Here’s the deal – grief is a lot. It can be really emotional and hard to write and read about grief every single week. Whenever we are going through grief, we don’t really get to escape it. However, while we are learning about grief and how it effects our lives, it’s important that we take breaks. Grief will burn you out and that is the last thing that I want to happen. Being burnt out on grief means not being open to learning and that can result in us no longer putting in the needed effort to process our personal grief or the effort to support those grieving around us. So, let’s take a break! This week, I’m going to share with you about a weekend getaway that Zach and I took to Greenville, South Carolina!
If you are from South Carolina, chances are you’ve spent some time in Greenville. In fact, I know that a portion of my readers live in the Greenville area. When Zach and I started dating, he was living in Greenville, so we spent many weekends exploring the area and finding new date night spots. Greenville is now a regular getaway for us as it’s the place the Zach proposed back in October of 2019. There are parts of Greenville that carry a lot of sentimental value for us.
On this particular weekend, we were in town for a wedding, but decided to make it a two-night trip. We spent a Saturday evening, Sunday, and Monday morning trying new restaurants and visiting some of our favorite spots. On Saturday evening, we stopped for dinner at a restaurant called The Lost Cajun. This restaurant was a “must try” for us. On the evening that Zach proposed, we walked almost 2 miles to get to this restaurant after he had popped the question. We got all the way to the restaurant, but I was too excited to sit down and eat. So, we walked a mile back to our vehicle and headed home to tell our family and friends the big news! Since we ditched the restaurant that evening, we’ve always said that we would eat there the next time we were in town. It did not disappoint! After experiencing the environment, incredible service, and delicious food, I was almost sad that we waited so long to try it! Our waitress was incredible. Pro tip: anytime you go to The Lost Cajun, let them know that it is your first time and they will bring out a board with samples of all of their popular menu items! This was super helpful for Zach and I since we didn’t have any idea what to expect. Everything was delicious, but we ended up getting the Read Bean Gumbo with a scoop of the Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya. It was so good. To top off the excellent meal, our waitress brought us a basket of the Mini Beignets! The beignets were like something from the state fair! They were cooked to perfection and the basket was overflowing with the sugary goodness.
If you know me, you probably know that I have a huge weakness for sweets. If I could live on cake and cookies alone, I would. After dinner, my husband saw that there was a rolled ice cream shop right beside the restaurant and when he asked if we could try it, I most certainly did not deny him. So, after dinner, Zach and I took a short walk through downtown to “work off” dinner and then stopped at the Crème Shack for rolled ice cream. When I tell you guys that this was the best ice cream I have ever had, I am not kidding. Zach could not get over it! He and I both agree that not only was the ice cream and toppings delicious, but because it was rolled, the ice cream stayed cold down to the very last bite! We were able to walk around outside with our ice cream without it becoming a melty mess. (Zach was such a big fan that we went back the next day for me.)
We headed back to our hotel that evening and slept in the next morning. This trip was taken during the pandemic so of course, we were cautious the entire time. We wore our masks when we needed to and made sure to follow the 6-foot rule wherever we went. Despite the pandemic, we were able to have a great time. Here’s where things got a little weird though. When we woke up the next morning, we had planned to eat breakfast at the hotel and then have lunch in town. We got up and went to breakfast expecting the typical “all you can eat” buffet with unlimited juice and coffee. Instead, we were greeted by hotel staff and were each offered half of a breakfast wrap and a small cup of juice. Don’t get me wrong – I’m always grateful for food, but since this was our vacation, I was expecting the typical hotel spread. We couldn’t even sit in the lobby to try to enjoy our breakfast. We took our wraps back to the room and decided that we would just go ahead and get ready for the day and head out for lunch. So, here is my question? Is this going to be the new normal for hotels now? This was the first vacation that we’ve taken during the pandemic, so I’m curious if you all have been encountering similar situations!
Anyway, after getting ready for the day, Zach and I went to visit a few more favorite spots. Before grabbing lunch, we stopped at Mr. K’s Used Books. This is one of my favorite spots to grab a “new to me” book or vinyl record. I’m a hoarder when it comes to books and vinyl, so Zach always makes a point to stop here and let me pick out a few things. They have every genre of book and music that you can think of! I could literally spend hours roaming these aisles. I left with four books from this trip, but I always end up with a huge list that I have to narrow down before checking out.
After some book shopping, we headed out to grab lunch at Stone Pizza Company. This restaurant specializes in their wood fired pizza. They have a huge wood burning oven that they cook in. When you walk in, you can smell the oven and yummy food cooking. It’s a great environment for a casual date night or to bring a group of friends. Zach and I both ordered our own pizzas because we couldn’t decide on one to share. I had the Margherita Pizza and Zach had the New York Style Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Both were delicious and big enough to take back to our hotel room for a late night snack! We followed up lunch with ANOTHER visit to the Crème Shack for rolled ice cream! This was Zach’s idea, and I am not one to turn down a dessert!
After getting some ice cream, we walked through downtown and then headed back to our hotel to start getting ready for the wedding. We spent the rest of the evening celebrating with friends and family!
On Monday, there were just two places we had to stop before heading home. First, we went downtown and walked to the M. Judson Booksellers and Chocolate Moose Bakery. These stores actually share a location. The cupcakes and muffins from the bakery are to die for and the bookstore atmosphere makes it a really cozy place. What stands out about this bookstore is the handwritten reviews under their books. They allow customers to write and leave reviews under books, which makes it really fun to choose what to read next. They have tons of genres and a great selection of newly published books as well as a lot of the classics. My favorite part of this bookstore is their wall of wrapped books which they call “Blind Dates.”. This wall is filled with books that are wrapped in kraft paper and then a description of the book is written on the front. This description gives you just enough information to decide if it’s a book that you might enjoy, but leaves you wondering what you’ve purchased until you get it home and unwrap it. I love this idea! This helps get great books into the hands of someone who may not have chosen that same book at first glance. It’s a great way to dive into new genres and authors. I don’t know about you, but I typically buy the same types of books. This system allows me to try new things and not get bogged down in one specific area of literature. It has truly helped me find new things that I never thought I would enjoy.
After we finished up at the bookstore, we walked about a mile to Falls Park. Falls Park holds a special place in mine and Zach’s hearts and we stop by here every time that we are in Greenville. Our relationship started in Greenville. It was the first place that we actually started talking about what we were and what we hoped for our future together. Just a few short months after having that conversation, Zach proposed on the Liberty Bridge in Falls Park. I knew that we were getting engaged soon, but I did not know that he was planning to propose in the same place that we had started to build our relationship months before. Not only is Falls Park a beautiful place to explore, it holds a lot of sentiment for myself and Zach. It was such a sweet way to end our weekend away together.