Our Super Trip – Day #6

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

Day #4

Day #5

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

I could not get my rear out of bed on Wednesday.  I guess the walk with my mother-in-law the night before really tired my body.   I did get up in time to get pictures of the sunrise from our balcony instead of from the beach.  That was fine because I have a telescopic lens so I used that to get closer ups of the sunrise.

After everyone was up for the day, my nephew, Hubby, and the Imaginative One went for a bike ride.  The Wee One and I went back to Black Magic   I got myself a Shark Attack smoothie that was out of this world good.  We then went onto the beach but only stayed on the beach  for a little while because the Wee One didn’t like the fact that none of the other kids were out there with him.

After Hubby, my nephew, and the Imaginative One were back from their bike ride, we left to go to the Angel Oak.  It’s a tradition to visit the tree and get pictures.  I brought my tripod and set it up where I thought it should have been.  However, I was wrong by a few feet. By the time they told me, I was getting ready to take it down anyway.  People laughed with me as I ran across the canopy to get into place.  We got some great pictures though.

The plan had been to eat our picnic lunch at the Angel Oak but the mosquitoes were biting us.  We ended up having to hit a Piggly Wiggly for some topical Benadryl and Starbucks.  Their espresso machine was not working so I got a coupon for a free drink.  Which reminds me that I haven’t used it yet.

We ended up going to St. Johns’ Island’s park.  To get here, we had to drive on Bozo Lane and then Dunmovin Drive.  (I have a picture of the street signs at the intersection.)  Afterwards we ate our picnic lunch and listened to thunder in the background.

Once we hit the Bridge, it was really starting to storm in Mt. Pleasant.  We still went to the park and played under the bridge in the play area.  The boys were apprehensive at first because of the rain but discovered it was fun to play under a bridge during a rainstorm.  Even Hubby even played a little bit.

Once we were finished at the park, it had stopped raining so we headed to downtown Charleston.  We wanted to go to a couple of the historical churches and just walk around.  As we were walking around I went to Bakehouse again.  The cashier remembered me from a couple nights before so that was cool.

We went to the Provost Dungeon first but decided not to go on the tour because the Imaginative One was tired of museums.  We then walked down Broad Street and noticed there was a bunch of people on the one side of the road and people talking about a miniseries for CBS being filmed across from the church we were heading to.  One of the leading actors was Cam Gigandet from the first Twilight movie.  We watched for a few minutes but then went into St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.  George Washington worshiped there on May 8, 1791 and Robert E. Lee also worshiped there.  In the graveyard, John Rutledge, first governor of South Carolina, is buried there.

Afterwards we watched some more of the filming and then walked around looking for the Circular Church.  Once we got there, the Imaginative One was not happy to be in another graveyard.  Oh, well!  We made him walk through it.

Then it was onto St. Philips Episcopal Church.  It is famous for ghost stories and a cannon being stuck in the steeple.  Charles Pickney, signer of the Constitution, and Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence, are buried in its graveyard.

As we headed back to the car, we walked down Philadelphia Alley aka Dueler’s Alley.  It was a hidden out of the way alley that is full of history and ghost stories.

Once we got the car, we headed back to the condo.  I was scheduled to cook dinner that night.  I cooked tacos.  We ran into a problem though, the meat was frozen solid.  I put it in cold water and then slowly took off the defrosted meat.  We never got it completely defrosted.  The next day the half we put in the fridge was still frozen.  Crazy!

My niece spent the night with one of our relatives so it was only boys around.  They had fun playing in the condo because we could not go out to the beach because it was raining.

More adventures tomorrow. . .

Click on the photograph of the Angel Oak to see more photographs of the day.

Angel Oak

Our Super Trip – Day #5

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

Day #4

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

I got early on Tuesday and took a walk.  The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous!  So totally worth getting up early to see it.

