Monday, November 24, 2014

Welcome to South Carolina!

Goal: Catch up on this blog over Thanksgiving break. I'm so ready for a few days to read and write and watch movies. Hooray holidays!

So - back to April. Mom and Dad visited, we had Easter, and then I was off to South Carolina for the wedding of the year - Haleigh and Brandon. You may remember that I mentioned their engagement story in a previous post. I can't believe I lived with Haleigh for 3 years and this was my first trip to Columbia. I can definitely say now that I'll be back to the lake house.  Another state checked off the list....

I flew to Atlanta and hopped a quick flight up to Columbia. Marcello and I met up in ATL and caught the same flight in.

I'd heard so much about the Gamecocks and football and baseball, so what better to do than start the trip off with a baseball game?  Haleigh's brothers had played, and she made it to the college World Series to see them every time.
This team doesn't mess around.

Had to get a photo with Cocky, of course. I think I have crazy eyes in this photo.
Beautiful night for baseball.

I, of course, love the food.

Off to the hotel to meet up with  Kenley and Heather, who'd just flown in from LA. Slumber party!

Since none of us had been to the great Palmetto State, we had to make the most of it. Thursday roadtrip down to Charleston, the southernest southern city I can think of. Please read that and say it in your head with a southern accent.

Lunchtime when we arrived - Home Team BBQ.
I wanted to be southern and eat collard greens, but for some reason I didn't enjoy these. Everything else was pretty great.

Into the City Market.

We hopped on an historic carriage ride to hear some stories and learn about the city.

Cute, southern boys at every turn.

Pretty Rainbow Row.

These houses - they're just amazing.

We toured the Edmonston-Alston House, which I would recommend.

I joggled. You can get one for your house, too!

After a long day of walking and playing tourist, it was time for more food before heading back to Columbia. I'd heard good things about Hominy Grill, so we went there and pretty much ordered one of everything.

Fried green tomatoes.

Jalepeno hushpuppies with sorghum butter + okra and shrimp beignets (below).
Shrimp and grits.

Fried chicken.
I think we may have gotten one or two more things, and while they were out of the buttermilk pie, we definitely had some dessert. My southern belly was filled.

We stopped back by Haleigh's house on the way home, and I saw the magic room where the family gathers for Gamecock football. They are serious about their sports.

Friday morning was girls' day at the nail salon. Manis and pedis for everyone. It took a long time to get through all of us.

Kenley, Heather and I hurried out of the salon so we could visit Congaree. Kenley is obsessed with National Parks, so I'm glad she scouted out this adventure for us.

It had rained a lot and flooded recently, so some of the trails were destroyed, but we managed to hike around a bit.

Back to the city for cleanup time before the big engagement party. It was on the top floor of the condo building where Haleigh's grandparents live.

The perfect cake for them, since they lived at McD's. 

Sunset view.

Someone stole my camera.

Good night in prep for the next day. Saturday morning we drove outside the city a bit to the Columbia Temple.

Hooray for the newlyweds!

Haleigh just looked amazing.

Marcello on duty as usual.

We had a bit of free time in the afternoon before the reception, so we drove around town and hit the Piggly Wiggly. Also, I thought this house was cool.

Off to Lake Murray for the reception at their lake house. This reception was one of the best I've been to. Future brides, take note.

There was a short ring ceremony.

Toast time by the best man. Mark managed to get in a "It is customary in the South" and probably an "I do declare." We were giggling all weekend since no one could stop saying those phrases.

Photobooth time.

It could not have been more pretty.

The men performed a lovely impromptu number showing off their white legs.

And then for the send off - we went out to the dock, lit floating paper lanterns, and Haleigh and Brandon jet across the lake in a boat.

Super amazing wedding, right?

Most everyone had an early flight out of Charlotte on Sunday, so I was left to explore Columbia for the day. I was staying near the university so I had a good place to start.

I grabbed some lunch, walked to the Columbia Museum of Art, had some fro-yo, meandered through campus, and killed time until it was time to head to the airport. 

Adios, SC. Til next time!

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