Returned to Charleston for my last semester of college, terrifying. Filled my schedule with classes like Representations of the Holocaust, Movement for the Actor, Film Photography, and Tap. Auditioned for the spring plays and was cast in Letters to Sala, which would be performed in April. Hung out with my girlfriends, running errands and blasting some M83 with the windows rolled down. Made some homemade soups for the chilly days, daydreamed about visiting Iceland (what else is new?) and listened to wintry music.
Dressed up like the 1920's with friends to go see The Artist and ate breakfast for dinner at Early Bird Diner. Saw Aziz Ansari perform stand up, brilliant. Went bouldering for the first time (indoors), and afterwards rewarded ourselves with cheesy, Super Bowl food. Relished in the early spring and blossoming flowers. Sent out some Valentine's Day cookies to loved ones, decorated my mantel, and watched The Princess Bride with my single friends. Celebrated Kelsey's birthday over a weekend with jambalaya, hurricanes, and hummingbird cake. Fell in love with the movie Drive.
Went home for spring break the first week of the month, reveled in the warmer weather, country scenery, and yellow daffodils. Also, finally found my graduation dress! After returning to school, play rehearsals were in full swing and so were the final weeks of the semester. An old friend from high school was in town, and in one day we saw Ft. Sumter, ate Fast and French for lunch, toured a brewery, had tacos for dinner, and saw a movie. Decided that I was going to stay in Charleston for the summer.
Started a job at Cupcake. Was stressed out about finals and projects and fitting in time in the photography lab. Picked strawberries at a farm and made my own Banh Mi sandwich. My parents came in town to see my play and we ate at my favorite places and visited the magical Middleton Place. Had my last day of school - EVER!
In between finals and graduation, some friends and I drove to New Orleans for Jazz Fest. I would go a million more times, I love that city. We ate gluttonous po-boys, tried on Mardi Gras masks, partied on Frenchman's St. and stayed at a Dolly Parton themed hostel. Returned to Charleston for Graduation. Lots of family came in town for my special day and we had a great time sightseeing, eating Charleston specialties, and laughing. I actually graduated on my 23rd birthday. My roommates and I all threw a wine/cheese/dessert party at our house for friends and family, and they sang me "Happy Birthday." I can't believe no one cried all day.
After the festivities, life returned to normal and everyone back to their old jobs. Claire and I saw Washed Out and the goodbye parties started, all the grads were starting to leave Charleston.
Flew home for a long weekend to see old high school friends and attend some graduation parties. Started up yoga again, felt really good. Went to a chocolate and beer pairing at Holy City Brewery and celebrated Ansley's birthday at our favorites, The Gin Joint and The Belmont. Hosted a house show for my favorite Charleston musician, Steven Fiore. One of my best friends from HS, Victoria, and her little sister (they are like my sisters) came in town for a long weekend! We went to the beach, shopped, ate some vietnamese, drank some margaritas and giggled.
Began a routine of taking sunset walks along the battery. Also woke up before dawn with Kelsey to watch the sunrise over Folly Beach. The music from The Descendants was my soundtrack of the summer.
By far the most emotional month, as it was my last in Charleston.
My parents came in town for the 4th of July and my mom's birthday. We finally saw Angel Oak, went to the beach, and ate our way around town (it's easy to do). They brought home a majority of my belongings.
My friends and I tried to fit in a much as possible in our last month together - all our favorite restaurants, bars and coffee shops - and just undivided time together. So many great memories. We spent the last week or so moving people out, moving ourselves out and cleaning the whole house (God, did it need it!). Sweaty times.
Finally it was time, and I left Charleston and moved back home.
I moved back in with my parents to save money to move to Chicago (2013!). Had some Charleston friends pass through on their way back home. Started hanging out with my best friends from high school, who have all graduated and moved back home too. They have made home even better than I could imagine. I am very blessed to be able to spend this time with them, all as our "new persons", creating new memories and laughing. Life savers.
I went back to work as a cake decorator as I had the summers and breaks prior, but with more responsibilities and a raise. Another blessing, because even though it's not my dream job, I do really love it and love the people I work for and with.
Made some granola bars and admired my parent's garden that became dinner every night.
Margaritas with my girlfriends, all the time.
Went to San Francisco with my parents for a week, and traveled Northern California. I can't believe I am not living there, it rivals New Orleans for best city in the US. We explored Chinatown, The Mission, Alcatraz, Palace of Fine Arts, and many other tourist traps and not so touristy places. We also drove up the coast to Carmel and Big Sur. Made it a goal that I must live there one day.
Went back to Charleston for the first time and enjoyed late night talks with friends and my old haunts. It was just what I needed.
Started going out with friends to Buckhead and Midtown, celebrating our 20's. Trekked up to the North Georgia Mountains and listened to fall-ish music. Dressed like a black and white silent film star for Halloween, people either got it for didn't.
Drove to Chattanooga to meet my beloved Kelsey for a night and a day. We caught up for as long as we could keep our eyes open, ate apple pie and I watched her get her hair cut into this adorable bob. Continued hanging out with ATL friends till wee hours in the morning. Had my mom's whole family come in town for Thanksgiving. Living at home during the holidays means you get to see all your high school friends who come home, which is nice. My Charleston friend Claire is from ATL, so I get to see her at holidays too. Bonus Jonas. Ended the month by celebrating Daughtry's birthday!
How this month always zooms by! Started off by listening to Christmas music. Was super busy at work with Christmas cakes and gingerbread parties. I was also planning and preparing the decorations and food for my family's British Christmas Party, which thankfully was a success. More friends passed through town, as did family. It was the first Christmas morning I ever spent in my own house (all 22 years before had been at grandparents'). Victoria left for Australia for 2 years the day after Christmas. We all had a morning coffee visit to bid our farewells. It's definitely bittersweet, her not being home, but I could not be happier for the direction of her life right now and going to med school!
My parents and I headed up to Asheville to see the Biltmore house and celebrate the New Years.
T'was the year of cake crumbs, sweat and tears. Lots of chapters ended, which brought many new beginnings and challenges. It was definitely the year the relationships in my life were strengthened - friendships and with my parents (we are getting along so well). It's taught me what a support system I have and that if I moved to Charleston with no friends and left with only the best of them, it could happen in Chicago too.
I''m very curious for 2013, excited and impatient.
Happy New Years