2017 in Review

Rather than do a huge long recap of the year, I've decided to just list my favorite moments of each month and I tried to just pick ONE (or two or three) picture to represent each month!


.: January :.

 Started year in Piqua
Bill turned 34 - Del Frisco's Double Eagle
Moved into new apartment in new building
Inauguration :( (Decidedly NOT a favorite moment but was very substantial so I can't leave it out)
Women's March on Washington
Saw Connie Britton "in conversation" with NPR

Bill's birthday!

President Obama flying past our house as he left the inauguration



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.: February :.

Lisa in town - Charter House
Valentine's Day at BDubs -- gross and we got sick!
Dogsat for Griff
Took the bar for the 3rd time
My cousin's baby Zoe was born


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.: March :.

Brunch with Bill and Allison
Celebrated our 6 month anniversary
Cherry Blossom/Mario bar
UD/GW game w/ Franny
Volunteered at Rock n' Roll Marathon handing out tshirts
Volunteered at a local teen book festival
St. Patrick's Day - watched UD lose in March Madness then RFD
Went to yoga a lot
Saw Beauty and the Beast
Nick and Lindsey visited


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.: April :.

Honor Flight including drinks after with Shawna
Celebrating Pat's birthday with the law school gang
2 Nats games - once with Uncle Mike and Aunt Sherry
Thea's birthday
Sister trip to Harry Potter World/Disney/Tampa
Dave and Darren's baby shower
Mushroom hunting trip

Diagon Alley!


Cherry blossoms after Honor Flight

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.: May :.

Bloody Mary Fest
Found out I was pregnant
Work trip to Minnesota
Eric Church concert
Started house hunting

Mall of America!

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.: June :.

Kai's first birthday party
Bath and Body Works semi-annual sale (what can I say, it's the little things!)
Planted our rooftop garden
Tried several times to see NASA launch chemicals into the night sky
Went to the Congressional baseball game

One of our many times waiting to see the NASA launch


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.: July :.

Finger Lakes over 4th of July
Bought my first pair of maternity pants (slow month, lol)

Happy 4th of July*!*


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.: August :.

Coldplay
House hunting
NYC/Jersey
Recapped our wedding on the blog (finally!)
Saw the solar eclipse (on one of the hottest days ever)
Announced that we are expecting a baby

NYC!

Coldplay

Eclipse gang on my roof


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.: September :.

Charleston for first anniversary
Kyle visited
Karlee and Matt's housewarming
Dinner with Bill's dad
Bought my Erin Condren Life Planner

Charleston!

Sweetgreen with Kyle

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.: October :.

Clambake
Cleveland shower
Pumpkin got sick (but has since mostly recovered!)
Jackolantern Glow Fest
Pumpkin patch
Dogsat for Griffin
Carved pumpkins
Went under contract for a house


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.: November :.

Bought a house!
Moved into our new house
Thanksgiving in Ohio
Hometown baby shower
Shower in Ohio

Best balloon ever at our shower!

Homeowners!

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.: December :.

Bill's family visited
DC shower/housewarming
Turned 32
Went on our hospital tour
Family visited again for Christmas
NYE - Del Frisco's/home

Shower/Housewarming

First Christmas in our house!

Five on Friday

Oh hey all, Amanda here!  Thought I'd drop another Five on Friday so you know I'm still alive. My computer's about to die so I'll come back to proofread and add pics tomorrow!

.: 1 :.

Still alive and still pregnant! Tomorrow I will be 35 weeks pregnant and feeling every bit of it.  Morning sickness has returned as have some food aversions.  I have a lot of aches and pains, but I know that each day we are closer to meeting our baby girl AND I'm trying to embrace the last few weeks that it's just Bill and me.

.: 2 :.

