I love the beach. Why else would I call Charleston home for the last six years? Sadly, I don't make enough time in my life to enjoy the beach. Something that has been on my bucket list since I moved to Charleston and had yet to do was learn to surf. As a kid, I remember spending my days at Cherry Grove Beach with my brother boogie boarding all day and having the time of my life, so I knew surfing would be something I would most likely enjoy. Thanks to Isla Surf School I was able to check surfing off my bucket list and perhaps find a new hobby.
My Surfing Experience
I arrived at Folly Beach on a breezy Thursday afternoon. I parked near the Tides Hotel and walked over to Isla's spot on the beach at 3 St W. on Folly. I was greeted by the team which included Peter (the owner), Tommy (the Head Instructor), and Trip (another Head Instructor). I was also joined by the Cocktail Bandits (Johnny and Neka), as well as, Jessica with the Red Sunflower.
Prior to hitting the waves we participated in a "land lesson" lead by the comical Tommy. The land lesson is designed to teach you everything you need to know about surfing, including the board, how to paddle, and lastly, how to standup on the board. After laughing and learning (and admittedly struggling a bit to learn how to stand up on the board), we were ready to put on our rash guards, strap our boards to our ankle, and hit the water.
As I mentioned earlier, it was rather breezy out with a pretty strong current. You could definitely see a storm brewing off in the distance. With the pretty aggressive current, it was important that we stuck together in groups. Jessica and I headed out with Peter.
Actually carrying the board against the wind and getting it in the water was one of the hardest parts. By the time I laid down on the board, I was exhausted. However, I was determined to catch a wave. I paddled out to Peter and waited for Peter's cue to start paddling to catch my first wave.
A few minutes later, Peter yelled "paddle" and before I could blink, I was catching my first wave. I paddled hard and aggressively, a little unsure of when to stand. I waited for Peter to yell "stand" and up I went. I really surprised myself that I was even able to stand up. My first wave didn't last long as I felt super wobbly and ended up bailing out. However, the first wave gave me the biggest adrenaline rush!
I quickly got back on the board and paddled back out to Peter. After a few more minutes, I caught another wave, and to my surprise, was able to stand and ride the wave for a good distance. All in all in, I was able to catch about five waves, and stand up and ride about three of the five. The current was aggressive and paddling wore me out. We decided to call it a day just to be safe rather than sorry. I was really amazed to hear Peter say that if you could catch a wave in those conditions, then you could easily catch a wave in calmer conditions.
Overall, I highly enjoyed my experience with Isla. Peter was super patient and chill. He was a great teacher and easily calmed any fear I had. Surfing was the most invigorating yet relaxing experience I've had in a long time. It is definitely a great way to escape and decompress from everything that is going on in life.
(Photos courtesy of Parlay Vous)
So I've always been afraid to state my opinion on this matter because I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who participate in MLM's (mid-level marketing schemes, "network marketing", "pyramid schemes", etc). I by no means want to offend anyone who participates in these, however, I do want to make it known why I am against these types of programs. If you disagree with my opinion, that is fine, but it is just my opinion. Again, I mean no harm in what I am about to say.
1. I am a Marketer and Don't Like the Term Being Thrown Around
I am a marketer by trade. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications, I took classes on advertising, media, economics, and even social media (yes, back in 2011 social media was still considered a "new" thing). I hate the term being thrown around. I hate the fact that any Tom, Dick, or Jane with a social media account, trying to sell a product, calls themselves a "marketer". Salesperson, yes, marketer, no. There is difference between sales and marketing. My job is to build awareness about a brand or product, a salesperson's job is to actually sell it. In fact, I am a crappy salesperson. I hate talking about money (which I'll get into later). So I would never call myself a salesperson. I am not discrediting salespeople, there are ton of excellent salespeople who are highly skilled and highly educated. So please do not label yourselves as "marketers". You are salespeople.
2. MLM's are Path for Extremely Gullible People to Lose A Lot of Money
I hate when people pray on gullible people. I, myself, can be gullible at times. I thank my husband, family, and friends for helping me to become less gullible every day. Nothing irks me more then to see the messages on Facebook of "Who wants to sit on their couch, in their pj's, and make a decent side income? Reply below if you are interested.". And then people reply "Interested" and then the person says "PM Sent".
