It's about 20 miles from 1-95 to the bridge over the intracoastal that leads to Hilton Head Island. And Caroline asked approximately every quarter mile when exactly we could go to the beach. So as soon as we unpacked the van and hugged our gathered extended family, we made a detour on the way to dinner.
I made them stop for a perfunctory group photo...so perfunctory that we'll just skip to the real story...the absolute second I freed them, they were off to the surf.
Of course, we were ready to collapse on the sofa after a long drive and a late dinner at Fuddrucker's, but word spread that Uncle John was leading a nighttime beach expedition with a few of the cousins. No one under the age of 21 was going to miss out on that, so I grabbed a camera and off we went.
Ankle-deep was about as deep as it got in the pitch dark.
And it was DARK. The day's overcast skies kept the moon hidden.
The boys had fun scouring the tide for schools of minnows.
Oh, the giggles from a soggy sandcastle built by flashlight!
And, yes, the shorts...and the shirt...were soaked by the time we were done.
It's a tradition.
We were busted by the beach police shortly after these photos were taken for having our flashlights on after 10 pm during loggerhead turtle nesting season. The beach at Hilton Head is wide and full of tide pools at low tide, so no lights meant calling it a night.
And what a great first night it was.