We went home to my parents' house for Thanksgiving.  It was a long drive there and back but was so good to see family!  We had a delicious meal and played cards afterward.  The day after Thanksgiving, my sister and I went Black Friday shopping and I got lots of clothes for the baby, as well as a couple of things for me. Later that day, we chopped down their Christmas tree!  On that Saturday, my mom threw me another baby shower!  It was great to catch up with friends and family.  We felt very loved. It was a little bittersweet to know that it was the last time I would be in my childhood home and the last time I'd see my family before I become a mother.

.: 3 :.

Since I last posted, we moved into our very own house!  The actual move went pretty well, but it's been a whirlwind of events since then.  We packed up early and efficiently.  The movers showed up on time and finished early. It took a big longer to unpack, however. Once we did, we realized how little furniture and belongings we actually have!  The house was simultaneously messy and empty.  We made a trip to Ikea and got a dresser, entertainment center, medicine cabinets, and more, which filled out the house a little bit.  The next weekend, Bill and his dad made a trip down to Florida and drove back up with some furniture that his grandparents were kind enough to give us.  They gave us a (very comfy!) couch, beautiful dining room table and even more beautiful china cabinet.  The week after that was Thanksgiving and the week after that was last weekend. Bill's parents were in town and his dad helped us to put together some of the Ikea furniture and baby items. On Saturday, my friends threw us a DC shower (yes I know we are so lucky to have had 3 showers!  It goes with living away from home!) at our house and we had our housewarming immediately following that.  So many people from different aspects of our DC lives showed up and it was so fun!  Prepping for the shower was extremely stressful, but I'm glad we had the party.

.: 4 :.

The aforementioned Ikea furniture has worked me into a little bit of a tizzy.  I built the Ikea dresser myself and didn't really notice any smell at the time, but I set the drawers in the nursery for a few days until I had time to finish building them.  When I went into the nursery, I couldn't believe the smell!  It smelled horrible to me like chemicals/fish/paint.  Bill didn't smell it but just said it smelled like "wood."  Well, I googled it and it turns out, Ikea furniture is made out of pressed wood which is put together with formaldehyde and new furniture "off gasses" VOCs (volatile organic compounds) for up to 5 years!  Apparently Ikea furniture is some of the lesser toxic ones out there.  Some furniture can contain up to 300 VOCs! These VOCs can cause development disorders and/or asthma in children and can cause headaches or other issues in adults.  I was pretty disgusted to learn this and since then I've been researching all of the baby items we've already bought or received.  I decided to return the Ikea dresser we got for the baby's room and bought one that is less toxic instead.  I went down a real rabbit-hole of learning about how everything is toxic. Seriously, basically everything is some level of bad.  I realized it would be impossible to avoid everything that contains toxins, so I'm trying to choose less-toxic items for the things the baby will be in most contact with, but I'm not going to go crazy.  It's really easy for me to get obsessed with things like this so I stopped googling and I'm trying to just make a few smart choices.

.: 5 :.

In direct contrast to my concern about toxicity, last weekend was the annual candle day sale at Bath and Body Works!  This is one of my favorite shopping days of the year, as I absolutely love their candles.  It only happens but once a year and the candles go on sale for the lowest price (though it seems to be rising each year).  This year they were $8.95.  It was the day of the party.  I initially planned to go in the morning, but there was too much work to be done and I didn't feel very good, so I decided to shop online.  Well, you couldn't use coupons online so I made the decision to just not buy any.  I thought about the stupid candles all day long!  My friend V also loves them and she was telling me how she bought 15 online. After the party was over, but a few stragglers were left, I decided to hop online and just buy some, despite not being able to use a coupon.  Much to my dismay, they were SOLD OUT online!  An hour later, I still couldn't stop thinking about the candles.  I called the store closest to us to see if they still had any and they said yes, tons.  It was 8:20 and the store closed at 9.  I quickly gathered my things, hopped in the car and jetted to the mall, right in the middle of what was left of our party.  The store had a huge selection and I made fast work of picking out my choices.  There were all kinds to choose from.  In the end, I walked away with 12 candles and a body cream for $80.  The scents I got are: 2 pink petal teacakes, 2 vanilla snowflakes ("Mazel tov"), peppermint rosemary, frozen lake, fresh balsam, luck, peppermint marshmallow ("Dear Santa, I just want a Unicorn"), hot cocoa and cream, snow mountain lodge, and sweater weather.

and a bonus .: 6 :.

