We drove onto Isle of Palms to this wet welcome. And how much do you think I cared? Not a single drop. This beach-starved girl (who okay, is lucky that the last time she hit the sand was October. Count your blessings)… was just excited. The only whining I did was to my husband as to whyyyyy I could not open the car windows to breathe in the salty air.
This whole four day weekend served as a beautiful reminder of how truly blessed we are. Will was a honeymoon baby, so my dreams of a Babymoon 8 months later were unrealistic to say the least. But this time, I was determined to find an excuse to get a good 4 days off with my handsome husband.
One of Jason’s best friends and the godfather of our little guy was finally getting ordained a priest after a long and Testament-To-God’s-Grace journey. The ordination was to be on a Friday night in the Cathedral, and the Mass of Thanksgiving was the next morning at beautiful old Stella Maris. We did a little thinking and planning, and quickly realized that toting our loud 2 year old into the Cathedral at his bedtime was a less than brilliant idea. Got a few grandma’s on board to spoil him while we were in Charleston, and a Babymoon plan was hatched.
Jason has a special secret gift. People fall in love with him. Lol. No but seriously… he has a way of quietly and comfortably instating himself in the hearts of some of the coolest people. Being his wife has really blown me away how big his circle is. Yet, he does it without making a big show of himself or being pretentious. He just genuinely is a great companion and listener and people quickly start to want him around. Like the lovely surfing family who excitedly welcomed us to stay at their gorgeous beach home on Isle of Palms for our Babymoon. Jason had gotten to know them when he was a seminarian staying summers at Sullivan’s Island to help out at Stella Maris. The Gaeta’s taught him how to surf and had him over for dinner frequently. Cute Mrs. Gaeta told Jason she wanted him to think of her as his “Beach Mom”.
This past weekend, I realized anew how much it says about Jason’s character that everyone who fell in love with him when he was this handsome seminarian making a huge sacrifice in deciding to become a priest, still love him and think so highly of him even now that he is just an ordinary old married man. That was the theme of the weekend for me… one example after another!
The Gaeta’s insisted we come as early as possible and stay as late as we could. Accordingly, I met my mama to give her Will Wednesday afternoon, planning to go home and clean and pack so Jason and I could leave at the crack of dawn on Thursday. It was really tough kissing my baby goodbye… he’s been extra snuggly and clingy with me the last month. I think he knows his whole world is about to go upside down and he is soaking up his time with me.
I may have cried a little driving home. I am so hormonal it is unreal. My sweet husband, after laughing at my choked voice over the phone, had the great idea to take me to see a movie that night since we didn’t have to worry about a babysitter. It was fun to dress up and run through the pouring rain to cozy up together and watch the new Star Trek in a nearly empty theater. We always go to the Regal at Phillips Place – its just up the road a bit from our house, and so pretty.
The movie was really enjoyable… though what was the most entertaining were the two Trekkie girls sitting a few seats to our right. Their reactions were freaking hilarious.
The drive down to Charleston early the next morning was fun in itself. I love being in the car for hours with Jason… getting each other’s undivided attention and remembering things we want to ask each other that you just forget in the hustle and bustle of daily life. We listened to The Xx, our new favorite band, drank too much VitaminWater, and before we knew it, the 3 1/2 hour drive was over.
So yeah… the Tropical Storm had hit by the time we drove into Charleston Thursday afternoon. I thought it was a little funny how everyone kept making such a big deal about it though… this Florida girl knew that Tropical Storms can go as quickly as they can come. Sure enough, it cleared up in patches enough for me to walk on the beach while Jason ran out to meet his old boss for coffee [in addition to his time in Charleston as a seminarian, Jason lived and worked down there the first 6 months that we dated after he had left seminary]. I could walk on the beach by myself for hours.
I told Jason, whenever I’m by the ocean, I keep getting this running refrain of the old Psalm in my head: “He made the sea, it belongs to Him… the dry land too, for it was formed by His hand.”
To me, the sea belongs to God in such a powerful way that hits you over the head when you’re walking alongside it. So vast, so impossibly uncontrollable by human hands, so strong and yet achingly beautiful. I love that goosebumpy feeling that you could potentially step in and just be swept away by the invisible undertow. It makes me feel so small and yet so beloved and protected by my Creator.
After a few hours, Jason came to find me, looking so cute and Charleston-y to me in his seersucker button-down and Sperry’s.
We spent some time visiting with Jason’s “Beach Family” :), and then marched out armed with our rainjackets to eat in Shem Creek at Vickery’s.
[Incidentally, I am having the hardest time eating. And all that good food in the Holy City was just torture. My blackened Mahi sandwich was amazing, but Baby Henry is sitting so squished up against my organs that after a few bites of anything I feel like I am about to burst. Errrrr.]
We did what we usually do – made fun of the waiter and made awkward googley-eyed faces at each other.
The next morning, I got up early to meet THE Sarah of This Is Our Story for a quick cup of coffee at the cutest little coffeeshop she suggested in Mt Pleasant – Metto Coffee. Its built up around a big old tree.
I have adored Sarah from afar after I was sucked in to her sweet stories of life with her surfing husband and perfectly chubby little 6 month old Liam. Who is even more delicious in person, oh my goodness. And Sarah totally blew me away – she is beautiful in pictures, but just drop dead gorgeous in person! She has a glow ;).
So we decided we are real-life friends now, right Sarah? Although I still don’t even know what we talked about, all I know is it felt like it only scratched the surface in the too-short time we had… I love conversations like that with new friends!
Jason picked me up and we decided to take our chances on the weather for a walk around the Battery and all the shops in city. We were so lucky… it cleared up beautifully.
The rain had cooled everything off significantly – y’all, Charleston is HOT in June! I had remembered this from my honeymoon three years ago around the exact same time… the first week of June. At the time, I had thought I could handle any heat the city might serve – I’m from central Florida?! But I had to duck into Banana to buy a tank top I was so freaking hot in my navy sleeved top. And I wasn’t even pregnant! (Hah – well – maybe 3 days pregnant!).
We didn’t plan this trip to be at the same time of year as our honeymoon down there at all, but it was sweet how the waves of nostalgia rolled in as we walked the old streets together.
For lunch we ate at a sweet little restaurant in a historic building called 82 Queen… I guzzled a perfectly brewed unsweet tea with lemon and had the most delectable crab cake. But again, enjoyed maybe 4 bites of it? Thanks alot, Henry. It was so good though. Mmmm.
I’m going to have to finish memorializing this beautiful trip with my husband later! I have too many pictures and too many thoughts that I want to remember!