Friday, February 10, 2012

Since I've been 30 for almost 6 months...

Last weekend I was in DC spending the weekend with Melissa and was finally able to get the photos of my birthday weekend that we spent in South Carolina back in September.  

I was a bit worried about my 30th birthday and all I wanted for my big day was to be with my best girlfriends and to laugh the day away.  The day that we all arrived in Charleston we went to see a movie and I remember looking to my left and to my right and seeing Kristy, Melissa, and Jacque all at the same time made me teary eyed.  

Jacque has been my best friend nearly my entire life.  We met when I was 7 and she has been a major player in my life ever since.  Melissa was my roommate in college and the one that I have stayed the closest with.  Kristy (as if you haven't read this blog at all before) was my roommate in San Francisco for years.  These three have essentially been sisters to me.  I often say that heaven to me is being with everyone I love at once.  I talk to these girls multiple times per week and when Jacque invited me to spend my birthday at her house in Charleston, it became quickly apparent that Melissa and Kristy would obviously be joining for the fun.  

I grew up just a few hours outside of Charleston and have been there many times, but it was wonderful to be able to experience it as an adult and with friends.  

One of the first things that we did was go on a swamp tour at Cypress Gardens.  A ranger stuck us in a boat, told us that there were crocodiles in the water, to stay on course, and to have a good time.  

This place was amazing.  The water was completely black due to the cypress trees which made it look like glass.  I can't lie and say that I wasn't a little nervous on the tour and we were all looking for the alligators the entire time.  Unfortunately we didn't see them in the water there.

We bought a Charleston Heritage pass which gave us access to something like 12 houses over a 2 day period.  I always wanted to do this when I was growing up, so this is what we did.  We toured until we could tour no more.  We learned a lot about what life was like before the Civil War started and Melissa and I learned that we have a pattern of going on tours of homes where George Washington has visited.  Random and interesting fact, I say!  Also, I was tempted to read Gone with the Wind again.  Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that I grew up in the South - I feel like it is such a part of me from so long ago, but I love it.

Couldn't you just die over the color!?

Drayton Hall

Middleton Place

Please note the alligator!

Isn't it beautiful?

This is also from Middleton Place:

When Jacque was trying to convince me to spend my 30th with her she promised me that she'd make me a red velvet cake and give me a massage.  She did not tell me that she'd make me dress up like Elton John while everyone sang to me.  How could I turn any of that down?!

Blurry, but you will have to deal.

Some favorite things that happened over the weekend that I don't want to forget:

1. Swinging on the pier with Kristy and Jacque
2. Cheesy shrimp and grits with fried green tomatoes!
3. Jacque's daughter Ari is a complete diva and she will pretty much do whatever you want if you promise her bling, a baby doll, or that you will brush her hair.
4. Jacque's delicious fried chicken
5. Swimming in the neighborhood pool and having it feel like a hot tub.
6. A very large crocodile dead in the creek around the corner from Jacque's house
7. Melissa saying to me the night of my birthday: "Do you feel any different?  See, it isn't so bad."  I needed that.  For real.
8. Feeling grateful a million times for such wonderful girlfriends.
9. Helping Jacque with some design stuff around the house and her husband was SO patient.  
10. Jacque gave me a great massage for my birthday
11. Jacque's bread sticks. (I think I gained 10 pounds on this trip)
12. Jacque saying to me "We ate out twice today!" as if that is something that never happens in my life. It is more shocking if I said to someone "I ate at home twice today!"  Seriously. 
13. Watching the crocodiles get fed at Cypress Gardens.  Think frozen rats and rabbits.
14. Seeing a commercial where an old lady (think 70s) was wearing the top that I'm wearing as picture above.  For real.
15. Ari screaming bloody murder in the car for almost an hour straight and Jacque just turning the music up louder.

Melissa, Kristy, Jacque - thank you.  love you all.

And as a bonus for you - just because Jacque is so wonderful.  Kristy said to me a few weeks ago that she wanted to adopt Jacque as her sister.  I quickly told her that I called dibs 23 years ago and that she'd have to pry her from my cold dead hands.  She is just that great.  I frequently tell people that Jacque is the type of friend who if you need a shirt, she will give you hers and go topless rather than you go without.  I did carry her across an ice cold river once, so this friendship isn't completely one sided! Thanks for hosting, girl.  Here is one of my favorite pics of us.  This is another.  

When can I turn 30 again?  Let's plan another trip!


kt said...

ooh, you should read 'Celia Garth' by Gwen Bristow - such a fun read and takes place in Charleston circa the Revolutionary War (ummm at first I spelled that as Revelationary. hahaha).

Happy birthday! I hit the big 30 on Sunday :)

Alyssa said...

Happy 30th Stephanie!!! Feels different huh? Usually birthdays don't effect me, but that one sure did. Sounds like a freaking awesome birthday and to have Jacque's cooking=you are one lucky girl! I haven't talked to Jacque forever, I think she hates me. J/k but kindof. You should totally get out Gone with the Wind out again, I've been wanting to reread that book for a few years now. Love that book. Hey thanks for voting on my picture. Here's to more great years ahead! You've already lived 10 lifetimes with everything you've been able to see and do!

Bud & Kim said...

I'm so glad that you had such an amazing birthday. I'm just sad that I couldn't be a part of the fun. Sure love you!