Anniversed is a word, right? It is now! Last weekend, Rashan and I headed to Savannah. I'd cooked the french onion soup his mom requested, baked the ginger snaps she'd politely and lovingly harangued me for (LOL) and even though Rashan's sister (N) said I didn't have to, I made something for her as well... a vegan chocolate cake with tofu mousse and coconut milk whipped cream. Let me hang on that point for a minute before I move on. It's been a long time since I was around unadventurous eaters. Rashan, my mom and my sister and even most of his family are so happy to have someone cook for them that they'll eat whatever I place before them. My dad will wonder why I'm going through so much trouble, then enjoy it as well. I don't know why but it bothers him when I compliment my own cooking. I'm not supposed to enjoy it? Or just not to mention that I enjoy it? Hmph. Either way I'm ignoring that particular bit of advice.
I'm getting behind and ahead of myself so let's go back to the beginning. We had pre-determined our first stop in Savannah would be Seafoodlicious. It's a fish market turned takeout window. We adore this place! Awesome portions and delicious fried food- oysters for me, shrimp for Rashan. I even send people there when they say they're heading to Savannah. Except this time, the fries weren't great and the portions had shrunk. It's no longer a great deal for $9.25. I'd return for fresh seafood but there are plenty of other places to go for cooked or raw oysters where I can sit and relax.
OMG!! Y'ALL!! The heat index was every bit of 115 with 100% humidity. I have NE.VER felt anything like that in my life. EVER! I couldn't stop exclaiming over it! Shouldn't there be something resembling an ocean breeze??? Please???? Completely and utterly shocking. AND MISERABLE!! Rashan had told me about it many many times but I'd never experienced it on any of our summer trips there. I thought he was exaggerating. THIS IS MY SORRY FOR 2004 (through 2012 and infinity)!! Please don't let me ever feel that again!!! (Unless it's for a job I love...)
When we got to his mom's house, I gave a round of hugs to everyone and felt more at home there than I ever have before. Even though Rashan's mom opened her kitchen to me the first time I came years ago, I still felt a bit awkward. I know they would hate to hear that but there are so many personalities that I was always trying to figure everyone out. Even this past Thanksgiving, it was my first time there as Rashan's wife. I was still kind of feeling out my role. Now? Totally in my skin. Our oldest niece is 14 and loves me! It's awesome! She even asked to come back to North Carolina with us. I wish we could've brought her back! There's far too little space here. Our only bathroom is through our bedroom. That will never do. It's terrible for hosting company. Side note: They all refer to where we live as "North Carolina." I don't know why it amuses me. Maybe because they never mention the city by name? Because it sounds so formal? Because they disassociate it as our home? Not sure but it's funny! Also, they all want us nearby, which I love!
Around 4, the house started filling up with people for N's wedding dinner-- a pasta bar with lots of dessert. I met her new husband and his children. There are minimal introductions even though there are less than 30 people there and we all separate according to the family groups we already had before the wedding. At the end of the day, I still had no idea who most of the people from his side were. Siiiiiiigh. Let's return to this cake I baked, shall we? My plan was to tell no one it was vegan and let them just enjoy it. Someone must have spilled the beans because NONE of his family even tried it. I was so annoyed. But N, oldest niece, my BIL and oldest nephew all said it was good. And I liked it, too. Yay!
Speaking of oldest nephew... he's 16, quiet and lanky. We've never exchanged more than a few words every time we saw each other, his mostly mumbled. I vowed to change that this time! Rashan & I sat at the teen table. I cracked jokes with all of them and broke the wall. Yay! I also rode his bike. Did I mention he's about 6'1 and I haven't ridden a bike in over 10 years??? I was praying I wouldn't kill myself! As you can see I didn't. God answers prayers!
After the dinner, N & S (new BIL) wanted all the siblings to go out to eat together. The first thing suggested was Applebee's. Y'all. Y'all know KNOW how I hate that place. Of ALL the chains, it is my least favorite. AND we're in SAVANNAH!!!! Can we please go somewhere that can't be found in every U.S. city and town???? But guess what I did? Said I'd go wherever they wanted. Someone else said no to that spot. THANK YOU, JESUS! More answered prayers! And we landed on a Mexican restaurant. EVEN BETTER!
S's sister didn't come for some reason. Rashan's brother was moping and didn't come so they N & S's teenage daughters come (14 & 15). S's brother was there with his 21+ year-old sons. They sat at the bar. Such a strange, strange dynamic. I consumed a GIANT margarita. HUGE EYES! That thing! We got to our hotel and I fell straight asleep. I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and asked him if he drugged me. (He didn't.) Then I got us free breakfast from the hotel (right around the corner but blessedly quiet) of ham, eggs, fresh waffle (made on the iron by me), milk, water and potatoes. It hit the spot! I went right back to sleep for a few more hours and woke up like a new person.
IT WAS OUR ANNIVERSARY!!! YAY!!!! One year of marriage! This was our only day for just the two of us since he had to be back at work on Monday. We headed to Hilton Head and found a restaurant near the beach. It happened to still be serving brunch! I LOVE BRUNCH!! I got the crab cakes benedict. I LOVE EGGS BENEDICT!!!!!! The crab cakes were good, though small. The hollandaise was flavorless. The side of grits that the waitress sold me on were also flavorless. Um... does your chef have a thing against salt? Seasonings of any kind??? No bueno. BUT all brunch items came with champagne or mimosa. Mimosa, please!
Then we headed to the beach. Yay! I love the beach!! I mixed patterns in my top and bottom bikini to Rashan's chagrin. I loved it! We marveled at how close to the water we could put our things. The beach was nearly empty! Amazing! We waded in and within minutes, our things were being covered by the ocean! Ack! Tide, y u no tell us you were coming in? Y u no look different coming in and going out? We hustled to move our things to the very back of the beach and that ocean kept coming! Twas nuts! But it was so calm and I could walk out incredibly far and it was only hip high. It reminded me of the beach at the Gulf of Mexico. Pretty amazing. Oh! This water was also extremely warm and in some places down right hot! Is this the sauna section of the beach?? Très bizarre.
After the beach, we hit the road. Would you believe I wanted Del Taco really really badly? Best fast food tacos ever! Would you also believe we passed the exit because it wasn't marked??? Would you also believe I threw a minor hissy fit over this missed fast food? We ONLY get it en route to Savannah because we have no other reason to use this highway into SC and it's nowhere else in the southeast. We found it on a fluke the first time and couldn't find it on purpose this time. Not cool, people. No matter, the first year of marriage has concluded, the second year is underway and it's been a WONDERFUL WEEK!! Wednesday I made burgers, then we walked down to the baseball park to watch the 4th fireworks. We leaned into each other as we watched them and held hands on our walk back home. Then we enjoyed strawberry/peach sangria courtesy of moi. Love!