The ABC's of my trip to South Carolina

I read somewhere once that you should keep tour blogposts short so that people don't have to read on forever. I'm going to break that rule. This post, in all honesty, is less to do with others (although I really hope you read it!), and more to do with me. This is a journaling activity so that I don't' forget all of the things that made this trip so great. So here goes:

A is for Aura- My step mother's Saturn Aura (which I drove for part of the trip) was our chariot to adventure! I really enjoyed driving that car......
B is for back and forth- our hotel was in NC but we spent most of our time in SC. We got to know US-17 VERY well. (And alternate routes as well thanks to the Google Maps app on my sister's cell phone.)
C is for Calabash Creamery. If you're ever in the Calabash area, you HAVE to go there. All of their ice cream is homemade, and it's so good. We had to wait in line, as it is always busy, but it was well worth the wait. We went there on a trip years ago, and I never forgot it. I just had to share it with my sister. Somewhere there is a picture of me with a cow.......

Photo taken from 
D is for Driving- eight hours of driving from Parkersburg West Virgina to Holt, Michigan. My dad's legs were a bit swollen from 4 days of driving, so I drove the last leg of the trip home. I like Saturns.

E is for Eager- eager to eat vegetables that is. I did a good job of packing snacks for the trip, but I failed to buy any carrots or other vegetables to take with me. I think I only had one vegetable a day. I was so happy to come home on Tuesday and see an Indian cabbage stir fry with kidney beans and brown rice. Yeah fiber!
F is for Family time and Frito Pie - - The main reason for this trip was to see my sister for her 29th birthday (and she's hot allowed to turn 30 either----that would make me old!) She lives in Chester, SC so we don't get to see each other all that much. It was nice to be together...and I didn't kick her in bed this time like I used to when we were kids. Frito Pie is a recipe that my dad has been making since I was a kid. It's like a taco salad, but instead of tortilla chips you use Fritos, and instead of salsa you use tomato soup. It's a favorite of mine and we had that for dinner Thursday night before we left.
G is for Gluten Free Heaven at Cherbourg Bakery- This place was amazing. I plan on writing a separate post about our experience there, the friendly staff, and all the yumminess I tasted when we got home. You really need to do an image search on Google to see all of the delicious things that they make, as well as how cute the shop is. This bakery is completely gluten and nut free. Yeah!

My handsome dad! 

H is for Hot boiled peanuts and half-tanks. My sister told us about hot boiled peanuts, a favorite in South Carolina. We came across a road sign stand on our way back to Chester, SC from Myrtle Beach that was selling them hot straight from the cooking kettle. For only $3 we received a sandwich bag full of piping hot, salty goodness. I have to admit, I was at first skeptical about this southern staple, but once I ate them, I had fallen in love. As for half-tanks, my dad has a habit of not letting the gas tank go below half. It kind of became a joke along the way. Then again, we got incredible gas mileage, plus gas was only $3.19 a gallon down south!
I is for "I Luv My Sis" written in the sand by my sister while we were relaxing on the ocean beach. I love you too, and I'm so glad that we were able to spend this memorable birthday know, since you're not allowed to get any older. :)
J is for Joking- there was a lot of jokes and laughter on this trip. It was good to have 5 days of happiness.
K is for Keeping satiated with snacks- The plan for our trip was to eat a big breakfast, an early dinner, and to keep full during the day with various snacks. I had a bunch of snacks from an event at Meijer that I intentionally saved for this trip- El's Bagel Chips, a Glutino toaster pastry, SunCups chocolates, Sam Mills snack bars, and Natural Nectar Choco Dream Rice Sticks. These cookies are shaped like piroulines and then filled with a Nutella-like cream. Yum! They were SO good. I left some with my dad at the end of the trip, and brought the rest home to share with my husband.
L is for Landing, Barefoot. We spent Saturday evening in North Myrtle Beach, and dined at a restaurant called the Flying Fish (that I found with the Find Me Gluten Free App.) We kind of missed our turn, so we ended up parking in this outdoor shopping complex called Barefoot Landing and walking to the restaurant. From the main part of the shopping area, you get to the restaurant by walking on floating boardwalks. It was so nice to be able to walk around after being in the car for so many hours, and the weather was beautiful. We did some clothes shopping at the IZOD store, found a gift for my niece's birthday, say some wild tigers, and did a little wine tasting. I especially enjoyed the wine tasting, not because of the wine, but because it was just my stepmother and I who partook, and it was a nice chance to bond. I'm really glad that she's married to my dad.

