Sweet Carolina

16 Oct

I’m not ready for my vacation to be over. It’s amazing how much faster time goes when you’re out of town, and how slowly it seems to drag on when you’re waiting around for something. In any case, I had a really nice time at Folly Beach the past four days, and it was entirely too short.

My mom and I left early on Tuesday morning to drive down. On our way, we stopped to pick up Melody. We had brought her a delicious pumpkin-chocolate chip muffin from a bakery in Asheville. It was a really nice drive; Melody bought me Milk Eggs Vodka, which is a hilarious compilation of grocery lists left in stores and collected by a guy with weird hobbies. You should check the book out – it’s really funny!

We had a few hours before we could check into the house, so we went outlet shopping for a bit. Even though it was a Tanger outlet, it really seemed kind of deserted. I realize it was in the middle of the day on a Tuesday, but there were several stores that had gone out, and the whole place just seemed too quiet. I did manage to find a couple of cute things, including a faux-fur vest that I think is the perfect completion to my fall wardrobe. We stopped by the Harry and David store, too, for some delicious and addictive Moose Munch. Good thing we don’t have one here, or else I would be in some serious trouble…

Once we finished shopping and had a late lunch, we headed toward the house on the beach. We dumped our stuff, and by that time my dad and James showed up from Columbia. We all headed out to the beach, where we walked with our shoes off for a long while. We only went back to the house when the sun started to go down. My parents and James went out for some dinner, while Melody and I, who were still too full from lunch, stayed behind and watched Glee.

The next morning I got up bright and early, while Melody slept in. The downside of having a regular job is that you get into a sleep schedule, and it’s hard to get yourself out. Anyway, we had a lazy morning, waiting for everyone to get up. We made eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast, then all put on our bathing suits and headed to the beach. We got in the water for quite a while – it certainly took us a bit to warm up! It wasn’t just freezing, but not nearly as warm as it would be in the summer. It was nice enough to swim, and we even saw some dolphins! We laid out in the sun for a while and headed back for a late lunch. Melody ended up with a pretty bad sunburn, which is what happens when you put two extremely white girls out in the sun for any amount of time. The two of us drove out to the grocery store later for some much-needed aloe. My mom found a great local seafood market, where Anthony Bourdain went on his trip to the lowcountry, and got some fresh shrimp. And by fresh, I mean they were just caught that morning. They spent the morning on the ocean floor. They spent the night digesting in our stomachs (well, half of them did – the other half spent the night in the freezer).

The next morning was another lazy day. We had decided to go to the aquarium that day, so James, Melody and I all got ready and headed up to Charleston for the day. We didn’t do anything else in town except go to the aquarium, but we wouldn’t have had much time anyway. We spent pretty much the entire day there, watching the fish and the seahorses and the jellyfish. It was a really nice aquarium – they had several sea turtles, and we even got to pet some sting rays! I’d love to go back down there to the sea turtle hospital they have down there – I think that would be so neat to see! That night we went out to dinner at the same seafood restaurant where my parents had gone the first night. I finally had my first taste of shrimp and grits. Can you believe I lived in South Carolina for four years without ever tasting this delicious dish? I don’t know how I did it. Cheese. Shrimp. Carbs. What else do you need?

Friday was the last day Melody and I had down at the beach. I had to work today, so I had to drive back a little earlier than my parents. Stupid job getting in the way of everything… So yesterday morning, we slept in a little and then went walking on the beach. It was just my mom and me, looking for shells and seeing how far down the beach we could go. We turned back when my brother called to say that his new girlfriend was there to meet us. We knew she was coming that day, to meet our family and spend a couple of hours with us. They met us on the beach coming back to the house, and we all walked around and talked for a bit. We went back up to the house, had some lunch, talked some more, and then I had to start packing. Melody and I left around 2, to give us enough time to drive back. It was a really nice drive, just the two of us. I dropped her off in Spartanburg and headed back the rest of the way by myself. It was weird coming back to an almost-empty house, my grandmother having stayed behind this time.

It was a great trip – very relaxing and fun. I just wish it didn’t have to end so soon! My parents are coming back tomorrow sometime. They were lucky, and got an extra two days. I guess it’s even though, because they’re not going to Boston next week like me! I’m quite the jetsetter these days. I don’t know what I’ll do when all my trips are over. One last hurrah before the year is over.

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