Yes, it is possible to make a decent living in your pjs at home. I do it every day. But what I don't do is make a decent living at the expense of others. I have a career that allows me these luxuries. My problem with the above scenario is that if the opportunity was that great, and the money is that great, why not be upfront with how much you are actually making, the job duties required, and how to apply for the position? I have had to rely on Facebook to recruit for my business. However, there are so many skeptics (like myself) who have been burned by MLM's (or are just sick of hearing about them) that bypass my actual recruiting post or see me as a "scam" artist.
Since MLM's are not upfront about what they are "recruiting" for, they lure people in with the thought of making a large sum of money. They play on the heartstrings of women wanting to be stay at home moms, but just can't quite afford it. So they say, you can have all this and be super successful, but you have to invest a little bit first. To be an entrepreneur, you often have to come up with capital beforehand, however, how much is determined by you and your goals. MLM's promise that your small investment will turn into something huge. What they don't include is how much work will be required to reach that level. Tons of and tons of work will go into making every dollar. Many times this is just to recoup your initial investment. There are many other ways I would rather earn a side living than to dump a chunk of change into an MLM and hope I get a return eventually.
3. MLM's Create a Sense of Distrust Around Peers
Prior to MLM's, when I would receive a message from an old friend on Facebook I would get excited. It was always nice to connect with someone from your past. However, now I get skeptical because 99% of the time that person is reaching out to me to join their MLM. It's actually quite hurtful. I love building friendships with people with no strings attached. However, it feels like genuine friendship has gone out the window. (Social media can share some blame in that). I feel like everyone is just trying to strike up a friendship with me so I'll go in on their MLM.
The flip side of that is when you already have a friendship with someone and they invest in an MLM. I'm supportive of friends helping friends. I'm always helping out friends in need. However, I do not want to support friend's who have MLM's because I become a crutch to them and their business. They become pushier and pushier for me to "join" .or whatever. It just takes away from the friendship when you are feeling forced to support their "business", which you yourself do not truly believe in. I'll be happy to support your actual retail business, restaurant, or any other business, but I am not going to support your MLM where you would only receive pennies of my business and the rest ends up in the hands of the higher ups.
As I mentioned above, I also hate talking about money. I hate anytime money is brought up in a conversation. That's why I sucked at sales. I could never close the deal. So I hate feeling like money (and the talk of money) comes between me and my friends.
My reasonings against MLM's are something I've wanted to get off my chest for a while. Again, you don't have to agree with me, but please respect my opinion. I am always respectful to MLM's, but simply chose not to participate. If you are actually interested in building your own unique brand and marketing it, that is an avenue I can definitely help with. I like to see the money people make actually go in their hands and not 1000 other people's hands who had nothing to do with your success. Just my two cents worth. Thanks for reading!
My in-laws love to plan "family field trips". In the past we've done New Orleans as a large family and New York with just them and us. This year, my Mother-in-Law wanted to surprise my Father-in-law with a trip to DC for his 70th birthday. I guess when you live in Fort Lauderdale, going somewhere tropical in the winter is out of the question, so why not go somewhere cold?!
We arrived in DC early Friday morning. My Mother-in-law had everything planned down to the minute. We sat at the airport for two hours waiting on my in-laws flight to land. They also were flying with my Brother-in-law, Sister-in-law, and seven year old Nephew. The flight circled quite a few times and after sitting at DCA for two hours and on little sleep (we took the 6 am flight out of Charleston), we almost debated leaving. The flight finally landed and were were able to surprise my Father-in-Law.
We got into DC, checked into the Embassy Suites in Foggy Bottom and walked around the corner to Crossfit Foggy Bottom, to do the first of the 2018 Crossfit Open workouts. The staff at the gym were very welcoming (although it was weird that it was in the basement of a really nice hotel. There were men in suits and us in sweats.) After finishing the workout, we freshened up at the hotel, and headed out to walk around. The whole time we were in DC the weather was quite gloomy, but thankfully not frigid cold. We walked around the National Mall area, grabbed a hot dog on the street (because I was starving) and headed back to the hotel to relax.
Friday night we enjoyed dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill. The restaurant is one of the oldest in DC and is near Capital Hill. The restaurant/bar area was quite packed for a February Friday night. We sat at a large table in the corner near the bar. The food was great. I had the crab cakes. We also shared a few desserts. After dinner, we were all quite tired and headed back to the hotel for the night.