M is for Mellow Mushroom- mmmmmmmm. This groovy restaurant makes some amazing gluten free pizza and huge (non gluten free) calzones. I had the Mellowterranean pizza, although I was a bit disappointed that it did not come with the tzatziki sauce (as they could not ensure that it was gluten free). I did only eat half of mine and saved the rest for later so that I could share it with Brad. He enjoyed it as well. We stopped at the location in Charlotte, NC but I think this restaurant would do really well in Ann Arbor, MI.
HALF of Carolyn's calzone

N is for NEVER EVER got to Myrtle Beach during Black Bike Week. It's too crowded, too loud, and too...well, in my step mother's words- "Don't look!"
O is for Ocean Isle Beach- I went to Ocean Isle Beach a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Our hotel was not too far from there, so we spent some time there swimming in the ocean, laying in the sun, walking along the shore, and talking to nice people with nice dogs. We met a really sweet pitbull named Layla. If you ever want to get away, I highly suggest renting  a condo for the week and enjoying the ocean breeze.
P is for Paradise- We went to Cheeseburger in Paradise on Sunday night for dinner. I had seen many rave reviews for it on Find Me Gluten Free. The staff was very thorough in preventing cross contamination, and I was so excited to actually have an appetizer that was gluten free. I highly suggest the Loaded Chips. We shared the one appetizer between the four of us, so it wasn't a total unhealthy experience. I had the fish sandwich (that I think would have been better with Cod instead of tilapia) and a side salad instead of the french fries. The waitress was incredibly knowledgeable and told us that the chain makes their own GF buns, and you can even purchase some to take home with you, as they are individually wrapped.

Q is for Quiet- I am an early riser, and was awake before everyone else in the morning. But it was nice and peaceful. I used that time to catch up on my email and reading blogs that I follow. After all the busyness during the week, it was nice to just curl up with my tablet (that sounds weird, I know) and read the news around the world. All that was missing was a nice Chai Latte.
R is for Reading- I read the entire book of Hunger Games on the way down to NC on Friday. I tried to find a local bookstore to buy Catching Fire, but the one I found in Charlotte was closed on Memorial Day.
S is for Shallotte- "Not Charlotte!" While booking the hotel, my dad was reserving the rooms over the phone, and the gentleman he was talking to had a thick accent and was definitely from a different country. My dad had to explain several times exactly where it was we were wanting to stay. He made sure to call the actual hotel to make sure our rooms were reserved in the right place. We were joking about it while checking in, and the front desk attendant explained that the same thing had happened to another man, who unfortunately did NOT check his room registration with the hotel first, and his rooms were booked in Charlotte, over 60 miles away. Luckily, they had a vacancy left for the poor soul.
T is for T.O.E. Jam. I ate TOE Jam and I liked it! T.O.E stands for Tangerine, Orange, and Elderberry. I purchased it for Brad at the same roadside stand where I purchased the boiled peanuts.  A little pricey, but worth it as I am sure I would never find anything like it here in Michigan.

Photo credit -
U is for Udi's Everything Bagel breakfast sandwich- I had some Udi's Everything Bagels with me during the trip. On our last morning in Parkersburg WV, we had the most amazing breakfast spread. I slathered some cream cheese on my bagel that I warmed up in the microwave (to prevent cross contamination for course) and topped it with some mini sausage patties and an egg. It was AMAZING! My stomach was so happy---I highly suggest buying these bagels and trying it for yourself!
V is for View- We rode the Skywheel in Myrtle Beach, and you can see for miles while you are at the top.

W is for Wonderful Weather- The weather on our trip was perfect. It was a little chilly on Friday on the way down, but when you're in the car for over 12 hours, you don't' really notice. The rest of the weekend was warm but not too hot, and no rain.
X is for eXplain- as in "Waiter, please explain how there is a rogue noodle in my gluten free Spaghetti Squash Marinara." Unfortunately, they could not explain this, as they don't' even serve that type of pasta in their restaurant. The manager was nice and did not charge me for my dinner, and I ate from the salad bar for the rest of the night. (Which was a major bummer, as I really liked my main dish!)
Y is for Yogurt- We stopped at Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop in Charleston and I tried their Banana and Peanut Butter Greek Frozen Yogurt. (They even have a gluten free list!) I HIGHLY suggest it. I hope that I can find it in pints at the store!
Z is for ZZzzzzzzz- I don't always sleep the best while on vacation, and I was so glad to be home Tuesday night with my husband and relax to a nice vegetable dinner and, honestly, fall asleep on the couch.

And another important memory that I couldn't conveniently fit into my acrostic: This trip was over Memorial Day Weekend. On Memorial Day, we went to breakfast in the hotel in Shallotte, and came across two other families eating as well. One was a family from Germany, and the other was a middle aged gentleman with his young daughter. Being a lover of foreign countries, I struck up a conversation with the family from Germany, which consisted of a set of grandparents with their adult children and young grandchildren. As I was talking to the middle aged parents, the older grandfather, who was a Vietnam Vet, struck up a conversation with the other middle aged man, who I believe was from a Caribbean or African country due to his accent. The middle aged man was currently in the military, and it was so wonderful to see two soldiers, one active and one retired, both from different lands, finding a way to connect on this most important of days. I think it will be the best Memorial Day memory of my entire life.

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