Posts Tagged ‘experiences’

The homebody lifestyle

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,
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cat laying on newspaper on porch

Family activities include Smokey getting in the way of some reading downtime.

Panda and I aren’t much for a partying lifestyle. We’re pretty big homebodies, completely content to stay at home relaxing together, enjoying takeout, and doing (or not doing) other such quiet activities. We could spend the whole night watching some shows or browsing online as we tuck ourselves in bed. It’s a nice sort of bonding for us. We may not be doing things together, but at least we are next to each other sharing our space. It’s comfortable and comforting. I’m at the stage where I’m ready to start building a home life. Suddenly I’m thinking about stuff I can get to personalize our home (guess that comes with the territory of having a home to personalize)!

I’ve always enjoyed this sort of home life, even as a teenager. Of course there have been plenty of times that I’ve gone out to various events or just to hang out with friends late into the night, but usually I just want to hole up in my room and spend my time on my computer, chatting with family, or reading a book. Back then I had plenty of homework to keep me busy for ages too. I see a lot of my peers going out to bars and parties and whatnot, but that doesn’t interest me. Similarly, more active home activities like board games or running around the house playing tag or hide and seek don’t interest me either. Maybe it’s not good that so much of my habits are sedentary, but I am in good health.

Just the other night, Panda and I were going out to eat, but on the way decided to get takeout. I enjoyed that option a lot more than sitting at the restaurant. It was really nice to have our food ready, eat at our own pace, and get some other things done while eating. Plus, I got to wear super comfy clothes that I probably shouldn’t go to a restaurant in lest I be taken for a slob. Perhaps that’s my true motivation – being able to relax without people judging me because I’m dressed so casually and never wear makeup. Home is a place to take off all those layers you throw on for the outside world, a place where the true you comes out.

Are we the only ones our age like this? Seems like everyone else always has some grand night or weekend plans coming up. Ours are just quiet – stay in most of the time, get some chores done, maybe go out to grab some food or stroll through Target, and return home again. No happy hours or late nights out or parties of any sort. It’s not that the opportunities aren’t there – in fact, Panda often turns down invitations to social gatherings with his coworkers and I often skip out on activities with my networks. We do like to plan some nice vacation getaways though!

So what’s your preference? Are you still living it up on the social scenes? Or maybe you’re like us and pretty settled into a calmer pace of life?

Tax free weekend scores

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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For the first three days of August this year, Virginia stores had tax free promos for school supplies and clothing. It’s an official August Sales Tax Holiday every year in the state, apparently. Panda and I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to go try to find some of the shoes and clothes I’ve been trying to get more of. While initially the plan was to go to Dulles Town Center, we decided to go check out the Leesburg Outlet. That turned out to be a great decision and I found so much stuff that we had no need to shop further after browsing those stores. For the first time ever, I actually enjoyed shopping (and Panda didn’t! It’s like we reversed roles). I guess it was because I went with a purpose: I needed some new flats and jackets.

What a fruitful day! Check out some pics:

girl stretching hands out towards giant hibiscus flower larger than both hands

Wow, I want my own!

charlotte russe black and gold tiger sandals

I was tempted, but they’re not ones I’d get around to wearing much.

shopping bags lined up after trip to outlet

Charlotte Russe, American Eagle, IZOD, J.Crew, and Bass & Co bags lined up. I used the little red Target bag as a purse.

j.crew marley ballet flats in cabernet and black

First stop was J.Crew, where I found these super comfy ballet flats! I’d never bought from this store before and I almost got black patent leather wedges too – also very comfortable. I hope I don’t regret not getting them.

g.h. bass & co shoes elizabeth in fuchsia and sophia in yellow

Next up was a store I was not familiar with – Bass & Co. They had these fun shoes on clearance and I decided to spring for more playful shoes for cheap!

cat sticking face into new shoes enjoying the smell

“Mmmmmm new shoe smell.” (as she stuffs her face in there)

izod jackets mixed media in teal and diamond check fleece in black

As we passed by IZOD, a jacket on the rack outside caught my attention. The teal color is fun and the thermal sleeves are different! I then came across the other style and almost got the blue before trying the black. Who knew golf gear would provide the perfect jackets for me?

american eagle outfitters loose knit sweater jackets

A peek inside AE led to two discoveries of nice, loose sweater jackets.

charlotte russe palmer embossed round toe two strap flats in cam, lace pointy toe ballet flats in black, and blazers in neon orange, purple, and blue

And finally, I spent a good hour in Charlotte Russe trying on jackets and shoes. I had a gift card from a previous return that I needed to use and I found a ton of things I wanted! I now have wonderful black and tan flats to choose from, as well as an assortment of cool blazers.

