To South Carolina and Back

To South Carolina and Back

I have not written in some time and would like to offer 2 excuses. One: our computer officially died and now I’m trying to figure out WordPress on the Ipad.  Two: I was visiting friends and family in South Carolina. However valid these excuses might be, I want to express my apologies. I hope to be  more regular with my writing.

Moving on to our trip to S.C.   Ricky and I highly anticipated this trip for many reasons. I left almost a week before Ricky did. I drove to Pensylvania to pick up my sister Brendee and niece Emma. After about a 9 hour trip, we made it to Greenville, South Carolina safe and sound. My sister was especially proud of Emma seeing she had just been potty trained and there were no accidents in the car! The first week I planned to stay with my mom and help my sister out with Emma. Brendee is due with her second little girl the middle of May, and had some activities planned that week such as her 10 year college reunion. I was able to spend a lot of time watching Emma. I love being an Aunt! My nieces and nephew are the sweetest things, and I love every minute I get to spend with them. Emma and I spent the week looking for ant hills, playing at the park, collecting rocks from Memaw’s yard, reading stories, and cuddling with the warm cozy blanket.  I will say, I did get tired of reciting Rock A Bye Baby after the 20th time! Although Emma is only two, I hope she will remember some of these memories we have shared together. I was also able to spend some time with my other niece, Alayna. Before we moved we spent a lot of time together, so it was wonderful seeing her again. My sister and I enjoyed our time together with mom, and were able to cook together, go shopping, and best of all watch our favorite movie: Anne of Green Gables.

If I may digress.  During the first week in South Carolina I had some time to compare a few things to my new home in Baltimore, and figure out what I missed and what I did not miss. Greenville is a unique place for many reasons. If I had to sum it up in one word I would say it is convenient. Churches on every corner, restaurants everywhere, every type of store you would need, quality service at most grocery stores, inexpensive living; you get the point. Where we lived in Spartanburg (about 20 minutes from Greenville) I was 5 minutes from my office, 5 minutes from church, and about 10 minutes from a mall, restaurants, craft stores, etc. Now that is convenient. I figured when we moved to Baltimore it would be even more convenient because it’s a bigger city, etc. However, what I found to be true is that everything seems to be more spread out. The cost of living is definitely higher, it’s harder to find a specific type of restaurant or store you are looking for, and the general atmosphere is different. (not necessarily in a negative way)  Now, I really have little credibilty here because I have not even lived in Baltimore for an entire year, and probably don’t really know what I’m talking about. Nonetheless, these are my observations and a short summary of what I found to really miss in Greenville and what I am doing fine without. This list does not include friends and family which of course we miss dearly. What I miss: 1) A good, cheap Mexican restaurant. Ricky and I had a couple favorites in SC, and have not been able to find one in Baltimore that really compares to the food and the price of SC. 2) The convenience of many stores in one area 3) Publix (that’s all that needs to be said about that) What I do not miss: 1) The pollen (the second I pulled into Greenville my eyes and throat starting itching, I couldn’t stop sneezing; I was a mess) 2) The humidity 3) Woodruff Rd (anyone who is not familiar with this road, it is the worst road for traffic) Those are just the main things that stuck out in my mind this trip.

Now, back to our trip. The second week of our trip we spent with Ricky’s family. The main festivity planned was Jesse’s (Ricky’s youngest brother) graduation from the Marine’s boot camp on Paris Island.  Before we headed to the Charleston area, Ricky and I were able to catch up with some friends. We enjoyed being back at our church (Grace Bible in Moore, SC) and being at the spring picnic with everyone. It’s always great seeing everyone and catching up with friends. One of the highlights of our trip was being able to announce to our friends and family that we are expecting a baby in October! I will write more about this in a separate post.  After our time in Greenville, the family headed out to the beach house we had reserved for 3 days on Harbor Island.

We were all excited to see Jesse after several weeks of being in boot camp. The first day on base we all got up early to watch the Marines run their motivational parade run. It was really neat to experience being on base and to learn what the Marines do.  One of the highlights for me was seeing all the Marines reunited with their loved ones when they were released for a few hours the day before their graduation. It was a mad dash for their loved ones. Hugs and kisses were exchanged, and tears were shed. It was a special moment for many. I remember seeing one little boy  about the age of 11 be reunited with his older brother. The boy was so excited to see his big brother that he was in tears and ran to his brother with wide open arms. Jesse showed us around base and it was neat to learn how he had survived the past several weeks.  We were all proud to see him graduate on Saturday morning. It was a wonderful experience being at the graduation ceremony, and definititely made me appreciate  those who serve our country.  Our favorite phrase of the week became: Ooh-Rah! We finished out our last day at the beach house just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

Then it was time for the long drive home. After being gone almost 2 and half weeks, I was ready to be back home.

This is joy under the sun.