I turned 32 last Sunday!

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Five on Friday

Oh hello there.  I didn't mean to disappear for the entire month of October.  I've been wanting to sit down and blog but haven't found the time or I've been so tired at the end of the day that I never get around to it ("I have one of those," Bill's grandpa would have said.  Get it, a round 'to-it'?) While I want to get some long posts up, I thought a good way to ease back into it was with a Five on Friday linkup post.  Haven't done one of these in a long time! 


.: 1 :.

Today is the last day of being 29 weeks pregnant.  I can't believe that I'll be 30 weeks tomorrow!!  Only 10 weeks left until my due date.  Crazy.  In the beginning, things went so slowly and now I feel like time is flying.  I've been feeling pretty good most of the time lately.  I was really tired the past couple of weeks, but the doctor discovered I was anemic and put me on iron supplements.  I've really spruced up since starting those (though the first brand I took killed my stomach).  Last week I had to go back in for the 3-hour glucose test for gestational diabetes.  It was not fun getting blood taken so many times, but the results came back fine!  So thankful for that.  I truly intend to sit down and blog about pregnancy so far.  That's one of my goals for this week. 



.: 2 :.

In some fairly big news, we are in contract on a house and we are set to close a week from yesterday!  We want to move in quickly, so we booked movers for a week from today.  We are so excited about the house.  It's in an adorable little suburb not too far from Capitol Hill.  The house is a split level with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a living room, dining room, family room, kitchen (obviously), den, rec room, laudnry room and mud room! It has a cute backyard and a decent front yard with a driveway.  It's on a quiet cul-de-sac and I just am so excited to start our little suburban life.  Of course we will still be commuting into the city each day, but it's going to be so nice to come home to more space and peaceful quiet.  I can't wait to get started on the nursery. The next couple of weeks are going to be crazy, but then hopefully things will settle down and we can just have a calm last month before the baby comes. 


.: 3 :.

We had a pretty big scare with Pumpkin over the last couple of weeks.  He was acting out of sorts and then rapidly declined.  He was extremely lethargic, wasn't eating very much, showed zero interest in anything, his meow was weak and warbled, and we knew something was really wrong.  I took him to the vet (which was traumatic for both me and the cat and probably the vet too) and they determined that he had pretty significant fluid in his lungs due to his heart failure.  We started treating him with Lasix meds but he didn't get any better.  The doctor had us increase the dosage.  We had to force the pills down his throat.  He didn't seem to get any better and we had to start thinking about when we would make the decision to put him down.  It was awful and I spent a good deal of each night crying and petting him.  I kept googling sad stories about cats with his condition.  Then, slowly and then more quickly, he started to act like his old self.  He seems to be acting really healthy right now.  He's eating, meowing, jumping up on things, playing with toys, nipping at my ankles and begging for food constantly.  I don't know if it's temporary or if he's really getting better, but we are just so thankful that he's feeling better and we are trying to take advantage of every day that we have with him.  

Feeling better!


.: 4 :.
In less serious news, holiday drinks are back at Starbucks!! On Wednesday morning, Amy texted me 2 screenshots from her Timehop from 2 different years of the red cups and said "is it true this year too?"  I couldn't believe it could be but I was so excited with the prospect! As I got on the metro, I saw a girl carrying one and texted her that it was true!  After I got off the metro, I went immediately to Starbucks and got a gingerbread latte.  YUM!! It's been almost a year since one of those graced my lips.  Delish. I got one yesterday too and today I got a white peppermint mocha.  I need to get an eggnog and chestnut praline and then I can take a chill pill on them for awhile.  I just absolutely love the holiday drinks!  On another note, I'm getting annoyed with the bad looks people give me when I order caffeine.  It's perfectly safe to have up to 200 mg of caffeine per day and the talls only have 75mg.  Grr.  You'd think baristas at Starbucks would know.  In any event, I'm going to continue to enjoy them throughout the holiday season!




