Monday, May 7, 2012

A Visit With Family!

We recently got back from a 4 day weekend to visit Betty, our mother-in-law living in Columbia, South Carolina.  I had never been in a southern state till marrying her daughter Vicki back in 1990, and Betty always made me feel like part of the family and welcomed me into their version of gracious living.  Columbia, smack in the center of South Carolina, is a beautiful city, surrounded by history, lots of green (compared to Arizona!), with the Atlantic coast 2 hours away and just about the friendliest people you would ever meet.

It had been too many years (nearly 3!) since we'd been there, but we didn't want to schedule too late into the summer when the heat and humidity got more oppressive, so pulled the trigger for an April visit.  One of the highlights is aways sitting in the screened in porch catching up and telling stories.  Of course, with digital devices, we can show pictures on the phone - who needs photo albums?!

Betty is an amazing woman.  She still works in an office nearly every day and us youngsters had to make an effort to keep up to her on our hikes along the river and day-long trips through museums and the zoo.  I'm not going to embarrass her by stating her age, but the picture at right above was taken about 60 years ago (!) when she could have been a swimsuit model, but instead raised 4 daughters.  Only 3 are shown above, baby Susan was still a year or so away.  Vicki, my future bride, is the lil' 2-year-old in the back. 

We got to meet her new cat Hitley for the first time.  She was a bit put off by the strangers in the house, but she is obviously good company to Betty.  We heard stories of her being a lap cat, but didn't show many signs with us nearby.  Her name - a feminized version of Hitler with her little black mustache under her nose...
During our stay we  visited a few of our favorite eating and tourist stops.  Of course we had to spend the better part of a day at the State Museum.  It deserves its own blog post, so look for that soon.  We also spent a day at the botanical gardens and zoo, which I'd not been to in nearly 20 years!  Eating spots had to include the southern specialties of Lizard's Thicket, Yesterday's, and Pizza Man, which we had discovered on just our last trip and had to pay another visit to.  It was gooood pizza!  Fortunately, our niece Shannon made the drive down from Atlanta to visit with us and her grandmother.  It was so great to see and catch up and hike the neighborhood with her.  We're lucky she had time in her busy schedule to meet up with us.  Melinda is friends w/her on the Facebook, but it was that visit nearly 3 years ago since we'd seen her...

A few more posts about our adventures are upcoming, but a little post of background info is always useful.

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