Friday, May 30, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Rewind

So I figure it can still be considered a current "weekend rewind" if another weekend hasn't quite arrived yet...right!?!?
Memorial Day Weekend brought the first weekend that we spent in our new home and it could NOT have been any better.  We finally got our privacy fence finished on Friday and the new owners took possession of our old house the same day, which meant that thankfully Bogey was finally able to come home.  We spent our first evening at home grilling hotdogs & brats and just enjoying the peacefulness of our new backyard.  Trust me, a full house update is coming soon! 

Saturday morning we ran a BUNCH of family errands for the new house, new furniture, new barstools, and new yard equipment for Hubby.  And then we headed over to my precious niece's 1st Birthday expected, my sister-in-law went above and beyond with Harper's birthday decorations.  It was all incredibly beautiful and a wonderful celebration of a very special little girl.  I left most of the photo-taking to the professionals...but I did snap a few phone photos of the birthday girl and Elyse! 

Sunday Hubby made our family plans and we headed down to one of our favorite places to visit as a family:  Dogwood Canyon Nature Park.  It is owned and operated by the owner of Bass Pro Shops, and is a 6 mile round trip walking/biking trail with waterfalls, flowing rivers, and several picnic areas.  We told Elyse we were heading on an "adventure" and we had an incredible time!  We both rented bikes and a buggy for Elyse to ride in, and packed a lunch/snacks for us to have before we headed home.  Elyse did very well riding in the Burley buggy behind Hubby's bike and of course she fell fast asleep on our way home.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day and such a fabulous family outing...I see lots more trips in our future! 

We finished up our weekend on Monday with just a day of working around the new house, lunch at Wendy's (Elyse's favorite place for nuggets), and then a few more errands before heading home and calling it a day.  I couldn't have akesd for a better first weekend in our new home...because that's what it already feels's home, because of the people who live their with me, not because of the walls that surround us. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Charleston, SC Getaway Days 4-5

We made the decision on Tuesday afternoon to rent a vehicle for the day on Wednesday & venture out to one of the nearby beach areas.  We hadn't truly planned on doing this, but before we left I had realized how close the beach was and convinced Hubby to pack some gear just in case.  ;o)  And of course, since he knows me so well...he knew this meant that we would most likely be making a daytrip to the beach!  ha!
We headed out early & first stopped at Sullivan's Island.  This is a BEAUTIFUL area. However, we only stayed for a short time because we had no chairs/umbrellas etc. to provide ANY shade. 

So...we headed back to the car and took the quick ride down to Isle of Palms where we could rent a set of chairs & an umbrella for the day.  This area was definitely more crowded, but the beach chair setup and delivery was the perfect way to spend the day.  We went for a couple of walks, read a book, and just relaxed.  My idea of perfection for sure!  For lunch we did leave and head back to Sullivan's Island to eat at Poe's Tavern...delicious food and a super fan atmosphere. 

Another bonus of renting a car for the last full day was that we actually got to cross the famous Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge...a pretty cool site to see as you drive across from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant. 

We finished up our last full day with dinner at Halls Chophouse, and I completely failed to take ANY pictures of us that night.  But it was an incredible steakhouse with perfect service and a great atmosphere.  A perfect way to end our trip! 

We actually had all of Thursday morning to spend in the Historic District as well.  Since our first carriage ride was so awful, we opted to take another one and as our driver put it...we one the lottery!  We managed to snag the best route in the city that took us along Rainbow Row, down by the Battery, and into the neighborhood with biggest houses in the district.  I'm so glad we decided to do another carriage ride!

We had a quick lunch at Closed for Business, which was near our hotel, and was another great recommendation from April and then grabbed our taxi to the airport.  We arrived in plenty of time, but our plane arrived a little late so they rushed us all on to try and have an on-time departure.  I was already a little worried about making our connection because we only had 45 minutes in Atlanta.  Not long after they closed the boarding door, the pilot comes on and says there is a mechanical issue and to sit tight.  Well...not even 10 minutes later, we're all deboarding.  Connecting flight officially missed. 

Hubby hopped on the phone and also got in the ridiculously long line to try and rebook our flight home.  We were eventually told that our original flight was scheduled to leave at 7:45 pm (6 hours later), but also rebooked on another connecting flight that was scheduled to leave at 7:59 pm just in case our original flight was officially cancelled.  This would at least get us to Atlanta on Thursday evening. 

Let me just tell you.  We had NOTHING.  No makeup. No contact solution for Hubby.  No deodorant.  No change of clothes.  And we had 6 hours to kill.  So...since the Charleston airport is super small, we left the secure area, rented a taxi to take us to Target and picked up some essentials.  Oh and I should probably mention that our closing on the new house was scheduled for Friday morning at 9:00 am...which we obviously had to reschedule for noon the same day. 