.: 5 :.

I've been catching up on my shows.  One of these shows is Real Housewives of OC and I have an announcement:  I officially like Kelly.  She used to bug me so much but now she's actually my favorite.  Of all the girls, I think she's the one I'd be most likely to actually be friends with.  I'm still confused and coming to terms with my sudden fondness for her! Thoughts on Kelly?  Anyone you're liking more or less this year?




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Fall Wishlist


Fall is one of my favorite times of the year and I'm so happy that it might finally be here. Despite the first official day of fall being over a week ago, it's been in the 80s and 90s here, but today we were finally blessed with weather that actually felt like fall.

Bill and I have been trying to do regular date nights since they  may be few and far between after the baby comes.  I want to really take advantage of this last fall season with just the two of us, so I've put together a bit of a fall "bucketlist."  Besides the obvious, like drink as many pumpkin spice lattes as possible, wear plaid/Uggs/leggings nonstop, carve pumpkins, step on crunchy leaves, and burn my favorite fall candles (hello, Leaves, Marshmallow Fireside, and Sweater Weather!), here's what I'd like to do this fall:

1. Go apple picking

I've only been apple picking once in my life and I barely remember it.  I was pretty young but I do remember being at the orchard and making applesauce after.

2. Go to pumpkin patch

We went to a fun one a couple of years ago with our friends Dave & Emily.  I would like to either go back to this one or try one that has even more fun activities.


From the archives!

3. Have a bonfire and roast marshmallows

4. THE GLOW:  A Jack O' Lantern Experience

I bought us tickets to this event months ago and cannot wait!

5. Attend or at least watch some Redskins or Browns games

6. Visit a historical location

I'm thinking maybe Mount Vernon! I haven't been there since 8th grade.

7. Take a day trip

Baltimore, St. Michaels, Shenandoah, and Williamsburg are on the list of possibilities!

8. Make chili

Chili is a fall must and I'm pretty sure that I didn't make it last year.  We got an awesome crockpot for the wedding that we haven't used yet, so I'll definitely be taking advantage of it this fall.  If you know any great chili recipes, feel free to send them my way!

9. Wear this for Halloween:

I bought these for us and they arrived a couple of weeks ago.  I first saw these years ago and I'm glad I remembered how much I like them.

10. Take a fall "leaf walk" or drive

There are a lot of beautiful scenic routes around here perfect for leaf peeping!

11. Have a fall picnic, prefereably at a quintessential DC spot

Photo by Lucie Capkova on Unsplash
I'm thinking along the tidal basin, my favorite pond (Constitution Gardens), near the base of the Washington Monument, or perhaps the arboretum (still haven't been there!)

12. Go to one of these DC fall festivals

We have technically been to one already, the Barracks Row Fall Festival, but it was not very fall-oriented.  It was fun, but about 95 degrees with no fall activities or decor!

13. Drink hot cider

Pretty basic but I always forget about cider!


Well, that's the list!! I would say that's enough.  Anything major I missed?  What's on your fall wishlist this year?

Closing this post with one of my favorite memes.  It cracks me up every year  because it's so me!



Anniversary Trip to Charleston, Part II

A pretty alley we walked through

Monday was our first anniversary!  I can't believe that we had been married for a fully year already. So wild.  We slept in again, hehe.  Bill dashed down for breakfast but I kept sleeping and he brought me a yogurt and then we slept even more!  We didn't head out until 1:00, but we didn't care.  We were both really tired and we had that nice suite to enjoy.

 We went to Poogan's Smokehouse again for lunch.  This time we split the smokehouse salad and added pulled pork and tried their buffalo pork rinds.  It was delicious.  The real reason we went back there was so that I could get more boiled peanuts.  Yum!