Saturday we all got up pretty early and made the trek out to Dulles Airport to see the Steven F. Udvary-Hazy Center Air and Space Museum. I'll admit, I wasn't thrilled to make the trek out to Dulles on a less than ideal weather day. We got to the museum and my attitude changed. I have always been fascinated with planes. Everything about them fascinates me. The museum was definitely worth the trek. Some of my favorite exhibits were the Enola Gay, the Concorde (which I never knew existed), and the USS Discovery.
After the museum we headed back to DC. We walked the full National Mall, went to the National Archives, then trekked back to the hotel. In total we walked about 6 miles that days. We went to a nicer dinner at 1789. The restaurant is one of the oldest in DC. You can definitely sense the history in there. The food was okay. I'm never a fan of super upscale places with tiny portions. They made a cake for my Father-in-Law's birthday and it was phenomenal. Probably one of the best cake I've ever had. I brought the rest back to the hotel to eat, but didn't eat it that night and didn't realize I could pack it in my suitcase. The cake ended up getting left behind :(
Sunday morning we woke up and headed to breakfast at the Riggsby. The restaurant was located in the Carlyle Hotel. The food was good (although I don't recall what I had). The atmosphere was really nice. Definitely a very "Charlestony" restaurant in DC. After breakfast, we got our luggage and made the trek back to the airport and back to sunny and 80 degree South Carolina weather.
If you haven't had a chance, I encourage you to go check out part one of my recent Charleston food adventures. But don't worry, this isn't like the Hunger Games (maybe more like the Hungry Games) where you have to read part one to understand part two.
Anyways, this month I've made an effort to break out of the routine and check out places that typically fall off our radar. One of these places is Locals in Mount Pleasant. We used to go to Locals every now and then. Their sushi is truly the best in the city. However, their service was just plain awful. After a not so pleasant experience where we waited an hour and a half for food, we decided not to go back. However, a couple Friday's ago, we were really craving sushi and wanted something different. We love Zen here in West Ashley, but really wanted Local's sushi. Since it has been several years since we last went, we decided to give it a shot. First, we were impressed with how much nicer it was inside. Next, we were impressed with the expansion of their menu. Lastly, the service was 1000 times better. We had a couple apps and each ordered two rolls. It was as a good as we remembered! I eyed a piece of cake as it was coming out the kitchen and we decided to indulge in a piece of cake to top off the experience.
A few days later, as a new Yelp Elite member, I had the opportunity to join the Yelp squad at Tijuana Flats in Summerville. I couldn't pass up the opportunity because I love Tijuana Flats. T. Flats (as we call it) is one of my favorite places to eat when visiting my in-laws in Fort Lauderdale. I got to experience the Hidden Menu with the Yelp squad. I started out with a Sangria and beefy chips and queso. Both were equally delicious. Next, we had the "Atomic Bombs" which was a jalapeno popper-esque dish. I typically shy away from jalapenos, but decided to give it a try. It wasn't spicy at all and was super delicious. The next course was a Mexican pizza. It was thin and loaded with all the toppings. As my first Yelp experience, I made the rookie mistake of eating a little too much too soon. I was starting to get full, but still wanted to experience every dish. I decided to slow down and just take a few bites of the pizza and the next course, which was a taco. We finished the experience with some yummy churros. I am definitely looking forward to my next Yelp experience.
For Valentine's Day, my husband and I made reservations at R. Kitchen in West Ashley. For our anniversary last year, we experienced R. Kitchen downtown. The West Ashley location is literally right down the street from our house. It blends in with the surroundings and has no real signage, so it is literally a secret spot. The West Ashley location has all bar seats. We sat at the bar and noticed the variety of bottles of wine in front of us. The wine was complimentary with the meal, which was a nice addition. The Chef focused on quintessential "Valentine's Dishes". We started with a Crab Bisque with corn and a coconut milk base. It was so light and delicious .The next dish we had was an "egg roll". The chef used his Mexican heritage to make this more into a "Mexican Egg Roll". I only sampled this dish, as I didn't want to fill up like I did at Tijuana Flats. The next course was "salmon roll". I was anticipating some type of sushi, but was pleasantly surprised when he started plating with molé. The dish was salmon, inside phyllo and brie, atop a chocolatey molé, This was one of my favorite dishes. The next course was a steak and mushroom dish, with a warm cheese sauce a top. We finished the night with a chocolate lava cake with sea salt. I loved the sea salt addition!
