From the moment we landed and my feet hit that sunny pavement outside of the CHS airport, I was content. Sure, things have changed a bit like the massive amounts of new buildings almost everywhere I looked and a newly renovated airport that had me all turned around (which we encountered about 30 seconds after the Hubs jokingly said "Ugh, I always get lost in this airport" due to its size compared to O'Hare), but overall, the way I feel about that city and the people that call it home has not wavered one bit.
This trip was made especially for my former roommate, Soles, and her now husband, Chi, for their wedding. I love any excuse to go back, but a wedding is always a perfect reason. The best part of being there for Soles festivities is that she is the quintessential gracious recipient of anything. When you give her a gift or celebrate her, she exudes joy, excitement and gratitude. I can always count on her unashamed or uninhibited "squeal" to let you know if she's truly happy or appreciative. She's one of those rare people who you simply love to love because you know she doesn't take anything for granted. You get to feel blessed by blessing her. She's that cool, friends. No exaggerations needed. At one point, while surrounded by her bridal party and besties, she called me over to her pedicure chair. When I got to her, she said "I just want to hold your hand for a minute." Cue heart melt. Talk about a true friend. She's the bee's knees if you ask me.
And thanks to a weekend de Sole celebrations, we kicked off Friday night with a little appetizers and drinks with some of the guys included before we headed to her lingerie shower and delicious dinner. The night went well into the wee hours of 10:30pm. We're crazy like that. We were going strong until the waiter brought out 4 lb slices of cheesecake for everyone. To say I devoured that thing would be fairly accurate. It made up for the lack of champagne or wine that I normally would've been able to enjoy as we toasted to the bride.
Get it? Getting Down in Chi Town
Notice her visible squeal. Told you.
Saturday began with a delicious bridal brunch, followed by mani/pedis and ice cream. Can a Saturday get any better really? Normally, no, but that day it stayed just as awesome throughout. That evening a group of us went to Red's for some sun and water-side dining, followed by laughing and catching up for hours. It was fun to see my besties with their beautiful babies and to share pregnancy stories that night. Even the men chimed in. My favorite line of the night came from one of the husbands who I'm guessing probably heard this a few times throughout their journey "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm just creating a human life." I about wet my pants each time he said as I KNOW I have said something almost identical as odd pregnancy side effects have popped up here and there for this first time momma. So for future warning, if I somehow do something, odd, gross, emotionally charged, slightly offensive in a moment of extreme fatigue or hunger, etc... "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm just creating a human life." That about sums it up.
Boats, babies and good ole fried seafood. No complaints here!
Twinsies. Both handsome and both enjoying a little Red's atmosphere.
This dog is one of my 3 favorite dogs on the planet, true story.
I love seeing Bailey and Tucker when I come to town, so to have Bailey curled up and unbothered as Ziggy kicked away an inch from his head, was like puppy heaven.
Nothing but trouble on this couch. Good trouble, but trouble;)
And finally, the day came to celebrate Soles and Chi as they said "I do". They looked so incredibly happy and that is the one thing that I always look for at every wedding. Sure, the décor, the meal, the music and flowers are great and I take them all in, but I always watch the bride and groom for signs of pure joy. Their day was exactly them. It was my first wedding where the bride wore the blusher the entire ceremony until Chi could lift it for their first kiss. She wanted it to be traditional and to build anticipation. It worked. I kept saying to Tim "I want to see her face" to which he replied "what if it's not really her under there?" It was neat to see something that's considered traditional, yet in our society so very rare. I was full of anticipation, as I'm certain Chi was as well.
Mr. & Mrs. Kaufmann! Look at how happy they look. Love them.
First dance. Her dress was divine.
Nothing better than a wedding overlooking the ocean. Ahhhh.
I loved all her touches of soft pink and emerald green.
And I wanted to curl up in her bouquet.
Peonies are my absolute favorite flower on the planet and these were perfection.
kudos to her florist.
supermodels my friends. They can double as supermodels, I swear.
Their hearts are just as gorgeous on the inside.
The new mom herself giving Ziggy a little love.
Ready or not, here come the boys!!
My handsome date.
All in all, I loved being back in my second home with some of my favorite people. All was right with my world, if only for a few days. The smoked Gouda pimento cheese, southern mac & cheese, and cheesecake and ice cream also added to the glory that was our weekend.
Charleston and my amazing friends, I miss you already. There have been some tears since we left and arrived back to this 50 degree, rainy weather, but you can't keep me away. I'll be back!
Congrats, Heather and Chi! I wish you a lifetime of loving each other and loving the Lord, many more dance parties with crazy family and friends twirling around you in support and celebration (with pink streamers on sticks when possible), and many, many more squeal worthy moments! Love you.