When life aligned for me to fly to South Carolina on my birthday, (see my post on December for more details on how this came about) the best option was to leave our home by 3am. Eeew. Right? My sainted husband drove me to the airport, and I commented I guess the time was fair game since I was born sometime during the 4th hour 51 years prior. If my parents could pull an all-nighter to have me, I guess I can handle an early morning flight.
Everything went perfectly. Don’t know if they saw it was my birthday on my flight info, but on my first flight I was switched to a seat with more leg room, and the second flight found me upgraded to Comfort +. Woohoo!! The best part was that the second flight had me right in a sun patch, and I had the most delightful nap! Just about a week before, Chris and I were sharing happy memories, and mine was of a random, perfect nap I had in the sun when our children were younger. Love the timing of how that happened.
I had been fighting a cold that was starting to heal. It’s amazing how quickly mask-wearing becomes natural again. I still don’t like it, though.
So South Carolina looked a bit different from MA. The day before I left home it looked like this:
The morning I left it was 15 degrees F (-9.44 C). A goal of the trip was to see my parent’s world so I waaaay overpacked. Didn’t know what sort of situations I would find myself in.
It was quite a surprise to me that the first situation I encountered was a birthday party for me! So many of my favorite things from festive Christmas music to ice cream cake and bagels with lox and eggnog. I felt very loved.
After lunch we had a rest then hit the ocean. South Carolina, in my opinion, is beautiful. The marshy land hold so many nuances of basic colors. I think I could watch the grasses move for a very long time. And the ocean was beautiful. I could just imagine hanging out under the pier, reading a book — a pastime my parents shared that I totally appreciate.
We walked around a bit and worked up an appetite. That was perfect since our next adventure was a fancy dinner followed by a tour of their place. It’s really lovely, and I got to meet quite a few of their friends — including Pirate (an adorable dog in their neighborhood).
We yakked a bit then enjoyed a rejuvenating sleep (at least I felt that way). The next morning we relaxed. I discovered they have a perfect hallway for practicing slides. Now I know why I have so much trouble turning when goofy on a snowboard (right foot in front instead of my normal left foot down the hill). I can’t even do it sliding on a floor that doesn’t have snow.
After that leisurely morning, Mom and Dad took me on a tour of Charleston and for a lunch with my sister and her husband. I loved seeing the crushed oyster shells in the park, the old buildings, the flame-lit tree lamps and the area where rivers merged. The area is soooo rich in history and interesting facts. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a park that only requires dogs to be on leash for certain hrs of the day. Charleston is a very pet-friendly city, I see.
As we were touring, I was watching the weather closely. Rain was going to turn to ice and snow right when I was landing in Albany. Not much room for error. And Chris was going to have to drive over the higher elevations to bring me home. To make things even more fun, there was a question of my taking off from SC in the first place since they had tornado warnings for the afternoon. Fortunately I was able to grab the last seat on an earlier flight.
We had a great evening savoring leftovers from all the celebrations and checking out favorite places on the Wander app (I had brought my Oculus). I even got to see the first house my parents lived in together. Very fun.
Both my parents were up and ready to grab last minutes with me before we departed their place at 4am. I breezed through security and was at my gate about 5 minutes after drop-off. Thank goodness.
About an hour later the security lines were so long the flight next to mine had people running to the door with shoes in hand — barely making their flight. I think we were all trying to get out early before the storms hit.
The pilot told us to buckle in and hit the loo before takeoff if we thought we might need it. He said there was no severe weather anywhere but turbulence everywhere haha.
I kind of love bumpy flights. Makes me feel like I get amusement park perks. They even passed out snacks before we took off so we could just relax all seat-belted in. We rocked and rolled our way to NY, and I felt like I was sleeping in a cradle. It was pretty amazing. And thanks to Chris and my parents, I was safely tucked into our place in MA before the weather hit.
It was a whirlwind, but I got to see my parents world. It’s great to see how happy they are there. Quite the birthday! (Chris celebrated with me a few days before, and then this). I felt like quite the queen 😀 So very loved.
I’m still a winter girl and was happy to get back to my mountains, but I definitely see why so many people are moving to the south. Lots of great stuff in SC.