more than likely to get you excited, fake you out, and run away laughing. Be warned.
My boys ❤
The restaurant. How gorgeous is that?! Those trees would hold up some pretty epic tire swings.
It was such a treat to spend Mother’s Day with our friends who moved away. We were stationed at Camp Lejeune with them in 2010, and these guys ate, slept, and shot mortars together all day, everyday. At our one year anniversary, I’m pretty sure they’d shared a barracks room or tent longer than we’d lived together. Ah, the joys of young married life and never seeing your new spouse. Needless to say, we grew so close to this family and we’ve missed them since the Marine Corps sent them to Parris Island for a Drill Instructor gig.
And talk about a gorgeous Momma. Their little girl (Sadie) and Julia are just a month apart, so they make perfect playmates! It’s been so fun to see them (and their little baby bestie Olivia – we didn’t forget you Danika!) grow up together. Also, if anyone caught our homecoming video that still sends me into happy tears after watching it 200 times, this is the girl that drove from South Carolina on the night before just to film it for us. And just he a huge dose of moral support at our homecoming – I never could have picked out our outfits without her. Forever grateful is the best way I can describe my feelings for that favor.
We finally stopped talking for five minutes and made our way in the restaurant. They seated us at a table on the patio. It was 85 degrees outside, with a nice breeze coming from the river, and we had a shady spot under the trees. Tell me if this isn’t the most perfect setting for a meal you’ve ever seen. Trip Advisor for the win!
Julia had fun trying on Daddy’s glasses 🙂
And if it doesn’t get better than that, there was a little wedding chapel across the cobblestone street from our table. We watched all the guests arrive, the bridesmaids make their way in, and finally the bride in her white dress head in the chapel! When we were nearing the end of our meal, we got to see them come out smiling like a couple of newlyweds! You can’t make this up. We actually got to witness a beautiful little wedding over our Mother’s Day dinner. This place was seriously perfect.
After dinner, we let the babies run and play and the boys chat.
As if I needed another place I want to travel to and vacation. But I found one. This was the sweetest little stop on our road trip and the best Mother’s Day surprise. I got to spend it with friends and family. The only thing that would have made it better was seeing our mothers – living so far away is hard! Luckily we’re seeing a lot of them lately. My mother-in-law visited a week ago, and we will see her again in a few short weeks! And we are headed to Kansas soon to throw my Mom a big party to send her into a well-deserved retirement. I have to remind myself on the days we are missing them that there is always another visit around the corner. And in case you’re still reading this and interested in doing some real estate dreaming, look up Palmetto Bluff Resort and all of its Southern Living glory and drool away.