The non wedding week

What happens when you set the date, book the place, and put the most exciting day of your life on hold? Aside from feeling a bit humiliated at the prospect of letting down the family personally, (meanwhile, mass emails are sent out to those who aren’t fortunate enough to get the phone call) you have a week long vacation to look forward to, for the rental house on the beach in Yarmouth, Cape Cod is in full force…

…and how beautiful June 18th turned out to be. The saltwater eminated from the sea and through the screened in porch, the nephews on the groom to be’s side illuminated with curiousity and entertainment. The grill was fired, home to Fleisher’s fabulous meat brought on the road from Kingston, NY; grass-fed and tenderized london broil, also an array of nitrite and nitrate free sausages including my favorite, Chicken and Lamb Moroccan. Fresh corn, mashed potatoes, and crusty baguettes…food for a feast of grateful vacationers.

The breeze that blew in through the ten foot windows was enough to rest my spirit, to take me back to a place that existed before South Carolina was on my list of places to live, a climate too hot and humid for one to be able to consciously breath in feeling comfort and breath out feeling peace. I am still waiting for the hydrangeas to bloom, just as I have woken up every morning thus far expecting it to be raining. Contrary to the forecasts, clouds have appeared just enough to put the heat to a temporary halt.

You can see the save the date video we created for what turned out to be a non wedding, here:


A walk in the woods


Hailey, when she sneezes, does so in threes. I don’t know why that is, but I know that when I sneeze, I get it all out in one. A really obnoxious, giant, whooping one! Here we are, with Ernie and Carol, in Palinville. In and around the trees, in groups of three. Oh, what will we think of next? That is exactly the point, to me at least. What can I think of next. What will keep my brain occupied, and my friends, my family, entertained? This series of events that we are living together doesn’t get much better, much more interesting, much more wonderful. That may be a good metaphor for the six of us. After all, sometimes it seems like we are having enough fun and adventure for six fully grown humans. Other times, I feel tired enough for all of six of us as well.
When I used to walk in the woods, or walk anywhere at all, I would always be looking for the end of the path, the next adventure. I still am, in a way, but now I have learned how to enjoy the walk itself, and especially the people I am with. That adds a whole new dimension to how much I can enjoy the moment, fleeting as it is. You have to learn to enjoy the moments more and more as you grow, they aren’t going to enjoy themselves.
After our walk in the woods, we went to visit Hailey’s grandpa Fred. He is 91 and only recently moved into an assisted living facility. The place sat atop a mountain range in the beautiful Catskill mountains. He was a really cool guy. I am so glad I got to meet Hailey’s grandpa. If I have a regret, it’s that Hailey never got to meet my Nana. She and Fred would have been about the same age. Nana would have loved Hailey. I am doing my best to love her now. For all of us.

South of The Border!

Pedro’s billboards are not merely a ploy to get business, but they serve as a wonderful way of keeping entertained a particularly curious passenger, like myself. When Bill and I moved to Charleston in August, the signs started showing up in North Carolina…

“You never Sausage a Place! (You’re always a weiner at Pedro’s!)”

“Pedro’s Weather Report! Chili Today-Hot Tamale!”

And then, you have these advertisements which you try to piece together. How is it that a place which has an “indoor pool, outdoor pool, and spa” is also home to Rocket City, a haven for Fireworks and Reptile Lagoon, “the largest indoor reptile exhibit in the US?”






So, the four and a half hour ride from Charleston to Raleigh-Durham was a piece of pecan pie, thanks to the many sources of entertainment. First and foremost is Pedro, the Southern billboard King. We opted out of stopping, but his signs brought a funky refuge from the typical billboards of the deep South.

We also began a photo project during the drive: capturing from the same place with every click of a Canon camera, a series of three-ten photographs every few minutes to turn our stop motion trip into a fast paced video.

Then we have Anika, the cat we decided to take along for the journey. A wonderfully adaptable feline, the six pound furball cuddled on my lap for the majority of the trip; her preferred spot was by the pedals on the driver’s side. She enjoyed this for only a brief time when we stopped at Taco Bell. Come Sunday, We’ll be dropping Anika off in Phoenicia, New York to enjoy the Summer with my mom and her neurotic cat Comet.

To leave you with a few pictures of Pedro we spotted along the way:

A Fond Farewell!

It’s Billy and Dr. Hailey! Just a couple of ordinary folk who met working at an ice cream shop in Boston, and the rest is (rather recent) history. When we are not relaxing at Sullivan’s Island beach or grilling out, because Summer seems to be as constant here as the never ending song, then we are out in Awendaw enjoying a free music show at a back of the woods barn, listening to the sounds of Margaritaville at The Shrimp Shack, or watching dolphins entertain us at the nearby Creek and consuming fresh seafood with local brews. It has taken a full school year to feel that we found these hidden pockets worth exploring.

Just as quickly as we settled in, we are packing up the Dodge Stratus with whatever will fit, stuffing the remainder into a nearby garage, and saying auvoir to our dear cat who goes by many names. The next two months are on paper, our travels up the coast to New York, Boston, Cape Cod, Montreal, and Rhode Island, but the course may change…Who’s to say we won’t run out of money half way through and end up squatting under the New Jersey turnpike or break down in a West Virginia village. There’s no telling if the open road will embrace us or spit us out with disapproval.

We will soon find out if we are the happy travelers we make ourselves out to be by taking this vacation. This is a trip of seeing old friends and faraway family, dining whenever possible with the enthusiasm and curiosity of children; it’s crashing on couches and roughing it in the woods; it’s finding beautiful hiking trails in The Catskill Mountains and soaking in the salty sea of The Atlantic Ocean.

Bon Voyage!