We spent the rest of the day hitting the shops on King Street that we didn't get to on Saturday.  The highlight for me was a honey store.  We got to try about 20 different types of honey and I selected 3 to buy.  My favorite was the whipped cinnamon honey.  Bill's favorite store was a men's clothing store called Dumas.  He got a hilarious pair of seersucker shorts with fish and tacos on them.  So random!




This was the only day of the trip that we made it back to the hotel in time for their nightly complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres happy hour.  They had some really good cheese and crackers plus fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.  They also had delicious sweet tea and lemonade.  We tried not to fill up because we were looking forward to a great dinner.

The highlight of our day/trip was our anniversary dinner at Hall's Chophouse.  They gave us the royal treatment! We shared an onion soup and burrata cheese and tomato salad for starters.  They brought us out glasses of champagne for our anniversary. I didn't have the heart to tell them I was pregnant, partially because it was so nice and partly because I was being naughty and ordered a medium steak so I didn't want to be judged, which means that Bill drank both of the glasses, haha.  For dinner, I got the grass-fed filet and mashed potatoes.  Bill got the bone-in ribeye with loaded potatoes.  I just have to say, WOW.  The steak was really, really good. We were too stuffed for dessert, but as a final anniversary treat, they sent us home with a slice of key lime pie on the house.  We ate it later that night and it was scrumptious.

Sorry these pics are so dark!



Being silly 
One year of wearing these rings!





We took an Uber back to the hotel and just spent the rest of the night reminiscing about our wedding and the past year.

We woke up on our last day, had our last breakfast at the inn, checked out and then headed out for our final hours!

One thing I really wanted to do was see the pineapple fountain, so we walked over to Waterfront Park. It was hot out.  Oppressively hot.  We finally saw the pineapple fountain it was just as cool as I expected.  I don't know why the fact that it's a pineapple makes it so cool to me, but I really liked that fountain.  We then meandered through a beautiful tree-lined promenade and ended up at Rainbow Row, which is a row of pretty pastel homes.



I was feeling really hot and weak at this point, so we decided to get a snack and we just happened to be near Poogan's Smokehouse again so we stopped in for the 3rd day in a row for boiled peanuts and a drink.  They had really good bottled rootbeer.  The waitresses and hostesses recognized us which was a tad embarrassing, but oh well!  That place is delish!

Figured I photographed the first two bowls of these, so why stop there?
Once we were cooled off and full, we shopped the markets and much to my delight, we discovered a series of indoor markets! We picked up some last souvenirs.  Everything was really crowded this day because a cruise ship had stopped in Charleston on their cruise and the city was overrun with tourists! We grabbed lunch at Tbonz, which was fun but I don't recommend it; there are much better and more unique places to eat. Our final stop was a candy store so that I could stock up on candy and salt water taffy.

It was just too hot to enjoy being outside, so we meandered back to hotel early. We explored the areas  of the inn we hadn't seen before (roof, 3rd floor, etc.), checking out the artwork and other cool decor  and then we headed to to the airport early.

Our flight departed at 6:50 and we got there around 3:30.  I worked on the blog and Bill played games on his iPad.  All was going well until we started hearing about the thunderstorms up north.  Slowly, each north-bound flight got delayed our canceled.  Ours was unaffected or so we thought.  We boarded the flight and then just sat there... and sat there.. and sat a bit more.  Finally, the captain came over the speaker and said that there was a ground stop in DC because of the storms, so we couldn't take off and that he would update us in an hour.  I was already so uncomfortable that an hour felt unbearable.  My back was killing me but I rolled up my sweater and put it behind me so that helped a bit.  Luckily, we were flying JetBlue so we had cable and I was able to catch some episodes of River Monsters and Dance Moms.  An hour came and went and the captain came back on and told us that we were going to deplane because there was still a ground stop.  So we slowly deplaned.  It felt amazing to walk around and be off of the plane!! We grabbed a pizza and soon after we were done eating, it was time to get back on the plane.  This time, we took off pretty much right away and got into DC 3 hours after we were supposed to.  I'm just glad we got home at all.

