Thursday, April 8, 2010

Would You Like to Come Over for Meatloaf and Four Hours of Vacation Photos?

Guess what? This one time Ryan and I went out to dinner with a couple and afterward they invited us to their house. When we got to their house, we toured it (very nice) and ended up in their home office where we somehow ended up looking through two (TWO!) of their tropical, exotic vacation photos.

At first, I didn't realize what was happening because I was genuinely interested, but a half-hour in I felt pure fight-or-flight panic. I can only handle so many photos of palm trees and exotic flowers from places I've never been. Not to mention all the swimsuit shots. Want to make things instantly awkward? Whip out photos of you and your spouse without real clothes on and show them to friendly acquaintances. Um......how do you respond to that? "Wow!" "Neato." "Huh." "Are you on steroids?"

The situation had snuck up on us. I realized that we were really in for it, AND WE WERE. I think it took two hours, but luckily it only felt like thirteen.

Hey! All this talk of vacation photos reminds me--I recently took a vacation! And it was wonderful! And wouldn't you like to see some photos?

Oh good!

Here are my parents at Valley Forge. Aren't they magnificent?

Here is a door at Valley Forge, at the George Washington Memorial Chapel. I really like this door. (Oh my gosh, she's showing us photos of DOORS! We're in for trouble!)

And here are my parents inside of a door. See? We've come full circle.

This is a little hut at Valley Forge. I wanted to go inside and ask Hansel and Gretel to come out and play with me.

This is during our private tour of the nation's capitol building. That's my nephew Alex in the middle leading the tour.

The cherry blossoms were in full splendor. Here's my mom and the boys in what was supposed to be a "silly" photo. For some reason, Max is uncooperative in photos these days. He's posing as the Statue of Liberty, which is not silly at all.

I thought it would be a good opportunity for a family photo, but again, Max was non-compliant and refused to smile at the camera. I'm emitting verbal threats through that gritted, half-smile.

He still didn't want to cooperate, so I vetoed him from the photo.

Hey, do you recognize this? It's Julia Child's kitchen! (Which is so strange. I had no idea she lived in a Smithsonian museum.)

How about one more look at those cherry blossoms before we leave this part of the vacation?

Alright, you've reached intermission. How are you feeling? ("Wow." "Neato." "Huh." "Are you on steroids crack?")

Let's begin the second week of vacation, shall we? Travel with me to enchanting Hilton Head Island, off the coast of South Carolina. This is the view that was greeting us from our hotel room.

And this is what we woke to the next morning.

If Ryan's career as a professor ever fails, he should pursue being a travel agent. He hooks us up with the best accommodations. And if you're not already using Priceline to book your hotel rooms, you should take a moment and kick yourself in the shin and/or locate a blunt object to pound your head against.

I'm going to spare you any awkward photos of us on the beach at this point. You're welcome.

One day, we took a day trip into Savannah, Georgia. I have wanted to go there for quite some time. I have a fascination with the South, born of Mark Twain novels, Flannery O'Connor short stories, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. I've always thought of the South as that girl you spot on the first day of school who looks completely different from anybody else you've ever met and exudes a coolness and swagger that makes you secretly want to be BFFs with her, even though you're pretty sure she's a little nuts. Or maybe even a lot nuts. But, still.

Savannah is enchanting. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.








Book lovers, prepare yourself. We happened upon the most amazing used bookstore. Cover your keyboard, lest your drool causes it to short out.



We all walked away with a found treasure, although I managed to find one of the only new, full-priced books to purchase. Some would call that a rare talent. Ryan would call that one of the only things he truly doesn't like about me.

We spent another day back on the beach and then bid farewell to this lovely slice of heaven. Bye, heaven! Love ya! 

We made our way up to sweet, sweet Charleston, South Carolina. Oh my, what a delightful city.




Here's Charleston's old super-creepy prison. Most people died 2-3 months into their sentence because the conditions inside were so poor. I told Max I was going to send him there if he didn't start smiling in photos.

Didn't work.

We wanted to stay and eat more fried green tomatoes, Coca-Cola chicken, coconut cream pie, and banana pudding, but we had to say goodbye.


Congratulations! You've made it to the end of my vacation photos! Thanks for your attention. It really wasn't so painful, was it?

Hello?

{Ahem} Hello?

Is anybody there?

26 comments:

Soul-Fusion said...

I always feel a little pushy reciting details of my vacations with copious photos . . . yet, I do it anyway since people always have the option to mock openly, scroll past or close the window completely.
That being said, I didn't do any of those things with yours! Love the photos, love the turquise bag ;)
Now I want to go to Hilton Head and Charleston (that time I flew down in the morning, had a cab driver try and rip me off, sat in a fancy law office and flew home in the late afternoon doesn't count).

