71 Days

What I did during my summer vacation…

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

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. it McClellanville – everyone can’t live in paradise. But at least New Yorkers can see, touch and hear the water all around them. ​

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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,

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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)!

 

Day 45- Flight of the Geography Wiz

img_6524Monday, Jeff and I took a fast trip to Cary, NC to see Flight of the Conchords. If you don’t know them, you’ll have to check them out — talented and funny Kiwis that we were introduced to by Tim and Lisa — another reason we love our T & L. The concert was great but HOT and we got upgraded in our hotel, so a great trip.The problem is I have a geography disability that luckily hasn’t been life-threatening to this point. The Cary Monday concert is one in a long line of little geo-blunders I’ve made over the course of our marriage. Kim’s not-so-accurate geography rules go a little like this:

  1. If something is in an adjacent state, it is 2-3 hours away. Not true — Cary’s 4 1/2 hours away so maybe a 9 hour drive isn’t the best way to start a work week. Also, NC (the entire state) is not 10 degrees cooler than SC every day (another Kim Geo Rule), all of the time. It was 97 degrees at our outdoor concert — no fair.
  2. Everything in Charleston County is 30 minutes away – 45 with traffic. No matter how many times this is proven wrong, I continue to make plans in downtown Charleston and am always amazed at how long it takes me to get there. I am repeating the mantra, “remember Edisto,” over and over as it is 2 hours away and that still shocks me.
  3. By the same token, everything in Florida is an hour from Disney. I’ve driven to Key West (or napped while Jeff drove) but still operate under this falsehood. I once got great cheap flights for the whole fam damily to Ft. Lauderdale (nonrefundable too) so we could go to Disney. When I called Jeff and told him about my deal, he told me that it was a 5,6,7 hour drive – I really don’t remember now, but it was too long. He thankfully took over the vacation planning and found us a super place in Key Largo that was one of our favorite vacations ever (Key Lime Sailing Club)
  4. And my final, proudest geo faux pas….when Jeff and I were first married, we were driving to New Jersey to see my Aunt Phyllis and I suggested we stop in Boston on the way. I remembered going there in childhood trips and it was a few hours from NJ, but until I said it out loud, I hadn’t considered the North/South thing. Jeff laughed and has enjoyed reminding me of this during the following 26 years of marriage. I would be unapproachable without these small flaws!

In my defense, the geography standards in my education were moved from 8th grade to 7th grade between my 7th/8th grade years. If you graduated from high school in 1985, you too might share my educational shame. It’s not my fault. Public education strikes again.

I have tried to compensate for this inadequacy by taking history classes, using map placemats (for my kids wink wink) and reading National Geogrphic magazine, but maybe the geography education window was in middle school and that bad boy slammed shut.

But onward and upward–I will keep making travel plans (because it’s fun) and hope they work out. So far, they have — but maybe I’ll consult mapquest before I click on that confirm button for airplane tickets.

Day 44 🏊🏻 My Favorite Lake!

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Embarked on an adventure with my favorite hubby and some great friends. We took our pontoon boat from Rice Hope Plantation on the Cooper River up the Tail Race Canal through the Pinopolis Locks to Lake Moultrie. Great boat ride with just enough danger to make it interesting – thunder and lightning was much more fun when we watched on the porch of a bar/restaurant in Bonneau.

We also got to take a dip in the lake in front of the Boy Scout camp where I grew up when my parents were caretakers there. You can go home again! I ate a half of a watermelon while bobbing up and down in the water — perfection.

Thanks Jeff for leading me on this and many other great adventures! Hope to see you next Sunday to do it again.

Following: I jut read this article saying 3 dolphins had been sited further up the river, and 2 have recently be found dead. The one we saw Sunday may have been the third — hope so.

http://www.postandcourier.com/20160720/160729995/wayward-dolphins-die-in-bushy-park-river

Day 42 – Jury Duty

“That is the worst disrespect you can show someone – boxing them in their head in front of their pregnant friend, or spitting on them.”

That quote is from the witness testimony in a domestic violence trial on which I was an jury alternate. Sad, sad, sad, with layers of so many bad choices that ending up in a courtroom is the best outcome you could hope for.

I did my civic duty, mejurydutyt some nice folks on the jury, got to go to a French restaurant for lunch (Broad Street courthouse is a great location), and got to come home to my comfortable,  happy life. I hope and pray I never have to be anywhere in a courtroom other than on the jury and that all of the choices in my life don’t get to be judged by other people.

Although most of us would like to avoid all aspects of the court system, I am glad I had the experience. Somehow I have never served on a jury and think this experience is valuable and worthwhile, in addition to being my responsibility as an American citizen. But I will be glad to have a three-year reprieve before I go again.

 

Day 41 – On Real and Imaginary Monsters

IMG_6434To the dismay and thrill of some of my friends and family, I began my adventure with pocket monsters (aka Pokemon Go) this week. After I fussed at my 22 year-old son about his need to grow up, he showed me how it worked including the pokemon spearow which was flying around my living room. He then caught it with his magic pokeball and I was hooked! Imaginary animals flying, jumping and slithering around my house and yard make me want to take some action.

So since then, I’ve caught many Pokemon and walked more than I have all summer. In addition to the Pokemon, I’ve seen cardinals, a baby box turtle (E.T.’s cousin) a tiny non-scary alligator, flowers, fauna and all things great and small! I’ve also just about passed out from the heat, but that’s another story. IMG_6426

I’m building my street cred for my students next year and it is FUN! Really, really fun — and something my husband and son and I can do together. And my 17 year-old daughter can mock us for – which gives her a lot of enjoyment.

I know that I’m giving up a lot of data, but guess what? I’m enjoying it. I’m not as preoccupied with Trump or terrorism and that seems like a lovely breath of fresh poke-air!IMG_6438

Day 33 – Lunch in Hemingway, SC

Had a delicious lunch in a fantastic shed-turned restaurant. It’s called The Pack House and I can’t give you directions since despite Google Maps, I think we went down 4 alleys (and Hemingway does not have an intricate alley system) and made 17 left turns. We should have skipped Google Maps and looked for men in trucks rubbing their bellies as they left – the best indicator of good food. 
Our delicious lunch included fried chicken, a shovel full of mashed potatoes and black-eyes peas and snaps for me, all heavily seasoned with delicious salted pork products. Jeff had pork chops, the ubiquitous shovel of potatoes and gravy and corn (why?). We both had peach cobbler for dessert and some teeth-tingling sweet tea. It was great and I’d definitely go back.

And if you’re looking for ambiance, the restaurant featured dried tobacco leaves and animal traps on the walls. I’m not kidding about the animal traps or about enjoying a great meal. I’d definitely go back again without google maps.

Getting into a writing groove as summer is halfway over for me today, but I will enjoy a few more weeks of balmy (code for hotter than Satan’s belly button) summer time before school librarian life begins again.

Vatican Here We Come

We did a Vatican Museum tour and St. Peter’s today and WOW! Wando chorus sings there tonight…. I have my grandmother’s handkerchief with me. I know there will ever tears. Plane ride home tomorrow.

 

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