Of Salt and Sand, Vacation Part 1

We human kind consider ourselves creatures of the land, even though our first existence was one of liquid. Maybe those first slow, quiet months of awakening are the reason that we now, as a whole, crave to be submerged in water. The reason we find ultimate peace in the salty embrace of ocean water, or the warmth of a bath.

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We camped in Charleston, on the opening days of our vacation. I’d been craving the beach for months.

It was a Saturday, and the beach was populated by bathers, and later, by a wedding party. We went on a long walk, the damp sand working the tiredness of hours out of my feet. Later I went for a swim alone. Nature has always seemed like a quiet, wise old friend to me. Somehow it belongs to me, it’s personal. Swimming takes you away from the world, brings the thoughts of your mind to the forefront, to be heard. I paddled about in the salty water, the sun glinting brightly on the water, on my wet face. The breeze was warm. Out in the deeper water, a fishing boat waited patiently for a catch. In the surf, a stunningly beautiful dark-skinned woman stood talking to a woman who looked as if a marble statue from the Met had come to life and escaped to the beach.

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I took some pictures, with paintings in mind. I took some pictures, of my sweet boys, who are just making friends with the world.

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The Day the Lekosheres Went for a Hike

Reality TV gets a bad rap. I, for one, like to indulge. I personally find the Bachelor mentally stimulating… it’s fascinating to watch human reactions to being rejected (a common response is “*sob*I put myself out there *sob*.” What does that have to do with anything? This isn’t k-5. You don’t get a star. If I went to Britain and put myself out there to be the next queen…guess what.It ain’t happening. And I wouldn’t get a limo drive back to the hotel.) And, of course, it’s always awesome to watch unvarnished female cattiness. Where it dives into silliness is the unrealistic setting of “falling in love” where the biggest challenge facing the contestants is making sure your particular giggle and set of DD’s creates more chemistry than the live Barbie next to you. If I were running this show, I’d create a level of scenario. (None of which my husband and I would have passed) 1. Play Settlers of Catan against each other. 2. Do a task together. 3. Go to a location where neither of you have been, or know how to get to. Rely on a GPS that takes you two wrong towns away and tells you you’ve arrived. Send the woman (who is notoriously terrible at anything directional) to get obscure directions from a gas station clerk and come repeat them to you. ***show over. Chris Harrison out of a job. 

#PSL

#PSL

The beginning of our trip, since it included a buy-one-get-one Autumnal drink from Starbucks, was brimming with potential. We were facing a bit of a late hike, since the days have been growing shorter, and we were going after the football game let out. We were due to meet up with friends and after figuring out the extent of our lostness (see challenge 3) told them to go on ahead. Perhaps due to the pity party I hosted in the car, we went on, and hiked anyway, both of us toting a child. We hustled up that mountain, hoping to catch our friends. At last we came to the waterfall. It was a lovely waterfall, even though it presented no friends.

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We paused for a few minutes. After the long car-ride and a nap, my 25 pound carry-on needed to eat. Nature had worked it’s natural valium on my frazzled nerves, the air was cool and pleasantly damp. The water really was beautiful. I perched on a tiny stone step facing the falls and fed my baby. It was like a scene out of Tarzan “I have carried my young up a mountain on my back and nursed him at the base of a waterfall.” Well, it would be like a scene out of Tarzan if Tarzan had in fact been female and a member of La Leche League.

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Then, down the mountain, while the forest slipped into the dimmest of light, the rough spots of the river beside us gleaming white, the night songs sounding around us. Sawaya walked ahead with his iPhone flashlight on, his legs cutting dark shapes agains the bloom of light.  I walked with my head down, eyeing the rough trail, my feet hurting because I picked shoes based on what I was wearing, not where I was walking. Wilder slept in his hot little hammock. We sang “Yundon bridge is fah-ying down, fah-ying down…” because Kingston was humming…not a song, just one note. One.Note.

We reached the parking lot, and our car, and made contact with our friends who had just sat down at a Mexican Restaurant just a hop skip and a jump away.  We joined them, in an outside covered patio, and ate chips out of a plastic basket with little bowls of salsa and white cheese.  We were served by a slim, young waiter who’d much rather be working on Project Runway than his Uncle’s restaurant. We ordered chimichangas. We talked and laughed. It ended well.

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You May Take Me to the Fair….

I’m venturing to say that the phrase “There’s no place like home” was coined at 3 AM by a woman traveling alone with a 2 year old and a baby.

The boys and I went for a long weekend adventure to Greenville to attend The Indie Craft Parade with Aunt Lola. We left Daddy– who wasn’t thrilled to be left–with ties to match the shirts, and dinners covered in plastic wrap.

What happens when you try to stage a photo with a 2-year-old and a baby.

What happens when you try to stage a photo with a 2-year-old and a baby.

I stayed at my parents, who were out of town. READ: Oma who dotes on babies was gone and the toddler was sleeping in a “strange” bed in the same room as I. Let your imagination fill in the rest. Always one to let social-events win, I fudged on proper naps and bedtimes, lugging the boys about town and eateries. But what treats! We sampled the new-cool-place-to-be,Tandem (think smooth coffee and key-lime crepes), ate pizza at The Mellow Mushroom, sandwiched and souped at Panera. Celebrated a cousin’s birthday with brownies, ice cream and coffee, had my first #PSL of the season. Listened to Northanger Abbey, Pavarotti and Aloe Blacc. (It was a quick, last-minute library grab- what can I say?)

Tandem. Go there.

Tandem. Go there.

The Mediterranean Crepe: egg, fresh arugula, sun-dried tomato, feta cheese

The Mediterranean Crepe: egg, fresh arugula, sun-dried tomato, feta cheese

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Mellow Mushroom

And then, the main attraction: the fair. Indie Craft Parade, 5 years old now, was started by people I was in school with. That’s how crazy-amazing my classmates are: changing the scene of the town. It’s a craft fair, but it could read as an art exhibit. In fact, I wish I could mosey along looking, touching, talking without that awkward “I’m not here to buy.” That, and the pressing crowds. (the downside of such a cool event)

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Want.

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As a mother of boys, getting a dinosaur bracelet would be like getting a tattoo. 🙂

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My treasures: a new mug, a copper cuff, and leather earrings.

My treasures: a new mug, a copper cuff, and leather earrings.

Now, we’re home, and I’m back in the swing of things–which actually means, sometimes in the motion of accomplishment, and sometimes feeling overwhelmed by the simple act of getting out of bed and therefore putzing around with the tv on, make-up not on, and a mug of coffee taking regular trips to the microwave.

Just a boy and his tattoo and Starbucks. It's water, people, calm down.

Just a boy and his tattoo and Starbucks. It’s water, people, calm down.

when i said it…

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what I’ve said before…