Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Week In New England

Hubs and I just got back from our week long excursion to the New England area. All a first for me, and so much fun! We had a wedding in Rhode Island, so we decided to make a fun long trip out of it (thanks to some amazing grandparents that kept the girls!). Since Hubs travels so much for work, we were able to fly Delta first class and stay at different Hilton properties on points and sky miles! That saved us a ton of money obviously, so we were able to enjoy ourselves big time.

First stop- Boston.

Boston is AHHHH MAZing. I would go back in a minute. There is so much to see and do, we couldn't cram it all into the two days we were in town. We stayed at the Ames Boston Hotel which was really nice. Kind of a modern boutique style hotel, really great location. You could see the old state house and Boston Massacre site out of room's window.

We walked around town, went on a Duck Tour (I highly recommend!), and did some of the Freedom Trail. The highlight of the Boston trip was Thursday's Red Sox game at Fenway Park. My first time to Fenway. It was unreal! Such a cool experience. If you get a chance to go, you won't be disappointed. I felt like I was walking back in time. Before the game we grabbed drinks and food at Cask N Flagon. This sounds odd, but I had the best quesadilla of my life there!

I got to see some old Gamecocks play :)

After the game, we went back to our hotel's side of town and walked around the harbor a while. Beautiful.

The next day we took the train up to Rhode Island to a place called Kingstown which is where the wedding took place. Our friend Marie's older sister Kelly got married. This past year we have grown closer to the Riley Family. It is comforting to be around them. It's easy to see Marie's personality and mannerisms in her parents and in her siblings. It's nice to be with people that knew and loved her so much. Marie was definitely smiling down on the weekend's celebrations.

Rhode Island is very pretty. Everything is so lush and green, flowers and gardens EVERYWHERE. It was like a magazine. Friday night was the rehearsal dinner, my first time learning to crack open an entire lobster. (Lobstaaaah). Delicious!

Saturday the wedding was at 2:00. The ceremony and reception were beautiful as was the bride. The food was the best wedding food I think I've had in my life. ( This seems to be a theme, but the food on this trip. Omg. ) Lobster rolls, tuna, steak, salmon, fried feta and corn bites, Arnold Palmers (Ahnald Palmaaaaahs)... on and on... I definitely gained 10 pounds in a week. Worth it!

The final leg of our trip we went to Martha's Vineyard via the Fast Ferry. It was COLD! I mean, "cold" for a southern girl. Not cold to them obviously because there were people laying out on the beach. I was wearing jeans and a scarf! The ferry ride was about 90 minutes long from Quonset Point to Oak Bluffs. We walked around the marina, had lunch (lobstaaaah rolls) and drinks, and then checked into our hotel.

We stayed at Summercamp. It was adorable, and right on the water so the view was incredible. The decor was definitely my style. Turquoise, navy, coral, yellow, oh my. So fun!

We ventured out to see the different sites around the island. We took a bus over to Jaws bridge. I didn't realize Jaws was filmed on Martha's Vineyard, but of course once we discovered that we had to check out the bridge. Here's Hubs standing where Chief Brody ran down yelling "Get out of the water!!!!! Shark is going to the pond! Get out of the water!!!!" I wish we had had time to go into Edgartown to explore other Jaws sites, but we only stayed one night on MV.

We ate at 20 by Nine that night in Oak Bluffs. Again, AMAZING food. We crashed by 11:00 that night. The next day it was COLD again and raining. Blah. It was also windy, so windy that the Fast Ferry was CANCELLED. Not a good thing when you are on an island.... We were diverted to the steamship ferry an hour later. That meant we had to take a two hour bus ride from Wood Hole back to Quonset Point, which sucked. But we made the most of it. Luckily we didn't miss our flight in Providence, and made it back to Savannah as planned. Shoo! We were exhausted.

It was the best time, but boy was it good to see my babies yesterday!!!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Houston House #4

Cue the music, we are moving... AGAIN. What! I know. I truly feel like a nomad some days. This move was not planned, but the pieces are all just falling where they've fallen. So, yes we are moving.

