This weekend was a total bust. That’s to be expected when you only have two days off while everyone you know, including your husband and baby, have three. We spent the weekend at home in Charleston (along with some notables, Hillary, Bernie, that third guy), and it was short, but refreshing. We did a long run through a beautiful neighborhood with million dollar mansions (not our neighborhood), got to catch up on laundry, lingered around Whole Foods, watch some questionable football which made me super nervous about our trip to the Super Bowl because I know it’s going to be the Patriots and took the baby to see fish at the Charleston Aquarium.
I’ve been patiently waiting for the baby to grow old enough to take her to the aquarium. I don’t know why this has been so important to me. There’s nothing more boring than a couple hours in any aquarium and the Charleston one is about an eighth of the size of the other three aquarium’s I’ve been (forced to go) to. It must be a mom thing–you can’t wait to expose your child to the world. Even the most mundane parts of the world.
The baby and I woke up to a storm Sunday morning–my favorite kind of Charleston storm. Green skies, gusty wind and rain that comes in short, powerful bursts. It was too cozy inside not to make muffins, so the baby and I let John sleep (to be fair, he got up at 5am with her and fed her a bottle) while we baked and caught up on our new favorite show, Married at First Sight. This show just surpassed 90 Day Fiance in uncomfortable situations and awkwardness. Really, girl in your later 20’s, you didn’t have the foresight to see that marrying a COMPLETE STRANGER wasn’t going to be a fairytale? I can’t get enough.
We picked up John’s friend who we convinced to come and drove through downtown Charleston to get to the Aquarium. The route we took went right past the Emanuel AME Church where the shootings happened last year. It’s still a little surreal that it happened here. It was strange seeing a tiny place like Charleston as the top headline on the shows we watch every night. As much as I feel out of place here, it made me proud to live in a place where the people used the tragedy to come together instead of letting it further divide the community.
The aquarium is set apart from the chaos downtown–between a ship yard and a cruise ship landing–with a stunning view of Mt. Pleasant and the Cooper River. The view was my favorite part of the aquarium–the icy wind coming off the water, whipping up the ocean onto the pier made me nostalgic for California’s fishing wharf’s on the Pacific.
The Aquarium is 100%, as it should be, geared towards kids. Workers dressed in Safari gear held snakes out to excited children, giant sharks swallow you whole for pictures and the exhibits had fun non-natural things like giant sunglasses inside the glass walls. We ignored everything but the fish, and took the baby straight to a giant tank full of giant fish and regular sized scuba divers.
To my pleasure, she loved the fish. She pointed, smiled, clapped her hands, giggled and even tried to bite them through the glass. It was short lived, but worth the trip to see her discover something as wild as these caged sea creatures.
We were starving after our half hour Aquarium adventure, and I was too hungry to think, so John chose our lunch venue, somewhere I hadn’t been before. Vintage Coffee Café is extremely hidden. I literally drive by it everyday and have never noticed it. John had gone there with a friend and said it was exactly the kind of place I would like. He was exactly right. It’s a small, beach-themed, cottage café with a large sampling of fresh breakfast and lunch. They have scrambles and burritos, acai bowls and a long list of appetizers like parmesan kale dip and spinach and roasted beets. I chose a toast from their “toast bar,” avocado, tomato onion marmalade and sea salt, and their roasted vegetable hash with more avocado. The food is the perfect union of comfort and health food and I loved the small café atmosphere (although we did have to wait forever for a table and I’m pretty sure the only reason we got one was because I was staring pointedly and probably rudely at a group that was long since done eating).
I needed a relaxing weekend before John starts his 2pm-midnight shift and I’m home with the baby after work trying to make dinner and put her to bed and watch Pretty Little Liars by myself. I didn’t need a new coffee shop to go to in the morning before work, but I have a feeling Vintage Café will be calling my name every morning this week. I hope everyone had a long and relaxing 3-day weekend, or made the best of a way too short 2-day weekend.