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To Charleston and Back

Reese and I ventured to Bryan’s land for a long weekend this past weekend. It was a short but sweet trip and was so good to see Bryan and see where he has been living for weeks at a time while he has been away. Reese was so excited to see her daddy in the Charleston airport and also really enjoyed getting to play and explore around town. It ended up being a perfect trip, just the right length with us staying in the hotel, and nice to be able to spend time with Bryan during this extra long (3 week) stint he is doing this go around. Here is a recap:

Thursday morning Reese and I finished packing our bags and had breakfast at home before leaving with one small suitcase, the car seat in the car seat backpack, my backpack filled with books and my laptop for movies, and the BOB stroller. It was manageable for me to carry but I was thankful to not have anymore than that. We packed light, or as light as we could! We first took the bus to the Mt Baker Station light rail and then to the airport. Getting through security with the large stroller and car seat was no easy feat but we passed through with about an hour before our flight took off. Reese got some chicken nuggets from the McD’s in the airport and then we boarded the plane. The first unsettling moment for me of the trip was when we had a third person in our row. I wanted to raise my hand and ask “aren’t you blocking out the middle seat” but realized that that initiative must be over. I started hyperventilating a little bit with the close proximity of this other person and a rather full flight. Then we sat at the gate for nearly an hour with no message as to what was going on. Finally, the police boarded the plane and escorted someone off from the very back row who was wearing a neck gaiter and refused to wear a mask. Meanwhile, two strangers sitting in the row behind me could be overhead that they were going to Charleston with several friends scattered throughout the plane to live it up and are done with masks and don’t think we should be required to wear them. Gulp! At this moment I was second guessing this trip.

But nevertheless, the plane finally pulled out and took off for our long flight to the East Coast. Reese did relatively well although only gave me about two 20-30 minute naps during the flight. She watched movies on my laptop but refuses to wear the headphones so she just watches them and doesn’t listen. She pinches my hand/elbow about 90% of the time (this is her safety routine). The flight took even longer than it should as we were having to fly around some tornados in the middle of the country but finally we landed! Bryan was there waiting for us with a purple spinner for Reese and we were off to the hotel with takeout BBQ from Rodney Scott’s which closed at 9 pm. We had a delicious BBQ dinner while Reese explored the hotel room. All of us were pretty wiped by this point.

Friday was a day for Reese and I to explore on our own while Bryan had one last day at work for the week. We slept in until about 9 am and then headed downstairs to grab some breakfast from the hotel. We then got dressed and explored on foot with the stroller and set out for two different playgrounds. We found a quaint neighborhood park first and then headed to a larger and newer park. It was pretty toasty out and Reese gets quite warm in the heat. We stopped at a store for a snack and to cool off and headed back to the hotel where Reese napped on me on the couch. After the nap we set back out but this time for the waterfront park. We only made it to the park entrance when we found a pretty great fountain where other kids were playing. Reese was all about this. Like I said, Reese gets hot so I think this was a huge reprieve for her. We stayed here for a LONG time. Finally I was able to convince Reese we needed to get a change of clothes before dinner since she was completely soaked. Bryan picked us up, we changed and then headed back to dinner at Slightly North of Broad. We were seated at the chef’s counter to a fully packed restaurant and live music playing. We had a great dinner and great service. We tried the local fish of the day with a white chowder and the shrimp and grits. When we left dinner it was just starting to rain so we took shelter in the nearby candy store (convenient). As we were checking out it started downpouring. We rain across the street to the city market and walked in the covered market as far as we could. Back on the street the rain had lessened but made for much less crowded sidewalks on the rest of our walk home. Now we were ready for the weekend together.

Saturday and Sunday both started much the same. We slept in a bit, got breakfast downstairs, went swimming in the hotel pool which Reese absolutely loved, and then got some lunch before nap time. Saturday Bryan picked us up a delicious lunch from a place called Leon and on Sunday we walked and ate outside at the Charleston Beer Works for lunch. Sunday morning I also dipped out for a run on the running route Bryan does on the beautiful bridge in town but I about died from the heat and humidity that I’m not used to.

Saturday afternoon we packed up the car and headed to Sullivan’s Island, a quick 25 minute drive to a great vast beach. We parked at the local elementary school and walked the lengthy boardwalk to the beach. Reese loved playing in the sand and splashing in the water. She spent about 20 minutes just running back and forth on the beach by herself and I don’t know how she didn’t collapse from exhaustion after this. Leaving the island presented a lot of traffic and very busy restaurants. We tried going to two places with hour long wait times and a few other restaurants either wouldn’t quote us a wait time or were upwards of 1.5 hours. Finally we find a restaurant that had a table available immediately and we rushed to get to The Mill Street Tavern, overlooking the Shem Creek with an outdoor table and ordered a slew of appetizers brought to our table: crispy brussel sprouts, fried green tomatoes with pimiento cheese, crispy oysters, bang bang shrimp, and pork wontons. All of the appetizers looked better than the entrees and we were not upset with our spread. We headed back to downtown and walked to get fresh baked cookies from Insomnia Cookies that were just what we needed to finish the night.

Sunday afternoon we set out towards the market to board our horse drawn carriage ride through town. When Reese had seen the horses with me on Friday, she at first didn’t want to ride them but when she learned that she wouldn’t ride it but ride in the carriage it was pulling, she wouldn’t let up on doing it. We had booked a 4 pm historic carriage ride. Reese was pretty excited as we got started. Unfortunately, they had us sitting in the back so she didn’t have the best view of the horse but she did well on the hour long ride. We got a fill of mostly the houses and architecture around town; somehow the tour completely leaves out all of the historical context to the city (I’m sure on purpose but this was highly disappointing and surprising to both Bryan and I). Our tour guide was obviously also highly pro-South and pro-Charleston and made some interesting comments throughout the hour long ride to a carriage full of people from the North. After the tour was the start of the Michigan basketball game so we found an outside couch with a screen at a place called the Brick. We watched the first half there until Reese became too antsy so we walked over to the nearby quaint park again for a bit while I listened to the game on my phone. With the victory sealed we set out for our dinner reservation at the Spanish tapas restaurant called Barsa. We ordered a variety of tapas and Reese required us to order a second serving of the asparagus to our disbelief. It was a good meal and close to our hotel for the walk back.

Monday morning came much too quick and we all woke up much earlier than previous days. Our flight departed at 8:30 am and Bryan had to be to work (which is right next to the airport) at 7:30 am so he was able to just drop us off with all of our luggage on his way to work. Our flight back to Seattle went off without any issues and we got back to the airport in Seattle at 11 am local time. We had the light rail, to the bus, to our neighborhood where we picked up a slice of pizza from our local store and walked it and our luggage home. We were back home at 1 pm. Reese inhaled this massive slice of pizza and then we both were pretty useless the rest of the day; jet lagged and lazy. I needed the weekend away and it was great to visit Charleston. It’s been sunny in Seattle since our return which helps spirits too and Bryan will be home in three days!!

Back home and she finished this whole pizza.

Chelsea

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