Friday, June 19, 2015

Charleston Part I: Road Trips and Dance Parties

So, I flew east last Thursday for a crazy adventure. My friend Chris was getting married in Charleston, SC. Despite my near constant monitoring of ticket prices...the already REALLY expensive tickets never went down, but only up. When it was do or die time to buy...I just couldn't afford the $1000 ticket to Charleston. 

BUT. I HAD to go to this wedding. Chris is one of my best friends in the entire world. He's definitely my best male friend. We met in college when Chris was dating my best girl friend and roommate Robin. I've never so immediately clicked with someone the way I did with Chris. I always joke that he's my evil half, because we are so so similar but SO different too. I can look at Chris and immediately know what he's thinking. Within days of meeting, we were finishing each other's sentences or laughing together after only a glance. From the early days of our friendship, we've had this unspoken connection and bond that has kept us close for the last 15 years. 

There's a lot of people that don't understand our friendship. And I'll definitely agree that often when guys and girls are's because there is some romantic interest at play. But, Chris and I are the exception to this. We genuinely just love and like each other with no ulterior motives. Neither of us is playing the long game with a 15 year plan for romantic conquest. ;) Chris is like my TWIN brother, which is complicated by the fact that he already HAS a twin. Haha. I joke that Pat is not the real twin, but that I am. Pat and Chris are nothing alike. Anyway, this feels worth saying for me, because our friendship has faced a lot of obstacles in the last 15 years. We are eerily close and no one gets it. Truth be told...we don't speak all that often any more, since it seems to create issues.

ANYWAY. About 5 years ago, Chris met Katie. Katie is wonderful and easy going and fun and a great match for Chris. A year ago they had a baby and this year they decided to make it official. So, price be damned...I would be at my BFF/Evil Twin's wedding...NO MATTER WHAT.

I searched around a bit and my best option was to fly into a car...and drive 4 hours by myself to Charleston. It was just too expensive for Preston to go too. :( But, this option was still pretty expensive and sounded sort of terrible. 

So, I had the crazy idea to extend the trip into a long weekend and just fly home to DC (which was MUCH cheaper) and drive the NINE HOURS to Charleston from there. I proposed the idea to my friend Trisha and she was on board! She even said we could use her car!! Instead of a lonely trip from Charlotte, I now had a fun road trip with one of my besties! AND as an added bonus...I made plans to stop and see my friend Robin's new baby! Horray!!

And that's what I did. I arrived in DC at 9pm and had dinner with my dad and Von after they picked me up from the airport. We went to Cheesecake Factory, whose menu was far too big for my tired mind. :P

This happened. Smores Cheesecake. 1500 calories. Oh yeahhh

So did this accident on the way home. It was ALREADY late! 

I arrived home to my mom's to chat with her a bit and love on my cat Houdini before heading to bed. Up early...Trisha picked me up to head south on our road trip. We stopped quickly for snacks and DD coffee...a must!

Stop what your'e doing and find these. They are amazing and excellent for road trips! 
Our trip down was mostly uneventful. We were super lucky with NO traffic and great weather, with the exception of one quick but heavy downpour. Trisha did most of the driving...I was pretty jet lagged, but I did pull my weight some near the end of the trip. The nine hours flew by pretty fast. :)

Into the storm

Nonetheless, we arrived a tad late in Charleston and so hustled to the room to change quickly for pre-wedding happy hour and dinner. 

Our hotel was pretty nice! For some reason the picture came out in a fog. I blame the humidity. Ahhhh sweet humidity. How I missed thee. 

We took to the streets of Charleston to walk the half mile to dinner. I loved everything I saw! Spanish moss draped in trees, porches with fans and swings, tons of flowers/gardens, quaint southern style...Charleston is everything you expect it to be!

Shout out to Downtown Frederick! 
We arrived jusssstt at the tail end of cocktail hour. It was exciting to see Chris and Katie...and many of Chris' friends and family that I've not seen in YEARS. It was a great reunion...with a cute baby, to boot! Chris and Katie have two kids from Katie's previous relationship and they are adorable and precocious. Rylee, especially is like 11 going on 40. She cracks me up. :)

The real Evil Twin ;)

I love these things! 

Dinner was delicious and Chris' mom regaled us all with a fun slideshow. 

Chillin with my homie
After dinner, we walked back with the group to the hotel. Gosh, I miss these warm East Coast nights. Forever and always you need a jacket in chilly California. It was glorious to walk along in the humid air. Many restaurants had dining right on the sidewalk and there was a palpable sense of charm. 

There's kids running up there in this blurry pic :P
A smaller group of us hit up a delightful wine bar just across from the hotel for drinks. We sat on the steamy porch and sipped our drinks. 

Since mostly everyone had started drinking one was really up for a late night. I was pretty tired myself, but wanted to show Trisha a good time since she was doing me such a favor. I rallied and joined Trish, Jaclyn, and Berg in their search for a pickle juice shot. Undecided on that. :P

We walked and walked and walked and walked and found no pickle juice shot. Our best prospect was a bar that offered to do it if we went and bought our own pickle juice at Walgreens. Haha. No. 

No pickle juice, but there was a fan :D

It was pretty dead around town...and was about 1am at this point, but we found a bar playing some music and made our own dance party. It was fun and I think my terrible dancing rubbed off on everyone nearby. 

Dance Party. It was hot.
We headed back to the hotel to find the lobby flooding from a bathroom above with an overflowing tub! After helping the staff place trashcans about...we retired to bed. 

Loving Charleston so far!! 

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