We also recently checked out Harold's Cabin downtown for a Saturday happy hour drink and snack. I loved the vibe of this place. It was like a local neighborhood restaurant/coffee shop, but with a funky flare. I ordered the daily coffee cocktail. The bartender really sold me on it. It was delicious and sweet. We also ordered some hush puppies. They were huge and delicious. My favorite part about this experience was the neighborhood kids popping in, grabbing a bottle (yes, old school bottle) of Coke. The bartender told us the kids frequent the spot and that he knows most of their parents. Some parents don't allow the kids to have Cokes, so he has to keep an eye out to make sure they aren't sneaking them. I was reminded of how we need more spots like this in Charleston. I look forward to going back to Harold's Cabin for dinner sometime or even to grab coffee in the morning.
So if you checked out my last post, my word of the year was moderation. Part of this was learning how to eat in moderation. Charleston is full of amazing restaurants. If I stuck to a very restrictive diet, I would miss out on all that Charleston has to offer.
In January, I decided that instead of doing a "typical" diet, I would do something that I felt would be helpful for me. I cut out meat for the month. While there wasn't a "diet" undertone about it. It was something I did to simplify life. I would be less to tempted to stop at McDonald's if I couldn't get chicken nuggets. I would be more likely to order a salad or fish option at dinner instead of a burger. I came to learn what works for me, is simply that, something that works for me. I didn't need nor want the advice of a nutritionist or someone who "claims" to know nutrition. I did something that meant something to me.
Outside of eating junk food from time to time, I feel I live a relatively healthy lifestyle. I exercise about 5-6 days a week. I don't smoke, vape, or do anything harmful to my body. I've cut down on alcohol and soda consumption. Along the way I had those telling me that what I was doing made no sense. That "soy" nuggets were worse then regular nuggets, etc. I took their opinion with a grain of salt. It wasn't about how healthy the nugget was, it was about setting my mind to something and achieving it.
So that brings me to this point. I made it the whole month of January without eating meat or fast food. I rewarded myself by trying out the famous "Tavern Burger" at Little Jack's. Throughout the month of January I kept reading post after post about this burger. I had to try it. It lived up to it's rave reviews. It was velvety, which is a word I wouldn't use to describe a burger. It was greasy, but not dripping with grease. Just enough grease so it wasn't dry. The special sauce was used sparingly so it didn't take over the burger. It was worth every bite and the wait. Pretty sure the bartender at Little Jack's thought I hadn't eaten a bite in a month.
During that weekend, I also stopped into Edmund's Oast Brewing Company at Pacific Box & Crate (also known as the Workshop). My husband was rounding out his Whole30 (I may have caused him to do a Whole27 instead...oops, but he did do a few days before the snow storm and then started after), but anyways I was dying to try their food after popping in there for a drink a few days prior. We ended up getting a pizza and their spicy fries. It was worth every bite. The spicy fries were amazing, and super spicy. I typically shy away from spicy food, but could not stop eating these.
On Sunday, we went to church at Seacoast, and then stopped into our new favorite neighborhood breakfast spot, the Gathering Cafe. The Gathering Cafe is located literally across the street from our house. We passed by it all the time, but never stopped in until a guy at a bar literally wouldn't stop talking about it. I tried the Avocado Toast for the first time and it was probably the best Avocado Toast I've ever had. I also had a Mimosa, which was like $4, and large as well. If you haven't had a chance, stop into Gathering Cafe. If you blink you may miss it because it's small and slightly hidden.
Anyways, I've actually gotten a lot better about taking photos before indulging. Here are some mouthwatering photos of my food adventures. Stay tuned for part two of my Charleston food adventures including my first Yelp event and our Valentine's Date Night.
When thinking about what word I wanted to model my year after, the only thing that came to mind was "moderation". If you know me, you know I like to give 150% into everything I do, and thus end up diving 150% into the project at hand. My world will revolve around said project and it will become an obsession.
While this is a healthy mindset for work and my career, it's not a healthy mindset for my life. I have a hard time turning off the "switch". Last year, I dove 150% into my new job, Crossfit, and just every day life. I pushed myself to see what my limit was. While it wasn't a bad thing, I certainly hit my limit, and many times when doing so, felt inadequate in the process. I tried too hard to be the best, forgetting in the process to enjoy the ride and learn from my mistakes. An error on the job, left me feeling like my whole life was a giant error. A bad Crossfit workout that day, would be put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Eating fast food would make me feel like I was so ridiculously unhealthy. This all led to a giant amount of frustration and anger towards myself and the ones and I loved.
