Friday, January 27, 2012

New Year's Eve 2011

New Year's Eve was a lot of fun this year! Dad and Kim hosted a Oyster Roast! Everyone says the oysters were fantastic! (and I'll take their word for it!) My favorite part, however, was getting to see everyone that I hadn't seen in years!! I miss you all already!!
Mauri and I
Dad roasting oysters
Kim with all the New Year's Eve festive attire!
Ron especially loved the oysters! And Lin was busy helping out with the oyster roast! (Keeping Ron happy!)
Nook, me, and Dorothea!!
Stephanie, me, and Minnick!
Me and Bonus Grandma Frances!
Me and the Daddy
Sonia and Joe
The kids were not into the grown ups. They stayed outside by the fire where they could hang out in peace!
New Year's Eve Festiveness
Thanks to Dad and Kim for a GREAT TIME! I loved every minute of it!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Help please

Hello all....any advice or help is greatly appreciated. Last weekend at the airport, I switched bags with someone. He took mine, I took his. We got everything straightened out, but when I received my bag, I was, of course, missing things. Do I have any rights in this situation? Is there anyway to get my things back? Or the money that was lost? I'm so mad I just can't stand it.

Boone Hall Plantation

On down to South Carolina to go see my Dad's family! We had a really great time and got to do some fun things! So something I had never done was go to Charleston. Which is really terrible since I lived in Myrtle Beach for 2 years. But anyway we got to go on a girl's outing and we had a great time!

First we stopped by Charleston's Cafe for breakfast. GO. It is delicious. My little sister, Ashlee, had the strawberry pancakes. Go devour them now. We were all chowing down on her plate...what little she left anyway! (All of it was great...but those pancakes...we talked about those the rest of my trip home!)

Next stop on our big adventure was Boone Hall Plantation. It was amazing. I could have stayed there the rest of the day! You may have previously seen Boone Hall Plantation in movies like The Notebook. Or those who may know some good ol southern movies that are a little older like Queen or the series North and South. Actually I believe they are closed this month because the show Army Wives is filming there.

Anyway, you can learn all kinds of things about Boone Hall here with good ol wikipedia.  (STOP SOPA!)
This WONDERFUL performer taught us so many things about the Lowcountry Gullah culture brought in by slaves. It was really insightful and I really learned a lot. Not only that but she is a fantastic presenter. If you go to Boone Hall, make sure the first thing you see is this presentation. It gives a lot of insight and history into the rest of the tour.

Of course, we had to take pictures by the oak trees. The pictures don't do them justice. They are BEAUTIFUL.

Here in Charleston, they are known for their famous sweet grass baskets. They are crazy expensive, but they are all hand made and beautiful. One day I will own one. I will say they are cheaper here at Boone Hall than they are in downtown Charleston. (just as a side note for anyone wanting one). The woman making the baskets here, told me it takes her anywhere from 10-15 hours to make one medium sized basket!! 

Boone Hall Plantation. Surprisingly small on the inside...though we weren't allowed upstairs. Or allowed to take pictures...I hate when that happens. It was decorated beautifully for Christmas though!
Look HOW HUGE those trunks are!!

They had a beautiful garden! I can't believe these flowers were blooming in the cold! And although it wasn't below was still pretty cold.

Out by the waterway was my favorite spot. It was absolutely gorgeous.

We took a truck tour of the rest of Boone Hall Plantation. It is HUGE. They plant TONS of crops all through the year. People in the area (and from out of town) can come and harvest all they want. The rest is harvested and given to food banks and area shelters in need. Here in this picture is a photo of the corn maze they had last year in commemoration of the Boeing plane for Halloween. Crazy right? Can you imagine trying to get through this thing in the dark??

After Boone Hall Planation, we went to downtown Charleston. We had a great time! We got to visit the flea many cool things! Definitely go there with some cash! We went on a carriage ride through historic downtown Charleston and got to see lots of historic homes. It got dark before we got to the Battery, but that is on the list for next time!! It was such a GREAT trip. Of course, we weren't finished though. After Charleston, we went to James Island County Park for their Christmas Festival of Lights drive through show! Look at some of the cool displays!
This is kind of blurry, but this is a display of the bridge connecting Mt. Pleasant and Charleston. A Charleston Landmark.

Who doesn't love a unicorn? Or a gingerbread house/man.
The South Carolina palm tree and crescent moon.
Good ol U.S. of A.

It would just not be Christmas in SC if we didn't have a sand sculpture of an underwater Santa. Seriously I don't know how people have the patience to do these things (nor the talent...I'd get about almost done and knock something unfixable off)

I had a GREAT Charleston Girl's Day!!! A HUGE thanks to Kim for making that happen! I LOVED IT!

Don't think the fun stopped there (well on that day it did...that was a action packed full day)! Still more to come!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I had such a fabulous time on the first leg of my journey. I got to spend time with my Mom, my Grandma, the rest of my family, and some great friends. I got to eat way too much, shopped too much, and just had a good time in general!

Richmond organizes houses with crazy lights every year and calls it the "Tacky Light Tour". People get in groups, ride around in limos (get drunk) and look at the lights. We did it the cheap way and just got in our vehicle and it was great! The is the best house around. A mom and her son who live side by side put up all these crazy lights. They sell hot chocolate, give tours, and must have a monstrosity of a light bill!

My grandma and I! And her little dog, Baby. It has been so much fun to spend time with her. She has been through a lot the past couple of years I've been gone and it was a relief to see her doing well.
We took a day out to go and put out flowers on my Grandfather's grave. Even after 5 years it's still strange not to have him around. I miss him so much, but I know how proud he would be of me.
I got to take a day out and have lunch with a blast from the past! Jennifer and I were inseperable in 10th grade. She moved in and out for just that year. The miracle that is the internet has kept us in touch with one another and she was passing through Richmond. We had lunch and got a chance to catch up! Not to mention at Cheesecake Factory and it was DEE-LISH-US.
Another fun activity was the Cake 101 Class my Mom and I took. Don't we look cute in our aprons?? It was a lot of fun and I learned to make an awesome chocolate cake. Seriously, best chocolate cake I've ever had.
My Mom had all kinds of things planned. Busch Gardens Christmas Town was my absolute favorite! The lights were beautiful and the shows were great! Look at those lights! This was a ride called Pompei, It is a water ride. Can you imagine how many lights it took to make that?? We could see it from the highway!
This picture is typical me. Don't worry, I waited my turn in line with all the little kids to take this picture.
So many pretty Christmas trees!
My friend Miranda graciously hosted a Christmas party at her house. Here we are, the 3 musketeers. (Rachel, Miranda, and I were best friends through high school. Rachel and I have been best friends since the 3rd grade, we lived around the corner from one another growing up.)
I was able to see a bunch of people I hadn't seen from high school and it was fun to catch up with them! Just so you all know, we all went to a high school that was less than 500 people. My class in particular was 75 people. We lived in a tiny little town and we had all been together since kindergarten. We grew up together and I love that we still keep in touch.
Christmas Eve has always been my Mom's family Christmas party. This year my aunt hosted it. It was so much fun to catch up with everyone. Here in the picture (back row) is my cousin Amanda, my Mom, my Grandma, my Aunt Darlene, (front row) my cousin Cameron, and me! The only girl missing was my sister :( There is nothing like family. We drive each other crazy, but at the end of the day, they're mine. And I miss them.
This was just the first leg of my trip. I can't believe I have been able to pack so much into such a little time. But there is a LOT MORE to tell you about! Next up, South Carolina!