We're on our big farewell tour at the moment, and it has been so wonderful to see so many family members in just a few days.
We started out our trip with an over night stop in Atlanta. We had a quick visit with my cousin and her husband in Alpharetta and it was really great to just sit and talk to them. Because my family pretty much just gets together at Christmas time, the house is usually really loud and busy and there's not much time to just have an adult conversation. I literally don't think I've heard my cousin's husband say so many words consecutively, and it was really great to get to see them both.
We then went to stay the night with my college roommate and her boyfriend. We stumbled upon a trivia night, and Court and Shaun refrained from mercilessly making fun of us when we gleefully exclaimed that we are proud trivia team members and could own everyone in the place.
...Then we proceeded to embarrass ourselves and our trivia teammates by not even placing in the top 3...
But I digress. There literally was a moment when I was talking to Courtney in her apartment and I just squealed with delight because we were actually standing in the same room and carrying on a conversation. It was so wonderful to see her and I wish we had gotten more time to just sit and talk and catch up. Those few hours only made me miss her more and wish that we lived closer to each other.
From ATL we moved on to see my grandparents, and you people would not believe the amount of reading a person can get done when there is no internet and your grandfather's main selection of television viewing is Fox News and John Wayne/Chuck Norris films! Actually, he didn't watch too much TV because I was so busy riddling him with questions about his childhood and such.
I felt like such a boob asking Granny and Grandaddy questions like, "Did you have indoor plumbing growing up," but I realized that I really don't know what their childhoods were like, and I wanted to know more about who they were before they started their family. I absolutely loved hearing them talk about the games they played, the friends they had, and their courtship when Granny would go with Grandaddy as he made his delivery runs for his father's grocery store. At one point Granny just chuckled and said, "This is fun!" It's genuinely a moment I will cherish.
The Mister and I have now dined with just about every member of my extended family thanks to our yummy lunch date with my aunt and uncle and cousin, who were our mid-point on the way to visit ANOTHER aunt and uncle. Suzanne and David were gracious enough to buy us lunch and give us some great tips for places off-the-touristy-path to visit next week when we're in New York. Again, we hardly ever get to REALLY have a conversation with them at Christmas because everything's so crazy, so it was nice to get to know them better.
Then it was off to Chez Dixon where it's business as usual for Becky and Bill. We were whisked away to the bustling metropolis of Pageland, South Carolina where they were having their annual Watermelon Festival. According to the website, "thousands of people" flock to Pageland every year for this festival, and let's face it, everyone should experience a real Southern watermelon festival at least once.
I would recommend that you find a watermelon festival that actually has WATERMELONS! At one point we asked someone where all the watermelons were hiding and she goes, "Oh, I dohwn' noe! I haven' seen none today, come ta thin' of it!"
The Mister rocked the Dixon's world last night when he whipped them up his mom's recipe for fajitas and his grandfather's recipe for guacamole. My man can cook!
We were sad to leave, and considering the waterworks that I produced after leaving my grandparents' house, I decided to just tell myself that I was going to be returning to the Becky and Bill's house later today when we left this morning. That way I didn't cry and my husband didn't have a chance to make fun of me for being such a sap.
Had dinner tonight with the Mt. Pleasant cousins (both generations), and it was great to see them. I think the Mister and I have really gotten our spiel about all the why's and where's and when's down to a science, and the cousins really heard the best version of the answers to all those questions tonight.
Now we're in Charleston and I couldn't be...well, I don't know how to describe how I feel about it. The best comparison I could give Tyler was it's like running into an old boyfriend. See, you don't just go to college in Charleston, you enter into a relationship with the city. I literally sobbed like a baby for 2 hours when I moved away after graduation. My heart ached. It was like breaking up with a boyfriend.
"Do you mean a boyfriend that you had a bad break up with, or was it a mutual decision?" my husband asks as I'm trying to explain the emotions I'm having as we walk through the Holy City.
"A good break up kind of boyfriend. You know, I've moved on with my life, I've found someone new, and we've just run into the old boyfriend on the street."
I'm flooded with happy memories every time we turn a corner or I take in a breath of that wonderful plough mud stink. Houses where friends lived and we had great parties. The Customs House where I spent so many mornings running the stairs with the rowing team. The College Lodge. Classroom buildings, the Cistern, and of course our old Spring Street house where the ghosts of my past still live.
But so much has changed. Favorite restaurants are no longer in business. THERE'S A FREAKISHLY INVASIVE APPLE STORE ON KING STREET NOW! New dorms, a state-of-the-art math and science building, and a fantastic new art building all stand in places where parking lots and old stores once stood. My old boyfriend has moved on as well, and he's thriving without me. It's just weird. Nice, but weird.
Anyway, my hubs and I celebrate two years of marriage tomorrow in a similar way we began this crazy ride: on the beach.
Sullivan's Island, here we come!!