We flew into Savannah and spent time there before and after the beach. Our goal was mostly to grow travelers more than to check everything off a sightseeing list. The boys continue to be increasingly wonderful companions, reading maps and remembering where we parked. They crafted fake Yelp reviews for old cemeteries that had us all rolling. They were willing to remove hats for dinner and to try new foods, adding beef mousse to their list of good palate discoveries. Their rental car playlists were solid and at one point all five us us were harmonizing with the Jeep windows open, surrounded by historic landmarks and silvery moss.

We spent one evening on Tybee Island with low tides like we'd never seen.
We walked Jones Street and Plant Riverside, enjoyed Byrd's cookies and Leopold's ice cream, explored Cluskey vaults and Factors Walk and Jere's Antiques.
By the end of the trip, in addition to chlorine eyes and biscuit skin, we'd racked up some predictably tricky travel moments (slash days) trying to get home, but not every normal day here is perfect either.


love grown golden

It is very, very hot on Hilton Head Island in July. You're welcome for that weather update.

But the heat didn't stop our family from enjoying a week with the extended Betz clan!
From morning coffee on the patio to late night movie marathons and past-bedtime Cheerwine ice cream floats, our days were full of favorite things. The boys alternated between the resort pool and the beach routine, with lots of creature catching in between, things like toads and lizards and lettered snails. There were cousin sleepovers and jigsaw puzzles and shark excursions, double rainbows and seafood boils and too many sand dollars to count. We celebrated a fifty year union with lunch at Links and wiffle ball in the sand, with sunset kite flying and *without* alligators.
Endless sunscreen and laughter and bourbon may be one of the best concoctions a long marriage can brew.


from the mouths of... brothers (who are *not* babies any more)

When Tolliver returned from a week at raptor camp, he noticed Hank had lost another tooth, leaving two middle top and two middle bottom, with spaces all around - and said "Hank, you look just the muskrat we skinned and fed to the vultures."

Thinking about our upcoming trip, Hank wondered whether there'd be any elephants in Savannah. Just curious, he added as I sorted out what he must've been imagining.

Leaving Tucker at Justice Camp the first day, I overheard him ease into his role as a counselor for the littlest kids, speaking to one kindergartener who wasn't ready to head into the sanctuary with the group:
"I can't help you if you don't talk to me. It's normal to miss your grown up. We're going to have fun together this week!"

In the bath tub one evening, Hank asked Andy how many taste bugs an average human has on his tongue.

After winning the league championship, Tolliver corralled his baseball teammates and reminded them to remain calm, repeating "Guys, sportsmanship. Remember sportsmanship."

At the end of a really special week learning about racism and food deserts and immigration, Hank and two of his very best friends stood along Broad Street to promote climate justice, chanting: 
Clean the air
It's not fair
The birds are dying
They should be flying

Sometimes I feel excruciatingly aware of how the boys take up space, how they're behaving, how they exist. Thank goodness for the coaches and camp counselors who help them learn how to be on this planet, mindful of their words and actions, aware of the whole wide world. They won't always be be the best version of themselves, none of us are. 
Most of the time, from my own mouth seems a regular summer refrain: Take it outside, please.