That led me to where I am today, "moderation". The initial word came up when I was trying to drastically scale back my alcohol consumption. After going 21 days without a single drop of alcohol, and then having a couple drinks from time to time, I realized I was fully capable of moderation on that end. But what about everything else? How could I apply this word to my everyday life?
First, after reading a very inspiring piece from Holly Butcher, a 27 year old Australian woman, who recently passed away from cancer, I realized how truly short life is to stress and allow certain petty things to take over my life. It hit so close to home reading about someone, who was my age, pass away from a disease that any of us could get. I realized who cares if I had chicken nuggets today or drank a glass of wine because I had a rough day. I realized how very little it matters in life. This quote specifically punched me in the gut:
"You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.
Let all that shit go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more."
That's when it hit me, it's okay to live a moderate life. It's okay to enjoy things you love and to not stress out about them. I don't have to make everything 150% of my life. I can go workout without feeling like I'm competing against everyone else. I can bust my tail at work, but enjoy it and learn while I ago. I can leave to take a walk with my dog when work gets hard or the days start to get mundane. I have control over my life and I chose to live it moderately.
Is #20GreatTeen a thing? If not, we should make it a thing. So far 2018 is off to a tremendous start. (It's only been four days, so may be I should give it sometime...but who cares?!). I think I was one of the few who didn't think 2017 was that terrible either. It certainly had some low points, I struggled with some issues over the summer, but I was proud of myself for being able to turn those around and really end 2017 on a very positive note.
Anyways, I sit here blogging on what is now day two of our "snow day". I was pretty excited about the snow. It hadn't really snowed here since I moved here back in 2012. The last snow I saw was in January 2011 when I was at USC. After sliding on ice on a bridge and wrecking my car in 2011, I'm sitting this one out, comfortably in my pjs with my coffee at home.
If you can't tell already, one of my main goals for the new year is to be more positive. In the past the glass was half empty for me. I'm working to change that around. I mean I have a career that I love (I work from my Lululemon clothes everyday). I have a home that is well lived in. I can afford food on the table and to splurge every now and then. I'm at one of my healthiest and physically fit times in life. So what do I have to complain about? Sure the world has it's faults, my husband and I get in a tiff every now and then, but overall, I have what I need and I need to be grateful.
I'm also looking forward to becoming more of a leader in and out of the workplace this year. With each passing year, I become less and less of a "young" adult and more and more of an "actual" adult. (Scary, I know!) In the process, I have discovered things that I am truly passionate about and want to share with others.
One thing that I am passionate about is cryptocurrency. I spent the second half of the year learning and beginning to invest extra money into it. I truly see this as way to make a secondary income for myself and for other women out their. I see this as the path to financial freedom. I am hoping to launch a Women in Crypto meet up this year (stay tuned Charleston ladies!).
I hope everyone elses' 2018 is off to an amazing start! Let's all work together to make it #20GREATteen!
Anyways, here are some pictures from our "snow day". A lot of fun, but now I'm ready for summer!
You blinked your eyes and just like that it's Thanksgiving week with Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the horizon. If you are anything like me, you've thought about making a Holiday list, but then got distracted and have yet to actually do it. You've probably also been asked by significant others and relatives the age old question, "What do you want for Christmas?" (queue my best grandma voice). So if you are stuck as to what to get friends, family, and significant others for Christmas, here are a couple of my recommendations.
Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf/Wrap
If you know me or have ever seen me in public (hope I had on makeup that day) then you probably know that basically all I wear is Lululemon. While I hate that I love expensive workout gear (at least I actually use most of it given the amount I workout) a few of my favorite staples are my Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf and my Lululemon Vinyasa Wrap. Picture above is the Wrap. It makes a great, elegant piece paired over a dress or even a casual outfit. It also works ell as an extra layer on chilly fall or spring days. When it actually gets cold out, it can be used as a scarf. Lulu's Vinyasa Scarves' are great too. I like my scarf for more casual looks. If you have the luxury of living near an outlet, you can typically find them on a good marked down price. If not, you can find the wrap here ($29 on Markdown mind you!) and the scarf here. These truly make the best gifts for friends and those who you don't want to worry about buying the wrong size.
