It is almost Christmas, y'all.
No, Paula Deen is not writing my blog this morning. I am home from South Carolina but a hint of the south is lingering.
Once upon a time I wouldn't have given a second thought to telling everyone that my family would be out of town for five days. The world has changed just enough that discretion seemed to call for not announcing these plans to the world at large. I still believe that most people are good and we do have wonderful neighbors who watched over our home in our absence, but I decided to wait until our return to talk about South Carolina.
Our friends Sue and Ed have spent more years in SC than in Michigan, but it doesn't feel that way. Do you have friends like that? People that you are so comfortable with, who know you so well that months or even years apart melt away when you're together? Count this as a blessing if you have relationships like this.
In May, my family drove to SC for the wedding of Sue and Ed's daughter Katie to Ryan. In July, they were here en route to the west side of Michigan, and their son Steve announced his engagement to Megan. Their wedding will in July. The happy occasion that prompted this visit to SC was Steve's graduation from Clemson.
I didn't ask permission of anyone to share their photos, so no close ups are included today. I spent a good amount of time finding Steve in this sea of graduates, then losing him when I tried to zoom in on his face with the camera.
The Clemson mascot is a tiger. Mighty. Proud.
After the ceremony Sue and Ed fixed lunch for us, a low country boil. Oh yum! Later we did a tour of the campus, stopping of course by the stadium.
I love that the street in front of the stadium had tiger paw prints!
It is no coincidence that I mentioned Paula Deen at the beginning of today's post. Paula would have been proud of the southern hospitality shown to us Michiganders, and while I don't know whether or not each meal had a stick of butter in it or not, boy did we eat. And eat again. And eat some more. Now that we're home, we aren't eating again until Christmas day.
Our first dinner was at a Japanese restaurant. This chef shows us that it is perfectly okay to play with your food! He made a volcano out of onion rings and let me tell you, the fire on that grill threw some heat!
Our other meals were at restaurants featuring Chinese, Italian, Mexican and fire departments. The fire department wasn't a typical feature, but they do show up if the fire alarm has been tripped! And to think that didn't happen at the Japanese restaurant with the open flame!
My husband and son were introduced to Chick-Fil-A on this trip (why aren't they in Michigan?!!!) and our parting lunch was at Cracker Barrel where I happily ate grits. My guys don't see the appeal of grits. Silly men. As much as I love my home, I could easily be a southern belle. Instead I am a Michigander with a belly still full and a happy heart.
I hope y'all are as content and at peace as I am.