We had decided to go as a family to see the Battery and take our traditional pictures on the cannon.  I almost missed it though all because of having to go to the bathroom.  I knew I shouldn’t have drunk the second cup of coffee but it was so good,  There is no where on the Battery to go to the bathroom.  Let me repeat there is no public restrooms.  Argh!  A lady and her husband heard my plight and decided help me find a bathroom.  She and I walked over to an inn and she asked them for some southern hospitality.  Fortunately the lady did allow me to use their bathroom.

I missed all the kids by themselves on the cannon but got pictures of all 4 grandkids with the grandparents.  (Out of respect to my sister and brother-in-law I’m not going to post those pics.)  I also used my tripod to get pictures of the whole family and I.  The problem I had was I couldn’t get onto the cannon without crawling onto it.  (I was wearing a dress.)  After picture taking was done, everyone went their separate ways.  We walked a little down Rainbow Row and then ended up in the Edmonston-Alston house.  Hubby and I enjoyed that.  The Wee One did not enjoy it as much.

We then went to my favorite restaurant in Charleston – Hominy Grill.  The boys were not so thrilled with the food.  I’ll take that back, they liked the French fries but not the mac and cheese because it had pepper on it and the applesauce because it was lumpy.  Hubby and I ate until we were stuffed.  I had a Dirty Biscuit which was a southern style biscuit, a fried chicken breast, and sausage gravy.  I had it with okra and tomatoes and marinated cucumbers and onions.  For dessert, I had a slice of peach upside down cake.

After we got back to the condo, we laid down for a while and took a satisfied belly nap.  Everyone else in the house was gone so it was quiet.

After everyone came back, it was back to the beach for the children.  They had fun jumping around in the waves.

Hubby, my father-in-law, my niece and nephew, and the boys went to a minor league baseball game – Riverdogs – that evening and my sister and brother-in-law went out.  So it was only my mother-in-law and I went to Cory’s Grilled Cheese for dinner.  I had a Cory’s Famous which was cinnamon raisin bread, provolone cheese, bacon, and honey mustard.  So delicious!  I also had their summer slaw which was an Asian slaw with ramen noodles.

After we got back to the condo, my mother-in-law and I went for a walk along the beach.  It was nice to talk with her.  She is such a giving person.  Soon after we got back to the condo, the kids, Hubby, and my father-in-law came back from the game.  Some how the Imaginative One got a foul ball and then gave it to the Wee One.  Hubby is still unsure how it totally happened because all the Imaginative One was suppose to do was get some water.

Then it was off to bed.  More adventures later.

Click on the mason jar pic for more pictures of the day.

1-334

Our Super Trip – Day #4

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

Monday started with a walk on the beach with Hubby.  I looked like a tacky tourist as the Wee One would say.  I had on my bathing suit, a cover up, a thin fabric cardigan, my photography backpack, and was carrying around my lens cap insulated coffee cup.  We walked up and down the beach enjoying the sunrise.

After our walk, we came in and ate breakfast as other people were waking up.  Eating on the balcony while watching the ocean waves come in and out and listening to the waves crashing against the beach was a real treat.  Paradise.

My nephew and the Imaginative One ended up getting up and wanting to take a walk so I ended up taking them out for a little while.  The Imaginative One kept wanting to see sea life so he looked around in the tide pools.  He didn’t find anything too exciting them.

Once we got back upstairs, almost everyone was stirring so they got ready to go out to the beach.  I hung around the condo for a little while since I had already been on the beach twice that morning.  I did end up going down and staying down there for almost an hour.  During that time, the Imaginative One wanted to take another walk so we walked past the pier and saw sea gulls and terns attacking a bag of chips.  We found out the chips were not even opened when they started eating on them.

My mother-in-law’s cousin and her grandson came out to visit us on the beach.  N. is the same age as my niece and the Imaginative One but got along great with my nephew.  It was great seeing my mother-in-law’s cousin – she is a true southern, accent and all.

