April: jam-packed with people, places and things. Prepare for the onslaught of photos from the highlight reel.
I was gently reminded this month that my wrap-up posts are just that – the highlight reel. I try to be honest, but the nature of the post is that I hit the highlights and you don’t see any of the mundane stuff that happened and rarely the bad stuff. If I wrote about my boring 9-5 this post wouldn’t be worth reading, but that’s how the majority of the month passed – the ingrained routine of alarm clocks, meetings, spreadsheets, and more meetings. There was the usual crappy stuff too – disagreements, bad news, unexpected bills. I didn’t put up a single recipe this month and I feel bad about that. My laptop had been running hot for over a week, I couldn’t figure out why, so I decided to reformat. I was certain my laptop was toast as it kept shutting down during the reset, apparently all I needed to do was put it in the fridge. I learned that I need some really expensive and painful dental work. It’s not all highlights! But when you stray too far into the low points, the whole thing sounds ungrateful. That’s the last thing I want to do, because on the whole, my life is great. Let’s talk about some of the reasons why!
- Kyle is taking the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, and he passed! HE PASSED!
- Next up is volunteering at the Cajun Fest – it was a surprisingly low-key day, but still fun.
- My parents visit! We’re going to First Friday! We had a great visit, hitting up Middleton Place, getting my parents out on the iSUPs, and the most fun of all…
- We had a garage sale! And I learned there are far more valuable things I can do with my time.
- Kyle’s family visits! Again, we got out on the iSUPs, headed to the aquarium, a harbor tour, Magnolia Plantation, and general downtown wanderings.
- We’re volunteering one day at Outdoor Fest, then the next day we’re attending ALL the classes. This was ridiculously amazing and exhausting – and the classes we attended were incredibly rewarding.
- I have some malbec to bottle. Bottled, done.
- Some bus details to finish up. None of this happened. See the giant list above for reasons why.
- I’ve been meaning to get some semblance of a workout regimen going. So, I wouldn’t call this a complete success, but I made a lot of progress. So maybe it is a success? I am headed in the right direction at least.
That list right there – that’s the reason I didn’t get any new recipes posted, that’s the reason I hardly got anything else done this month, that’s the reason I’m exhausted right now. But it’s a good exhaustion! Here’s what’s on the May list.
- Our 4th anniversary is this month. So we’ve got plans to make.
- There’s a free community yoga class that takes place in Riverfront Park. I’d love to attend, but it happens early on a weeknight so I’m not sure I can make it after work.
- I’ve been talking about getting prescription sunglasses since January. Now that the sun is out ALL THE TIME I really need to make this happen.
- About a year ago, we went to Old Sheldon Church, which is a gorgeous location. I recently learned that we have similar ruins in our backyard – I’d love to check those out this month!
- We had a fantastic training course on SUPs in April, I want to get out on the water in May in practice what I learned!
- We’ve been going full-tilt for several weekends now, at this point I really just want a weekend off.
Photo time. My parents came the weekend of First Friday, so we started out by wandering downtown.
Next up was the yard sale. We and 55 of our favorite neighbors gathered at a community center to earn some cash, nickels and dimes at a time. For the amount of effort it took, I kind of wish we had just donated it all, even though I feel like we had a pretty successful garage sale. At least it was a beautiful sunny day.
If that wasn’t enough work, we took my parents out paddleboarding – they did great! And they were really good sports about our new paddleboards, which are huge and somewhat laborious to inflate to 15 psi (oh, and also: we found two iSUPs on craigslist for a ridiculous price so we bought them – the day before my parents arrived).
Wait, we’re not done yet! We also took them to Middleton Place* plantation.
Also, so many alligators! I love that you can totally see how this guy swims…right toward the camera.
No wild alligator has made me more uncomfortable that this guy. All the other gators lay their heads down and sometimes even close their eyes. Why is his head up and alert? HE HAS NO CHILL!
As soon as my parents left town, we started prepping for our next visitors: Kyle’s family! They came for Easter weekend so we had a nice long visit with them. We started off with a campfire cookout, and talked about weekend plans, which kicked off with getting them out on paddleboards too! Of course, I was on the water so I didn’t get any good photos of them rocking the SUPs. Later, we went to the aquarium* and I embraced my inner mermaid.
On Friday we went for a harbor tour* and we even got to see dolphins playing in the wake of the boat!
The following day we went to Magnolia Plantation* and explored for a while. I would like to point out that last time we were at Magnolia, I was all excited about the peacock, but later I was looking at the website and I realized they have a petting zoo with lots of peacocks. So…yeah. We got more peacock photos.
We spent like half the morning in the petting zoo. Kyle embraced his inner Disney princess.
After stopping by a local brewery, the family went for a carriage ride downtown while Kyle and I stopped by our favorite landmark, the Pineapple Fountain.
We also checked out the nearby Provost Dungeon* while the fam was carriage touring. It wasn’t terribly interesting, but there is a piece of original city wall that is older that this country! Still kind of boring and the photo isn’t that great, but I think it’s neat.
As soon as we wrapped up the last family visit, we got ready for working at the Charleston Outdoor Fest in the paddlesports area, and the following day we attended the fest as participants*. I did a yoga SUP class while Kyle took a SUP rescue/towing course, then we both took a SUP basics course. We were the only students in the basics course, and our instructor was re-certifying as an instructor so he had another instructor there, which meant we had one-on-one training with some really fantastic teachers. Having used our iSUP for over a year, I didn’t think I’d take much away from the course, but as soon as we hit the water I was learning all sorts of new moves. I’m still shocked at how much I learned and how great that course was.
Wow, that brings us to this weekend. No wonder I’m ready for a weekend off! This weekend will be much more relaxing, although we still have lots of plans.
*We get into all these places for free, plus two guests, because we volunteer for Charleston County Parks and Rec – like the Cajun Fest and Outdoor Fest. I cannot speak highly enough of this program, which has granted us unparalleled access to the area’s festivals (as volunteers) and tourist attractions (as pass holders). It has been invaluable to our life here in Charleston.