Monday, August 27, 2012

Bikes on the Beach

The last day in South Carolina for us was a dream. We had seen a lot of people riding bikes on the beach and knew we had to do it before heading back to Salt Lake City. Our flight was later in the afternoon so we woke up super early to get a good start to our day. We had a quick breakfast and went to the Rental bike shop. In the shop there was the CUTEST most playful puppy ever! I suddenly thought that playing with a puppy was far more important than riding a bike on the beach until Russ snapped me out of it. We drove down the little board walk toward the ocean.
It was kind of a cloudy day but we didnt mind. It was so toasty warm, and since we had started our day so early, there was hardly anyone on the beach. We could ride our bikes wherever our hearts desired. Even if it was in the ocean water (not recommended).
How awesome would it be if these were your houses? Im thinking pretty awesome.
We rode our bikes all the way down the ocean! Well, maybe not all the way down the ocean, but for a good hour. It was so fun! The sand was nice and compacted and I swear I never stopped smiling the whole time. There was one time, I was in such a dream land that I did not see a huge hole someone had dug up and the ocean water had filled in and rode right through it. Pain, lots of pain. But that only made me and especially Russ smile bigger. We pedaled past drift wood
And cool looking birds
We were ready for a dip after all that work. We made our bikes hug and headed for the water.
Now, I am a girl that loves the ocean. I love it dearly. I LOVE to swim in the ocean for hours and hours on end. I used to swim in the ocean where I couldnt touch at all and swim for hours along the beach. But for some weird reason I did not like calm, merky water. It freaked me right out. and that was BEFORE I watched this years Shark Week. Did anyone watch Shark Week? Even in water this deep people were being sucked right under and gobbled up. I had just made the most delicious grilled chicken over cous cous with a garden tomato and fresh basil. It was really good and fresh until I saw a guy on TV come out of the water with half of his calf missing, skin dangling in the water and exposed bone. I guess thats what we get for eating dinner and watching TV.
Can you see that bird in the back ground diving in the water? I still managed to enjoy myself of course and was relieved when the waves decided to pick up a bit. Russ accidentally stepped on this cute little guy in the water.
We still needed to ride all the way back to where we had rented the bikes, shower off all the salt water in the beach showers, change into our clothes, have lunch and drive an hr back to the airport. But that did not stop us from seeing what this guy was reeling in right where we were swimming. The mysterious and awesome.
A nice big...sting ray.
That set us back on time, but worth it. We showered, changed and headed to grab a quick bite of lunch. Since we were running late, the smart thing would have been to grab food on our way to the airport, but someone had recommended the Boat House and we felt we couldnt pass up more shrimp and grits and hush puppys. So of course, we went out of our way to get this.
If you look closely at Russ's watch you will see it is 2:02 Pm. 2 minutes after I felt we should have been crossing the bridge back to Georgia to the airport. But you will also see there is my full salad, and Russ's shrimp and grits that have not even been touched.
We quickly scarffed (is that a word?) our food down, and enjoyed watched the dolphins coming up out of the water right next to the restaurant and ran to the car to start driving. As soon as we got to the car, I had a missed call and message from Delta informing me our flight was delayed. Awesome. Wish I would have known that 30 min ago. Long story short... We crossed the bridge
Made it back to Georgia to catch a late flight and found out there was bad weather and they had to reroute us through Michigan- the totally wrong direction of Utah. We had a 2 hour layover in Michigan so we rode about 30 moving walk ways to find Mrs Fields cookies.
But it was nice, we got more sky miles and got to hear a lovely story of a murder that had just happened in Michigan where 2 peoples toursos were found in a river with their body parts popping up all over in other areas. My goodness...what has the world come to?? I wont end the post with that bad imagine, rather a super cool instagram photo of Russ riding his bike without his shirt on near the ocean. Ahh, much better image.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Charleston!- Are you Mormon?

Since I get to travel a lot, I also get to meet really awesome people from all over. I also get really awesome questions, and they are usually all the same questions. A couple conversations from my last trips:

In South Carolina:
Guy: Where are you from?
ME: Utah!
Guy: Utah?? Are you Mormon?
ME: Yes, I am.
Guy: Sad, so you cant celebrate your birthday or Christmas?
Me: Hmmm, Ive celebrated all my 27 birthdays, and Christmas :)

In Texas:
Man: Its been nice chatting with you! Where are you from?
ME: You too! Im from Salt Lake City, UT.
Man: Are you one of them Mormons?
Me: Haha, I am one of those Mormons!
Man: can only drink milk right? (Thats been one of my favorites)

