Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lighthouse Inlet, Folly Beach, SC

Folly Beach is not my first pick when it comes to Charleston beaches. I'll always consider myself a Sullivan's Island girl. But when it's just too windy for Sully's, Folly will do the trick. What I like most about Folly Beach is that it has its share of secrets. Just past the washout is a little inlet called Lighthouse Inlet, home to pods of dolphins, driftwood trees, and of course that adorable Morris Island lighthouse.

Earlier this week I took a little trip to Lighthouse Inlet at sunset which, in my personal opinion, is the best time of day to stroll on this part of Folly. Now be forewarned, it is a bit of a hike from where you park your car to the inlet entrance, but the lush greenery and chirping wildlife are sure to distract you on your way.

There couldn't be a more perfect way to end the day than watching dolphins swim into the horizon as the sun set....and I got to spend it with this guy ;) life's always better at the beach.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bull's Island, SC

When my phone started ringing Sunday morning I was tempted to silence it, turn over, and go back to enjoying the comfort of my bed. I reluctantly answered, and my friend Lexi asked me if I wanted to go out on our friend Hamilton's boat for the day. It was only 10:15 am and I was exhausted from the night before, but I looked outside and saw how beautiful and sunny it was and couldn't pass up the opportunity to do something adventurous. I shook my roommate Ali from bed, who was not thrilled to be woken up so early on a Sunday either, and in less than 10 minutes we were on our way to Isle of Palms.

We left from the Isle of Palms Marina and arrived at Bull's Island about a half hour later. On the ride there we sipped on some of Hamilton's delicious hot chocolate (peanut butter and chocolate...yum) since it was still kind of chilly. By the time we got to the island it had warmed up significantly and was probably 75 degrees.

In order to get to the beach we had to take a 1.5 mile long path that was surrounded by water on both sides, which also meant we were surrounded by huge alligators. I don't consider myself to be afraid of many things but I was absolutely terrified of being so close to them. Luckily Hamilton was skilled in the art of chasing them away so we never had any super close encounters (well maybe one but I'll get into that later...)

We arrived at the beach about a half hour later, and it was totally worth the near death experience (ok I'm being dramatic but the alligators were really scary). The beach looked like something out of a Salvador Dali painting; it was like a cross between a desert, a beach, and a mirage. We spent hours roaming the island looking for Sand Dollars and Conch shells. When we finally crashed we found a spot near a stream, ate our lunches, and napped for about two hours.

We started our trek back around 4:30 and heres where it got interesting. As we approached the path back to the boat, there was the biggest alligator we had seen all day (probably around 10 or 11 feet) blocking the path. Hamilton assured us that once we got closer he would get scared and run off. But this thing would not budge, and he was just staring at us moving his tail back and forth. I was sure this thing was going to lunge at us. but after 10 minutes of Hamilton coaxing it back in the water, it finally cleared the path.

Our day ended with a sunset boat ride back to Isle of Palms that made us all realize how lucky we are to live in such an incredible place where a hidden gem like Bull's Island is only a stones throw away from a city.

Happy Spring Break! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Current Obsessions: February

February is probably one of my least favorite months. Nothing particularly exciting ever happens in February except Valentines Day and Leap Year. And this February has just been downright cold and gloomy. But we've been making the best of this month by keeping our bellies full and our bodies warm (we've had four snow days already!) . But before you know it, its already March. Heres to rising temperatures!

February so far:

Never really considered myself a big Bloody Mary fan until recently. This one at Bay Street Biergarten had Striped Pig Vodka, Olives, and Pickled Beets. Yum. 

Snow Day #4 called for a Bowling Night at The Alley.

In an effort to get rid of some food that was coming to the end of its shelf life I made Ginger Sweet Potato Bread and ate it for every meal. I adapted it from this recipe but substituted Ginger powder for Nutmeg.

Sunset bike rides are making a comeback now that its warming up.

Dinner for two: Baked Herb Chicken Parm, Fettucine with Vodka Sauce, Caesar Salad and Merlot.

We went to Folly Gras for the first time this past weekend. If you live in the Folly Beach/Charleston area its definitely worth experiencing at some point (you can drink in the street, enough said).

Happy Sunday! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"Galentines" Day Dinner

I don't hate Valentines Day. As cheesy and Hallmark-esque it is, I think its a cute tradition. And, if you don't get to do this enough, its a nice way to show someone you care about them. Since none of my friends had any Valentines Day plans we decided to throw a little "Galentines" Day dinner  (Parks and Recreation reference) and spend time with each other instead of our significant others.

