Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the women in my life- Happy Mother’s Day, you mean the world to me. You have not only set an example of what the nurturers can do and their influence on the world, but your love has built and shaped me. The selfless years of sacrifice my own mother gave to me during my childhood are of course the most obvious, but a loving mother-in-law who opened her heart to me once her son chose to spend forever with me and many other women who have loved me and my kids are forever imprinted in my heart. In my darkest moments I turn to my grandmas who have passed and pray they’re my guardian angels, helping me get through the task at hand. Women’s gentle loving and nurturing are the very cogs that help people grow and mature to create a more peaceful society. Andy gave me a really fun gift this year– a weekend away with friends.

We packed in a lot in two days! We drove to Charleston, South Carolina and stopped at a “dive” bar on the way towards the beach. It was called the Bohemian Grill. I had a delicious wrap and sweet potato fries. Then we made our way towards the next closest nail salon for pedicures. It was in a little bit of a rundown grocery store strip mall, but they did a decent job for a decent price, and it was fun to get pampered with some good friends. After that we made it the rest of the way to the beach, parked, changed in the car (that was an adventure!) and headed to the shore. The wind was raging, but we were actually super fortunate because it was supposed to be thunder storming all weekend, but it only did briefly later on, which I’ll get to. We discovered that if we moved closer to the water, the wind couldn’t pick up as much sand because it was wet and compact. We didn’t do much laying out though, because by the time we went seashell hunting it was time to go. My friend Krista found a HUGE seashell! I’ve never seen one that big in the ocean that wasn’t broken. She was too chicken to pick it up herself, because she was certain there was something living in it. So being the nice friend I am, I picked it up and screamed to make her think there was something living in there. We had a good laugh. We headed to our airbnb which we lovingly call the “Brothel House.” This airbnb was set up for a bachelorette party, but it worked perfect for the girl’s weekend. The whole house was pink. The decor had been mostly self-done, but it was cute and created a lot of good conversation and laughs. There was even a pole in the garage accompanied with mirrors on both sides and a bar with a sequined table cloth. To add to it, there was a bonus snake slithering underneath the bar. Lindsay, the veteran mother of four boys and an exhibitionist tom-boy daughter, grabbed the mop and started to shoo the snake under the door to the outside. Krista wouldn’t even be in the same room as the snake. I just watched from a comfortable distance. It wasn’t a huge snake, but my snake snatching days have long since passed. Jay (Lindsay’s husband) said it was perfect for a serpent to be at our “brothel.”

