Spring Break in the Carolinas

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In the last two years, Trey has probably been in the southeast no less than 6 times for work. Every time he reports on the warm sunshine or calls me while he's making his daily order at the Chick-fil-A drive thru, I seethe with jealousy. Back at the beginning of the year when he was planning out his travel schedule I asked if he could plan one that coincided with my school's spring break. Turns out he had to visit Greenville, South Carolina along with some other towns along the way and had to fly in and out of Charlotte. We were in business!!

It was not difficult in the least to leave yet another springtime snowfall and head south for a week. Everytime I land there, I feel like a missing part of my heart has found its way back home. I know it sound cheesy but I just love being in that part of the country. Maybe it's because that is where we started our family. Maybe it's because the values I hold dear are still important to the general population. Maybe it's because I crave the heat. It's probably a combination of all these. Whatever the reason, it was so nice to be back there and enjoy sweet tea, warm evenings, amazing shopping sans Canadians, hearing "yes, ma'am" or "how may I serve you?" and not being on a schedule.

A couple highlights of our trip was a mini-reunion with dear friends from Trey's childhood days in Columbia, South Carolina. When I had talked with them over Christmas, they told me that they heard Trey was traveling to the south a lot and the next time he was in town, they wanted to see him--even if they had to drive an hour or two to meet him. When I knew I was going to join him, we connected and worked out a time and a place to meet for dinner. Trey's parents made an even longer hike (7 hours) and were able to join us too. It was a wonderful evening and didn't feel like 11 years had passed since we had all been together. At the end of our week, Trey had a meeting outside of Asheville, North Carolina which feels like the "Bellingham of the south." on a larger scale. It's an artsy, hippie-like place tucked into the Blue Ridge mountains with cute shops and funky restaurants galore. We ended up staying just outside of the town but enjoyed it on our way back to Charlotte. The night before my flight we got to see our dear friends Lisa and Joe for dinner. It was Joe's birthday and he had no idea were coming so our knock at the door was a total surprise. They had friends visiting from Charleston and we all got along famously and enjoyed takeout from my favorite Charlotte restaurant, Mama Ricottas.

The boys were well taken care of by my mom for the first 3 days and our friend Russ, who is like a big brother to the kids, for the remainder of the week. One thing I was anticipating upon my return was that I would not get the "Mommy's home!!!!" welcome that I had the last time we had been on a plane and flown across the country away from them--5 years ago. They were 5, 8 and 9 back then. Days when we still had a lot of influence and they were still dependent on us. Those days are definitely behind us. Trey had to stay behind for the following week so I came home alone. When I walked in the door, Ian and his posse of fellow mountain bike riders were all helping themselves to various meals. One was making grilled cheese sandwiches, another was munching down on potato chips and Mountain Dew and my son was downloading their biking videos on the computer. The amount of dog hair coating the hardwood floors could have filled a pillowcase, crushed Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper cans were on every table within view and the general smell of the house exuded excessive amounts of testosterone. My first thought was "now I understand why the Lord said "it is not good for man to be alone." This house needed some serious estrogen infusion. And how. Quinn & Russ were out on a hike and Ben was kicking back in the basement watching soccer. At least Millie was happy to see me. After I unpacked and showered, I came back in the kitchen and noticed a pot roast in the crockpot so all was not lost.

I'm so thankful for the time away to reconnect with my hubby but there's nothing better than coming home.

After a wonderful dinner at Bonefish Grill. Love these friends so much!

I loved the steam rising from the rushing river along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

More sights along the Blue Ridge.

This was my favorite meal of the whole trip: Shrimp and Grits with a Lobster cream sauce. To. Die. For.

I just love covered bridges.