Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Carolina Wedding Weekend

For starters, I must acknowledge how bad of a blogger I've been for not posting anything in three months! It's crazy to me how quickly the first 6 months of 2011 have flown by. I'm approaching a year of being a California resident in July. WOW! I love it out here, but I definitely miss the Carolinas. Fortunately, I got to go back for a short trip earlier this month to see my sweet friend Laura get married. Laura and I met our freshman year of college at Clemson. We both played violin in the Symphony Orchestra and joined the same sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. Sophomore year we were neighbors on the sorority hall and then roommates in a house off campus for junior and senior year. Laura is one of the most genuinely nice people you will ever meet and has a heart of gold. I am so happy for her that she found her perfect match Russell.

The weekend began with meeting my dear friend Amanda in downtown Greenville for lunch on Friday. I have missed southern food so much, so I was excited to go to Smoke on the Water which is known for their barbeque. I had a delicious pulled pork bbq sandwich, cornbread, and mac n' cheese with sweet tea of course.

I then headed to my friend Kelly's house in Spartanburg (Laura and Kelly's hometown) where I stayed for the weekend. Kelly was also a Gamma Phi and another roommate in our house. Kelly and Laura were friends in high school and I was so lucky to find friends like them in college. Kelly got married 3 years ago to her high school sweetheart and Laura and I were bridesmaids. It was so great to all be together again for Laura's wedding, it had been a year since I saw them!

The rehearsal dinner that night was so much fun and reminded me of why I love the South. Minus the heat and humidity (which did not agree with my hair!) I love summer in the Carolinas. We drank spiked lemonade out of mason jars, ate barbeque sandwiches, mac n' cheese, cornbread and baked beans (yes I had that too for lunch, but once wasn't enough!) all while listening to country music.

Then there were "roasts" from friends and families including a hilarious slide show of pictures of the happy couple made by the sisters of the groom Russell. Then the sweetest part of the evening came when Laura and Russell made a heartfelt speech and then surprised us all with a duet. Before starting to date, Laura and Russell just played music together. Laura plays violin and Russell the guitar. They played and sang Wagon Wheel, which they dedicated to the thousands of miles they drove back and fourth from Atlanta (where they live now) and Nashville (where Laura went to graduate school for the past two years) to visit each other. So sweet!
Me, Laura, Kelly and Emily - Clemson roommates!

On Saturday morning I drove to Columbia to have brunch with my good friend Virginia who is now living in Charleston. Columbia was a good midway point to meet, and we had a great time catching up! I then raced back to Spartanburg to get ready for Laura's wedding that afternoon. The ceremony and reception were absolutely beautiful. It was so much fun to reunite with my college friends and made me miss them so much more. Laura was a gorgeous bride, and it was so wonderful to see her so happy in and love. She married a wonderful guy who is so perfect for her. I couldn't be more happy for them!

The beautiful bride Laura and me
Me and Amanda

Sunday morning I went to see my "Clemson parents" Bridget and Mark. Bridget was my mom's friend at Clemson, and they looked after me when I was in school. We had coffee on the porch and it was so great to see them! I then had brunch at Cracker Barrel (Can you see a theme of me eating as much southern food as possible on this trip?) with Amanda, her husband Adam and their boys John Dickson and Henry. I hadn't seen Henry since he was a day old! Now he's about to turn 1 in July! He was born right before I left North Carolina for San Diego. It was so fun to see them, and again made me miss them even more! I was sad to leave, but hopefully I'll be back again soon!

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