We were told about this great little hole in the wall grilled cheese restaurant, Cory’s Grilled Cheese, that was located near the Piggly Wiggly.  We needed a few more things so it was a good excuse to leave the beach for an hour or so.  We could not find that restaurant what’s so ever.  The restaurant was not located near the Folly Beach Piggly Wiggly.  It was located near the James Island Piggly Wiggly, a good 7 mile difference.  We ended up at Jack’s Cosmic Dogs.  Oh, my goodness.  The food was out of this world good.  I had a Galactic Dog which had chili, slaw, and cheese on it and drank Tang with it.  Yum!  Hubby got a grilled brat with fries that were covered with bacon and cheese and spicy ranch to dip the fries in.  The boys and I devoured a whole basket of plain fries.  They were that good.

It was back to the condo for a while.  We visited with my mother-in-law’s cousin for a little while longer and then played on the beach/in the ocean for a little while.

I had a second cooking class that evening so Hubby drove me to that.  This time I was actually going to be cooking.  We were going to be making cheese straws with carmalized onion dip, pork wraps, baby bok choy and shitake mushroom stir fry, potato salad, and pecan crumble over vanilla ice cream.  Yum!  Since we got to downtown a half an hour before the class, I asked him to drop me off so I could take pictures as I walking to the class.  That was fun.

I stopped in a local café, bakery, and coffeehouse (Bakehouse) for a cup of Joe before the class.  While waiting for my cinnamon roll latte (which was the bomb), I spoke to the cashier.  It seems that a lot of Ohioans came down to Charleston because whenever she spoke to a tourist, the majority of them are from Ohio.  LOL!

As I walking, it was lightening and thundering in the distance so that was cool to watch.  I did not take any pics because it is extremely hard to take pics of lightening without a tripod and there were buildings in the way.

The cooking class was fun and relaxed.  We all had different stations so I helped make the potato salad.  After we all cooked, we sat down and enjoyed the fruits of our labor.  The lady who sat next to me was a social worker for the D.C. school district so it was interesting to talk shop with her.

Hubby picked me up and took me back to the condo.  By that time, it was bed time.  More on our adventures later.

Click on my picture to see pictures from our Super Trip Day 4.

iphone-218

Our Super Trip – Day #3

Day #1.

Day #2

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

Just so you know, we stayed at the beach with my in-laws (mother, father, sister, and brother) and my niece and nephew.

On Sunday, I was the first person up so I could see the sunrise.  It was not as spectacular as it ended up being by the end of the week.  After the kids got up (niece, nephew, the Wee One, and the Imaginative One), the Imaginative One and I went for a walk on the beach.  While we were walking, I talked to a local who was out taking pictures.  He even took my picture.  Then the Imaginative One and I ended up getting rained because of a pop up rainstorm.

I then got ready for church but ended up not going because of a mix up in times.  One place said church started at 9:00 am and the other said it started at 11:15.  I realized the mix up some time after 10.  I decided to walk down to the church anyway just in case.  Since I missed the church service, I continued walking and ended up at Black Magic and ordered a chocolate croissant.  It was delicious but on the day we left, they gave Hubby a moldy cheese Danish so I don’t recommend this place for pastries.

Since we had some time, we took the boys to the Piggly Wiggly to buy groceries.  Hubby was having fun trying to find local goodies to eat.  Every time I turned around, he was putting new items into our I had a list in mind and deviated a little from the list.

We got back to the condo and quickly ate lunch because Hubby and I had a date.  We were going to go to a cooking demo at Charleston Cooks.  We didn’t know what they were going to make so when I saw shrimp and grits and chocolate pecan pie my heart skipped a beat.  Now Hubby was not so happy because he loves grits but is not so keen on shrimp.  He tried the shrimp and actually loved it!  (My mother and father – in – law had the boys.)

After the cooking demo, we walked around the market.  We knew if we did that with the Wee One, he would beg us for everything and anything.

Then it was back to the condo.  As the rest of the family were making dinner, we noticed there was something on the beach because a huge crowd gathered around it.  Since we couldn’t see what it was, I ran/walked fast down to the beach with the four kids to be nosy.  I’m glad we were nosy because it ended up being a live horseshoe crab.  The Imaginative One really loved seeing it.

We were going to have dinner but since I was still mostly full from the cooking demo, I ate a yogurt parfait with the family since we were all sitting down for dinner as a family.