After cleaning up post beach, we went downtown for dinner. We scoped out several restaurants that had quite a long wait (we were quite hungry at this point). One restaurant probably could’ve seated us quickly, but the price was high, and we were not dressed for that kind of dining (it was called Plantation Inn). After a while of hunting down a restaurant we found a Thai restaurant called, “Thai Zapp” (if my memory serves). It wasn’t crowded at all, which may be a bad sign, but the food was good, the portions were huge and the quiet atmosphere of the restaurant made it perfect for us to be able to laugh and chat. After enjoying our dinner for a long while (and not finishing any of our food) we headed towards the ghost tours. I have to admit I hate ghost stuff. I don’t like horror movies, haunted houses, etc. But this was really fun! We got a lot of history of the beginning of Charleston and the hardships they had to endure in a fun ominous setting. We started in the oldest graveyard in Charleston. We got to peak in a crypt and read tombstones. One read, “She fulfilled her conjugal obligations.” The first story nearly made me cry as well as many stories they told in that graveyard so it was more sad than scary until we moved to the courtyard where the gallows were. It was next to the current city hall. The story that made me tear up a little was about a thirteen year old girl. Her story was sadly not unique. I’m sure many of you have heard about the bells that they attached to dead bodies so that in case they were still alive they could ring the bell and their families could come save them. In this case they didn’t attach a bell. The young girl died of diphtheria which they didn’t know a lot about at the time. She went into a coma, but to them she appeared dead. Her heartbeat was too weak and her breath was too shallow to be detected by their methods of the time. They only discovered years later, when her younger brother passed from sickness, that she had not been dead. Her remains were found behind the door of the mausoleum instead of on the shelf where she had been laid. I can only imagine how horrible that must have been. There were many during this time that were buried alive, simply because they didn’t have the understanding of comas and the technology to hear faint heartbeats. One part of the grave was just a grassy knoll. This is where hundreds of people that were either criminals, Jane or John does, or the poor buried their dead. Morbid, but the guide called their methods for this tiny knoll a “corpse lasagna.” There were so many dying so fast of a sickness (I can’t remember if it was cholera or yellow fever) that they had to send death carts around every morning through town to collect the dead. They would bring them to this grave site and lay them down with a thin layer of dirt until the next day a new layer of corpses would be placed on top. When we headed to the court we heard of a five foot beautiful lady who owned an inn with her husband. They had a system where they would feed their guests, finish the night with a cup of tea that contained lethal poison. They’d die in their sleep and the couple would steal all of their belongings. They never found the bodies of these victims, but were executed when they found all of the stolen goods these people left behind. Many believe the reason they never found the bodies were due to them using the corpses for the next day’s dinners. When the day of their execution arrived, the lady didn’t think she would be hung because they had a law in South Carolina that a married woman of birthing years could not be executed. When they hung her husband first this law became void and she followed him shortly after. Her last words were, “if you have a message for the devil, tell it to me,” and then she jumped off the gallows and hung herself. Pretty creepy and pretty morbid. This is where the storm hit. We had a brief rainfall and a bit of thunder. There was a creaking noise in the graveyard and someone’s shutters kept flapping against their house… the weather couldn’t have been more fitting for our current activity. One last thing that I thought was really interesting, was one of the tombstones had a huge cavity in the middle of it– a remnant from the revolutionary war when the British bombarded the Protestant church with cannon fire.

When we got back to the Airbnb, we crashed but we were up bright and early. We headed to breakfast at Vicious Biscuit. The perfect southern breakfast of gravy and biscuits. I even tried a fried green tomato with bacon jam and pimento cheese. After eating that I didn’t need to eat for most of the day. I didn’t even finish the biscuit because I was so full. We dashed to our next event which was a ferry ride to Fort Sumter, “Where the Civil War began.” The fort became a symbol of who was winning the war. It was interesting to walk around on those ancient hand-made bricks because you could see the fingerprints of the slaves who built them. It was humbling to think about how much of our country was founded on that. I am grateful the south didn’t win if for nothing else than the freeing of slaves, but I do wish our Federal government didn’t currently have quite so much control.

After Fort Sumter we went back downtown and parked in “Rainbow Row.” Row housing that has been around for a long time. They were quite cute and nice and quaint but had been the “slums” at one point in their history. We headed towards the Provost and went on a tour of their dungeon. This building has had a lot of civil and revolutionary war history including the location of the selling of slaves. Kea asked me if I love that time period and would want to live there. I told her no. I love the conveniences and comforts we enjoy these days and wouldn’t want to live in any other time, but more than that I am so grateful for the freedoms and equality that is much more prevalent in our day. I think some people don’t realize the sacrifices of those who have passed before to give us the amazing world we live in today.

We had lunch at a nearby cafe. I ate a delicious focaccia pesto chicken sandwich. We walked down to the sea side of Charleston where the Lady Antebellum houses are located. We looked up the property value of these homes and they ranged from 1.2 to 6 million dollars. Some needed a lot of updates and some where absolutely stunning, but the architecture was so fun to look at. Then we walked through the Market, which was a line of buildings that spanned three blocks. We didn’t shop much, just breezed through. We grabbed some ice cream sandwiches and then did an escape room with a Casino theme. It was so fun! We headed back home with a quick stop to the Angel tree– the oldest tree east of the Mississippi.

So 10/10 I would go again. I’d love to take Andy and do some of the same things and try some new things as well. I would definitely want to do a girl’s trip again in the future. It was so fun and freeing to site see and learn about our history without chasing down children. Andy had fun with the kids, but he also had a bit of a rough time since Harvey came down with a stomach bug Friday night. I felt bad I wasn’t there, but grateful my husband is a doctor and well equipped to take care of a toddler. They also had a crazy storm while I was gone that made our inflatable pool fly around along with our backyard toys.

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