Thursday, September 10, 2015

Summer Catch Up: Charleston, South Carolina

After our trip to Utah for Ali's wedding, we came home to Indianapolis for one (laundry) day before hitting the road. Michael had an externship set up at the oral surgery program in Charleston, South Carolina. He spent a week shadowing there to get a feel for the program, and Westin and I went down with him to explore the South.

Michael was pretty busy at the hospital during the majority of our trip, but he did spend Sunday and some of the evenings with us. Westin and I took a walking tour around downtown one day; Rainbow Row is pictured above. I loved that city's Caribbean and Southern feel. But those temperatures, guys. Whoa.

When I think of hotel living pre-baby I tend to remember my business trips when I'd live it up for a week at a time in some fun city, ordering room service after late meetings or venturing out into some new city by myself or with coworkers. Going to Wicked by myself and eating a lot of Sprinkles cupcakes. But hotel living post-baby, that is another story...

Hotel living post-baby is this crazy experience of getting a baby to sleep at 7pm on that half of the room while still trying to live life a little bit in the other half of the room, but a very quiet life that doesn't wake up the baby who will inevitably keep waking up anyway. Westin nursed every 90 minutes during those nights, because "cry it out" isn't exactly a hotel-friendly system and maybe that kid just seriously didn't know where he was every hour and a half and needed to make sure I was at least in that unknown place with him. At one point I was driving us around Charleston on one of our adventuring days and I almost pulled over because I felt like I was going crazy in the head. Dizziness, fatigue, exhaustion, you know. Post-baby hotel living. It's a trip.

The nights were hard but the days were fun. Westin and I ate lunch on this pier underneath the iconic bridge that connects to Mt. Pleasant. We met a significant number of friendly people -- those southerners are just the nicest.

On one of the evenings Michael was able to spend with us we passed by the church where the Charleston shooting had recently taken place. A funeral was happening for one of the victims at that moment, and there were crowds all around and Red Cross workers handing out water. It was heart-breaking to see the family members coming out of the church. President Obama and other public figures were in the city that day for a memorial, and Michael said that while the president was there they had a few operating rooms prepped and kept open in the hospital in case of an emergency situation.

Westin and I avoided the city the day of the memorial because the traffic was pretty crazy. I took him to the beach for the first time and to be honest, that was kind of a bust. He moaned the whole time. Not a lot of crying, just, a sad little constant moan. Then he got tired and rubbed his eyes with his sandy hands and everything just went downhill fast. The waves were not his favorite thing, and this kid will only take a nap in his crib even though I tried hard to make him a cozy little set up on a shady towel. Pre-baby beach time has a similar feel to pre-baby hotel living in my mind, you get the idea. But this little guy is so worth it.

Sunday was my favorite day in Charleston. After visiting church there we drove up to Cypress Gardens with Michael, which was so incredibly beautiful. We paddled around this gorgeous swamp for an hour, trying to spot alligators and stay in any shade we could find. Westin seemed to enjoy the ride. It was definitely the most exotic place I've ever nursed the kid, especially considering it took me almost three months to learn to nurse him anywhere but my bedroom.

He doesn't know what's happening here, so it's not sad. But kind of sad, actually. The only alligators we saw were small enough that Westin could have eaten them instead of the other way around.

This little boy. I love that face. If he looks like Ryan Gosling here to you it's because this is indeed where they paddle through swans in The Notebook. But pretty sure they imported those swans.

I visited a plantation one day (Boone Hall) and loved it so much. You could tour the main house (where Ally lived in The Notebook) the slave houses, the gardens, and take a bus tour of the whole plantation to see the areas that are still being used. 

These oaks are 300 years old, and other trees on the plantation were more than twice that age. Charleston has so much history. If we do end up moving there for residency there will be plenty to see and do for those four years. And, yes, this is a road they drive down in The Notebook but no I did not tour all these places because of that movie. That movie just chose really cool places to film, and incidentally I toured a few of them while having the Charleston experience. Honestly, I've been wanting to watch that movie again since I've been home from this trip, but I just haven't been in the mood to make myself feel super sad and teary yet. I'm sure an opportunity will arise.

On our way out of town we stopped to see the famous Ange Oak Tree, which is 1500+ years old. Isn't that incredible? It's huge, and the branches dip in and out of the ground and spread into a reaching canopy that is just gorgeous. 

Westin is really happy there because he has no idea that he is about to embark on a 10+ hour car ride... poor kid. He really did a great job with the road trip there and back, though. His car skills far exceed his hotel sleeping skills. I shuddered just remembering those nights...

And here we are rolling back into Indianapolis on the Fourth of July, ready to hit a barbecue with friends before skipping the fireworks and sleeping in our own crib and bed, respectively. This is Westin's scrunch face that he sometimes gives to strangers for minutes at a time. It's cute until it's awkward, but mostly just hilarious through it all. A nice man at Costco recently received the stink face for about 45 seconds until he finally said to me, "It's ok, don't worry about it," before I'd even had a chance to apologize for the situation. But I just love that little scrunchy nose, oh so much. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, I love that baby of yours. His scrunch face is my favorite. This trip looks amazing.


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