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Thanksgiving Hilton Head 2007
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
mom Ellie Gray Scott
Retse (my sis), Scott, Ellie, Gray, and my folks arrived in Hilton Head for Thanksgiving a few days before Ilaria and I.
Scott Gray
Hilton Head Island is an outdoorsy resort town that's near Savannah, Georgia.
Ellie fishing
We stayed at the Disney resort in Hilton Head, which gives a Disneyfied camping experience where you have a bit of nature, but things like smores are all prepared so no one forgets the marshmallows. With real camping, even if someone brings a guitar, it's pretty rare that the people around the fire know enough of the same songs to really have a sing-along. Not so with Disney camping, as the Disney staff knows all of the campfire songs.

It's hard to Disneyfy fishing;
Ellie fishing dirty hands
your hands still get yucky.
Ellie Gray pier
Ellie Gray run pier
Faith Saylor family  2008
Shortly after Ilaria and I arrived, we took a family photo.
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And then my dad and I discussed important things.
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My mom, dad, sis, Ellie,
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and I crammed into my sister's van and drove to the flag football game
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on the beach.
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Ellie was
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ready to play some football with her uncle.
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Before the game the girls did a photo shoot.
Ellie J write in sand
Then I taught Ellie how to write in the sand with her foot.
Ellie proud beach
She did a good job.
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Then it was time for the big game.
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I put on Ellie's flags and adjusted my own.
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And we were ready to play.

Ellie did a good job as a pass rusher on defense and as a center on offense. She even won the "best hiker to the quarterback" prize at the end.

Disney would be wise to break the teams up by age groups though as it was a little dangerous out there for anyone less than 8 years old. The grownups were playing pretty hard.
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After the game it was time to prepare the Thanksgiving dinner,
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which was fairly can-based since we weren't at someone's house.
Terry Saylor
Diane Saylor
and Diane (Scott's parents) even drove up to have Thanksgiving with us. They made the turkey in their new camper and brought it over to our condo.
Thanksgiving turkey Hilton Head
The turkey and all the fixins turned out really well.
Ilaria Mogno rocking chair
And the condo we stayed at had a nice deck where we could relax, digest, and
Hilton Head Resort water
look at the water.
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The next day was open presents day. On the years I'm in Italy with Ilaria's family for Christmas, we open family Christmas presents when we're together for Thanksgiving.

I can only partially remember how difficult those moments right before opening presents were. Christmas probably isn't the best for stable child psychology.
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But the moment to open presents always arrives.
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And boy it's a good moment.

Gray was so excited just to be opening things that after opening one of the presents that would disappoint many kids, he yelled out as happy as good be, "I found underwear!"
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There were plenty of new toys around
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but the best toy was from the Saylor grandparents that got the Saylor family a Wii.
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After the chaos died down a little, Ilaria and I took a short drive
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around Hilton Head.
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We saw this lighthouse
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and this boat stuck in the mud. But for the most part the trip was underwhelming. Hilton head was a little too Disney/suburbia for our style.
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That night Scott had the Wii all hooked up and it was time for us all to make fools of ourselves.
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Ilaria wins the prize for most energetic Wii player;
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she took her Women's Health Club boxing classes seriously and pulled out all of her moves when going up against Scott in Wii boxing.
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Mom and sis on the other hand had drunk too many Margaritas before taking their turn on the Wii and had problems maintaining the basic coordination necessary for Wii success. They just fell apart laughing the whole time.

The next day the Saylors stayed in Hilton Head for one more day, my folks went back home, while Ilaria and I went to Savannah.