I’m pretty much set with what I want now, so I’ll only need to buy things that really catch my eye. That’s the stage I’m at with dresses too. It feels great to finally have some of the items I’ve been searching stores for, so I no longer have to think about shopping. Today was an anomaly and I actually wasn’t too tired/grumpy from shopping, PLUS I found a bunch of stuff. Usually I get bored an hour in and never even find something I want. I’m so happy to have gotten this all out of the way in one day!

A fun day at work

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Recently, Canvas decided to do a Shark Tank initiative to gather ideas from across the company for what we can do to increase the trial subscriber volume. Everyone was invited to partner up and present an idea to five Sharks – a panel of decision-makers at Canvas. I was interested in participating, but didn’t really have any good ideas. One of my coworkers had reached out to me to partner up and just as we were about to get together, he found out that another guy one our team had already signed them up as a team. I kept an eye out, wondering who else I could team up with, but nothing really presented itself.

Today rolled around, with pitches scheduled throughout the afternoon. Right before lunch, a colleague who is a good friend started talking about it because she’d just learned about our Shark Tank (she didn’t get the emails). She needed someone to work with, so I offered to join her. After lunch, we met up with our coworker with the idea – he had to leave early and didn’t want to present anyway, so we took the idea and ran with it. He acted as our adviser and really helped make sure we had a ton of great information, so we were well-prepared. We took all that content and broke it into a bunch of slides, then started practicing. We even rehearsed walking in and greeting the Sharks. It was hilarious and so much fun!

I signed us up for the first time slot at 3:30 under our chosen team name: Double Trouble. After about an hour, we were pretty confident in our presentation. We had the entrance, presentation flow, and even synchronized moves all ready. We did a practice run in front of the idea man before he had to run and he loved it! Just as we were looking forward to going first, the Sharks came over to ask us to move to 4:10, the second slot. They had to postpone the start to 4. While it was sad we wouldn’t be first up, it did give us extra time to rehearse! I then booked a meeting room so we could practice clicking through the slides.

When it finally came time to pitch, we went through our presentation nearly flawlessly. Our high energy and funny moments really captured the Sharks and they had a great time with us. We certainly had the most memorable and entertaining presentation! The idea was a hit too, and we finished off on a fabulous note. I think the Sharks were not only impressed with how prepared we were (especially considering we’d only prepared for about an hour and a half), but how enthusiastic we were! I think some of them know us both to be more quiet, and not nearly as goofy as we turned out to be. Wins all around for team Double Trouble!!

We were still high from the rush of joy after that fun experience when we were told about the free food in the kitchen for a “Christmas in July” Happy Hour. Check out the awesome spread, including some super cool Australian dessert – pavlova – and an assortment of fruit as well as cocktail shrimp. We had a fabulous time enjoying the food before I decided to get back to work. I’d lost about half a day due to all this Shark Tank and Happy Hour fun, so it was time to get crackin’ again.

australian pavlova desserts, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and other fruit for office happy hour

Homemade and oh so delicious!!

watermelon, blueberries, cocktail shrimp, and tim tams spread out on table for office happy hour

The crack in my back

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,
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Have you ever felt the need to crack your back, but was unable to? I’ve been getting this a lot lately. I try and try and try to get my back to pop in that satisfying way, but the tension in my spine only increases. GAH! I twist and turn to no avail, contorting myself into all sorts of strange positions. It’s the most frustrating thing. I really need some better way of achieving joint nirvana. I think I get these issues because I’m so cold at the office, but I’m not really sure how to prevent it and/or how to cure it.