In summary, we had a great first anniversary trip.  I'm glad we got to go to Charleston and I pray that it doesn't get hit terribly by the hurricane.  Everyone we met there was so nice and there's so much history in the city.  I don't however, recommend going when you're 5 months pregnant in the heat of the summer. For some reason, I imagined cool fall weather with an ocean breeze and that's just not what you're going to be there at the end of summer!

It was a weird feeling knowing that this was the first, last and only wedding anniversary without kids! Spending 4 full days together was really special way to spend our time and I hope it's a tradition that we will keep up.

Thanks for reading our trip recap!  Have you ever been to Charleston?  What did you think?  If you have any questions about planning a trip there, let me know!

Anniversary Trip to Charleston, Part I



Bill and I had a great anniversary trip to Charleston!

Before we left, we exchanged gifts.  The traditional anniversary gift for the first anniversary is paper, so I secretly found his college and master's diplomas and framed them!  He loved them.  He gave me a gift certificate for a prenatal massage, which I am so excited about.  It's booked for Sept 23 which was their first opening.

We left early Saturday morning and arrived to the Holy City (nicknamed this because of their numerous churches) around 8:30.  I have to say, the first thing we noticed when we left the airport was the oppressive heat and humidity.  We were not prepared for it to be sooooo hot.  The "feels like" temp was near 100 each day that we were there.

We took a Lyft to our where we would be staying for the weekend, Ansonborough Inn.  We were there really early (check in was at 4, I believe!) but we were able to check into our room early.  They let us partake in the free breakfast and when our room was ready (about 15 min later), they came and got us!

The trip was likely also our "babymoon," though we may end up going somewhere a little later this year, so when we booked the trip, we decided to splurge on a nice suite and boy was it worth it!  The room was absolutely huge and came with a fireplace.  Our bed was a king 4-post bed and came with lots of comfy pillows.  There were beautiful oil paintings hung all around the walls which were old-fashioned brick and wood.  There were oil paintings not just in our room, but all throughout the inn.  My favorites were the ones of dogs. The hotel was great and I highly recommend staying there.

Not my pic, but from the Inn's website

Loved this lamp

Comfiest robe ever and check out those slippers LOL





When we got to our room, we found a bottle of champagne that the hotel gave us for our anniversary with two flutes!  We stuck it in the fridge for Bill to drink later but since I couldn't help him drink any, we actually ended up giving it back to them at the end of the trip and they gave us a mug instead.



We took a tiny nap and then headed to the farmer's market.  They had all sorts of good stuff. We ended up buying presents for Bill's brother and my grandma.  I also bought some honey from a local beekeeper.  I tried all 3 of their varieties and my favorite was the wetlands honey, made from bees at "an undisclosed swamp location."

Headng out!  Ignore my heinous sunglasses.  I lost my prescription ones so I've been using these clip-ons
Next up it was time for lunch.  We stopped at a cute Cuban restaurant and Bill got a Cuban sandwich. I didn't think I was hungry, so I didn't order anything but then ended up heating half of his sandwich. After lunch, we walked along King Street, popping in and out of the shops along the way.  My favorite shops were Ro Sham Beaux and a gem/mineral shop where I bought a piece of selenite for my rock collection.  It started pouring while we were shopping and we got stuck in a store for awhile.  It was an absolute downpour.

May be hard to see, but it was pouring
Once the rain let up, we were ready for a little nosh so we stopped at Juanita's Greenberg's Nacho Royale.  We ordered the chips and dip trio which was salsa, queso and guac.  It was the best queso I have ever had in my entire life.  YUM.  I also got a virgin margarita which tasted like ice cream and Bill had a beer.

That evening, we shopped the Night Markets.  The weather was MUCH more pleasant in the evenings and we loved how the city has a different vibe to it at night. Lots of buildings have neat lighting including some gas lamps.  It was fun and romantic strolling through Charleston in the evening.

