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Tag Archives: all things Southern

Day 3: Charleston Throwdown, Beach, and Athens

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Sorry to leave you hanging for all of those 24 hours, but I wanted to let the drama of the bedroom thievery fully sink in. At this point in the evening, GP and I were both pretty wiped (remember that 5+ hour drive that we had done that morning from Atlanta? Yeah. It was long.), and I had been drinking enough Jim Beam and ginger ale to be a little feisty. GP, being the better grownup of the two of us, headed to the bedroom to resolve the conflict– apparently there had been some miscommunication, or at the very least a bit of a misunderstanding. The misunderstanding being that it would be the appropriate thing to do, to leave the out-of-towners to fend for themselves when certain others had just driven out to the beach from Charleston. Southern hospitality? I was thinking, Well, I guess she is from Massachusetts.

To make what seemed like an arduous ten-minute period seem shorter, I will simply tell you that a phone call was placed (to the groom, no less!) and we ended up sleeping in a luxurious king-sized bed. Because, bitch, please. There is no freaking way I am giving up a bed after having traveled across the country. Just sayin’.

The next morning, though, I think everyone was helped by the full night of sleep, and we semi-bonded over breakfast and then headed out to the beach. Being a completely insecure individual, I ended up going to the beach fully clothed, despite having brought my new Old Navy tankini. Hey, I didn’t know these people, and there was no way my white ass was going to be showing up at the beach, all jiggly-like. At any rate, we got to hang out for a couple hours, playing bocce, taking a walk, and enjoying being in/near the ocean in general (not exactly a novelty, but definitely different than when we go to Santa Cruz).

After some de-sanding, it was back on the road– this time to Athens, where a guy that GP’s been friends with since kindergarten and his wife live while she/they are going to grad school (she’s in vet school, he’s starting a PhD in the fall) at UGA. I had no idea what to expect of Athens, given my very limited exposure to parts of Georgia that aren’t Atlanta, but I knew that it would definitely be less urban. Turns out, I was right. During the ride out, we went through my Very First Southern Thunderstorms (I’m not gonna lie, it was a little scary), and stopped at my Very First Really, Really Backwoods-y Southern Gas Station to use the restroom (likewise). We were greeted by the couple and their two dogs (yay, pets! There were also two cats and an iguana), and hung out awhile before heading out to dinner.

Dinner was delicious, at a nicer version of Olive Garden, complete with some prom kids (awww!) and a crap-ton of wine and desserts (though the waiter did seem a little perplexed at GP’s request for some after-dinner port). As a thank-you for dinner, we stopped by the Kroger and bought them some nice California wine…because we are snobs. Seriously, we spent so much time at dinner talking about how wonderful it is to live in California that I think we should be able to draw some sort of salary from the tourism people here. Really, it’s just a ploy to get people to visit us, because we love to entertain and show off our great sushi place, and our two (yes, two) luxurious fold-out couches. So, seriously, come on over! We are so fun.

Because we are old and lame, we ended up not going into downtown, where all the bars/clubs/hoopla was happening, but we did get to go back to their newly-purchased home and talk about mortgages and great grownup stuff like that. So as to avoid having us share a room with the iguana (who I am told is a night-snacker), they were kind enough to lend us their bedroom, where we promptly passed out, tired from all the 401(K) talk.

That was our last night in Georgia! But there is still a bit to tell, what with our Sunday flight not departing until almost 7pm. Stay tuned for the final chapter in The Trip of Northern Aggression…


Day 2: Drive to Charleston and The Wedding

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The second day of the Trip of Northern Aggression began even earlier than the first one did– we had a long Atlanta-to-Charleston drive ahead of us, as well as a wedding (our actual reason for this trip in the first place) to attend that evening. No time for Greek delis this morning, we wheeled our trusty suitcases over to the deck where GP’s friend, D, parks his car. He had generously offered to lend it to us for the weekend, as he had no out-of-town plans and easy access to pretty fabulous public transit.