At least the past day or two I’ve been able to get the crack I want eventually (and I always seem to have to twist to my right). There’s that one trouble area on my spine that always needs a’crackin. Everywhere else is fine! I need to figure out how exactly to get that crack whenever I need it, because I feel like I’m about to snap my spine when I contort too hard and still can’t get the pop I’m aiming for. Any suggestions?

Back in the day I had a friend who could lift you to crack your back. I tried to train Panda to do that, but it’s not working, so perhaps that’s not the solution. Too bad I can’t poke it to crack it or something. The closest thing I’ve been able to do is get another part of my back to crack when I slowly come out of bridge pose. But that doesn’t help with the real tension which seems to be near where the kidneys are. Perhaps I just need to get massages more frequently. I always feel better after those!

Traveling with a kitty

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , , ,
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For the long weekend, Panda and I planned a little trip to Pittsburgh awhile back. Panda got it into his head that we’d bring Smokey along and it’d be a grand adventure, but as we started to train her for the car ride, I became concerned that she would freak out too much. However, it turned out far better than I expected and while I wouldn’t say Smokey is looking forward to another trip, she did seem to have moments of almost enjoying herself. She certainly did acclimate to the new hotel room very quickly, but the whole moving vehicle thing still makes her antsy.

I’m so proud of how she did! We made it home with no issues and boy has she been living it up. I’ve never seen her sleep so well. Well, it was quite the eventful day for her, so she’s pooped. I checked in on her earlier to find her sprawled out along my windowsill and she didn’t even lift her head up when I turned on the light in the room. Here’s a look at how taking our cat in the car for a road trip went:

On our night drive out of town, she found a few favs including this spot.

On our night drive out of town, she found a few favs including this spot.

Upon arriving at the hotel, she decided this was the optimal perch.

Upon arriving at the hotel, she decided this was the optimal perch.

The next morning she chilled in her new spot.

The next morning she chilled in her new spot.

We came home to find her staring out the window and eventually coaxed her to bed.

We came home to find her staring out the window and eventually coaxed her to bed.

This morning, noises outside made her suspicious.

This morning, noises outside made her suspicious.

Got a quick break of playing in before hitting the road.

Got a quick break of playing in before hitting the road.

She loved perching on top of the carrier.

She loved perching on top of the carrier.

Just trying to get some shut eye.

Just trying to get some shut eye.

A few times, she'd get overwhelmed and pant.

A few times, she’d get overwhelmed and pant.

She really loved having her paws on the center console and her feet on the back seat... leaving her belly to hang.

She really loved having her paws on the center console and her feet on the back seat… leaving her belly to hang.

Making sure this driving thing is working right.

Making sure this driving thing is working right.

"Is it over yet?"

“Is it over yet?”

Gathering herself for some zen moments.

Gathering herself for some zen moments.

Nauseous or sleepy?

Nauseous or sleepy?

Hanging on for dear life, lol.

Hanging on for dear life, lol.

Home! I see home!!

Home! I see home!!

Blinding

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,
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Yesterday I spent the day relaxing at home, spending a ton of time on my beloved technology. I think the entire day I was either staring at my phone, my iPad, or my laptop. So as the light started to fade outside and the phone started to blind me a bit, I thought it was just an adjustment issue. But when it didn’t go away, I started to get confused. One corner of the screen was so bright I couldn’t tell what was on it. Then when I looked over to my laptop, I noticed that I had a blind spot to part of the screen. I tried blinking it away, but there was no change.

As I started to notice a strange halo-ish glowing pulsing in the right peripheral of my vision, I tried to pinpoint where it was coming from. It felt like it was related to my right eye, but when I closed that eye and covered it with my hand, the brightness still made its way through my eyelid and caused the same pulsing glow. Looking out at things like the rooms of the home and the buildings outside made the effect less obvious, but I could see how small areas were distorted and jiggling. I thought I’d try a headstand since an inversion could bring more blood to my head and perhaps flush out the feeling (yeah, I wasn’t thinking straight). It didn’t change a thing.

I figured my eyes might be strained from all the technology, so I looked outside for awhile, but the blurred spots remained. I started to imagine what I could do… should I go see an optometrist? They wouldn’t still be open at 8 or so on a Sunday. Perhaps I should wait until the next day. What if it was still like that tomorrow? Would I be able to drive? Could my neighbor take me to the optometrist? Could I drive there slowly with my hazard lights on?

