71 Days

What I did during my summer vacation…

Archive for the month “July, 2017”

Day 20? – AKA Earlier This Summer

Great day bringing in some clams with our 3rd generation of clam farmers… Jeff Massey, wife Kim Livingston and son Jake Massey brought in a few bags of farm-raised clams from pristine Bulls Bay.

via Gathering clams — Bulls Bay Seafood


Day 37ish – Mass Transit is Super!

Trains are my favorite I think. Yesterday my dear daughter and I got a little adventurous and took the commuter train from Ramsey to Hoboken. I know you can’t believe how fortunate we are to be able to go to Hoboken, but we are living the dream. 

If you don’t have a former 10-year-old who was utterly committed to Buddy Valastro of The Cupcake Boss fame, you might not see the draw. We took a 52-minute train ride to buy delicious canolli and look back a little bit a flavorful memory. My little cupcake is no longer ten, but canolli knows no age.

Hoboken is a lovely small city with fantastic views of the NYC skyline. And home to Frank Freaking Sinatra. Fly me to the moon – Wowza. From the historic train station (like we arrived at Station 9 3/4 to go to Hogwarts), you can take another train or ferry into the city -so a great stop with a truly beautiful train station.

Station says Lackawanna vertically – party of Lackawanna line.

Katie even said she could have taken the trip in her own. Of course she could – score for mom and mass transit.

We brought home some canolli and crumb cake to share with the family — what a great time. I’ll miss my NJ fam when we go home.

Ceiling of Hoboken train station.

Day 33 – Flight of the Girls

​We are heading to New Jersey & New York aboard budget airlines Spirit and have sat in the Myrtle Beach airport for over 4 hours.  Just keep repeating – $133 flight….$133 flight. I should be happy they let me sit in a seat and not on the wing.

So we arrived to my lovely aunt and uncle’s great hospitality. Northern hospitality includes baked ziti and chauffeuring through road conditions Katie describes as, “there are no lanes; it’s a free-for-all.”

Went to the Statue of Liberty today – ferry ride over is the best part. Hope you all know the SOL is on New Jersey! During the ride I was struck again by what a water-centered city New York is. What a great place to live if you love the water. I know it’s not McClellanville – everyone can’t live in paradise. But at least New Yorkers can see, touch and hear the water all around them. ​


Day 32 – Summer’s Halfway Over

…..and I’ve finally written something. I am at Clemson for my youngest and only daughter’s orientation into college. I’m vacillating between booting her out the door as her 18-year-old self knows everything and isn’t afraid to express it, and hugging her constantly and fearing for her departure. Everyone talks about the empty nest syndrome, and I’m waiting for my own personal breakdown, but that hasn’t happened yet — and I’m hoping we’ll be breakdown-free for the rest of the summer.

During our parent orientation, the wonderful folks at Clemson reminded us repeatedly to allow our students to succeed and fail on their own. They’re independent people,



Great Italian food at Brioso on Tiger Blvd.


responsible for themselves now, etc., etc. Then why do we need to go to, “parent orientation?”  for two days (and pay for it also, btw). After going, I think our parenting style may not be the style of most parents. We raised our girl to be independent and she is (much to my annoyance sometimes). Maybe we’re in the minority, but I’m proud of our strong-willed, independent girl.


Despite feeling a little annoyed with the constant reminders that our child is 18 (knew that already), I’m glad we went. I feel much more comfortable about Katie’s school and the upcoming year. For those parents like me who’ve already taught their kids to do their own laundry, chew their own food and match their clothes, having our kids go away is a natural progression of what we (and they) have worked towards over the past 18 years. I’m confident she can take care of herself and rock her school career.

It’s okay to be a grown-up. She can do this and we can start this new chapter of our family adventure together (and apart)!


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