I'm not sure Hubs ever felt like Savannah was the FOREVER home, although I saw myself being here longer than 3 years. There is so much to LOVE about this city, but also concerns we have, too. Mainly schools. It is no secret you really can't send your kids to public school in Savannah for all of K-12. There are some pretty good elementary schools here, and of course excellent private schools, but when it comes down to it none of them are a great fit for our family.

So, Hubs and I had some time to kill on a car ride at the end of April when we went to see Neil the man Diamond in Charlotte. Somehow the conversation went from where Evans will go to pre-k, to where would we move in Savannah if we had a million dollars... to which my reply was-- if I had that kind of money I'd be living on Lake Murray next to my parents. Then our wheels started turning and haven't stopped.

I had kind of hoped that when we came to Savannah, my parents would move here. I think I always knew in the back of my mind that they wouldn't be able to leave their lives in Ballentine. I mean, they've been in Columbia 40 something years. That's a LONG time to just pick up and go. Plus, my dad's side of the family lives in Columbia area as well, and I know he would have a hard time picking up and leaving. So, I understand completely.

We never thought we would move back to the Columbia area. Like ever. It's not that we didn't enjoy our childhoods. We did. Columbia area just never felt like an option after leaving for law school in 2007. Hubs moved to Atlanta in 1999, and we lived there until we moved to Savannah in 2014. So, Columbia is kind of foreign to us now. The only way I could get Hubs to move back was to promise him the lake. Ha. SO.... we started looking at different neighborhoods in the Ballentine/Irmo/Chapin area just to see what we could get for the money, etc. This was in mid-May.

You can get so much house for the money! We were both shocked. I guess after living in Atlanta and Savannah, we were just used to bigger stickers. When we got back to Savannah after looking in SC, I called our realtor and told her we weren't quite ready, but if she had someone that wanted to see it let me know.

Well, someone wanted to see it. And as fate would have it, that person is buying it. It happened SO fast, like almost to the point we had zero time to second guess anything. God has a way of orchestrating things, doesn't He?

So, suddenly here we are, no plans and a house under contract in Savannah. Crap. Where to? We prayed about it, talked with our parents, prayed more... and ultimately we have decided Chapin is the place for us. We know we want more space, excellent public schools, and the lake, so Chapin is definitely the answer. We want our kids to be able to see their grandparents everyday (which Hubs' and my parents live in the area!).  We don't want to pay private tuition. So::  Chapin.

A buddy of mine is a realtor, so he helped us navigate different neighborhoods and areas and let us know about the different school options. We ultimately decided we still wanted to be close-in, but still have the lake and Chapin schools. Our priorities landed us on a search in Lakeside at Ballentine. I've always liked that neighborhood (and the fact that it is DIRECTLY behind my parents land!).

After looking at houses in there, we liked two of them. Unfortunately, one went under contract before we could offer. The other one- well, it's OURS if everything pans out!!!! I've never had to worry about timing two closings in two different cities, just days apart. Hopefully everything goes the way it is supposed to go. Fingers crossed for smooth transitions.

Houston House # 4!

We plan to do a few renovations before moving in, so we will be living with my parents for a couple of weeks while that is done. Nothing major like structural or addition wise. Just changing some flooring/paint/backsplash. That sort of thing. Purely cosmetic. This will be the NEWEST home Hubs and I have ever bought. The condo was 1995. The Roswell home was 1984. Our Savannah home is 1953. This one was built in 2002. Moving on up, HA!!

We are a mix of emotions right now. Sad to leave family and friends here. I've done the ugly cry and wondered should we really move several times now. Excited for a new adventure. Excited to live right around the corner from my parents. Stressed about packing. Stressed about wrapping up some projects. Stressed about uprooting the girls. All of it.

But, I know if everything works out that come August we will be enjoying a cold one on Lake Murray watching the sun drop.... with free babysitters.... :)