Sunday, November 23, 2008

Charleston, SC

The night before we left Asheville, we took a vote: Go to DC where the weather looked cold and rainy - or head south in hopes of warm sun. Warm won and so here we are in Charleston, SC. It was sunny, but not quite as warm as we'd hoped. They tell us their having a cold spell - it was pretty much the 50's all week. Given the fact that it's snowing in MN, we're more than happy. But we are looking forward to giving the polar fleece a rest. The kids did manage to swim in the heated outdoor pool - for about 30 minutes before their lips turned blue and they had to head for the hot showers.

Charleston is rich with American history being the city where the civil war began. We visited
Boone Hall Plantation which has an incredible tree lined driveway of live oak trees planted in 1743 that form a canopy over the road. It also has quite a few slave cabins still intact where we toured and learned about this sad reality of our history. We also stopped at the Charles Pinkney National Historic site - the home of one of the original signers of the U.S. Constitution.

Thursday we celebrated my (Connie) birthday. The kids gave me the best gifts ever. Ashley made me a beautiful bookmark and Jake hand-crafted a precious birthday banner - you'll see it in the slideshow. I got to sleep in and pick our spot for lunch. I chose
Tasi which turned out to be fabulous! It's an upbeat, colorful oasis where we had fresh, delicious wraps and smoothies. Then Mark, the owner, taught us how to grow wheatgrass! What a treat to learn how to grow this incredibly nutrient-dense superfood. What made this even more exciting was the fact that just the night before we had been talking with some friends about this very thing. Then, out of the blue, God provides someone to teach us when we least expected it. We all tasted a sample and the next day I stopped back in to ask a couple more questions. Mark was so kind to give me a couple of trays so we can start experimenting with growing our own wheatgrass in the RV - should be interesting! Stay tuned for that.

Next we headed down to
Fort Sumter (where the Civil War began in 1861), but we were too late to take the ferry. So we picked up the Junior Ranger booklets and spent some time at the exhibits. Then we decided to check out the Old Exchange Building where George Washington is said to have danced with over 200 women when he visited Charleston in 1791. The building also housed the jail - which was really a dungeon - very interesting tour.

As we were driving back to the campground and wondering what we should have for dinner, Rich caught a glimpse of Whole Foods! Let me tell you, this was the icing on my birthday cake! I LOVE shopping at places where I don't have to scrutinize every label and search through the aisles for healthy food. We ended up with a cart full of groceries, dinner to go, and a birthday treat to boot.

Friday morning was a first. It was the first day in five weeks that I spent more than five minutes alone. Can you even imagine that? For the last five straight weeks, the four of us have spent every waking moment - together! And it's actually been wonderful. I'm pleasantly surprised. Why? Because I honestly really need alone time. I'm an introvert meaning I recharge when I have alone time. I love nothing more than to be alone with my Bible, my journal and a hot cup of tea - for hours on end. But that doesn't happen anymore - not with this lifestyle. And so I really thought by now I would have been intensely craving some alone time. But that's really not the case. Yes, I enjoyed my morning out getting a massage and doing a few errands, but I find it interesting that I'm not going nuts without more time to myself. Either my occasional late night blog writing is satisfying my alone-time need, or God is giving me the grace to live without it for a season.

Jake loves Legos. He agonized over leaving 90% of his collection behind. We've been so busy that the Legos have been on the back burner since we left. But this week, Jake had some time to build quite a few different things from plantation houses to ships. He was very creative!

Ashley made a beautiful loaf of
challah bread this week for our sabbath dinner on Friday evening. This is the first time we've made challah, but it won't be the last. This braided bread was wonderful - perfect with the Caesar Salads we had for dinner.

On Saturday we took Macie on her first bike ride. I pulled her behind in a trailer. Unfortunately, she didn't seem as thrilled about it as we were. She whimpered along the first mile or two, but settled down for a while after that. Hopefully it will grow on her...

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we want to tell each of you how grateful we are for you. We are very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. Have a great Thanksgiving remembering and celebrating the blessings God has given you.

Oh, and in case you are wondering about Rich...he's still waiting. No pain and no stone...yet...


Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Fun, Connie! But you left out the instructions on how to grow wheat grass...sounds like the perfect activity of "hope" for us in MN (you know, the winter you left behind). :)
Happy Birthday,

Connie Bendickson said...

I would love to share how to grow the soon as we have some success at it, I will let you all know! First I need to find a does no good to grow it if you can't juice it. Mark recommended for more information.

Brenda Schlickbernd said...

I'm so glad that you had a great birthday, and that you are journaling your RV experience. Not only is it fun for the rest of us to read, it will be good material when you write and publish your book someday!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bendicksons

It was great to watch the video! Happy belated Birthday Connie, sounds like you had a lovely day! What experiences you are all having -- keep us updated on the Wheatgrass! Jeff, Lilly and I all travelled (in our Van) to South Carolina for my 30th Birthday four years ago, We also found the "Meca"
of Wholefoods on my Birthday in Charleston! I was also a very happy camper to say the least that day. Love to all of you.