Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New life in South Carolina!

Hi y'all! It's been a little over a week since we moved to Greenville, South Carolina and so far, we are loving it here! It seems like it's been such a whirlwind since we moved, but everything has been wonderful! We arrived in South Carolina on Friday, July 2nd with both my parents and Cam's parents after the 2 day drive down from Michigan. We didn't have time to come down here to look at apartments before signing a lease, so we had no idea what to expect with our apartment, but we were really pleasantly surprised! Our complex is beautiful (with a great pool!) and our 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment is so nice and new (and giant)! We couldn't have been happier about it. And we're on the first floor, so it made moving in in the heat a lot easier! It was great to have both sets of our parents here to help us, so we could all be here to share in this new experience together. I feel really fortunate to have such wonderful parents that are always willing to help me. It's great because my in-laws are the same way, and they get along really well with my parents which is a huge blessing. After unloading all day Friday, we headed to downtown Greenville for dinner, and were all so impressed by just how nice the downtown was! Adorable tree-lined streets, tons of cute shops and restaurants, with a great park and waterfalls right in the center of town, and only about 10 minutes from our apartment! We spent Saturday exploring Greenville, and had another amazing dinner downtown. (Gotta try out all the good restaurants while the parents are in town!) Then Sunday morning, we all had a great Southern brunch and then my parents headed back to Michigan. That night we went to dinner with Cam's parents and watched the fireworks downtown, and then they headed back to Oregon on Monday morning. All in all, our move couldn't have gone any better. It was great to spend time with both of our parents, and it's definitely a good memory for all of us.

This past week was Cam's last week before starting his job, so we tried to get unpacked and get the apartment in order as much as possible. But midweek, we decided we wanted to get to see a little bit more of the state before his job started, so we took a little mini-trip to Charleston, SC. It's about 3 1/2 hrs from our house, so not too far at all for a quick trip. We started out our visit to Charleston by going to Boone Hall Plantation, built in 1743. It inspired the plantation in Gone with the Wind and it's where they filmed parts of The Notebook. Cam and I are suckers for anything historical, so going to the plantation was a really fun experience. We spent the afternoon at the beach on Isle of Palms, SC, then headed for our hotel in the historic downtown area of Charleston. We stayed at the Mills House Hotel which was right downtown, I'd highly recommend it! Charleston is known for having some amazing restaurants, and we had a fantastic seafood dinner, where we got to try many of the regional specialties. The next day, we took a walking tour of Charleston, which is another thing I'd highly recommend if you're visiting there. Our tour guide took us by some of the most beautiful houses, and was able to give us a lot of history about the city. I was blown away by how gorgeous Charleston is, and am really looking forward to going back at a time other than July, as it was sooo hot and humid! We ended our trip to Charleston by going to swim at Folly Beach, and it was great to just have a few days to relax after the big move before Cam started work.

Cam started his new job yesterday, and things are going well so far! His office is only about 5 minutes from our house, so it's wonderful that he has such a short commute. After Cam left yesterday morning, I was wondering what I should do with myself when I happened to see an ad on the Greenville Humane Society website saying that they needed fosters for some lab puppies for about a week. Cam and I have been talking about getting a dog for awhile (ok, I've been talking, Cam's been saying it's a bad idea haha), so I thought this is perfect! I would get a little foster puppy, and I'd have it to keep me company while I search for a job and make this first week of Cam being gone a little easier. I went to the Humane Society yesterday afternoon, and picked up a little black lab pup named Tweety. I was given food, his cage, a leash, and his medication. He had an upper respiratory infection, not contagious to humans but he wasn't supposed to be around other dogs. I was also told that since he was still a puppy, he may have some kind of internal parasites, so I wasn't supposed to let him down on the carpet in the apt, because if he went to the bathroom on the carpet, it would be virtually impossible to get rid of the parasite, which would be bad if we got a dog or I were to foster another dog. So since the only areas of our apt that aren't carpeted are our kitchen and our bathrooms, I thought this might be a little bit of a challenge...I had no idea. I brought Tweety home, and by the time we got back to the apartment, he had already peed all over the front seat of my Jeep. Then once we got back, I put him on our deck so I could unload his crate out of the car. I checked the slats of the deck and they're pretty close together, so I thought he'd be perfectly fine for a few minutes. Before I had even unloaded the crate from the car, Tweety had already escaped from the deck and ran to see where I was in the parking lot. I finally got his crate inside and set up, and put him in there for a few minutes with his water dish since it was so hot, and went to try to clean the pee out of my Jeep. By the time I got back, Tweety had spilled his entire water dish, and had splashed water all over our bathroom. By the time Cam called to say that he was on his way home from work, I was pooped. While he was on the phone with me, Tweety was barking up a storm in the background, and Cam was like "what are you doing at the Humane Society?" And I'm like "Umm I'm not..." So needless to say, Cam was surprised when he came home, but I was seriously already so frustrated after a few hours, that the first thing I said to him when he walked in the door was that we're not having a baby or getting a dog for a LONG time. So he was glad that getting this little foster pup helped me realize we are soo not in the right stage of our lives for a puppy, they are really so much work. We spent the rest of the night playing with the puppy, and while it was fun, but it's also just really annoying having a dog in an apartment in the south in the summer, because every time the dog has to go to the bathroom, you've got to stand out there with it in the sweltering heat. So at the end of the night, we put Tweety in his cage, and headed to bed...and within 2 hours of falling asleep, Tweety started barking....and barking....and barking...I actually remember rolling over, still half asleep and asking Cam, "wait is that sound coming from our apartment?" We were up all night with the pup because he would not stop barking, and he woke up some of our neighbors (great first impression on our part!). So sadly, I had to take Tweety back to the Humane Society this afternoon; as much as I would have loved to continue fostering him, it just wasn't going to work for our situation (the volunteer coordinator told me when I picked him up it would be ok if I brought him back if he was too loud for the apartment...I still felt bad though). So we will be getting a dog someday, but I definitely learned my lesson!

