Fabulous Fifty During a Pandemic

October 2, 2020 

Talk about all the best-laid plans going awry. In my wildest dreams, or maybe nightmares, I never imagined this is what life would look like when I turned fifty. Prior to a global pandemic, which non-discriminately took everyone's lives, shook them upside down, and spit us all out with a new accessory that really messes with my lipstick, the plan was to usher in a half-century in my favorite seaside town of Isle of Palms and Charleston, SC. Unfortunately, it did not take long to realize, that was not happening!

Several weeks ago, I awoke to a message from my mother, "Question??? What would you like to do for your 50th birthday? Is there any place special you would like to go/do? I have some ideas and thought I'd just come out and ask you." I did not need to think about my response, "If I could go anywhere, I'd choose Charleston. I want to wake up, be able to put my toes in the sand, and see, smell, and hear the ocean." Right now, Charleston is not the safest place for Jayde, or any of us, to be visiting. Not to mention the difficulty of being there while maintaining the willpower not to visit all our favorite restaurants, shops, and attractions. My dad suggested that Topsail Island was nice, so we are bound for Topsail, North Carolina, in 14 hours.

The last time my little family, my sister, and our parents took a trip together was over seventeen years ago for Brady's tenth birthday. Life was certainly different then. With all of Jayde-Rhiannon's medical equipment, we are packing as much for her now as we did when she was 19 months old. It dawns on me that I really need a bigger vehicle! 😂

Now, my sister has the joy of packing all the baby accessories. Oh, and as Jayde's nurse put it, I have a new talent to add to my resume. I am now de-accessing Jayde's port every week. This should be an interesting trip, though I have a strong hunch no one will want to return home—annoying vacation photos to follow.

October 4, 2020
We have arrived! We purchased an EZ Pass so we could fly through Virginia. It was definitely worth it! We departed at 3:20 a.m., and our toes were in the sand by 9:40. Our house for the week is aptly named "At Last." Now it's time to make some happy memories.

October 17, 2020

There is no better way to kick off fabulous fifty than with sandy toes and salty kisses. We had a beautiful week in Topsail, soaking in the vitamin sea and precious family time. Vacationing during a pandemic was different. At times, the seaside town felt like a ghost town. Being that Topsail and the surrounding areas were quite isolated, to begin with, it made it easy to social distance. Having a fresh seafood market at our disposal made for some delicious dinners.

Sunday was our only rainy day, which was perfect because we did not feel guilty about staying in our pajamas all day and relaxing. Monday, the weather turned sunny and 75, beginning our beach adventure. I am uncertain what I heard first when I opened my eyes each morning, the sound of waves crashing or Stephen's squeals and everyone else's subsequent laughter - either way, it was beautiful music. Having me, my sister and my parents under the same roof was long overdue. Jayde's illnesses never take a vacation, so she didn't get much beach time in. However,e did enjoy the covered oceanfront balcony off her room. She managed her port well and chose to come up to the third floor and share my bathroom with me. Some things never change.
The space Jayde's medical supplies took up on the drive down was well-used for the seashells, taffy, and souvenirs on the drive home. As for Jackson, even though he is still in constant pain, this was the most relaxed I have seen him in two years. Oh, and we have all decided every house should have an elevator. Beach vacation 2021 cannot come soon enough.


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