While I was in Hilton Head, I met the nicest girl! I think if she lived in Utah, we would have become really good friends. She works for the Humane Society and has a huge passion for animals...great quality for a friend. She lived a couple hours away in Charleston and said Russ and I should come up and explore the next day. We were so glad we did! Charleston was super cool. When we first got there the first thing I noticed, was the street! Look at the cool stone.
We parked our car and started walking toward a cute little park. Russ called it the lonely park, because there were one man benches.
There was this cool surround sound spot. If you stood right in the middle of this little pedistal, it sounded like you were in a tunnel.
Another thing I loved about this park, is you could actually wade in their ponds. It was SO hot, and a lot of fun to cool off in the water.
Maybe my new favorite shop in the world is located in Charleston. It made me want to change the whole way Ive decorated our house. I loved it. Too bad I could only afford a magnet. But by golly its a grand ol magnet. We went to lunch at the yummiest place! I had fried green tomatoe BLT and Russ had shrimp and grits. This was my first time having grits. I had no idea what they were, but I really really loved them. Russ at lunch...I wish this picture showed how blue his eyes were in this light.
My favorite part of Charleston was Rainbow Row. Its a cute little street chuck full of colorful houses.
We went shopping at a little market and watched every other vendor weave some baskets and turn around and sell the for $400. I couldnt believe it. I need to learn how to weave. Charleston, like Savannah Georgia has the greatest buildings ever!! So much character and color.
I loved that there wasnt a lot of traffic. If you want to take a tour of the city, you can go on foot, or in a horse carriage.
Too hot to take any more pictures.
Such posers
Our vacation revolved around eating. Doesnt most vacations or is it just us? We literally had seen everything we wanted to but waited around to have dinner at another recommended restaurant. Goodness. Charleston was really cool. Im sure there was plenty more to see in more than a few hours that we had there, but we loved it. Highlight of Charleston was definitely Rainbow Rob and eating grits. On our way back to our rental car.
Russ loved the rental. I think he felt like a bad A. The two of us at the Sound. I was melting at this point if you cant tell.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hilton Head, South Carolina

I had no idea what to expect from Hilton Head, SC. I started to "google" images of island before we left to get an idea of where we were headed and I was SO excited. Ive been to Hawaii many times, and Cali, but havent had the beach feel of sand dunes. Russ of course jumped on the chance to come along. If you see a pattern in any of my work trips, he has only been to the ones that are along the coast..hmmm. Cant say I blame him! We had one day at the beach before I had to work. It was so much fun!!
The ocean water here was amazing! I have never been in such warm ocean water! I cant say it was very clear, but man oh man was it warm! And Dolphins!! We saw dolphins every single day playing in the water. There was one time I was wading out in the water and watching a dad play with his daughter, and trying to get her to catch a wave. Right as he sent his daughter on the board in the wave a dolphin shared the wave with her! It was crazy. It scared the poor dad to death not sure what it was at first. But I thought it was cool. We left mid day to get some lunch and to go para sailing! We had never been and thought it would be something fun and different. Waiting for our boat to come pick us up!
All suited up and ready to sail!
Up we go!
We got higher in the air than I anticipated. It was SO great. It was so peaceful and quiet, we couldnt hear a thing. No wind, no boats, nothing. We just floated through the air and chatted away looking for sharks and dolphins. We did spot a few dolphins!
As they brought us in closer, they offer you a little "dip"
It was such a great time and I am so glad we got to go up at the same time and share that together.
Russ on our way back to land. There were dolphins just feet next to our boat! I loved it :)
We had lunch and went back to the beach!
We wrote each other love letters in the sand
We went to another part of the island where all the oober rich folk live. It was BEAUTIFUL! You had to pay just get in and pretty much had no beach access unless you were a resident, or guest to a resident. There were golf courses everywhere, ponds, bike paths and cute little restaurants. We had dinner at the Salty Dog Cafe. It was really good, and I loved the logo.
We walked along some ponds in hopes of seeing an alligator but it never happened.
We also walked our way into a resort and spent a little more time on the beach there.
We drove back to our hotel, and spent the rest of the evening playing in the pool and walking along the beach at night. Russ is a fantastic swimmer! I love to watch him swim, he has such great technique and can hold his breath FOREVER! There was only the 2 of us and a couple of kids playing in the pool so I dared him to a handstand war. I knew he would clearly win since he can hold his breath so long, but we did. I held my breath until i thought my lungs would explode and came up out of the water and he was as strong and steady as can be. There was a little bar hut in the middle of the pool so I hurry and swam to the other side of the bar where he couldnt see me. He was still standing strong, nothing but legs out of the water until he finally came up, so proud of himself only to find he was alone in the water with a couple of kids searching all over for me. I was pretty much dying laughing. I swam over to him and we laughed forever. It looked like there was just this grown 35 yr old man doing handstands in the pool alone. I laughed so hard that night in the pool. So much fun.
The next day I had to work. We went to the BEAUTIFUL resort where the event was being held and Russ and I ran down to the beach for a couple hours before I had to go set up.
The ocean water was so perfect again, we swam for a couple of hours and played in the small waves. Russ even was spotted laying out for a sec. This doesnt happen very often.
We went back to our hotel and I got all ready for the evening. Russ went to a popular pizza place close to our hotel and brought back dinner so we could eat together before I had to leave. I worked the rest of the day and would text Russ when I got the chance to see how he was doing. Oh he was good, just hanging out with turtles, playing in good size waves, and reading a book in a hammock.