My best friend, Mandy, took some of these lovely photos.
And some of the not-so-lovely ones. (Real life, what’re ya gonna do?)
My husband’s (gosh, that’s fun to say!) friend, Josh, took some too.
We are slowly but surely setting up our new life together. That includes packing up everything Edgar and I own and moving it down to the Lake to be with Seth. It’s going to take time. And patience. And lots of boxes. But, as with everything else that’s been happening around here – it’ll get done. (To offer a very quick update: in a matter of eight weeks I have started a new job, planned the wedding with Seth, then had the wedding, only to then move to Seth’s, and finally travel to Europe.) And it’ll be wonderful. Just like our wedding day.
Months and months ago, I clicked on an ad from the Wisconsin Dairy Council. They wanted to know what I knew about cheese, see some photos I’d taken, and have me write an essay on a food memory that meant something to me. So I told them, I made an intense cheeseboard, I wrote about Sam.
I swear, I tried. I really did. I hauled my camera all the way to SC with every intention of being that annoying person in a restaurant setting up shots and climbing on chairs. But, that didn’t happen. I was too busy enjoying my time with Seth and too self-conscious to really commit to the full “foodie” (ugh, hate that title) obnoxiousness.
So, my iphone photos will just have to do. Here’s a partial list of the places we went and the foods we ate on our trip. Mostly in Greenville, and a few fantastic places along the way. After today, I’m officially back to work and things will return to normal around here. For better or for worse.
Obviously. We got lunch here on our first full day in town and then had an amazing dinner our second to last night (all courses specially prepared by Alex, god bless him). The burger is a must (get a side of burger sauce to go with your fries) and dinner is exceptional – especially dessert! Jen took over the duties when I left and she’s doing a better job than I ever could. We stopped by the morning before we left and she gifted me lemon pound cake with fresh strawberry ice cream.
The Village Grind
Right across the street from GB&D (and owned by the Alex’s sister), we stopped here every morning for a jolt. The space is gorgeous and the friendly faces are even moreso. Plus, they put up with my tedious request of things being “half-caff” (I’m the worst).
Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery
Another place I used to work! Purveyors of local produce and some of the best scones around. Seth was a huge fan of their stecca (a sort of freeform, Italian baguette). We stocked up on local honey and kombucha before hitting the road. Plus, my former employer, Mary, took this lovely shot of Seth and I <3
Technically in Travelers Rest, this is one of my absolute favorite breakfast places in all the land! Sweet and savory crepes that are just the ticket after a bottle and a half of wine the night before. Or so I’ve heard.
Oh, Pita House, how do I love thee? There’s no better place to get lunch. It’s both affordable and flavorful and the staff are some of the friendliest around. Plus, they make a tahini salad that makes me forget I don’t really like tahini. I’ll say one last thing: BAKLAVA.
The Kennedy, Spartanburg SC
My cousin Maria has started working here recently and while I can’t attest to anything but the deliciousness of their burnt chocolate spoon bread (omg) and the intricacies of their cocktails, the ambiance and décor alone make me want to return!
12 Bones Smokehouse
We were only spending one afternoon in Asheville and I knew we had to lunch here! It had been over two years since I’d had their ribs and truly, they were better than I remembered. I got a half rack of blueberry bbq basted and a half rack of Cheerwine bbq basted. With mac n cheese and a big ol’ slice of cornbread on the side, naturally.
Summit Coffee Co.
Literally 100 yards from 12 Bones, Seth and I found this amazing coffee shop filled with local artwork and fresh brewed drip coffee that gave us enough energy to finish the final leg of our journey. (Truly, the amount of coffee we consumed on this trip was astounding.)
And the rest
Stock & Barrel, Knoxville TN
We made it a point to stop at local, non-fast food places while driving and I’m glad we did! We pulled into Knox jonesing for a burger and ended up finding a really good one here. There happened to be a Vols game at the same time so downtown was packed. But, we were blessed with a parking spot and snagged the last table on the patio. Sure, we had to keep our coats and hats on and my red wine was inadvertently served chilled, but any place I can get onion strings on a burger is good in my book.
Munster Donuts, Munster IN
Open 24/7, this place is slinging doonies left, right, and center. The flavors are simple staples but done oh-so-well. And all less than $1 each!
Quills Coffee, Indianapolis IN
I’ve heard nothing but good things about Quills from Em over at Today’s Letters so I was over the moon when I found out there was a location within walking distance from our AirBnb. We got there right when it opened and once again the barista put up with my difficulty/decaf nonsense. Plus, they had whole bean decaf for me to take home and an adorable astronaut cat mural across the alleyway.
Garden Table, Indianapolis IN
When I worked at a place that did brunch, I was always envious of people who got to have brunch. We more than made up for it on our way back home at Garden Table. Local fare, the freshest (and softest) bread, super quick and friendly service, cold-pressed juices. This place had it all! And it was all presented in the hippest/chicest/trendiest setting. Plus, I had my first oat milk latte and it was a treat! I’m a convert!
Until the next time we travel (which will be Europe in March, omg)!
I’ve never not had a job. Since I was 14 and joined the workforce, I have always had a job (if not two). I’ve never left a job without having another one lined up, I’ve never left a job without working a two week notice, I’ve never been unemployed.
And it’s been hard. To allow myself this time – to process, to plan. I’m lucky that I’ve had family to offer their homes and their hearts to me, that are far more understanding of my current situation than I’m willing to be to myself (after all, aren’t we always our harshest critics?).
I had a job. I chased it down before I even moved back. Calling, emailing, interviewing. I was going to be a big girl, with a big girl job. Turns out, I was the big girl, with the big girl tears. I cried in the conference room on my first day. Twice. In the same way I knew it was time for me to return to Wisconsin, I knew that job wasn’t for me. In my bones.
I didn’t move thousands of miles from a place of unhappiness to end up in another unhappy situation.
So I quit. After my first day. And I’ve been taking the time since to figure out what I want to do and where I want to be. I’m nearly there.