The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Perfect Day - part one

Today is my birthday. Which is something I've always kept to myself as much as possible. In fact, until Facebook started announcing the date of my special day, hardly any one even knew.

So, as you can imagine, my day is usually pretty low key. I usually work. Or hide away in my bathtub until all the bubbles disappear.

But this year... well, this year was different. I decided during one of my long run/walks that I wanted to jazz things up a bit. By braving a hike. By myself. In a far away place. A place that I had to drive a very long way to. Like Cleveland, SC. Home of Caesar's Head State Park and the infamous Raven Cliff Falls.

And so the plan was made. And I kept it a secret. Until Thanksgiving. The way I see things is that if I had mentioned it sooner... voices would have gotten in my head trying to talk me out of it. Or I would have changed my mind. But I was determined. Determined to do something independent and exciting and dirty.

So, I woke up at 5:30 am. And dressed in my stealth/super hero/hiking gear. Which consisted of black leggings, black socks, black long sleeve shirt under a black short sleeve shirt, a black hat, black gloves, and a blue over sized rain jacket.

And the rain jacket was due to the fact that suddenly it decided to rain. On my birthday of all days. On the day that I was planning my big adventure. And I knew this going in to it. Because we had looked at the weather the night before and saw 100% precipitation every hour until 3pm when the lightening started and all heck would break loose.

But that couldn't stop me. I was determined, you see. And there was NO way that I could stay at home and then wonder all day if the rain really wasn't so bad and I missed out on an adventure.

So, at 6am I was on the road. To Panera and Starbucks for my favorite "to go" breakfast.

A venti iced black coffee ( straight up - no sweeteners) and a cranberry/walnut bagel.

And just a side note for you Panera fans - they have this new member card that you scan every time you go in - and I guess because it was my birthday... I was given the option to get a FREE bakery item ( but NOT a bagel) and a free smoothie ( but NOT a coffee). But the good thing about it is that I can claim these free items up until January 11th. So, that way I got my special favorite breakfast and didn't lose out on the free.

I just realized that I haven't even told you about one of the GREATEST parts about my birthday - because it is in an unfinished post that I haven't published yet - I GOT MY DREAM CAMERA THIS YEAR!! You know... the SLR Canon Rebel that I mention from time to time (every second) in hopes that Kev would buy it for me.
Well, he came through AS ALWAYS!! And surprised me with the camera two days before Thanksgiving. There were tears, and hugs, and screams, and tears, and some dancing around and just pure joy! It completes me - and will complete me more when I figure out how to work every thing.
So, the other awesome part about this trip was going to be that I could NOW take gorgeous shots of the hike and waterfall. But then the sun came up, and this was the only thing I could see up ahead....

Pure gray. And fog. And rain.
No worries. I kept on driving. And I learned that I have a pretty good sense of direction when I have to...... When I can't depend on some one else to help me. Because the directions from the website were a little different than what the signs actually said. So, I just licked the tip of my finger, held it out the window, and found my way.
I drove and drove up a winding road higher and higher - the rain falling harder and harder - and I could barely see anything in front of me.

And then I arrived at my destination. Raven Cliff Falls. I jumped out of the car. Grabbed my hiking registration. Jumped back in the car - SOAKING WET. And preceded to wait it out. There was no one in sight. No one was at the ranger's office. No one at the welcome center. It was a ghost town on the mountain.
But I had a pocket knife. For protection. So, I was still feeling good about every thing.

Kev suggested waiting for a little bit to see if it would slow down. I agreed. I had come all this way after all.
So, I decided to open up my snack. The one I had been saving for a special event. Just like this.

Now, I want to clarify that I am NOT a chocolate fan. I would choose fruit or caramel over chocolate any day. But something about the sea salt ( huge fan!) and dark chocolate ( considered a health food) mixed together had me intrigued.
And it was delightful. Sweet and then salty. PERFECT.
I only ate two squares and was happy and satisfied. The rest is in a zip loc bag being saved for another special event.
And then I gave up. I had waited an hour. Kev called to say that the weather was NOT letting up. And I just decided it wasn't worth it. Even if I hiked in the pouring rain - I wouldn't be able to see anything. Let alone take pictures. It just wasn't meant to be.
No worries. I went shopping.
My first stop....
And you probably thought I went real shopping. Like for clothes, or jewelry, or house trinkets. But my new obsession is food shopping. Organic food shopping. And I have been DREAMING about visiting Trader Joe's since the day I was born. So, it worked out perfectly that I was able to actually go on my birthday - and also the fact that they had just opened in Greenville. ( I stalk their website)
I was smiling from ear to ear. And called Kev several times to tell him. It was every thing I hoped it would be. PERFECT. I was able to stock up on some things that are hard to find in regular stores. And get some treats that I have never seen before.
Pure Bliss.
And then I went here...

Whole Foods Market. UM. Where have you been all my life? My eyeballs popped out of my head and jumped in to the hot foods bar. This is my new Disney World. Not to mention that when I walked in they were playing one of my FAVORITE songs of all times. A song that I have never heard on the radio - and only know of it because- for one month only-it was played over and over at work. I even made up a dance routine to it. It is just that sweet.
I tried to be very practical and not go crazy. Again, I only purchased things that I had been wanting and had been unable to find in Columbia. And maybe a couple of treats. That you will see later.
But one of the greatest things about these two stores were the people. They were so helpful, and friendly, and just genuinely seemed to love their jobs. So, me being in the retail world appreciated that more than you know. I felt like I was hanging out with a group of friends. They were just randomly suggesting items to me, telling me their favorites, asking me what I was cooking with my ingredients. And telling me to be careful out there in the horrible weather.
That's it. I'm moving to Greenville. If we can find a truck that can move our house. The funny thing is that I have worked on and off in Greenville for a million years. Just about every single retail job that I have had has had a store there that I have travelled to. I even commuted there every day for three months at one point. But I have never "enjoyed" it as much as I did today.
And now I can't wait to go back there.
Because then I went to this place...

Great Harvest Bread Company. And the NICEST man EVER told me all about their breads and how healthy they are. How they make every thing from scratch every day. I had been researching this place and knew exactly what I wanted to get. But the man working there ( I believe he was the owner) made me want to buy fifty loaves of bread and work for him part time with NO pay. He was just that nice and helpful. And insisted on me taking a sample slice of bread with me for my lunch. I chose cheddar/garlic bread. And I swear to you that it literally melted in my mouth. It was DIVINE!
Here is the bread I originally went in for....

It is high protein/low carb bread with walnuts and pumpkin seeds and a million other healthy delicious things in it.
I just had a slice and claimed it to be the best bread ever!
And then I started the drive home. All the while trying to figure out when I could return. Maybe I could make the trip once a month. Maybe I will just keep it to myself if I do - because some people may think I'm going a little crazy.
Even my drive home was incredibly fun. I sang my heart out to Patsy Cline, The "O Brother Where Art Thou?" Soundtrack ( it is fabulous, if you haven't heard it) and a little Christmas music ( which always makes me think of my friend Amy B. - especially when I listen to it in the Spring!)
I arrived home and unpacked all my goodies...

And then quickly put them away before Kev got home. ( When they are dispersed among the other food in the pantry - it doesn't look like so much)
My plan at this point was to take a shower and a nap. But some thing was calling my name. VERY LOUDLY. And that something was a Whole Foods cheese ball and some Riesling.

And it is probably pointless for me to say this....but THE CHEESE BALL WAS THE BEST I'VE EVER TASTED!! Just like every thing else I tried that day.
And now I'm off to relax until Kev gets home. I've got some fun plans for dinner and I can't wait!

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