Archive | June 2012

Little women

This past weekend, I joined Mom, Aunt Andy, Emily and my grandmother on an all-girls trip to Charleston, S.C. I kept a mini diary to document our travels.

5:30 p.m.: It’s been an hour since we left. Playing BrainQuest. Emily is cheating by reading the answers first, then telling us how easy the questions are. My Parmesan Goldfish are a hit!

5:50 p.m.: Mom keeps mouthing the answers so other people will get the question right. Andy called her an enabler of cheaters.

7:13 p.m.: I told Mamaw she needs a Snuggie for the cold restaurant. Andy said she has an orange UT Snuggie and I promptly made fun of her.

9:45 p.m.: We’re here! I love the smell of the ocean.

10:28 p.m.: Quote of the night from Emily, who doesn’t like my game of hide the remote: “Either you lose or I win. No wait, that’s the same thing.” Also had a pillow fight, but Mom didn’t want to use the pillows that landed in the floor.

10 a.m.: Met a couple from southern California. The woman sang in the choir at a Billy Graham Crusade in LA in the ’60s. They tell Mom they like her Southern accent and say I could pass for a Northerner.

1:40 p.m.: Emily and I pet a deer! Took a boat tour at Magnolia Plantation and walked through part of the gardens. Emily and I went to the petting zoo.

2 p.m.: Took a picture of the Audubon Swamp where “Swamp Thing” was filmed in the early ’80s.

2:30 p.m.: Parson Jack’s Cafe in Mount Pleasant — highly recommended.

10 p.m.: Got a trip to the Isle of Palms! Walked to the pier with Mom, Andy and Emily. Didn’t want to leave. Went to Jestine’s for dinner and Emily caught a tiny frog. She tried to take it with her, but it kept hiding in the potted plant outside the restaurant. I told her it was afraid of her big hair.

1 p.m.: Finally took my first ever carriage ride! One of my favorite parts of the trip, but HOT. Also took a harbor tour to Fort Sumter and back. Leaving the boat, the captain said, “Watch your step, watch your head. … If you hit your head, watch your mouth.” Excited that I got to wear boat shoes on two different boats.

1:25 p.m.: At Barbara Jean’s for lunch, right by the Old Market. Our waiter recognized that we’re on vacation and asked Mamaw — a devout Baptist — if she wanted a beer. She laughed. “I’m afraid not.”

3:15 p.m.: Had an incredibly delicious meal at Barbara Jean’s. Mamaw and Mom shared proposal — or lack thereof — stories. Also met Jessica and her friend, Brenda, at Sweet CeCe’s for frozen yogurt. Ate too many toppings.

6:45 p.m.: Mamaw napped in the room while the rest of us went to the market and Waterfront Park. Emily played in the fountain. I want to live here. Also, I need a bike.

8:30 p.m.:
Mom: “If I was Tiffany’s age or younger, I would want a Jeep. I would have long hair and do the ponytail, and I would wear shorts and flip flops.”
Andy: “Sounds like a Barbie thing to me.”

9:08 p.m.: At Huck’s at Isle of Palms, eating outside on the second floor. Can see the ocean. Emily thinks the guy playing the keyboard down below is cute and tried to use the zoom function on my camera to get closer. Quote of the night:
Mom: “Seth used to wonder about that. ‘What happens if the Lord comes back when I’m in the bathtub?'”
Me: “They don’t cover that in Sunday school.”
Emily: “They should. ‘You either need to put some clothes on or a bath towel.'”
Me: “I don’t think I’d want to enter the kingdom in a bath towel. I need better bath towels.”
Andy: “She’d be standing there in Tommy Hilfiger.”

10:06 a.m.: Leaving the hotel. Emily shaved her legs this morning. Andy said when she was younger, she shaved her legs after Mamaw told her not to. She wanted to be smooth for a Valentine’s party. The next day, she was sick and thought God was punishing her.

1:20 p.m.: Just recorded a two-hour interview with Mamaw, Andy and Mom on the drive home. Highlights: Mamaw remembering when World War II was over, Mamaw’s dad performing well on Mason Dixon’s bowling team and Andy telling about the family driving to Myrtle Beach in a tiny Volkswagen Beetle.


Back to nature

As you know, Pete and I went camping with some friends a couple of weekends ago. Here are some of the quotes from that trip:

Matthew: “See, Sara wears socks with sandals.”
Alex: “But she doesn’t wear the long socks pulled halfway up her leg to a restaurant! (Turning to us) I’m like, ‘What are you, an 80-year-old man?’ He’s like, ‘It’s Caribbean style.’ I said, ‘So wear speedos.’ And he didn’t really have an answer to that.”