We finally made it to Atlanta on Thursday evening around 9:30, headed to the Delta Customer Service desk to get a hotel voucher, trekked our way to the hotel shuttle and finally got a little sleep...only to wakeup at 5:00 am to shower and head back to the airport. 
A little bit of makeup and a new maxi dress went a LONG way in not making me feel quite so gross!
We finally made it home on Friday morning around 10:00 am...just in time for a noon closing on our new home!  I was so incredibly excited to see my little girl waiting for us at the airport!   

We had a fabulous time and I'd definitely recommend Charleston for a fun, couples getaway!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Charleston, SC Getaway Days 1-3

Hubby & I really enjoy traveling, and it's been something that we've always made a priority even after having Elyse.  Our goal is to have a "couples only" vacation once a year and hopefully a family vacation once a year as well...hopefully this keeps working out for us! 
We (or at least I) are normally beach vacation people, preferring to simply sit on the beach a few days, and venture off the resort to have some fun...but mainly just eat yummy food, and relax.  However, we also know there is SO much to see, so this year we opted for a little bit more of a "city" vacation.  We made the decision back in the fall to try Charleston, SC out and once we found some fairly cheap flights, it was a done deal. 
We flew out on a Sunday morning after waving goodbye to Elyse at the airport security check. Of course, she could have cared less...she was spending the week with Papa & Gigi and then with Mamaw & Pappy! What could be better!

We arrived in Charleston, grabbed a taxi to our hotel (Hampton Inn Historic District--which I loved for it's close location to the free trolley stop), and after a quick stop in at the Visitor's Center, we headed off to explore.  We made it all the way to Broad, before we decided to stop in at Blind Tiger Pub (which used to be a speakeasy) for a quick dinner.  We made our way back to Waterfront Park and checked out the area before heading back to our hotel fairly early.  It had been a BUSY day! 

Monday morning we started out with a carriage ride around the city to hopefully gain our bearings and learn some history along the way.  To be completely honest, Hubby & I were less than impressed with our tour guide...which is why we chose to do another carriage ride later in the trip.  This guide seemed to have a little bit too much of an agenda when it came to certain things and didn't really seem to have any desire in sharing much of the old, old history. 

However, after the carriage ride, we headed off for a little photo scavenger hunt that I picked up from Kate @ Elefantitas Alegres.  We enjoyed finding all the hidden alleyways, and it was a fun way to see some beautiful, yet more secluded areas of the city. 

We had originally made lunch reservations at one of the hundreds of highly recommended restaurants, but decided to cancel those and opted for a casual pizza lunch before spending the afternoon doing some more walking and some afternoon shopping. 
We headed back to our hotel to change, cleanup and then headed back out for dinner at Hank's Seafood. YUM!  I had yummy seared sea scallops, and the meal was so huge that I was wishing I had a way to take it home! 

Tuesday morning we headed out in the opposite direction for some more photo scavenger hunt opportunities...the buildings in Charleston are seriously so incredibly full of history, I wish I knew all the stories that accompanied each building we walked by! 

We made our way down lower King all the way to Battery Park, snapping photos for the scavenger hunt along the way. 

We finally made our way to our lunch destination...Fleet's Landing.  It doesn't get the highest reviews, but it's the only place truly on the water and I just can't resist outdoor dining on the water.  We had a great casual lunch and it was the perfect way to relax for a bit before heading out again. 

After lunch we spent some time shopping in the city market and purchased some mother's day gifts and finally decided upon a beautiful canvas photo print for the new house.  Of course I failed to take a picture of it, but it's already found it's home on our new entryway table! 

At the recommendation of April from A. Liz Adventures, we headed up to the rooftop Pavilion Bar for afternoon drinks & dessert.  It was a great place to just sit and relax and enjoy the sites. 

We called it a day fairly early in the afternoon and headed back to the room to rest and change for dinner.  This time we opted to take the trolley back to dinner at Magnolia's.  We walked down to Waterfront Park for some photos before heading over to dinner.  I LOVED the pineapple fountain!

We finished off our evening with a ghost tour from Bulldog Tours.  While our tour guide was a great story teller, the tour was 90 minutes long and was basically broken down like this...3 20-minute stories, with 3 10-minute walks in between.  I've been on ghost tours before that jump from story to story to story and for me, this is much more entertaining.  However, we did get to tour the dungeon and "bloody alley" which just the day before (see picture #5 above) was one of the most picturesque places in Charleston...too bad it's also where they had all their duels!  ha! 
Up next...our visit to Sullivan's Island, Isle of the Palms, another carriage ride, and our crazy trip home!