So, here begins the list of things that I would import from the South, if I could (hey, I had to do something to keep occupied during the drive, and list-making appeals to me!). Thing number one? Crazy well-maintained roads! I don’t know if it’s that California has no money, no interest, or what, as far as it comes to road maintenance, but let me tell you something: our roads are pure crap. Sometimes, it’s just painful. Not so in Georgia! Every inch of our drive from downtown Atlanta to the SC state line was gorgeous and smooth. Oh, and thing number two, which I also discovered en route? Chick-Fil-A. Someone tell me why we don’t have these in the Bay Area? I suppose it’s for the best, though, because I would never be able to stop eating those nuggets, and then I would be that lady that has to be lifted out of her cat-filled apartment by a crane. Also, Chick-Fil-A was the site of my discovery of thing number three: crazy politeness! This man approached our table while we were eating, and, rather than spitting on my tray or asking for spare change (which is what would probably happen at most places in California), he asks, “Ma’am, can I refill your drink?” I was so taken aback by this teeny random (really, not random at all, but whatever) kindness that I said no, even though I was hankering for some more Diet Coke. Why can’t we import this politeness, even if it is perfunctory, to the West Coast? It would be so…nice.

Finally, we arrived at the beach house. Even though the wedding was taking place at an old plantation-type house in Charleston, the couple figured that it would be more fun to have everyone stay at the beach, so a few houses were rented in beautiful Folly Beach. One was for the bride, R, and her bridesmaids, another was for T, the groom, and his groomsmen, and another was for various family members that had come into town for the festivities. We ended up at the boys’ house, which was full of guys finishing getting ready, as well as a couple of their girlfriends who had arrived and started getting ready. As T and the groomsmen headed out, he informed the girl who had slept in a room with a king-sized bed the previous night, that the room was to be mine and GP’s that night. She was fine with this, and it seems small now, but it will become important later, I promise.

We finished the preparation, which included a search for usable bath towels (seriously, how are there not enough towels in a house that sleeps about 15?), but was otherwise uneventful. It was marginally awkward because GP and I knew no one else but each other, but everyone was nice enough, if a little more college-student-y than we are (read: not able to really deal with people outside their immediate friend circle, and a bit clique-y). With the address to the wedding venue plugged into our trusty GPS (what? We take it everywhere!), we headed out with time to spare. When we got there, I was really amazed at how gorgeous it was– the parking was a little removed from the grounds where the ceremony and reception were, and there were little trams that took us where we needed to be. The ceremony took place in a grove of Spanish Moss trees (which are fascinating and will always seem so romantic to me, I don’t know why), and made me tear up because I am a sucker for cheesy wedding stuff. The only troubling part was when the pastor took great pains to mention (multiple times!) how “God invented marriage for men and women so that they can contribute to the betterment of society, and bear children…” Not something I would choose to have anyone say at my wedding (what with my San Francisco values and all), but I did love the 1 Corinthians reading, so I suppose I am just conflicted all over.

Bubbles were blown at the recessional, which was an adorable touch, and we headed to the reception, which took place under two tents that were arranged in a “T” shape. Everyone, including us, headed to the (open, of course) bar first, then into the house to grab some food. All the food was Southern-style, from teeny crab cakes with remoulade to mini-meatballs on lollipop sticks and shrimp and grits served in martini glasses. Had I known that was it for the food, I might have stocked up a bit more, but everything was so delicious that I’m glad I didn’t– wouldn’t want to test the Assets even more than I already was! Dancing was minimal, as there was a band and GP is not much of a dancer, but we did manage to squeeze in the last dance, to a song that I would like to think holds some significance for us.

Though many of the other bridesmaids/groomsmen and their dates (as well as T&R, which I find amazing after what must have been a super-long, crazy day) were going to downtown Charleston to go to some bars and clubs, we passed on that because we were ready to pass out. Heading back to the beach house, GP and I speculated about the other people whose stuff was in “our” bedroom coming back to “claim” the room, but we decided we were safe because we would be the first ones there, and surely no one would kick the slumbering Californians out of bed, right? Soon after we arrived, another couple (one of the groomsmen and his girlfriend, who live in Charleston) came back, bearing wedding-food leftovers, and we all hung out in the kitchen, munching, until they left to “go get ready for bed.” In our room. Where all their stuff was. Minutes passed, then we realized that too much time for regular bed-prep activities had elapsed. What were they doing in there?

They were straight going to steal our room, y’all! Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion to this tale, as well as the Day 3 report, coming tomorrow…!

Spring in the South

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Hey everyone, it’s my FIRST! EVER! GUEST POST! *gasp* I know, I bet you thought I was more experienced but, I am just that good at faking it. I should introduce myself shouldn’t I? Well I’m Heidi and I hold down the fort over at Life in Pink. Ya’ll should go check it out!

Anyhow, whilst Megan frolicks in the South on her trip of Northern Aggression, I’m here to share some of my favorite things about the south. You’re probably thinking “why should I give a rats butt about her favorite things about the south?”

Well you shouldn’t. But I’m going to share them anyhow. Because I’m in charge for the day…so ha!

Anyhow, I grew up in Vermont and went to college for five years in Boston. While I’m not a Red Socks fan, I do love all things New England…like you know…seasons, the NY Yankees (it’s a half and half thing…), the New England Patriots (I cried when they traded Adam Vinaterri to the Colts…), Baked Beans, having ridiculous holidays (like St. Patrick’s day in Boston – it’s Evacuation Day and Patriots Day better known as Marathon Monday).

However, after a bad breakup and a stifling step mother, I packed up my bags and headed south of the Mason Dixie to Washington DC (which is still debatable as to whether it is but I think it is so for all intent and purpose today…it is.)

I moved in with a kid who went to the Citadel in South Carolina who had a girlfriend who went to Finishing School in Atlanta. By the end of that first summer, I was having a love affair with the South.

What’s so great about the South??

For starters, until that summer I had never been to a waffle house…if you haven’t been…consider yourself MISSING OUT. Southern food is pretty great if you haven’t experienced it – I’m not a HUGE fan of everything but hush puppies? okra? BBQ?! Oh em gee…strap me to a treadmill…Ima need it after some REAL southern cookin’

There’s nothing more fun than a drunken sing-a-long to Dixie. Try it with a bunch of southerners on Fourth of July…that day I probably could have told you the big Southern Generals in the Civil War but probably not found my hometown on a map. I’m a traitor I know.

In the south, they don’t call the Civil War the “Civil War” no no…it’s “war between the states.” I giggle when I learn about how they teach basic history in places like…you know…France, England…and the deep South in the great US of A.

Also, I have developed a secret infatuation with the music of such country western bands and artists such as…John Denver (who doesn’t love Country Roads), Alabama (dixieland delight anyone? Anyone???) and Alan Jackson (he’s like effin’ Jimmy Buffet from Texas. It’s great.) My family unfortunately, being the rednecks they are from Vermont, will tell you that I’ve always loved country music but that was only when I was younger and…had no taste in tunes. I blame southern boys for bringing me back to my…music roots.

And speaking of Southern Boys…have you HEARD those accents??? I mean…talk about being able to make you weak in the knees with a simple “hey y’all..” Geez. Gimme a fan!

Unfortunately, for as much as I love my lil’ fling with the South, I know I’ll be back to the North sooner (hopefully rather than Later). I mean, in January? It gets to be 20 degrees but no snow. No no…just rain.

Washington, DC is kind of the bastard child of the south. They call it the city of “Northern Hospitality and Southern Efficiency”…Southerners don’t live the GO-GO-GO! lifestyles of us northerners, and well Northerners aren’t known for their manners so go figure. If it wasn’t the bastard child and would stop straddling the line and pick a side, we might be able to make this a little more long term but I don’t think I could ever say ya’ll seriously, nor do i think I could ever grow to love grits – that icky breakfast food.

For now, I’ll stick to my JCrew, pearls and listening to country music…that’s about as Southern I’ll get but once I throw back a couple beers, and start cursin’ like a sailor, my lil “I want to be southern too” facade is all over.

So that’s all for me. I hope I was a reasonable substitute for meghan and all her fabulousness, but if you want more “i wish i was southern action” hop over to my blog! Happy Spring everyone (and by spring, it’s 90 degrees out with an unreasonable level of humidity for April….I think we skipped that season 😦 bah!)

Because you all takes too much time to say…

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Howdy, y’all! I’m EP from Stylish Handwriting, and today, I’m holding down the fort while Megan continues her Trip of Northern Aggression.

And since Megan is (kind of) visiting my neck of the woods, I want tell y’all about some Southern things. Because I am a Southerner despite my Louisiana friends calling me a Yankee AND there’s something fun and sweet and soft about the drawl even though my voice doesn’t show it.

I COULD tell y’all about our granma’s and ma’s (and maybe our own) ability to fry a chicken or a turkey like y’all wouldn’t believe and our love for some home-cooked, tasty grub. (OK, the first part is stereotypically Southern and doesn’t hold true some of the time, but you’d be surprised how many great cooks there are down here).

I could also write about Southern hospitality and how I think it’s one of the greatest things in the world. I mean, how many other places in the world can you walk around on a (football) game day and be offered a plate of food AND a beer by strangers because you “look like a poor, starving college student?” Yes, please, I would LOVE a third helping of your jambalaya, thankyouverymuch. Is it cool if my friend Emily grabs a plate, too?

But what I really want to say?

I love the contraction and second person plural pronoun y’all. A lot.

OK, please don’t stop reading. I promise there is a better reason for it than me loving whenever Brit Brit slurs it every once in a while. Because I like to think it sounds prettier when I say it than when she does. And it sounds a lot prettier than the way it looks/reads.

Y’all is one of my FAVE utterances. It works in SO many different contexts. And you’d be surprised just how many times a true Southerner can use this word in a string of thoughts.

Don’t worry – I won’t try to impress y’all with my fabulous y’all-writing skills (even though everyone should know that my y’all-speaking skills are much stronger). Y’all should already know that once I get on a roll with this, y’all will be thrown out numerous times. I can guarantee it. And this gets really, really bad whenever I have had a little too much to drink.

A born and bred Tennessean, I grew up thinking y’all was a word everyone used. But whenever we visited the Pennsylvanian cousins, my sister and I were mocked because, apparently, we “speak slow” and they don’t understand why we use y’all. Because their second person plural, you-uns, makes SO much more sense. *rolls eyes*

Twenty-three years later, they still don’t understand, and the mockery continues.

But it got me thinking today. Why DO we use the word y’all and, more specifically, why do I love it so?

Well, I certainly don’t know its history and the first man to utter it, but I can tell you it’s a whole HELL of a lot easier than saying you all. Or you-uns.

And in my opinion, y’all flows beautifully. And, as a Southerner, I appreciate words that float off the tip of my tongue, sound sweet and are relatively easy to say. That’s why I like to say ‘preciate instead of appreciate. And I don’t call it a soft drink, a soda, a pop or a Coca-Cola – I ask for a Coke, even when I want a Dr. Pepper, and specify after I’m asked ‘What kind of Coke?’

The way I see it, y’all is my ONE word to show I am a true Southerner. And I use it with pride because I can. And y’all will notice that whenever I let myself go, I say it a whole hell of a lot.

So please don’t judge me just because I adore this word and wrote it, like, a million times here. (OK, only 19, but who’s counting?)

Y’all will find that when you start using it, it’s hard to stop. And maybe Megan is being indoctrinated right now so when she comes home from her Trip of Northern Aggression, she’ll have a little Southern-ness about her.

OK, probably not, but it’d be fun to hear/read a California girl saying y’all. Am I right, or am I right?