At that time, I started to get worried and really wished that Panda was around. I tried to look in the mirror to see if there was unusual movement with my eyes or something visible on them, but with my poor vision I couldn’t tell. I tried taking a video and playing it back, but that didn’t help either. Looking at any screen just didn’t seem like a good idea anymore. After about 20 minutes (and some pondering how life would be without my eyesight – or losing it in one eye), I went to go take my contacts off. They didn’t have anything on them, but soon after removing the right one from my eye and stumbling around trying to figure out where my glasses were, the effect went away. Was it related to my contacts or just coincidence in timing, that the effect faded just as I decided to finally try removing my contacts? Hard to say.

Today I put the same contacts back in and haven’t experienced any problems. I’ll be monitoring things closely to see if anything weird happens again. After all, nobody wats to go blind or have severely impaired vision, do they?

Our kind of weekend

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,
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This weekend was the first in quite awhile that Panda wasn’t traveling or working shifts or volunteering (and neither was I). We planned to have no plans and it was lovely.

cat sticking head into small cat carrier

Smokey was quite curious about her new carrier from Target.

Friday night, we did start off with light plans – yoga for me and volunteering for him. That’s when I swung by Target and got some great products. Saturday we slept in and lounged around at home before sauntering off to the mall. Panda claimed a free coffee at Cinnabon and I got a free piece of chocolate from Godiva (watermelon-flavored!). I happily took advantage of the Yes To deal also mentioned in the Target post and wandered around the Body Shop deciding what to purchase. I have a Groupon for that store that I need to use by the 28th. When we passed by a Hot Topic, Panda wanted to take a look and I ended up getting some hilarious sunglasses! I’m sure you’ll see them featured in pictures in the future.

wearing new blue heart-shaped sunglasses seen in mirror of car

Great timing on the new sunglasses.

guys wearing similar clothes looking at potted plants

Yes, I made him stand there for photo proof of the resemblance.

On the way to dinner, we decided to stop by Merrifield so Panda could show me around. As we arrived, I found Panda’s doppleganger! Even being in the car next to him, I thought the guy browsing plants was him. We explored the plants and got some popcorn to enjoy as we walked around. I found my beloved Venus fly traps and will definitely get some at some point. We also came across a super cool PINK blueberry bush! If only I had a yard, I’d totally get something like that. Alas, for now I’m restricted to herbs, flowers, and other small plants. We sort of got full from the popcorn, but continued on to enjoy excessive amounts of sushi (using a Groupon deal where we needed to get $40 worth of food!).

At night, I decided to try out one of my Homegrown projects: the olive oil and herbs foot soak and scrub. Panda and I sat by the tub, soaking our feet in hot water steeped with rosemary and lemon peel. After a good long session, we scrubbed our feet with olive oil and sugar for super smooth, moisturized feet. I completely forgot about the pumice stone part, but my feet felt so soft it hardly mattered! It was a nice slow night with plenty of time to talk to each other and enjoy the weather.

 

succulent with orange flowers

What brilliant flowers!

trio of three types of carnivorous plants in dome

Looove carnivorous plants.

five types of sushi rolls on single platter

All these rolls plus two entrees for dinner!

blue dragonflies mating on grass

Came across these mating dragonflies!

On Sunday, we made sure to make it to the pool before the storm clouds rolled in. We were the first ones to show up and I swam around in sunglasses, which was a strange feeling. I’d never done that before, but it was so bright out that I really needed them. Sometimes it’s so liberating doing something different like that. I laid around enjoying the warmth of the sun before Panda and I made our way to the local Walgreens. I skated and he walked, sometimes pulling me so I didn’t have to kick. I wasn’t sure if they’d let me in without pants (see picture – I was in swimsuit loose top only), so I wrapped a towel around my waist before going in.

girl skating on skateboard with two jugs of drinks in handsOur goal was the Arizona green tea iced tea jugs; they’re one of my favorite sweetened tea drinks! We grabbed three one-gallon jugs and another of an Arnold Palmer flavor for Panda. Can you imagine us, a girl in a swimsuit on her skateboard and a boy with a giant beach bag, carrying these huge things home? It’s less than a mile I think, but quite the adventure. As we were turning in to my community, I scraped my big toe on the asphalt and next thing I knew, my foot was gushing blood. I’ll spare you the picture, but it’s surprising how much skin flapped around!

