Monday, March 23, 2015

Women's Retreat, Charleston, SC

Friday afternoon, about 1:30, Greg came home and I headed out to Charleston, SC for my first ever women's retreat. Any solo road trip calls for a vanilla diet dt. pepper from Sonic. It's a tradition. It was a little less than 3 hours, which wasn't bad at all.

I roomed with two other women. One from my weekly moms bible study and the other was from my Sunday School class. One of them was already at the hotel when I got there.

Our first session didn't start until 7pm, so a group of us went out to dinner. We tried this amazing hole in the wall restaurant called Sesame Burger and everything was delicious, including my strawberry jalapeno popper drink. Yum!

The speaker at this women's retreat was Susan Norris. She has done 10 (I think) events with Wesley (our church) in the past 11 years, so a lot of the women who have been going every year knew her well. We had a 7pm session on the first night, then a morning session on Saturday at 9am-11:30. We got a break in the afternoon to hang out and explore Charleston and then we met back up at 7pm again. Then, we had our last session on Sunday morning from 9-11:30. We started each session with a few ice breaker games, which were a lot of fun and had everybody laughing. Then, we had worship music with an amazing singer and her bandmate and then Susan would dive right into the topic. They also gave out door prizes at the beginning of each session. I was one of the first ones to win a door prize so I had my pick of almost anything and I got this fun Easter mesh wreath for my front door. A girl in our Sunday School class made a couple and donated them to be door prizes. Right now, I'm not going to talk about the "retreat" part of the weekend, any of what was discussed, the message, etc. So, this recap is about the weekend as a whole, and may sound very shallow and superficial as far as a women's retreat--so sorry. The message of the retreat was great, the women were great, and I think we all took a lot away when we left Sunday, but I just don't feel comfortable talking about that right now, so this recap is focusing on all the other things.
After the Saturday morning session, my two roommates and several other girls went downtown. We had lunch at Hyman's  and it was amazing. I tried shrimp and grits for the first time (I've had them separately) and it was the best thing I've ever had in my life. It was so good. The service there was amazing also, they were all so nice. The server was great and then the manager came by and was so personal and sweet to us and ordered us a few appetizers on the house, which was very generous. The hush puppies were amazing too, but nothing compared to that shrimp and grits.

After lunch, we went to the open air market and window shopped and burned off calories from lunch.

It was a neat little area and I did so good and didn't buy a single thing. I told Greg he should be very impressed, but the truth is, I had a small list in my head of some souvenirs I was going to buy, but I was going to wait until on the way back so I didn't have to carry them and we never ended up going back.

The group split up and me and my two roommates walked around downtown a little bit. We could see a big church, so we walked that way and checked it out, then we walked over to the water to see that and just enjoyed the architecture, cobblestone streets, and history of everything.

I loved seeing all the churches. There were several really pretty ones. There was one on my list that I would have loved to seen, but we were just walking around and saw what we saw. The next time I go, I have a little list of a few more landmarks I'd like to see there.

It was so fun walking around and looking at everything.

The Pink House, the oldest building in Charleston and one of the oldest in South Carolina.

We wanted to see the water and since it was only a couple of streets over, we walked over and checked it out. I think the area we were at is called "The Battery"

It was chilly and a little windy, but I was just happy it didn't rain.

I've seen pictures of this fountain before, so I was excited that we happen to pass it. When the weather's warmer, you can take off your shoes and get in the fountain. I'm hoping Greg and I can make a trip to Charleston for a weekend soon and this will definitely be on our list, the boys would be thrilled if they got to splash around in a fountain.

Another church we passed. I heard a tour guide that was passing said that back in the 1600's everybody in Charleston was Episcopalian and if you weren't, this was the only other church to attend.

The girls and I decided to stop and rest our feet and have a few drinks. We picked the Charleston Crab House. It was right next to the open air market.

We all tried a few different drinks but this particular one was a "Good Ole' Boy" and it was definitely good!

After spending the afternoon exploring, shopping, eating and drinking, we went back to the hotel for our 7pm session. After the session was over with, we went back to the room and for the second night in a row, we stayed up WAY too late talking. The next morning, we got up a few minutes earlier so we could pack and we were packed up and checked out of our room before the 9am session Sunday morning. We ate some breakfast and then attended the last session. Afterwards, we all drove home. It was rainy and nasty and I saw some people post the different wrecks that passed. I got about 10 minutes from home and got stuck in traffic. It took me 30-45 minutes to get passed it and then I was finally home. I had the best weekend, but I did miss my boys. When I opened the door, they came running to greet me and were so excited that I was home, which made me feel so good.

Carter was very excited about this flower that somebody made and gave me on the streets of downtown Charleston.

Since it was late afternoon when I got home, we went out to dinner instead of trying to worry about cooking. Firehouse Subs has free kids meals on Sundays and Wednesdays, so we went there. The boys love the firehats they get.

And the fact that they get to drink lemonade, which they hardly ever get to do.

When we got home, we all relaxed on my bed until it was time for bath. Carter and Evan played dress up while Greg and I chatted about our weekend. Then, the boys got on our bed and had to make sure to check us out and see if we needed any shots. It was good to be home.

Greg was the one who offered to keep the boys. When one of the girls asked me if I was going at the Superbowl party, Greg had never heard of it. I told him about it but didn't say anything about going and he just offered to keep the boys so I could go. He didn't have to offer twice!! I really enjoyed my weekend away. The boys were so excited to have a boys weekend and they were really good for Greg. They all had movie night and pizza on Friday. They went to the gym, pool, and park on Saturday. Then, on Sunday morning, Greg took them to church and went to the Sunday School class (which was basically all the husbands whose wives were in Charleston) It was a great weekend, but it was definitely back to reality today with a 2 page paper that I had to do, volunteering at the boys school, cooking, cleaning, class, and just all the things that we have to do on Monday. This weekend really refreshed me and was exactly what I needed, but it also gave me the traveling bug and so I'm planning a few little short day or weekend getaways for us as a family.

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