April and May did not work out like I wanted them to. I still haven’t fixed my writing space; I’m still not sure how I could.
Instead of dwelling on that and the missed posts (and getting even more behind), I’m going to take this one word at a time. It’s not a permanent solution by any means, but it’s better than what I’ve been doing. And what a great week to start, because I did something really exciting this weekend that I’d like to share with you.
Friday, Jennifer and I (and Layla) drove down to Charleston. It was exciting from the very start. South Carolina drivers seemed to be holding a contest of who could kill us first. But we did make it in one piece. After checking in at our campsite (yes, campsite: more on that later) at James Island, we went downtown.
The stretch of King Street we were on looked like someone had turned Southpark Mall inside out and dumped it on the street. But on the next block, down Market Street, we found some of the true gems of Charleston: the open-air market, Market Street Sweets, Kaminsky’s and the attached steakhouse that was recently damaged by fie, and the Moon Pie General Store. We walked another twenty minutes to go to Blue Bicycle Books.
I don’t know how Jennifer felt about this bookstore, especially after all the trouble it took us to find it, but I love this place. It’s quiet and peaceful, and I always feel like I’m entering a different world when I open the door and the cool air rushes at me. We only stayed a few minutes, and we didn’t buy anything but my Charleston trip wouldn’t have felt complete without it.
With First Looks over, it was time to get to the reason we were there: Questival.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been describing Questival as a scavenger hunt, but it’s not that simple. It’s 24 hours of adventures big and small. The things we were challenged to do ranged from “draw a team crest” to “eat a bug,” “sing karaoke” to “ride a unicycle.” Each quest was worth a certain amount of points. Jennifer and I focused on location quests because we wanted to see as much of Charleston as possible. We visited Rainbow Row, Waterfront Park with its pineapple fountain, and White Gardens. We even drove out to the Angel Oak Tree, a 400-year-old oak.
Most memorable was the Four Corners of Law, not because of the buildings themselves but because of the woman we met standing there: a 75-year-old former Marine who noticed we looked lost and stopped to help. She suggested we go in the church, as both Washington and Lee had worshipped there, and eat lunch at Brown Dog Deli. Unfortunately the church had just closed, but the deli was the most amazing meal I’ve had in a while. I had the Fig’N’Pig, the perfect blend of sweet and savory. Also a chocolate chip cookie, which was so sweet and gooey I almost died.
We finished Questival in 71st place. Seventy teams did better than we did…but thirty did not. At least ten of those had zero points because they didn’t even try.
Maybe we didn’t win, but we had a lot of fun exploring Charleston and stepping out of our comfort zone. And yes, camping.
This was the first time I’d ever been camping. We put up the tent and got a thousand bug bites. We even made new friends with some girls from Asheville who camped a lot. It was a great first camping trip. We’re already looking forward to the next one.
Sometimes you step out of your comfort zone and find yourself in a magical place.