After dinner, the boys went down to the beach with the aunt and uncle while Hubby, my mother-in-law, and I walked on the pier.  We got to see the sunset which was absolutely beautiful.  It was a perfect end to a great day.

Click on the picture of the pier to see pictures of the third day of our Super Trip.

Under the pier

 

Our Super Trip – Day #2

Day #1

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

On Saturday morning, we got up early and went down for breakfast.  We ended up being early which made our two sleepy children not happy about that.  Luckily there was a lobby with couches so they laid down until breakfast was ready.  Before we left Charlottesville, we stopped at Bodo’s Bagels.  It was jam packed so that a sign of a great place to get breakfast.  We got bagels and honey pecan cream cheese.  The Imaginative One loved the plain bagels so much he had two of them on the ride down to Folly Beach.

Stop #2 was Appomattox Courthouse.  The location of Lee’s surrender to Grant at the end of the Civil War.  This significant even in our history occurred days before Lincoln was killed.  Tears welled up in my eyes as I saw the reconstructed McLean house where the peace document was signed.

Before we got there, we had to drive through the back country of Virginia.  At one point, we even were in the geographical center of Virginia.  Some of the roads reminded me of Oz with the cornfields on either side of the road.  We stopped for gas at this little country gas station.  It was called Duck Corner and every time someone opened the door, it would quack.  The boys loved this.  I had to apologize to the clerk because of them wanting to hear the quacking.

Oh and the Imaginative One complained about his stomach hurting while we were driving down those roads.  Luckily I had packed peppermints so I told him to suck on that.  There was no car sickness that day.  Mommy saved the day.

We only spent an hour at the Courthouse.  I could have spent a lot longer but we were on a tight schedule.  Our favorite things were the living history people.  It was interesting to talk to Corporal Robert Fields from Pennsylvania.  He kept in his character the whole time we talked to him.

We also met Jeff Toalson who has taken letters written during the Civil War and put them in order and in a book.  I got the book called Send Me a Pair of Old Boots & Kiss My Little Girls.  These are letters between husband and wife Richard and Mary Watkins.  I’ve read about a fourth of the book but had to put it down because it was hard to keep putting it down and then picking it up.  When I have time to dedicate to reading it, I will read it.  It’s that good.

After we were finished with Appomattox Courthouse, we traveled to Folly Beach.  When we were outside of Raleigh (Lynnwood), we stopped for lunch and  a little playtime.  Soon afterwards we were back on the road.  When we were at the South Carolina border, it started to pour.  It was so bad that we could barely see in front of us.  We stopped at the welcome center and the boys and I didn’t get out because of the puddles and how fast the rain was falling.  Hubby needed to check on his bike rack so he got out and ended up being soaked.  The rain stopped as quickly as it started.

The boys were restless at that point.  They so wanted to be at the beach but we still had a few hours to go.  At one point, Hubby and I decided to rock out to Pink and put on a performance to Get the Party started.  I even had motions and dancing in my seat to the song.

Finally I saw the Bridge and knew we were in Charleston.  Only 20 minutes were remaining until we were at the beach.  Those 20 minutes took forever especially with the boys being loud in the backseat.  But we made it at about 7:45 pm that evening.  After we got there, the boys got to walk in the sand and dip their feet in the ocean.  They were so happy to be there.  No one went to bed until 11ish that evening.

Click on the picture of the McLean House to go to other pictures of the day.

The McLean House
The McLean House

 

Our Super Trip – Day #1

We just got back from a super trip because it lasted for 11 days – 6 of which were at the beach.  On the other 5 days, we visited places and traveled from one place to another.  We listened to the boys say “I’m bored!” or “What state are we in?” or “Ohio.  Indiana. Missouri” or “I want to go back to the beach!!!!!!”  The third statement was in reference to the license plate game.  The Wee One loves that game!  🙂  We also listened to books on tape such as Drizzle, Encyclopedia  Brown, and the Henry Winkler Hank Zipper series.  Most of all we made memories we will cherish.

