We are back from our vacation to Charleston, SC to visit Christy and Bob. It was a LONG drive, but an excellent trip. It was wonderful to see the kids. They look great and we are so proud of them. They have a nice home, both are gainfully employed, they have a wonderfully neurotic dog, and have their own lives now. They are all grown up and finding their way through life. We saw many of the sights that make Charleston unique, but the very best part of the trip was the time we spent with Bob and Chris.
The weather was cool for some of our time in Charleston, but precipitation free. We were able to visit the historic downtown several times, which was fantastic. Christy's friend, Carrie, is a professional tour guide and gave us a private tour. It still amazes me how much the tour guides there need to remember. We jumped on a tour of the ghost-ridden old jail, which is creepy and fascinating at the same time. We took Carrie's carriage tour of the Battery section of the city. Magnolia Plantation was absolutely gorgeous. I have to find a Camilla to try as a house plant. I bought gifts for the Minnesota kids at the open-air market downtown and at the River Dogs stadium. We visited Fort Moultrie and saw the weaponry from the Revolution through WWII. We ate seafood at restaurants and Bobby's seafood boil. The honey baked ham for Easter was to die for, encrusted with a honey-brown sugar crust that made it seem more like dessert than the main course. The ocean and beach are, well, amazing and pure relaxation at the same time.
Bob and I got home late last night, and we are both having a lazy day trying to recoup. Looking back at our trip, I am so grateful for all of it. Bob (although he loves to drive, and I'd prefer to fly) does a great job of finding our way, navigating traffic, driving forever, AND catering to taking care of me. How he is so patient through it all is a mystery to me. I am grateful for the warm greeting that the kids extended to me. I feel especially thankful for Christy's welcome. I don't feel that Chris and I ever got much of a chance to know each other before she headed south, and I hopefully sense that she is giving me a chance to be in her life. What more could anyone ask? I'm not sure I would be as gracious as she, if I'd been in her position. At least from my perspective, it seemed that 7 years ago I bulldozed in, married her dad and then she felt she had to go packing. Her life, as she knew it, was completely disrupted. Yet, she greets me with a smile and a hug. How forgiving and kind-hearted can she be? Bobby and I had a bit more time together, yet I am appreciative of his acceptance, as well. Stepping into a family and becoming the step-parent is not an easy thing to do. I'm not sure that I stepped all that gracefully, and I cannot thank Christy and Bob enough for their resilience, patience, and care. Anyway, it was a special vacation, and I have Bob, Chris, and Bob to thank for it.