All in all, life in South Carolina is great so far! The weather is hot, but it's been a really hot summer everywhere this year, so I can't really complain. I really like the area a lot, and am excited to get to know it better. Once the weather cools down, I'm looking forward to having lots of visitors, y'all are welcome anytime!! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Farewell Ann Arbor


The day has finally come--we finally moved out of Ann Arbor! As I sit in our hotel in Knoxville (we split the drive down to SC in to two parts to make it a little easier), I'm just reflecting over what a day it has been. After spending the week packing up the apartment, Cam and I finally turned in our keys to our apartment on Plymouth Rd, got in our UHaul, and headed south. Cam and I were both quiet as we pulled out of our apartment, and it really began to hit me just how weird it was that we were leaving Ann Arbor, the place that's been our home for the past five years. Just as I was starting to get all emo, Cam turned on the radio, and what song came on but "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert. If you haven't heard it, I highly recommend giving it a listen. The song is really simple and honest, and really just gets right at the heart of the feeling of leaving home, and it literally makes me tear up every time I listen to it. Hearing that song at that moment really just popped the bubble of emotion that had been forming over the past week, and I just started bawling. This song had made my cry before, but today it just really got to me. By the time the song got in to the second verse, Cam was crying too, so here we are in our Uhaul just heading down the highway, bawling our eyes out. While we're both so excited about this new chapter, a chapter of our lives is closing, and there is a sense of sadness in knowing that a period of our lives is over forever. Ann Arbor holds so many memories for Cam and I both individually and, more importantly, together. It's the place that we received our educations and built great friendships, but it's so much more than just a college town for us; it's the place where we met each other, fell in love, got engaged, got married, and spent our first year as newlyweds. While we both love the homes where we grew up, Ann Arbor holds a special place in our hearts because it's the first place that we created a home together, and it will always be so special to us. There are just so many things I'm going to miss about Ann Arbor. I'm really going to miss it's seasons (ok, winter not so much), but nowhere beats Ann Arbor in the fall. The campus looks gorgeous, the weather is perfect, and there is just this electricity in the air with all the student excited to be back on campus. I'm going to miss seeing Maize & Blue on everything everywhere, going to Saturday football games in the Big House, and taking runs through campus. So while a lot of what I'm going to miss has to do with U of M, I'm also really just going to miss Ann Arbor in general because it's such a wonderful place that I've really enjoyed living. I'm going to miss the farmer's market, all the adorable houses, and walking around downtown. I'm also really really going to miss all our favorite food spots-Zingerman's, No Thai, Yogobliss, BTB, and all the great restaurants on Main Street. And I'm really going to miss our perfect little apartment, our beautiful view, and hearing the train whistle as it goes by every night. I really do feel fortunate that I met my husband at the University of Michigan, and that we can share that connection. We're both looking forward already to coming back for a game this fall (and we haven't even been gone a day yet), and we are so going to be those parents dressing our kids in Maize and Blue in hopes that one of them will go to U of M someday! So while I don't know what South Carolina will be like, or what the future will hold, I know that Ann Arbor will always feel like home to us :)

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