Back at home, I cleaned off my foot and hobbled around getting pictures of my latest Fabletics outfit and doing the other project from my latest Homegrown box: infusing olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I even got around to cleaning up some of the boxes I have lying around. And of course there was time spent enjoying Smokey’s company.

cat sitting with paw on wool ball

Quality time with Smokey.

For dinner, it was out to CPK for some new dishes I haven’t had before. Every time we go there, something seems to go wrong. The first time, Panda forgot his wallet. This time, he left his main credit card at home. Alas, it’s always troublesome! We had a good meal though and then made our way to Walmart to get Smokey a harness and leash. We’re going to train her to walk! Or least we shall try… she seemed ok with the harness, so now we’ll practice walking. And so concluded our oh so nice weekend that was stress-free and a wonderful bit of family time. These are just the types of slow-paced weekends I look forward to! We’re just homebodies who want a relaxing time.

cpk meat lovers thin crust pizza

So much meat! I could only eat one slice.

cpk strawberry shortcake with whipped cream and ice cream

Travel pains

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,
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It’s 8:58 and my 8:50 flight still says departing on time. Obviously, something’s going on here. The day started off normally, with my mom and I heading off to LAX just past 5:30 am. We arrived an hour and a half later, plenty of time for me to check a bag (I decided I couldn’t be without my precious skateboard all summer so I sprang for the $25 checked baggage option).

I got through security and made it to my gate, noticing that my flight was one of the few delayed. It still gave me 35 minutes to get to my connection in Raleigh, which seemed fine. As the minutes ticked on and we got delayed with little buffer time left, I got anxious, but then we were on our way. On the flight, I suddenly realized I didn’t have my boarding pass for the next leg of the flight. Oops!

5 pm came and went as I wondered when we’d land. The captain came on to tell us that we were stuck in a holding pattern while we waited for a storm to move through. Luckily, that only lasted a few minutes and we were cleared to descend. I think we arrived around 5:40 and the instant we taxied off the runway, I turned on my phone to get my boarding pass. Thankfully, the gate I was going to was very close to the one I was arriving from and that next flight was delayed a bit too.

I had time for a restroom break and even enjoyed a free cupcake from a celebration of RDU flying to London for 20 years now on American Airlines. We boarded our flight, I settled in, and I was ready to be on our way.

Then it came.

A pop-up notification on my phone said my flight was cancelled. How could that be? We were boarded and so close to closing the door!! Alas, not two minutes later, as I was hoping it was a fluke, the captain came on to tell us the news. We all filed off and got in line to be rerouted. A few people got put on a 7:30 flight, but I was pushed to the 8:50 one. I thought about trying to get it changed, but I figured the earlier one might get cancelled.

I wandered round to get some food and settled in to wait. Lo and behold, the 7:30 one first got delayed, then cancelled. I kept checking the status of my flight, which remained “On Time” – whew! But as 8:50 crawled nearer, nothing happened. And the captain went to check, disappearing down some rabbit hole.

[It’s now 12:40 and I’m waiting for my SuperShuttle ride home.]

Finally, not long after 9 we started to board! Everything went quite smoothly as we sat down and started the safety presentation. Oh, but little did we know what as in store for us now. Air traffic control wouldn’t let our plane up in the air for at least half an hour! So we sat there waiting with some other planes as the captain updated us that the delays continued. The flight attendant came around with water and snacks.

Eventually, the captain decided to turn off the engines to conserve power. Of course, just a few minutes later he was given the all clear so we revved back up and got up in the air within 5 minutes. I took the chance to take a nap and woke up just before descent. I’d totally forgotten I was going into DCA, so I eagerly tried to recognize the buildings below me until I realized this was not IAD.

As if the day wasn’t long enough as is, we had to wait for our gate for ages… I mean, my stomach was starting to hurt at this point from the exhaustion and stress and impatience. We all rushed to baggage claim and I was glad that went by pretty quickly. The SuperShuttle check in was right there and now we’ll see how packed mine is. Will I make it home by 2? How did one domestic trip become a 17-18 hour ordeal? Storms are no fun when I’m trying to travel, that’s for sure.