Our "smorg" (aka smorgasbord) included an amazing Cilantro Shrimp Salad (thanks to Brynne!), Sweet Potato Salad, Rosemary Fig Gnocchi, Parmesan Lemon Salad, Spinach Artichoke Dip, and some other dishes that were gobbled up quickly (there were no left overs...).

Our make-shift "bar". That sangria was amazing.

The Spread: Cheese Platter, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Pigs in a Blanket, and Sweet Potato Salad. 

Gina's Nutella Cookie Cups were a hit. You wouldn't believe they were Gluten Free and Organic. 

With all of our hectic schedules we don't get to have girl time all that often, so it was really nice to just spend a night together (sans men) and catch up. And the plethora of delicious food and drinks was an added bonus. Hope everyone had a happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter in the South

That sounds like a contradiction I know, but believe it or not it can get pretty chilly down here. One day its 35 degrees and the next its 65. I'm not complaining but it definitely confuses the heck out of my body. On those days it gets particularly frigid I'm not inclined to leave the house unless its for class or work, but I do try to embrace the "cold" every so often.

Winter in Charleston (so far)  has looked a little like this:

Warmer winter temps mean afternoon trips to Sullivan's Island.

Seafood Tower at Hank's. This girl was in heaven.

Tour of the Joseph Manigault House. It was really interesting to learn all about this French Huguenot family who owned five plantations, a Charleston townhouse, and a Sullivan's Island beach home.

Keeping warm on a chilly Saturday with some Shrimp & Grits from The Lost Dog Cafe on Folly Beach. Such an adorable little breakfast nook, I'll definitely be back there again. 

Slight coffee obsession....current collection includes Stumptown "Hair Bender", Allegro Mocha Java, Counter Culture Decaf Cafe Rustico, and Mary-Lou's Coconut Cake. 

It's weird to think that a year ago I was just starting my abroad experience in Rome. I'm becoming especially nostalgic lately, maybe because life abroad was so uncertain and exciting. It's hard to not fall into routine at school, and I'm trying to keep myself entertained with new adventures and experiences. 

Stay warm!

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Year, New Goals

Happy January! I'm still in awe that its the start of a whole new year (I keep finding myself writing 2013). But with a new year comes new opportunities, new goals, and new adventures. Especially since its my senior year I'm trying to make an effort to follow through with some new years resolutions. This year I want to be more of a yes-man, since I have the tendency to avoid situations that are often uncomfortable or intimidating. I'm looking forward to spending my last semester enjoying the company of good friends, exploring opportunities for post-graduation, and relishing the time I have left in the beautiful city of Charleston. 

Spent New Years in Cape Cod, MA with my Charleston friends. Couldn't have asked for a better way to ring in the new year. 

Braved the snowstorm Hercules at home in New Jersey. I hadn't seen snow in almost two years. 

Getting drinks with my friends has become a way of getting together during the week to blow off steam. The Moscow Mule (Vodka, Ginger Beer, Limeade) from The Rarebit is one of my new favorites. 

My first dinner back in Charleston was at the Vietnamese restaurant Co. I went with the Bo Vien Pho with meatballs, shredded chicken, beef, basil, and rice noodles. It was delicious but I still think the Hanoi Noodle bowl is my favorite dish there (pictured above).
We celebrated our friend Kendall's 22nd birthday at Bay Street Biergarten. I'm anticipating more trips here once the weather is warmer and we can sit on the outdoor patio and play corn-hole. 

Heres to 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Home for the Holidays

Being a December birthday, I have a natural appreciation for this glorified month. Not only is December home to my birthday, but also to Christmas and New Years Eve, two of my favorite holidays. Although I wasn't incredibly excited about trading Palm Trees for snow-covered Evergreens, there's just something about being home for the holidays. Even though I wasn't technically home for the holidays (we spent Christmas in Antigua), I still spent a majority of the season at home in New Jersey. 

Christmas Decorations (kitties included) 

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes (adapted from A Girl De-Floured) 

'Tis the Season for Holiday Concerts.

Annual Holiday Potluck.  

Great end to Christmas Day.

The holidays always put the important things in life into perspective; health, happiness, family, friendships, relationships, etc. Even if we can't spend this time with the most important people in our lives, its always nice to let them know we're thinking about them. Happy Holidays to you and yours!