Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vacation Destination: Helen, Georgia

For the first time since my son was born (he's 7), we are going on a family vacation that does not revolve around a softball tournament schedule. I.AM.SO.FREAKING.EXCITED.

Skylar has played Gold level softball for the last 8 years. She loves to play. And, she is good at it as well. But holy moly, is it ever expensive to play. Her last team played every other weekend. In the heat. In the rain. In the snow (yes, we played on tournament in the snow!) I love being with her at tournaments and supporting her and her team, but the practice schedule (Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays) held at a field 1 hour from our home, and the tournaments, we never had the time or the funds to go on a real vacation.

We would make weekend trips with the team to out of town tournaments, and call it a vacation. Especially if the hotel had a pool. There was always the end of the year tournament held at Myrtle Beach. It was held the weekend before Thanksgiving. Not the prime time to be at the beach. And, there was no time to enjoy being at the beach especially if she played until 11 pm and had to be back at the field the next morning at 6 AM. We got to look at the beach from our balcony and that's about all.

I know that we chose to let Skylar play travel ball. I take that full responsibility. I did whatever it took to afford for her to play (and still would, if she wants to play again in the future). I know what all Skylar has missed out on because of her crazy schedule. Things like family reunions, Easter egg hunts, church youth activities, sleep overs with her friends, vacations.

Skylar was 8 when she first started playing travel ball. Her first tournament was in Dalton, Georgia. THE.HOTTEST.PLACE.ON.THE.PLANET. All cement and black top everywhere. She was also 8 when her baby brother was born.

Alex was due on June 2, 2002. Which also happened to be the weekend of Skylar's first ever softball tournament in Dalton. I did not have the easiest of pregnancies with either of my children, and could not fathom the thought of sending Tommy and Skylar to her tournament without me. I finally convinced my doctors to induce labor on May 23 so that Skylar would not miss the birth of her only sibling and I would not miss her very first softball tournament. Alex was 8 days old when he went to his first tournament. His summers have ever since revolved around which complex we were playing and the proximity of the playground to the field that Skylar's team was playing on. Not to mention what goodies he could find at the concession stand on an hourly basis. There were some concession workers who would let me give them $20 as a credit for him.

Going from a two income family to a single income, has really taken a toll. Cuts had to be made. Skylar agreed to take a year off of travel ball. It was a huge sacrifice for her. However, it has allowed our family to plan a real, honest to goodness vacation. We leave on Thursday. I.AM.SO.EXCITED.

1 comment:

  1. What a great blog!
    You will really love you vacation here in the glorious North Georgia Mountains!

    Be sure to visit Anna Ruby Falls-even in the summer the mist from the waterfall is awesome.

    Panning for gemstones is also a cool place to go-and you get to take the rubies, exmeralds, amethysts home-or have them made into jewelry by a gemonlogist. Neat place and the love animals! They have many friendly rescue dogs.

    If you go, say hello to Brian, Susan, Stacie and the gang for me!
    And my site:

    We also have a new water park.
    Here are some links to visit and I hope it's helpful with planning your visit!

    All the best!
    Harriet Carter, Realtor
    North Georgia Mountain Realty
    Sautee-Nacoochee (next to Helen) GA