From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hey y'all - happy almost Independence Day! In the name of the US of A and her impending birthday, I thought a little patriotic theme music suited this post! I took the entire week off this week and BOY am I glad I did. The last 3 weeks at work were so stressful that my ulcers got a little PO'd and Crohn's threatened to rain on my vacay parade. (Thankfully, with a little prednisone, I'm keeping a full-fledged flare at bay!)

When I take a full week off of work, I intend to do something good with it. I'm all for some QT at home and such...but I'm the type who can't truly relax at home. Just ask my husband: he's always telling me to sit down and relax at the end of the day. Instead? I'm roaming around the house, doing a little thing here or there because, let's face it, there is always something to do, amiright?? #typeAproblems

So, a maximized week built of two mini-vacays and one bigger vacay fit the bill!


June 27-29
We'd had a trip to the NC mountains planned for last weekend for about 3 months with 3 of our favorite couples, who I refer to as our Greenville Friends (all four of us ladies worked together in Greenville, which is how we all met). Now, not even 5 years after I first met them, we live in Columbia, another couple lives in Atlanta, and two couples remain in Greenville - though no one works at the agency anymore. Regardless, these girls were put in my life at the right place and time and we have a blast when we can all get together! Plus, our hubbies and dogs get along, too - it's really quite the ideal scenario.

One of the couples couldn't make it, so it ended up being just six of us. We headed to my mom's cabin in NC for some R&R, adult beverages, catch-up time, and one fantastic view.
And - vacation in underway!
It's amazing how a 2-hour drive up I-26 can make a difference of 20 degrees cooler and about 1,000 times more relaxed! 
The group!

Peaceful and serene - seriously what I needed!
Love these ladies!

Amos and Ellie played alllllll weekend

Spending time with good friends is so good for the soul, no? I think there is actual healing power in it!

On Sunday afternoon, we packed up, washed sheets and towels, and headed back toward Columbia. 


So "prairie" might be a stretch, but go with me here: little house on the prairie? As in, ye olde homestead? Ha...anyway...

After heading southeast for 2 hours toward home, we stopped by our house in Columbia to re-pack for the beach and to water our new plants (we spent a few hours planting these 4 little jasmine bushes 2 weekends ago, so Lord knows we aren't about to let 'em die). As you can see, they desperately need water in this insufferable Columbia heat.

I really hope these babies make it!
The full effect of the DIY yard project can't be seen in this pic, but I'll write about it soon. I have to say, barring the possible death of the jasmine, the project was really easy and made a huge impact on our back yard!


June 29 - July 2

After we unpacked, repacked, watered plants, and made a grocery store run, we were off once again, continuing our tour of I-26 in South Carolina. After nearly 3 hours, we arrived at a little slice of paradise: Edisto Island Beach.

Edisto is a sleepy, idyllic beach town, the kind where there are no high-rise condos, no hotels, and no beach chair rentals. There are about 4 real restaurants and exactly one grocery store (which was a Piggly Wiggly until earlier this year when it sadly became a BI-LO) that is always packed. People ride their bikes or golf carts around town, and you have to drink bottled water or fill up jugs at the fire station or else you're drinking salt-ish "beach water" from the tap. In a way, it's like going back in time. I love to visit because I love imagining Alex's childhood summer days in the same beach house, and other than the addition of new houses and a few retail shops, the island is almost the same as when he was a kid.

My girls love the beach! 

Ellie could chase a tennis ball into the water all day long

This year, we spent 3 nights in Edisto with Alex's parents. My days consisted of: going to the beach for a few hours, dogs in tow, feeling the perfect salt breeze on my skin while I re-read an old favorite book; coming back to the house and laying around, reading some more on the screen porch; showering and enjoying the freedom of no hair dryer or real make-up; cocktail hour wine accompanied by an array of appetizers; late dinners with the primary protein of shrimp; playing Rook with my hubby and teaching his parents how to play; sleeping soundly at night and waking with minimal worries. Truly, it was wonderful. 
An Edisto staple: Lowcountry boil

Being all matchy-matchy on the beach


Today, to cap off our whirlwind week and to celebrate our 3rd Anniversary a few days early, we're off to what is probably my favorite city in America: Chicago! I haven't been since 2007, when I lived and worked there for a few months. I can't wait to visit and to show Alex around!

In the meantime, happy 4th of July!


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