We had dinner at Poogan's Smokehouse and it was delish.  I got the ham hock boiled peanuts as an appetizer and couldn't get over how good they were!  I love hot boiled peanuts and these were the best I have ever had.  Bill ordered a "2 meat platter," which came with ribs and pork belly.  I helped him eat those.  I ordered the smoked tomato bisque and baby kale salad, both of which weren't every good, but the peanuts and his meat made up for everything!

YUM


We spend the rest of the evening meandering through the pretty streets before turning in for the night.

On Sunday morning, we slept in until the last minute.  Breakfast ended at 10:00, so we dashed down there at 9:45, haha!

We have both been craving crab legs recently, so we had lunch at the Charleston Crab House. We shared the "Market Street Steampot," which had snow crab, Alaskan king crab, shrimp, a lobster tail, corn and potatoes.  It wasn't the best crab we've ever had, but it did the job!  We used to get unlimited crab legs at a seafood buffet place here in DC that has sadly closed and nothing ever quite compares.





Lunch was our first sighting of "love bugs," which are these weird gross black bugs that apparently descend on the city for a few days at the end of the summer every year.  They are nicknamed that because they are always mating.  It's very rare to see them unattached to each other.  For the rest of our trip, they were everywhere.  They don't bite, so they were more annoying than anything.

Plech. Photo credit here


As soon as we finished lunch, we booked it over to the departure point for a cruise tour to Fort Sumter.  We tried to order an Uber but it never came, so we walked and it was a little hard for me in the heat, but we made it!

We quickly looked through the museum at the national monument center and then boarded the boat.  The view from the boat showed us many of the cool spots around the harbor -- we saw beautiful old houses, John's Island, Castle Pinckney and more.  We tried to stand outside on the bow of the boat, but the love bugs were in full swarm and it was just too gross so we headed back to our air conditioned seats inside.

Fort Sumter was a really cool experience.  It's where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. All of the structures are original, with the "battery" in the middle being added later.  The bricks were all made by slaves; it's hard to describe how I felt standing among a vast structure built solely by slaves. The entire island was rich with history.  All of the artillery are authentic relics from the Civil War. If you like history, I suggest going on this tour.  It was, however, extremely hot and there was little to no shade.  I was wilting rapidly.  I kept having to sit down because I felt like I was going to pass out.  Bill had a great time reading all of the plaques.  I mostly sat on benches and watched him enjoy the fort.


We were the last cruise of the day, so they lowered the flag




Once we were back on the mainland, we cooled off at Saffron Bakery. I was too hot to try any of their treats, but they had some really yummy looking sweets including red velvet cookies.  We tried to go to Hominy Grill but was closed on Sundays, so we tried to go to Virginia's and it was also closed.  We ended up eating dinner at a bar & grill called John Kings.  Bill loved his burger.  I got a hot dog and it was so-so.

After dinner, we made our way to the Old City Jail Tour.  This is something we had been looking forward to to week.  The Old Jail is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in the South, if not the United States.  Once we were there waiting for the tour to start, I got a bit nervous!  As the tour began, we learned about the history of the jail and the land the jail was built on.  One thing I loved about Charleston is that it is a very old city.  In the early 1800s (I think, maybe earlier), the land was used as a paupers cemetery, which means that they just dumped the bodies of slaves and other people who couldn't afford proper burials into mass graves.  Our guide, Andy, told us that there were literally unknown thousands of bodies underneath where we were standing.  He also showed us where the gallows of the jail stood outside and where prisoners of war were "housed" in the yard during the Civil War.  The inside of the jail was very spooky.  Andy told us historical and creepy tales in each room we went into, ending in a pitch-dark room where a brutal murder took place.  At one point, Bill blew on my neck but said he didn't do it and I was super creeped out.  Overall,  it wasn't as bone-chillingly scary as I anticipated, but it was definitely creepy and I recommend this tour.  We booked it through Bulldog Tours.

Waiting for the tour to begin

What the cells would have looked like -- 11 people went into these.  This corner is where a ghost was supposedly seen the week before. 

The old morgue

We finished the evening by walking home and stopping for ice cream.

Up next: the second half of our trip!