Sunday, April 29, 2018

High Water Festival 2018

We had the most magical time in Charleston last weekend!

This was the second time Shovels and Rope put on the High Water Festival. Heather went last year and this was my first time. Although you would never catch me at Bonnaroo (too stressful!), this was my kind of festival! The setting was insanely gorgeous, against the Cooper River at the Riverfront Park in North Charleston, and the logistics were just planned so nicely!

Instead of rushing to leave after work Friday night, we drove down Saturday morning (huge shout out to our dog sitters who ROCKED puppy potty training!) and went right to the festival since our hotel room wasn't ready yet. We set up our little blanket near the main stage and caught some of the earlier acts while basking in the sun with a beer.

We spent all afternoon cruising around, checking out the vendors, sampling some whiskey and wine and generally enjoying life. Sun has been on hard to come by in Asheville this spring, and it felt so good to just laze around and get a little Vitamin D. Saturday night was the highlight for me since BRANDI CARLILE was playing! I've been low-key obsessed with Brandi since I saw her at Floyd Fest years ago and I cried watching her sing The Eye. This time, I staked out a place in the front and had the time of my life! She is such a positive presence and so insanely talented. I cried again when she spoke about her wife and kiddos, she is just such a well-spoken woman.

All Brandi-crushing aside, it was so nice to just do simple stuff together and I left feeling super content and reconnected with my love (Heather, not Brandi, duh!). I even thought it was funny, instead of totally miserable, when the fire alarm in our hotel went off at 4:30 am, forcing us to spend 45 minutes in the parking lot. It was that great!

Sunday, we were back for more delicious sun, beer and music! Again, we posted up on our blanket and bopped back and forth between the two stages. The music was back-to-back with minimal lag time between shows so there was always someone to see if you chose. Of course, the big acts were at night, and they didn't disappoint. Shovels and Rope and Band of Horses closed the festival with two beautiful shows!

We both took off Monday and Tuesday and, on Monday, we wanted to wake up at the beach! So Sunday night we drove 30-ish minutes to our favorite spot, The Beachside Boutique Inn. We were upgraded to an insane room, with floor to ceiling windows throughout. It was so amazing and the perfect spot for what turned out to be a rainy day. I love rain and relished in the opportunity to drink coffee in bed listening to the rain while watching Fixer Uppers. We don't have cable so that's a true luxury in my book!

For lunch, we had to eat at the Lost Dog, where I had a Shrimp Cake Eggs Benedict and Heather had the Thai Shrimp Wrap. It was totally pouring when we were finished, and we had just spent the whole morning in our beautiful hotel room, so we decided to do what you do when it rains at the beach - find a brewery. 

At Low Tide Brewery I had a flight of super unique beers I would never normally try. The standout was Morning at the Monastery, a Belgian Tripel, and Mermaid Tears, a blueberry sour - both delicious and both styles I usually dislike. Next, and last up, was Charles Towne Fermentory.  At Charles Towne, we stayed in our lane with delicious, hazy IPAs and Battleship. After those, it was time to hedge our bets and drive back to the beach where we ended the glamorous evening with pizza in our hotel room.

Tuesday we woke to the sun! After the lovely BnB breakfast, we walked the beach for a while, full of jealousy for those camped out for a day in the sun, before driving back home. 

It was a weekend to remember!

Check out my other posts about Charleston:

Saturday, April 14, 2018


**Mushiness Warning**

The other day, when we were folding laundry or some other mundane task, Heather looks at me and said "Thanks for doing all the life stuff with me. Not just the fun, exciting stuff." And I totally melted. We have fun doing silly, stupid stuff, and it's really the simple moments that mean the most. One of the things I love most about Heather is how she makes "something out of nothing" (a Shovel and Rope lyric I quote a lot), like lighting candles and turning on the record player before I come home from work. (She knows how I feel about lighting... its important things like this that make a relationship, right?!) Making normal life moments something to remember.

While we did all the big life stuff pretty early, like getting Mozey and buying a house in 6 months 😁, we didn't rush the traditional commitment stuff. The last 2.5 years of being engaged and married have been hard. We lost Heather's dad, planned a wedding with no family in our city, and generally had a lot of ups and downs. I won't bullshit you and say we haven't fought and taken each other for granted. But in the end, I am always grateful to have a partner that I love and trust, and who I know loves and trusts me right back.

Last night Heather and I celebrated 5 years together! I cannot believe it has been FIVE YEARS! Half a decade! Five spins around the sun! In five years, we've bought one house, one camper, adopted Mozey, seen the birth of our two nieces, adopted a 2nd dog (Gertie post coming soon), had countless Florida and PA trips and left the country together once (finally!). I don't know if most married people celebrate their dating anniversary, but 4.13.13 was an important day in my life and one I'll never forget, so I intend on celebrating it forever! Last year, I was deep in wedding planning hell (have I mentioned that I hate planning?!) and missed writing an update. But, if you are so intrigued, check out my posts from two years and three years!

We didn't have any set plans last night, which meant we went where the wind took us, and it was lovely! We started out at a new West Asheville beer spot called The Whale and each had a tasty, obscure IPA. It was a gorgeous day and we both wanted to spend some time in the sun with the pups. Also, adorable pups means people come say hey and you get to make them take your photo. Win win!

We tried walking to the nearby Oyster House for a snack and another drink, but it was totally crowded and we got really overwhelmed by the barking dogs. Our two dogs and Heather's crutches became too much, so we took the pups home and decided to take advantage of her Handicapped Parking pass and brave downtown on a Friday night. Most locals avoid downtown Asheville (almost always, but ESPECIALLY on a weekend) but we were feeling brave! 

We ended up at Hemingway's, the new rooftop bar at the Cambria hotel and it was lovely. Waiting 30 minutes for a drink was not, but the view made up for it! We had ceviche and plantain tostadas and they were both delish! 

The Cambria is right by the Grove Arcade and as we were leaving Heather suggested we stop by the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, where we got engaged! It is one of the coolest bars anyway, with the winding passageways and stacks of books, but it clearly has special meaning to us. 

It was a beautiful night and our no-plan plan just rolled smoothly - I love when that happens! Here's to many more years with my favorite human!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Easter Weekend 2018

This long Easter weekend was simple and beautiful!

We kicked things off camping in Brevard at the Davidson River Campground. Brevard is a totally gorgeous little town with a cool connection to music and right in Pisgah National Forest. It's where we got married and this particular campground was Heather's late father's favorite spot. So, needless to say, it was a no-brainer for our first camping trip of the year!

Anyway, it was a beautiful weekend, if not a bit chilly! Our friends Aubrey, Eric, Allie and DJ joined us and we feasted, laughed and frolicked around the campground. As you do. Oh, and took a million photos of our dogs next to/near/around the camper. I mean...

Back at home Sunday morning, Heather and I walked to a church that meets near our house and really enjoyed it. It was a tiny group of people, sort of conversational and very welcoming. Felt right for Easter! We also camp home to a package from my parents. Every year they send us the same chocolate easter eggs with our names on them that my sister and I got as kids. A sweet little local chocolate shop makes them and it's still exciting as an adult! The rest of the day, we mowed the lawn, hung up hammocks in the back yard and drank some beers with our friends. Twas lovely all around!