Sara: “What do you think an overweight deer looks like? Do you think it looks like that?”

Alex: (Trying to wash dishes at the spigot in the dark) “I can’t see and I’m not coordinated. All I can think is, ‘Man, I want some Cheetos!'”

Matthew: “But how do we cook the s’more?”

Tiffany: “Are we having two conversations here?”
Sara: “Yes, but no one is listening to mine.”

Tiffany: “What happens when an onion burns? Let’s find out!”

Sara: “You made it all smoky!”
Alex: “Well, you’re sitting right in front of the smoke!”
Sara: “Smoke follows beauty.”


Mother Nature

Pete and I went to REI last night in preparation for our camping trip this weekend. I decided I need to become an avid camper so I can use all the fun things available to current avid campers.

First, the food. I don’t know how bagged chilimac tastes, but I would certainly be willing to try it. I even saw “curry in a hurry.”

My favorite, however, was this: a freeze-dried cookies and cream ice cream sandwich. How have I not known about things like this? A chocolate dessert with a cute polar bear on the front for your backwoods pleasure? Yes, please!

Then there are the squishy bowls, actually called “squishy bowls.” Get one of these and you can skip that $5 spoon on the same aisle.

Even if I was an avid camper, though, I know greasy hair would get to me. Solution: Wilderness Wash! Does this come in shampoo plus conditioner?

I also found this delightful book called “Backcountry Betty: Roughing it in style.” The gist was that you don’t have to look like crap when you’re in the woods. It mostly made me laugh.

Here’s the cover for chapter 2:

I guess that’s so you don’t look like this guy:

One of my favorite things was the Gorillapod. It holds your camera at all kinds of angles so you can get the perfect shot whether you’re on a mountaintop, in a boat or posing in front of a bridge.

And this I just want because it’s a glow stick.

Finally, although it was a miniature model of a real-size tent, I think I like the mini one better. It’s the perfect size for Zoey!

So there you have it. I may not be great at distinguishing north from south, but by golly, if I’m ever a big-time camper, I will have yummy food, clean hair and great pictures!

Because THAT makes sense

Pete and I went over to Sara’s for dinner last night. Curious to see whether magazine content has changed since I last read one (it hasn’t), I picked up the latest “Self” and flipped through. I ran across this picture, urging female readers to “aim high” when negotiating pay in a new position. My guess is that the photographer read the article, couldn’t think of a creative way to illustrate the point and was a bit too influenced by “The Hunger Games.” Whatever the thought process, she looks ridiculous. Really? A turtleneck, shorts with a sideways belt, rain boots, and a bow and arrow? Yes, that seems practical. … #1, it’s either hot or cold, so none of this turtleneck/shorts mess. #2, it’s sunny, so why do you need rain boots? And #3, your belt is too big if there’s a foot left once you’ve fastened it. My beef with girly magazines continues.

Everything but the white picket fence

Two Fridays ago, Pete and I took in a second dog named Anja. It’s Russian and pronounced “Ahn-ya.” She’s basically the opposite of Zoey, which, although we love Zoey to pieces, has proved to be a really good thing.

Zoey: hyper, often ignores owners, walks in zig zags on a leash, chews shoe strings

Anja: calm, listens well, easy to walk, leaves stuff alone

Zoey is just like a little sister, too. She picks fights by pushing Anja and biting her ears just to see what happens. Well, maybe human sisters don’t bite ears, but you get the picture. In fact, Zoey is at my feet right now, trying to get Anja to play. Anja is laying here like, “Yeah, whatever.”

We try spraying Zoey with a water bottle when she misbehaves, but I think she’s getting used to it or just really enjoys mist in her face. She probably thinks it’s refreshing.

Before we got Anja, we briefly talked about getting a second dog so Zoey would have a playmate. When a co-worker told me about Anja, we decided to meet her. Her owners actually lived in Indian Trail and left her in the yard when their home was foreclosed on. 😦 Neighbors took turns feeding her for three months before a guy in Charlotte took her in. He couldn’t keep her, but he was so nice in giving us things like a crate, dog food and a collar. So far, the only downside is her aversion to bathing. She hears us calling her from the bathroom and goes and hides in Zoey’s crate.

So there it is: me and Pete and two “children.” Now all that’s missing is the white picket fence.