Warning: super long, picture loaded post ahead. If you bore easily, abort.
We have some really awesome friends who I met through church years ago when they first moved here to town. I used to babysit the girls, then eventually coached the middle one for a couple years in cheerleading before they moved to North Carolina a few years ago. We started a tradition four years ago that during Thanksgiving week, we'd all meet in Charleston to get together and it is one of the trips I look most forward to every year. They really are just like our family and the kind of people that just make you better when you're around them. We just love them and Caroline doesn't get any attention or affection at all when we're all together ;)
This year, we stayed at Isle of Palms just outside of Charleston and went down the Saturday before Thanksgiving and we drove the whole way home Wednesday, while the rest of the group stayed until Friday. And we did not lack for fun, food or good company on this trip, let me tell you!
It was gorgeous the first day so we headed straight to the beach before we even went into the house. Caroline was so excited but couldn't understand why we couldn't just run full tilt into the water. She had a blast grabbing seashells though.
Here's the view from our back porch. We stayed in the cutest little beach chic cottage.
Sunday morning, all the girls in the crew and my friend Missy's husband David headed out to church at Seacoast Church in Mt. Pleasant and it was a really great service. Sometimes I struggle with the contemporary services being so accustomed to and having grown up in a traditional Methodist church, but I always get so much out of the message that it's more than worth it. I think it's the rock type music that always throws me. I love me some traditional hymns and so live five piece bands in church are a new thing.
The rest of the day Sunday was a wash. I mean it poured from sun up till sun down without relenting so we hung out at the house and played games which was a blast. We did manage to find a decent place to eat out for dinner ;) I'll do a whole separate post on our food since I was that in love with all of it!
This is Mimi and PauPau's dog Taco who Caroline absolutely ADORED! Every time she's sit next to him to pet him, she's ask me to take their picture. I'm not sure if her affection was returned, but Taco tolerated her so well haha. She'd just pet and love on him and say "He nice. He soooo cute. He rough."
Two of Caroline's three favorite chicks and us before dinner Sunday.
One of my favorite places we always go when we visit Charleston is to the Charleston City Market. They have a little bit of everything for everyone. I got a Christmas book for Caroline, a sweet grass flower for my Momma (another Charleston tradition. I always bring one back), and a thing or two for myself.
If you've ever been to Charleston, you know the horse-drawn carriages are everywhere and they are really great about letting kids pet the horses while they wait. Some of the companies use donkey's and they sometimes aren't as friendly.
Our Goddaughter Lexi, who is just one of the best girls I know, rode into town with us a little bit early on Monday to snap some Christmas card pictures for us in Battery Park before we met up with the rest of the group for lunch and shopping.
All about that plaid. Juston is so good about going along with my family photo ops without complaining :)
After pictures, Caroline lead Daddy around through the streets like a boss. She knew just the way to go. Lunch was 82 Queen which was just divine and then we hit King Street to shop of course.
The next day started off soggy just like Sunday, but we made the best of it and went to visit The Angel Tree on John's Island. I'd really been wanting to visit the tree when we were in Charleston in July but we just ran out of time so we made sure to go this trip. I can't even explain to you just how huge nad gorgeous this Live Oak is in person. You just have to see it for yourself. Definitely worth the trip just out of downtown a few miles.
Tuesday was out last full day, so we went back into downtown with Lexi and did a bit more eating and shopping, what else ;)
When we got back to the house that afternoon, we headed to the beach and found the most amazing things had washed up after the soaker from the weekend. I kid you not when I say there were hundreds of starfish up and down the stretch of beach we were on. We found two whole sanddollars within ten minutes of searching, whole conch shells and just so many neat things.
There are no words for how much I love the family we traveled with, how much I love the family we had waiting back home to celebrate Thanksgiving with us and how much we love Charleston. It was just an amazing week all around. Next time we head back to Charleston, it will be in late March for the 10K Cooper River Bridge Run and I'm so excited. I've slacked in my training with all the traveling we've been doing the last few weeks, but it's back to regularly scheduled running starting this week and time to buckle down and hill train! I'm really excited to do this race with Juston and obviously to get back to my favorite place.