I must say I’d rather wait at the airport for a delay than get airborne and sent to land somewhere else or have to endure a shaky landing. Once the winds were so high that I was nauseous from the approach to landing and you could tell the pilot was struggling against the gusts.

So it’s 3 am and I just got home. Long story not even done being told, but I need rest! My tummy hurts bad.

Personification

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,
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We’ve always had a tumultuous relationship, he and I. I grew up loving him and spending as much time as I could with him (though getting his attention could be quite the conundrum). Over the years, I got to see him less and less as other priorities took over. High school and college were the most challenging for us. I couldn’t get enough of him yet I couldn’t spare my time for him. And so it was a battle, day in and day out. How much of my life would I devote to him? How much could I?

During college, when I found some time, I’d sneak little breaks in the day for him. I even missed out on some classes because of him. What a thorough distraction he is. An addiction that always pulls me in, demanding my time. There are few relationships in my life that are quite as consuming as this one. I will never completely leave him, nor would I want to, but there are times when I (would like to) need him less. I wish it could remain like that for longer, but then there I am, back in his grasp again.

There have been times I’ve been able to step away more effectively than usual (age has helped). I even began to think I didn’t love him anymore; I thought I could do without. But we are intrinsically linked, with so much history and a rich past that can’t be put aside. For awhile, it seemed to go well… then inevitably his presence crept back into my life. His influence over my mind is undeniable. Without him, I can’t focus, can’t think, can’t be a productive part of society.

I’ll always crawl back into his arms. I may not want to stay as long as I do, but oftentimes it’s for the better. Like tonight, I should go join him soon if I’m to have any hope of a good tomorrow. Mornings are always the hardest for me, if I’ve been with him (if I haven’t all night it’s easier to keep avoiding him a little longer). As the day starts, I find it near impossible to drag myself away and feel good about it. It’s all the stranger when Panda is coming home from work to join him as I’m leaving. I get a little bit jealous. When I return from work, I just want to crawl into bed with them both and join the party.

Oh, but he’s a greedy one – whenever I’m with him, he wants to keep me for hours at a time. I need to pick my times wisely, lest he take over my life in an unhealthy fashion. Then other days he eludes me and I close my eyes hoping to catch him. Eventually I succumb to him, but often after agonizing minutes of waiting, wanting. He’s certainly the boss of me, much as I try to control him. I never know how things will pan out; only he does.

Funny how he can be such a fickle mistress.

 

…Can you guess what I am personifying here?

cat laying on side of bed in deep sleep

Here’s a clue.

Easter holiday

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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For the first time in my life, I got Good Friday and Earth Day off (what a fabulously quirky company I work at) so Panda and I planned a little vacation for this weekend. I took Monday off so I’d have 5 days and his schedule is so odd with his travel that I’m not sure if he had to take any days off. Since he got solicited to sit in a timeshare presentation awhile back, we decided to schedule that for this little Easter break we’d be getting. The location we’d chosen was Myrtle Beach, because it’s about as far as we can drive in a reasonable time and we’d enjoyed it the first time we went. The timeshare offer was only for 2 nights, so we planned to spend a night in Charleston to explore a new place while we were at it.

As it turns out, he couldn’t make it back until the night of the first day of our trip (when we were supposed to be in Charleston), so we headed out in the middle of the night. He flew in at 5 pm, took care of some business, and we napped until midnight or so. We then crawled up and made sure Smokey had enough food and water laid out. I scooped her litter one last time to ensure the freshest box possible and we were off at 1 in the morning. We talked along the drive for the first two hours as it rained all through the night. I started to get tired between 3 and 4 and finally decided to sleep. I kept waking up paranoid that Panda would be too tired to drive, so I always asked him how he was doing before crashing again. We made a pit stop at a Chick-fil-a right as it was opening at 6:30 and I felt much better after eating. As it was getting brighter, I woke up again and finally felt somewhat refreshed. I offered to drive and took over for the last hour and something that it took for us to reach our first destination: Middleton Place.

green tree-lined road with little sky showing

As, such wonderful greenery!

panorama of middleton place near charleston south carolina

Welcome to Middleton Place!

