Technology Free Weekend (Part 1: Jekyll Island, Georgia)

Yes folks, a new mini-blog series!  Lately Troy and I have been discussing what our goals are and I will do another blog post soon, which will most likely lead to another mini-blog series, about my new fitness goals.  Yet this series is about my newest goal: At least one weekend a month will be technology free!  For me this means no checking Facebook, no tweeting, no text messaging, no phone calls, emails, etc!  Yet I will admit that the phone will most likely not be turned completely off just in case of an emergency.

This past weekend was my first attempt at a technology free weekend and besides having to text Melissa (because she was watching the kiddos and we met up with her part way through the weekend) it was successful!  When I started to pack for the trip on Friday I gave a final tweet to my tweeps and a final status update to my Facebook friends that the technology free weekend had begun.  I was proud of myself that it wasn’t until after dinner on Sunday that I resumed using technology and jumped back on the computer.

Many folks have said that they admire me for going a whole weekend technology free because they feel like they wouldn’t be able to do it.  It was a bit difficult to not constantly give updates on all the fun stuff we were doing but I managed to hold back and log it in my mind for this blog post.  It was also difficult to not jump onto the computer while packing or when we first got home.  Yet I’m glad that I held back because we had a blast and I could have missed some amazing family moments had I brought the computer with me.

So, what did I do this weekend?

  • Troy’s Aunt Carol and Uncle Rich just so happened to be in Savannah for the day – we have not seen them since our wedding, which was over 3 years ago – so we met up with them on River Street.  We had a nice dinner at The Cotton Exchange Tavern and Restaurant, I love the fried green tomato sandwich with sweet potato fries, and then walked and talked as we went down River Street.
  • Dropped off the kids with Melissa – this would be the first time I had ever spent the night away from Tedy!
  • Headed down to the Campground on Jekyll Island and set up our new tent, in the dark without reading the directions!  It was not a chaotic tent setting up experience like you might think – it was very successful.  The unsuccessful part was not having a Mommy & Daddy night without kiddos because Troy had to bring Toby back home.  Yes, originally we brought the dog with us but then realized how stressed out he was and so Troy brought him back home.  Of course when Troy got back to the house at 2 o’clock in the morning he did not feel like driving back.
  • Camped out by myself and although I only got 4 hours of sleep it was the most refreshing sleep I had in a long time!  The sounds of nature were so soothing and without my babies to wake me up I ended up “sleeping like a baby.”  The only thing I regretted was not taking any food or beverage out of the Odyssey before Troy left.  While getting ready for the day I realized I was a bit upset that Troy was not back.  So I called to see where he was and amazingly did not lose my cool but decided to start walking towards where we were supposed to be and hope that he’d be there soon to pick me up and take me the rest of the way.  (I really miss having a bike because we would have brought them with us and it would have made the situation a little bit better).
  • Met up with Troy on the side of the road and drove the rest of the way to the volunteer parking lot for the Turtle Crawl Triathlon.  Since we were late we ended up being switched to a different area than we were originally signed up for.  Yet I’m glad we ended up where we did – working in the transition course.  Troy went up a bit from the transition area to guide people to the last turn before they entered the transition area from bike to run.  I was at the dismount line and directed folks, cheering them on that they were doing great, needed to dismount and go single file into the transition area.  Being at the transition area really helped calm my nerves and motivate me to participate in a triathlon.  Doing a triathlon has been a goal of mine for a couple of years but I have so many fears to get over before I do (like I said, that’ll be another blog series to come) and watching the transitions helped settle one of these fears.
  • After the last cyclist came through the transition area we got some water and a snack and headed to the exit side of transition.  Now we were responsible for making sure the right person left the transition with the right equipment.  We did this by matching body numbers with bike numbers.  Some folks were a bit huffy about us doing this but most were thankful that we took the time to make sure no one’s stuff got taken.  I even had to check a few IDs of those who had already taken the bike number off.  Once all the bikes were gone we started to clean up by picking up trash, taking down bike racks, and rolling up the fences.  It was a ton of fun and we learned many things to help prepare us for when we do a triathlon.
  • After the triathlon we met up with Melissa, she was kind enough to bring the kiddos down to us so that they could see the release of 4 sea turtles!  The kids absolutely loved seeing the turtles up close.  Though I will have to say some of the adults in the crowd were not so nice and I had to squeeze my way in so that I could squeeze Juan Carlos through and have Sophia stand in front of him so they could have a good view.  Tedy of course had a great view from on top of Troy’s shoulders.  My suggestion to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GASTC) would be to have a kid section/remind the adults that kids are much smaller than they are and that they should let them be in the front rows because they’ll be able to easily see over the wee ones and that more stuff is available online at http://www.georgiaseaturtlecenter.org/ so they don’t have to push and shove to get pictures!  Sophia and I only got to see 3 of the 4 Sea Turtles be released because of course she had to go potty just before the 4th one was released – Troy said it took 5 people to lift it out of the container and Melissa said that it just kind of walked down the beach and into the water.  I love all that the GASTC does and look forward to doing more things with them.
  • After the Sea Turtles were released we headed back to the campsite for lunch.  We had a nice traditional camping lunch with hot dogs (FYI: yes I did eat a hot dog, and I will have to do another blog post to update you all on my vegetarian life because some things had to change).
  • Went back to the beach area and took a nice long walk on the path overlooking the beach.  There were a bunch of people out flying HUGE kites and some folks were even in these little recumbent like bikes that had parachutes attached to help pull them up and down the beach.
  • Went back to the campsite and had a nice family nap.  Well, everyone but Sophia of course took a nap, at least she was fairly chill and played nicely in the tent.  After nap time we attempted to make smores but massively failed because we didn’t have stuff for a fire and the grill really wasn’t as hot at Troy thought.  Honestly I was the only one to eat a couple of smores.  Next time we’ll be sure to be properly prepared for some serious smores making!
  • Cleaned up – the kids were covered in dirt!  They had a blast playing with sticks and pine cones in the dirt.  Once we were clean PJs went on and it was time to go back into the tent.  While we played shadow games with the flash light the site on one side (a Dad with his boys) attempted to catch a racoon (the first night they were there they left food out and the racoon’s raided it all) and the site on the other side (a couple of couple’s) sounded like they were having a dance party.
  • I was very impressed with how the kids did sleeping in the tent.  Especially Sophia, generally she has to sleep with a light on but when we said it was time for the flashlight to go off she did not fuss and snuggled on her new Princess sleeping bag.  Tedy on the other hand took forever to go to sleep and played around the tent for a bit before he calmed down and snuggled on his new Buzz Lightyear sleeping bag.
  • Woke up, had breakfast, packed up the campsite and headed to the beach for the rest of the morning.  We did our usual beach stuff of playing in the sand and going for a walk but we didn’t stay as long as we usually do.  Once Tedy went down for his afternoon nap we decided to head back home.
All in all it was a great weekend!  I am looking forward to camping with the kids again.  Next time I need to be sure to take more pictures, and although she’s not in any of the pictures, Sophia was there, she’s just very difficult to take a picture of, especially when using a camera phone.  I hope that my technology free weekend adventures lead you to having your own.  If you don’t think you’ll be able to make it through a weekend, start with a day and go from there!
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