It all started when I got off work a little early Friday and texted Amy: "Let's go to the beach." Being the good sport she always is, she responded with , "I'm in." Well, an hour of hitting up wealthier friends for use of their condos and beach houses later, Amy was able to book an incredibly inexpensive room at a Methodist retreat center on the island. By "inexpensive", I mean we each paid $17. Ridiculous! Anyhow, we went home and convinced our respective roommates to leave with us at 8:00 the next morning for Spring Break '09.
After several adventures driving through back roads to get to the island, we stopped for lunch at Barbara Jean's. If I thought I'd experienced good food before, I was wrong. Barabara Jean's was the kind of home-cooked meal that made you want to keep eating long after your stomach was almost painfully full. It's a good thing I'm too poor to live on SSI, or I'd definitely be pushing 200 pounds from all the yummy goodness at that restaurant. My top recommendation: She-crab soup. Bliss.
Before heading to the water, we stopped at the Methodist retreat center, Epworth, and dropped off our bags. I noted all the pre-teens and senior citizens running around and declared, "The Methodist Retreat Place: where the shadiest people here.. are us!" We felt extremely safe and were delighted when our room was in a more secluded area where Sarah's Mazda was one of maybe three cars in the parking lot. That's what happens when you stay in the $60/night rooms. We were excited not to have to be bothered by screaming children or any other retreat participants.
We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach, proudly showing off our expanded tummies in the sun and writing down Quotes of the Day. If you know my friends and me, you know we're all about recording funny quotes, especially the accidental ones. Kellie and I cracked each other up to the point of tears and severe abdominal pain on the way to the beach. Saturday night we had supper at Gnat's (also spectacular, although not as much so as Barbara Jean's). We went for dessert and coffee at a coffeeshop/bar Amy and I had visited on YoungLife leader retreat in January. Their key lime pie was perfect. A couple of young men stopped en route to a post-wedding party and struck up a conversation. The conversation ended up lasting almost an hour, with a funny re-enactment of our two-page list and continued on to Brogan's a couple of blocks away, where we enjoyed a couple of drinks and I watched a 3-point shoot contest on ESPN. By the time we got back to the room, we were so exhausted and full, it only took ten minutes for everyone to crawl into bed and pass out.
The next day we woke up and had a glorious (adjective of the weekend) breakfast at Waffle House. Nothing beats hash browns covered, diced, and chunked (although Sarah didn't care for that last adjective's use when describing food). It was even warmer Sunday than it had been on Saturday, and in lieu of church services we enjoyed a quiet time on the beach. I listend to some worship music but didn't really need it; it was so quiet that early and I had no trouble focusing on the Lord for a change. I really think I might be a much better, more spiritual lady if I lived on the beach. After a long quiet time we admired all the dogs and adorable children playing in the water, speculating more than once on stealing puppies from their owners. I was reminded of the last trip to SSI (YL leader retreat), when a man offered to give me his 3-year-old golden retriever, Max. Had others not been there to talk me out of it, Max would be sitting at home right now waiting for me.
On the way out of town, we stopped at this ratty, hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Southern Soul. It was the best barbecue I've ever experienced, bar none. Sarah said it rivaled her father's barbecue, and Amy compared it to Mott's where she used to work. Now that's saying something. Shady, hole-in-the-wall places always serve the best food at great prices. The picture below shows what my plate looked like after I had eaten half my food (the other slice of toast had its own pile of pulled pork and okra)!