Jenny said...

Are you squeezing the back of Max's neck in that family photo??? Poor max I wouldn't smile either.

Those pictures are breathtaking. I want to go to Savannah. Did you see Paula Dean there?

Kelly S. said...

Beautiful!! I'm so jealous. Well, maybe just envious. Is that any different? We spent three weeks in Columbia, SC in 2002 with the Nat'l Guard. Columbia wasn't that great but we went to Myrtle Beach and Savannah and Asheville, NC and the Great Smokey Mtns. If I believed in reincarnation, I think I must have been a Southern Belle at one time, sipping mint juleps and complaining about how you just can't find good help anymore.

Anneliese said...

my sister is living in savannah while her husband is in school (SCAD). i got to visit her last summer & it really is a great place! we too tripped down to Hilton Head...it was wonderful. i'm glad you got to go...even though i wish it was me. :)

J.J. said...

One of the best vacation overviews I've seen...the right balance of pics and stories, with a little funny commentary thrown in.

Hil said...

Love it. I want to stay where you stayed. That beach looks beautiful!!

marta said...

this is my dream vacation. looks like such a fun time, especially with the trees blooming. what perfect timing!! and yes, i'd love to come over for a slideshow. i'll bring my provo meatloaf.

Kristina P. said...

I can smell those cherry blossoms!

buddens said...

I live in DC, have a friend who recently moved to Hilton Head Island (she said the only other people who actually LIVE on the island are old), and if we manage to squeeze in a family vacation this year, it will be to Savannah! So yes, I really enjoyed your recap! What is it about the south that's so mysterious and enchanting? I definitely need to explore it more.

amy said...

I loved sitting through your vacation photos! Especially the commentary. And I have pictures of framed doors hanging on my wall so I totally appreciated the door photo. Looks like you had a lovely couple of weeks.

Kate said...

My heart leaped in my chest when I saw that bookstore. It was like love at first sight. I'm serious. I audibly gasped when I saw it.

Becky said...

Oh the blossoms, the beautiful buildings, the view, the amazing bookstore! I love all of your photos! It wasn't painful at all! What a fun couple of weeks you had.

Anonymous said...

We deffinitely enjoyed the first half!!!! It seemed so familiar, oh ya we were there with you. The pictures of the South reminded me of my mission. Loved the whole blog.

Kim said...

I've been to those exact places in Valley Forge, I've stayed in Hilton Head, I've gone past Savannah many times on my way to Florida and I would LOVE to go to Charleston! Great photos and I totally don't mind seeing you in fashionable swim wear.

alex dumas said...

I love the south. It *is* like a different world.

Jesse C said...

Daaang, Ryan is good. That beach/resort/town looks amazing.

Christy said...

Ahhh, I feel so refreshed now, just like I've been on vacation. Thanks for taking us all along. Guess I will begin my work for the day now.

Annie said...

the book store looks a lot like my mom's basement, minus the dust, beanie babies, and cat hair.

katie said...

Unbelievable! Annie took the words right out of my mouth. When I saw those pictures of the book store, I instantly thought of my moms basement. Stacks! Book creep is what I like to call it. ( hopefully she doesn't see this!)
I LOVED all of the pictures. Man, I need a vacation.

soveryvicki said...

Okay, first of all, how completely cute are you in those pictures with your cutie-patootie jacket and scarf?!??! Secondly, I am completely jealous of your vacation--you visited all of my very favorite cities! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

MiaKatia said...

I can not tell you how excited I am that you tried fried green tomatoes! I really love them and I was quite certain that I would hate them. So glad you took the plunge. The South is charming and beautiful. Looks like you had an amazing vacation. Does that door kind of look like a Chanel bag to you? Love the recap.

Travelin'Oma said...

I love YOUR vacation photos. I can't say the same about other people's. We once watched two hours of the locks in canals in Norway. Don't ask. And don't invite me if you've been there. Thanks for inviting me this time, though.

Travelin'Oma said...

Is the bookstore Baldwin's Barn outside of Philly? We love that place!

Kellybee said...

Can I come next time? I'll smile in all the photos...Looks like a Fabulous time!

tiburon said...

Looks like an amazing vacation! I loved looking at the pictures.

You know we are heading your way this summer...just.saying.

Mrs. Langeland said...

I loved the photos! The hubby and I are off to Hilton Head next week with planned side trips to Savannah and Charleston, so your photos have only added to the excitement. Thanks!

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