If you are in the mood to "shop small" this Holiday season, I highly recommend High Tide Designs based here in Charleston. My friend and former co-worker, Lauren, started this business over a year ago and her work is amazing. I love this small Oyster Pendant and Necklace. I bought this for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day (or her birthday, I forget) and she loved it. This is a great gift for those that love the coastal life, but want to avoid the "tchotchke" Charleston gift. Not only will the recipient love this, but you are also helping a small business grow. Check out Lauren's Etsy store for more of her work.
Bernhardt Field Diver Watch
While we are still on the accessories train, if you are looking for an inexpensive watch check out Bernhardt's Field Diver Watch. The watch is only $169. What I really love about Bernhardt is that they are a family run business, with all watches being designed by hand in North Carolina. The product is high quality and Bernhardt firmly stands behind their product. Watches are pieces that are hung on to for years, so when buying a watch it's important to buy a durable, "timeless" (no pun intended) piece. Shop Bernhardt's full collection here.
We recently bought an Amazon Echo and I love it! Alexa is my new BFF. Working from home can get lonely, so it's nice to be able to play music while I work without relying on my phone and bluetooth. It uses our Amazon Prime account and plays music available to Prime users. It's also great to utilize for reminder purposes and just has an overall source of entertainment. Alexa's jokes are quite funny. This is a great gift for the tech junky who seems to have everything.
I love Nectar Sunglasses. I bought the pair above (Rey) over the summer. I wore them basically every day and unfortunately after a few too many drinks at Follypalooza, I lost them. I was heartbroken (like seeing a sick puppy, heartbroken) about it. Well, what I love about Nectar is that the glasses are not that expensive (much cheaper than Ray Bans). I could have gotten the same pair I had for $39.99, but as God would have it, a few days later, I received an email from Nectar with a 50% off offer when bought off of Amazon. I ended up getting the Coltic/Wayfarer style and love them. What I also love about Nectar vs big name sunglass companies, is that Nectar is local. For a fraction of the price you can give someone a high quality pair of sunglasses (with a lifetime warranty) and also support honey bees and a local business Visit Nectar's store here.
Sometimes life gets a little overwhelming and you just want to escape for a few days. I recently had the opportunity to escape the day to day routine and spend a few days alone at Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort. This was the first time I've actually gone on a trip completely alone. I was a little hesitant at first, scared I might get bored, but I truly loved being alone and being on my own time. I got to do what I wanted to do. (Obviously, since I have the luxury of working remotely, I worked during the day.)
I arrived in Litchfield Sunday afternoon. I arrived a little before sunset, so I dropped my things, poured some wine and walked down to the beach. The beach was about a quarter of a mile walk from my room. There are a bunch of properties on the resort including beach houses and condos. My dad purchased his condo in the Summerhouse section earlier this year. He bought it so we can use it as a family. The properties is also available to rent through the resort, so sometimes it can be difficult to snag the condo before it's booked, which is why I planned a mid-week trip. Anyways, the walk to the beach was nice and scenic. There is a walkway that takes you straight there, so you don't have to worry about walking on busy roads.
I arrived to the beach right in time for sunset. The sunset was remarkable! It was also a relatively warm Sunday for October, so I could still enjoy putting my feet in the ocean. I sipped my wine and enjoyed the solitude.
After enjoying the sunset on the beach, I went back to the condo, sipped some more wine and called it a night. I woke up Monday and went for a run on the beach, again enjoying the warm temperatures. However, I was promptly reminded Monday afternoon that it was indeed fall, as thunderstorms rolled in and dropped the temperatures. I hopped on 17 and headed up the Lululemon Outlet in Myrtle Beach to get some retail therapy in. I ended up buying a jacket and scarf because I was FREEZING. I then headed over to the Market Commons where I enjoyed a nice, quiet happy hour/dinner at Co. I have been to the Co here in Charleston and enjoy it; however, I wanted to try the Myrtle Beach Co because I knew they had sushi. The happy hour prices were great and even included some sushi rolls. This was my first time in the Market Common area of Myrtle Beach. It was so cute, far from the touristy Myrtle Beach feel. After dinner, I headed back to Litchfield.