Day 1 was the travel day to Charlottesville, VA (Check out my post about why we chose that city).  We wanted to leave by 6 am in order to be able to do a tour of Monticello.  The official start time was 6:05 so that was a good start to the trip.  When we hit the south eastern Ohio to West Virginia, we hit fog.  In fact, the Imaginative One said the bridge that separated Ohio from West Virginia was like a tunnel not a bridge.

We made excellent time during that leg of the trip.  We got to Monticello (our first stop) by 2 pm.  The Imaginative One loved Monticello.  His favorite parts were where they kept the ice, Jefferson’s reading apparatus that held up to 5 books, the dumbwaiter, and the polygraph machine.  Hubby and I were impressed with Jefferson’s bed in the wall and the closet at the end of the bed and the closet above the bed that had air holes so there was ventilation.  We were also impressed with his front parlor where he greeted guests.  The clock was amazing and the maps were interesting.  The Wee One took away from the whole experience that Jefferson liked to read.

After we left Monticello, we went and checked into the hotel.  Hubby needed a nap and the boys were very loud and squirrely so I took them swimming while their dad took a nap.  Once we were done swimming, we got ready and went down to the University of Virginia rotunda to do a virtual cache (geo caching – Google it).

While at the rotunda, we got a hold of my sister so she could take a picture of us at the virtual cache.  The boys thought it would be funny to stick their behinds out at the camera.  I don’t know if she captured that or not.

After taking pictures at the University of Virginia rotunda, we went to the Pedestrian Mall and met up with Jo.  We were late because of Hubby geo caching and because we got turned around at one point.  We found the Hawaii license plates in the parking lot where we parked.  To read about our adventures at the Pedestrian Mall, visit this blog entry.

Click on the Thomas Jefferson Statue to see pictures from our first day on the Super Trip.

1 (208)
Jefferson statue – The Imaginative One is pretending to look through the telescope.

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

During the winter, we made the decision to go to our favorite beach – Folly Beach, South Carolina.  Ideas were thrown around of where we should go on the way there and the way home.  We knew that we did not want to go to Gatlinburg because we have done that twice before so it was time for something new.  I mentioned Charlottesville, VA and Hershey, PA as possible destinations.  Hershey was quickly vetoed because it would take too long to get there and then too long to travel down. So we decided Charlottesville would be our destination.

When I was a teenager, my mom, sister, and I would travel down to Charlottesville via bus.  We would first go to Washington, D.C. and during our lay-over visit different historical sights.  I’m getting sidetracked fromh my story.

There were 3 things on my agenda for our visit to Charlottesville – Monticello, University of Virginia rotunda, and the pedestrian mall.  About a week before our trip, I emailed Jo.  Jo was my November Foodie Pen Pal.  We had exchanged emails about her motorcycle trip to Ohio and how much she loved Cincinnati style chili.  So I sent her a box with ingredients to make chili.

The reason I emailed her was because she lives in Charlottesville and as a foodie I needed the 4-1-1 on good places to eat there.  She offered to meet us at the pedestrian mall if we had time so she could give us a local’s perspective on great foods to eat.  I warned her about the Wee One and the Imaginative One because I don’t know if she wanted to spend a Friday evening with two elementary age children who had been stuck in a car for 7 hours and then walked around Monticello for 3 hours (almost actual times).  They could get a little squirrely.  She was okay with that so we met up.

She helped us find parking and even find Hawaii license plates.  The Wee One loves looking at license plates and yelling out the different states.  His goal was to find Hawaii and Alaska.  In the parking lot we parked in, there were 2 cars with Hawaii license plates.  Supposedly I owe him Legos because he found one of the rare license plates.

It was so much fun talking to her about foodie topics and other random topics such as running, walking to Monticello from her house, and where Dave Matthews had his first gig.  My Hubby even enjoyed talking to her and loved her accent because she is originally from Quebec.  She even showed us the Coke machine (doesn’t work) at Chap’s ice cream.  The boys loved the place they could draw and write their name in chalk.  They were not so happy about walking around but when you are 8 and 10, parents can make you do boring things.

Here are some pictures: