Let's go back to Thursday - my actual birth day. By the time I woke up I was already 23. My morning began with a few phone calls and texts from friends and family. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how I look at it, there were no sub jobs available so I got to spend the day at home. My day consisted of catching up with shows on the DVR and making lots of sweet treats. I made snickerdoodle cookies, rice krispie treats, and an orange cake. They were for my siblings who we were going to see the next day.
For my birthday dinner we had steak, homemade french fries, and asparagus - some of my favorite foods - it was a fabulous dinner! Of course, a birthday is not complete without birthday cake. I asked for a chocolate cake with raspberry jelly filling and cream cheese frosting. Mom and Andy (my step-dad) made it happen with a delicious homemade cake. Truth be told the cake was made the night before so I had a piece then. On my birthday night I enjoyed it with some ice cream. Perfect.
As for birthday gifts I got some money to contribute to my Chicago move savings, some iTunes money, and a Terramundi money pot. My sister got one several years ago and I have wanted once since. It is colorful piggy bank with a twist. With the first coin you put in you also write down a desire you have on sheet of paper. Filled with coins the pot can hold more than $500. When it is full you are supposed to smash the pot and use the money on "good things." I can't tell you what my desire is, but I can't wait to fill it and break the pot open!
Friday my mom and I decided to get our long runs out of the way for the weekend, so we got up early and headed out. She passed me when I was a little over halfway as she was finishing her last mile. After showering and some last minute packing we got in the car and were on our way to South Carolina. We arrived in Charleston that afternoon to see my sister, Caroline, and we were very hungry. We munched on some snacks in the car, but were so ready to eat when we pulled up to her apartment. We headed to a great local place called Five Loaves Cafe. They use natural, organic, and local food in all of their meals. Caroline and I went in December when I had a great chicken sandwich and black bean soup. I had a hard time making a decision this time, but went with the chicken parmesan. It was just OK. Caroline got a sandwich and salad and mom got a chicken salad sandwich and potato soup. I tried the soup and it was fabulous. They definitely make good food I think I just got the wrong thing.
After dinner we walked down to Cupcake. Can you guess what we got there? This place makes awesome cupcakes and a visit to Charleston is not complete without a stop here. We shared a cakepop and I enjoyed a black & white cupcake.
Saturday was my younger brother's, Patrick, 19th birthday. He attends college at USC in Columbia so we got in the car for a two hour drive to visit him for the day. He gave us a quick tour of his dorm room and we walked around the campus. We were so excited to see each other we jumped for joy!
After our informal tour we headed out to get lunch at Pawley's Front Porch. We checked out Trip Advisor and discovered that this place was well reviewed and was even featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. After watching the video we knew we had to check it out. They have tons of great burgers that are named after the different places in South Carolina. We started with an order of fried pickles with ranch dressing. I had never had fried pickles before but they were quite tasty. The batter had a great flavor.
For my meal I went with the Sullivan burger. It is a huge eight ounce patty with lettuce, tomato, onions, homemade guacamole, citrus jalapeno mayonnaise, pepper jack cheese, and grilled pineapple. Oh boy this burger was SO GOOD. I wasn't sure about the grilled pineapple, but I thought what the heck and decided to try something different. The flavors worked so well together and that homemade guacamole was jam up, seriously. I thought I was only going to eat half, but ate the whole thing, minus half the bun. I got fries with it as well but they were seasoned with cinnamon and not really the flavor I wanted on my fries. They were cooked so well, but I wanted them to be salty.
We ended the meal by splitting a big chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich for Patrick's birthday.
We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out and then Caroline, mom, and I got back in the car to head back to Charleston. It was so nice for all of us to spend time together, even if it was only for the day.
Sunday morning we got up, pulled on our workout clothes and took a walk to a local breakfast place Toast. Luckily we got there right before the rush. I ordered the Eggs Meeting Street. It consisted of a fried green tomato and crab cake topped with a scrambled egg. It came with remoulade sauce, a giant biscuit, and grits. This thing was DELICIOUS.
After our lovely breakfast we walked down some old Charleston streets, checked out the old houses, shops, and waterfront. Charleston is a great walking city and there is so much to see.
The combination of family, food, and fun always make for a great weekend!
What are your favorite activities to do with your family? Any favorite cities you like to visit?