Tuesday was a quiet day. What I really loved about the resort was they had a full Starbucks on site. (Not one of the janky hotel Starbucks that just serves Starbucks coffee, but a legit Starbucks). The Starbucks was just a few steps from the hotel. I also enjoyed swimming laps in the indoor pool. It was a fun change from my normal workout routine. I enjoyed a quiet Tuesday night, enjoying happy hour and dinner at Webster's (the restaurant on site). The food was good, old fashioned Southern food. I am eager to go back in the summer when they have the Tiki Bar outside open.
Overall, my experience was great. I am happy to have this as a place to go and relax when I want to. I love the Litchfield area. It's so peaceful and quiet. It's a great escape from the busy city that Charleston has become. It's only a little over an hour away, so it's a great little getaway.
It's been a little over 24 hours since news broke of the worst mass shooting in US History. Every morning, when I wake up, I lay in bed and do a brief skim of the news of the day, before starting my day. I noticed on Monday morning an alert about a shooting in Vegas. I was half asleep, and paid no mind to it. I then did my daily social media check and saw that not only was there a shooting, there was a mass shooting. Shock, disgust, and how did this happen AGAIN, went through my head. The feeling of being numb to this type of news ran through my body. Hatred filled my mind, because I felt numb to the news. Why, why, why was all I kept asking.
Now let's rewind to the night prior. Sunday night was a somewhat normal night. We had a lazy Sunday. Typically, on Sunday nights, we watch football or something pretty light hearted. Well, as we were skimming the guide, one show caught our attention, Active Shooter: Colorado Movie Theater Shooting (or something like that). What's weird is my husband knows that real crime drama shows cause me intense anxiety and inability to sleep. However, he was intrigued and we both got sucked in. After the show, we started talking about mass shootings. It was a hard conversation to have. The documentary highlighted what everyday people and first responders do in an active shooter situation. We had the conversation of what we would do. All I kept thinking is no matter what, I wouldn't want to be separated from my husband in a situation like that. If I died, I would want him by my side.
Now, all that keeps filling my head is how many people lost their husband, wife, or loved ones and in such a tragic manner. How many husband's and wive's told their significant other to escape only to be gunned down themselves. How many goodbye's that never got said. My heart absolutely breaks.
Last week, was my first week in my new car. Part of the new car package was a Sirius XM radio subscription. I've previously had Sirius and was happy to have it again. Well, during my commute back and forth to the gym on Thursday, Buzz from the Highway was chatting with a woman on the phone who said she was excited to see them at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. On Saturday and Sunday, I listened to the live broadcast from the festival. Now, I can't help wondering, what happened to the lady on the phone. Is she okay? She's a stranger, who I've never met, but to hear her excitement for her weekend in Vegas, that now probably has turned into nightmares and anxiety (at best) and at worst injuries or death, breaks my heart.
I keep running through my head, that this could of been me, my husband, my friends, my family. We love country music, we love traveling. I was preparing to ask my husband if we could go to the festival next year. I try not live in the panic and fear the world. But it's hard to feel like you can trust anyone any more. A simple beep of the horn at someone who almost hit you in traffic, can turn into a gun shot. A trip to the grocery store, can end badly. It's scary to see how close to home these shootings have become. The Mother Emanuel shooting was right next door to my office at the time (and I was the last one there late that night). The Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting happened three weeks to the day that we flew in and out of that terminal. I just can't help but live in fear. Anxiety protrudes my mind and makes it hard to sleep. I want to live in a world that mass violence and terrorism aren't a daily occurrence. I want to bring children into a world where they can go to school and my only worry is if someone pushes them in the hallway, not shoots them.
I grieve for the 59 people who went to a concert and never came home. To the people who walked out the door of their house, with kids, pets, and family inside, never to return. I celebrate those who risked everything to ensure a fellow human was safe. I applaud the law enforcement and first responders who responded to the scene and probably still have yet to get more than a hours sleep. To the doctor's who went into auto pilot and just tried to save as many lives as possible knowing that the odds were stacked against them. I celebrate the people who held the hands of strangers so they didn't have to die alone.
These are just my thoughts as I process all that has occurred. An event that occurred thousands of miles away, yet feels like it occurred in my own backyard.
Haley Parler Moore
Charleston resident. Digital Marketer. Crazy Crossfitter. Bulldog Mom. Wife. Gamecock fan. Constantly clad in Lululemon.