Charleston wandering

Things are CRAZY in Irwinland right now. More details on that later. It’s all good, but a bit stressful. If I don’t go into preterm labor this month, I should be good to go for the rest of the pregnancy!

I just wanted to post some pictures from our Memorial Day weekend trip to South Carolina. We relaxed by the beach at Hilton Head for a couple days and then headed to Charleston. On our last day there, I walked around the city by myself while Will was at a deposition. I love the big city feel of Chicago, but I think Charleston might be my favorite city for wandering. There are gorgeous buildings and so much history around every corner.

IMG_0150 IMG_0151 IMG_0190 IMG_0160 IMG_0181 IMG_0184 IMG_0153 IMG_0159 IMG_0203 IMG_0154 IMG_0175 IMG_0186 IMG_0189 IMG_0193 IMG_0157 IMG_0162 IMG_0195 IMG_0178 IMG_0197 IMG_0177 IMG_0188 IMG_0199 IMG_0202 IMG_0164 IMG_0176 IMG_0183 IMG_0171 IMG_0185 IMG_0174See what I mean? Love it there.

I also love these guys, who we got to meet up with in Folly Beach:

SONY DSC SONY DSCI’m just trying to keep my head above water right now, but I promise more posts after the craziness of this month blows through!

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Trippin’ out

One of my favorite things to do is go on vacation.

This makes a lot of sense because some of my other favorite things to do are relax, go out to eat, and not work.

Traveling is a priority in life right now because it’s probably going to become a lot more difficult and less frequent once we have kids. Will and I haven’t done our big trip to Europe yet (it’s on the baby bucket list!), but we have gone to a lot of cool places since we got married three years ago.

Today, I’m putting on my “travel guide” hat and giving you my own special take on some of the top places we’ve been to.

San Francisco

3 phrases that best describe our experience: mojitos, sore calves, food poisoning

Best anagram:  No ass can firc

Theme song: “Gonna Be” by the Proclaimers (aka, And I would walk 500 miles…because you will. Walk. 500 miles.)

Ideal outfit: Skinny jeans, flats, tank top, short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweater, jacket, scarf (layers are key – it’s literally 10 degrees colder in the shade). Also, I think you could get away with wearing a beret here. If you want to.

Make sure to bring: A cool indifference to homeless people

Boston

3 phrases that best describe our experience: Sam Adams, nausea on a T train, the Redcoats are coming!

Best anagram: Snot bo

Theme song: “Revolution” by The Beatles

Ideal outfit: Know this: nothing is worse than a pair of Uggs. Except for a pair of smelly, sweaty Uggs. It can be 80 degrees there in September. I’m just saying.

Make sure to bring: A dictionary. There are a lot of smarties running around that city. You don’t want to look a fool.

Costa Rica

3 phrases that best describe our experience: pura vida, ATVs are scary, monkeys!!!

Best anagram: A rat coc is

Theme song: “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses

Ideal outfit: Nothing. It’s hot there.

Make sure to bring: Various blunt instruments to fight off large lizards. And Frizz-ease.

Charleston, SC

3 phrases that best describe my experience (this was a girls-only trip): pineapples, heavy accents, I want that house

Best anagram: La rot sneach

Theme song: Dixie

Ideal outfit: Just wrap yourself in a confederate flag. You’ll fit right in.

Make sure to bring: Alligator repellent

Miami

3 phrases that best describe our experience: speedos, GTL, habla ingles?

Best anagram: I am mi (didn’t have a lot to work with there, ok?)

Theme song: “Livin’ la Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin

Ideal outfit: Skimpy bikini with metallic heels, flashy earrings and huge sunglasses. This works for both men and women.

Make sure to bring: Lots of money and those glow sticks you can put in your mouth.

I know, my anagrams suck. That was a lot harder than I thought.

Next up on the travel docket: Michigan! Thanks to those “Pure Michigan” commercials. It’s not that the wistful music and Tim Allen’s soothing voice made me cry or anything. Wait. What?

Adventures in Charleston: The scenic and the scary

Sometimes (lots of times) I ask myself, “Why do I live in St. Louis?” I guess the answer is that Will makes more money than I do and has a really good job there. So here I am.

Usually I ask myself that question after returning from a vacation to somewhere really cool. Last Wednesday I got back from a trip to Charleston, SC. I left the beach, the palmettos, the cobblestone streets, the beautiful houses and the history and came back to…the Mississppi River. And the Arch. Eh.

I went with my mom, my sister, and MK and Vicki, two longtime family friends. We were visiting MK’s daughter Becca, also a lifelong friend.

Sidebar: I can’t begin to explain the grief Becca caused the 13-year-old me when I was trying to direct my very first music video (to Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover”) and she wanted to quit because she was hungry. I don’t think it had anything to do with the idiotic dance moves I was forcing her to perform. She told me last week that she is actually hyperglycemic. A sorry excuse that has very likely cost me a career as an Oscar-winning director. But we’ve moved on from that.

Here are some highlights from the trip:

We went to brunch the first day we got there. Here Bec and I are with our unlimited mimosas. And my love affair with Charleston begins…

 

Next up was a carriage ride. Pretty cool way to see the city.

 

Probably not so cool for the locals who got stuck behind us. But they get to live in houses like this by the ocean, so suck it, locals.

 

Here we are at Magnolia Plantation where we saw flowers, alligators, and lots of Spanish Moss. Good times all around.

 

We toured several cool old houses like these:

 

And we got really tired of posing for my mom’s pictures. Here I am protesting. She got the shot anyway.

 

My sister, mom and MK all went on a late night tour of a haunted, creepy jail. I was too scared to go. My wussy-ness is epic and possibly a topic for another blog post. I hate being scared. But here’s a pic of the jail anyway. Apparently the camera lens is a little dusty. Or are those orbs…?? Crap I’m scared now. Deep breaths.

 

The last night we were there, we went on a tour of the”dark side” of Charleston. Prostitution, slavery, and murder galore!

Fun fact: the prostitutes in Charleston used to put a lemon wedge in their “cooch” to keep from getting pregnant. Sorry if that language offends you, but that is exactly what the tour guide said – I’m trying to give you an authentic experience here. At least I think that’s what he said. He had the thickest Southern accent I’ve ever heard and overused the dramatic pause when telling his stories. MK thought he was having a stroke one time. No worries – he’s ok.

The lemon birth control method proved to be somewhat ineffective (surprise!), as our guide informed us that the parking lot we were standing in used to be full of dead babies. That were aborted using knitting needles. Does anyone have a bag I can hyperventilate and /or puke in?

Here I am with my sister at the end of the tour in a dark, scary, old graveyard that I couldn’t leave fast enough, but of course my mom wanted a picture. I think this was after I soiled myself. Umm…are those orbs again??