small section of green rice paddy at middleton place

They have a mini rice paddy to give you a sense of what it’s like.

alligator laying on grass of bank and head of other alligator peeking out of water

Alligators were just chillin’! Can you spot the one in the water?

kneeling in front of giant bush of white and pink flowers

They usually have tons of flowers, but most didn’t survive the storm from the previous night.

crowd of kids and parents gearing up for easter egg hunt at middleton place

They were hosting multiple Easter egg hunts for kids that morning.

giant stork walking on path at middleton place

That stork calmly walked around like it owned the place.

brown water buffalo standing by water looking up

Was this water buffalo gazing up at the sky?

brown goat sitting on tree stump

When I first saw this goat, I thought it might be fake.

family of black momma pig and three baby piglets

Momma pig had some babies!

black piglet sniffing person's hand

This piglet was so hungry it tried to eat my finger.

brown and white water buffalo pair drinking water and staring

Getting stared down by the water buffalo.

brown and white water buffalo pair nuzzling

Aww look at them nuzzling.

group of different fowl including chickens, roosters, and geese

Such a pretty variety of birds on the farm.

petting farm cat walking on picnic table

Farm cats are always so bold.

giant white rabbit in cage with brown one behind it

Bunny rabbits for Easter! And check out my speckled egg nails. 🙂

peacock walking around farm near people

Peacocks just roamed around.

male peacock grooming feathers

A lady thought that this peacock grooming would actually spread his tail out.

male peacock with feathers spread out to groom himself

Such brilliant colors. Too bad this guy had no competition on the farm to give him a reason to show us his plumage.

white tents at middleton place for wedding

We were asked if we were the couple getting married here today. Do I look dressed for a wedding?! 😛

giant oak tree on middleton place property

A very large oak with plenty of character, even after some major branches fell.

pair of swans sitting in water by edge eating grass

As we headed out, we tracked down the swans.

two 2-piece meals of fried chicken with sides at bojangles

For lunch, we had Bojangles. We still prefer Popeye’s.

black and white bird flying in for piece of bread on ground

When I saw birds, I happily busted out the old bread I brought to feed animals on the trip.

parking lot in midst of trees with no paved roads or painted lines

The parking lots for the plantations were basically part of the forest.

charleston tea plantation america's only tea garden

The only place in America you’ll find them growing, harvesting, and making tea! Bigelow owns this one.

fields of tea plants and giant machine for harvesting tea leaves

Fields and fields of tea bushes that just look like a regular plant.

close-up of tea leaves of camellia sinensis bush

This my friends, is what you start with when you want a nice cup of tea.

horse-drawn cart with tour of charleston

Time to swing by downtown Charleston! Of course the first thing we see is a horse-drawn tour.

fragrance room at colonial candle store in charleston

At Colonial Candle, they had Fragrance Rooms where you could experience a candle.

fried green tomatoes atop bed of corn covered with cheese and sweet and sour sauce

For dinner, I tried fried green tomatoes for the first time. YUM

view of myrtle beach area inland from patricia grand hotel 16th floor

We arrive in Myrtle Beach and get a room at the Patricia Grand.

shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, hush puppies, and she crab soup at mr. fish

Lunch the next day consisted of all sorts of creamy options.

sea salt scrub made by fishermen in restroom of mr. fish restaurant

In the restroom they had a fabulous salt scrub that I almost wanted to buy.

store of all purple things at broadway at the beach in myrtle beach

Out to the Barefoot Landing area and I had to check out the Purpleologist.

wall of racks and racks of globe candles with many designs

Walking by another store, I saw someone making candles so I went in.

round candle with starfish and lionfish design

I loved the intricate look to them!

lady holdking candle while carving into it

I wanted a UCLA one, so the lady made it on the spot.

blue and yellow ucla globe candle hand carved

Check out that beauty! The yellow part will glow when I light it.

The final morning, I woke up just as the sun was rising.

The final morning, I woke up just as the sun was rising.

people down on beach and chairs with tents laid out

By the time we headed out, people were roaming the beach. I had no idea those crescent things became wind-blocking tent things!

flipped car on side of road

Along the drive home, we happened upon quite the accident. Yikes!

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