Tuesday, May 31, 2011

#516 Muffler.

This is seriously my last post about Lucky for a long time... We finally got a new muffler put on, so now it looks totally stock instead of having a rusty nightmare hanging out the back. I'm so excited!

Monday, May 30, 2011

#515 Cool Air.

For the first time in nearly a year, Lucky's killer air conditioner is back in order. On level 1, my 1971 Volkswagen was freezing me out on the way home. It's so good to be married to a hobbyist mechanic!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

#514 Pool Party.

Every year some wonderful family from our church volunteers to host the youth group for a summer kickoff pool party, and this year it was the Ford family. Mrs. Tammy took my painting classes last year and quickly became one of my favorite ladies. Today I fell in love at first sight with their precious golden retriever, Sophie:
I'm crazy about big, calm, ultra furry dogs and Sophie was that. She smelled nice too which is always a plus!

All the guys, which make up most of the youth group, had a big time doing group cannonballs and trying to catch Ben's tennis ball passes in midair:

While the girls did what girls do—stayed in the shallow end gossiping about boys and singing songs with the radio.

I do so love summertime when it's still new—before the temperatures hit 100. It was a perfect day to spend outside.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

#513 Napier Saturday.

All Ben's brothers decided to get together at their parents today and we spent the afternoon eating burgers, shopping (the girls), and watching the men play basketball. I'm eaten up with bug bites and smell like Skin So Soft and those are both sweet mementos of summertime. I think you sleep better when you've had a day like that.

Friday, May 27, 2011

#512 Driving.

This week is the first anniversary since we bought Lucky:
Yesterday I was tired of riding in a car, but today with the top down running errands I had a ball. In case you've not discovered 95.1 FM, you should. Between home, Kroger and the Farmer's Market I heard Under Pressure (Queen), 1-2-3-4 (Feist), and Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)—all favorites for singing loudly in the car.

I realize the novelty of seeing a girl my age in a car Lucky's age, and I appreciate the knowing smiles and glances of people who appreciate vintage cars too. Every time I go for a drive alone, at least 2 people will ask about my car—and I glow with pride. I know a new car is the ultimate want for most, but I have sentimental attachments to old cars. And a Beetle makes little kids smile every. Time. Everytime. Who couldn't love that?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

#511 Truckin.

I have a new respect for my brother-in-law Tom who owns a trucking business. If I were to switch places with him, we'd both be miserable—for I absolutely hate to ride in a car for hours upon hours and he would rather die than sit at a computer all day. I don't know how he does it.
But...

With this song stuck in my head and 12 hours of highway behind us, I'm happy to tell you we made it safely back to Magnolia Street. Praise God.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

#510 Friends in Charleston.

After a long stroll down King Street for window shopping, we met up with Jaime, an old high school friend, and her husband Justin for lunch at the supposedly haunted Poogan's Porch. I was anxious about going to to the haunted restroom to wash my hands and insisted that Jaime come with me. Fortunately the restroom is no longer upstairs where the ghost is often sighted, so I could breathe easy. I was seriously afraid.

After a little more sightseeing downtown, Mitter and I were hot and tired from a short night's sleep and decided nothing would be better than laying beside the pool for reading and a nap until tonight when we had dinner plans with one of my sweet former brides.

I was a little nervous about meeting Jessica (y'all know I'm a little shy and like for Ben to do all the talking whenever possible), but as soon she stepped out of the car and gave me a big hug I knew I had nothing to be nervous about. Although she and Shawn are both born and bred Pennsylvanians, their hospitality was purely southern-style. She, an Italian girl, found a great Italian restaurant in a newer part of town to introduce us to and we had the best tomato basil soup in the world.
Until tonight, I knew them only by their invitations that we did last fall.


Our dinner date turned into a 4-hour affair and the guys were talking about their running days (Shawn is a world-class collegiate runner, Ben ran cross country in high school), and we learned that the seemingly mild-mannered software engineer is in fact a hardcore competitive athlete. He plays hockey all the time even though they live in South Carolina now! It was exciting especially because this is only the second bride I've ever met out of the hundreds of weddings I've worked on. She was a doll and I really hope they'll make good on that future visit to Mississippi.

I was just thinking how strange it was to do so much talking today with people other than each other. On vacation it's always just us talking and doing and walking because you never know the people in the city you're visiting. Today we were 10 hours from home and hung out with 4 friends. That makes the world feel like a much smaller place, doesn't it?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

#509 Hominy Grill (and other things about Charleston).

Our first day in Charleston has been lovely, but hands-down the highlight has been discovering the restaurant that serves the greatest food we've ever tasted, period. The Hominy Grill has replaced Ajax as our all-time soul food favorite. On first sight, the cornbread looked like the pitiful off-white step-cousin of my mama and grandmother's crispy, brown, greasy masterpieces. One bite and I knew... Cornbread would never be the same to me again. THIS is in fact what it should taste like. We were so impressed with the food, we even bought the cookbook (and a dang t-shirt!). I can't WAIT to try out some of the recipes.

I love how the inside felt like a cozy little farmhouse with white walls and chalkboard menus.

If you're extra nice, I'll share the recipes for the squash casserole, cornbread, mac n' cheese, and cheese grit cakes. Cause I got the book. Woot!

Afterward we toured Charleston with some octogenarians on a climate-controlled bus.
That there's the ole Fort Sumter in the distance.


Then we made a dash to Folly Beach, which was the windiest place on earth—a welcome respite from the oppressive windless streets of the city.

Later was the second best thing about the day (and my mama will note that it's always food with Ben and I) was dinner at the Southend Brewery and Smokehouse, one of the only vivid memories I have of my first visit to Charleston as a child. I was mesmerized by the huge copper distilleries—I had definitely never seen any before.
The food was wonderful, and we walked on with full bellies to meet up with a group for a ghost tour of downtown. There is little to say on that front (twasn't very scary at all and our tour guide was certifiably insane).

Now we're debating on whether a second trip to Hominy Grill tomorrow would be ridiculous. Nope. I think not.

Monday, May 23, 2011

#508 Fernandina Beach & Savannah.

We woke up at 9 this morning with a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean. We got dressed and went into the historic downtown for breakfast at a great little place called Jack & Diane's where we had cornbread pancakes and quiche. You better believe those pancakes are going to by my new go-to breakfast treat when I want to impress company—they were SO delicious! After we ate it was time for exploring the town:


We incidentally discovered that Fernandina Beach is home to Ville Villekula from the Pippi Longstocking movie! I watched it no less than 100 times growing up and I've had the theme song ("Pippi Longstocking is comin into your town! The one no can keep down no no no no, the one who's fun to be around!") stuck in my head all day.

Before noon we were on the road again bound for Savannah, but y'all know us... We're bad to dawdle, lollygag and fiddlefart. Which is why we stopped for a look-around at Jekyll Island, one of Clark and Amanda's favorite places in the world:


Then we were seriously, really back on the road headed for Savannah. Except we stumbled upon this little jewel:
Mama was having some medical tests run today that we were all a little anxious about so Ben and I prayed about it here and moments later received a text from mama, "Dr. said everything looks normal. No worries!" How cool is that?


We finally made it to Savannah in the late afternoon and we hopped on our bikes again to do a quick recap of our favorites spots from our visit last summer. The Paris Market, a bicycle shop, the SCAD (my would-have-been alma mater) bookstore, a walk down the riverside and dinner at the Cotton Exchange Tavern.






Now it's bedtime and we're finally in Charleston for a few days. Goodnight, y'all!
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