Monday, May 31, 2010 {Season I Episode III}

Behind the scenes footage...
(in case you ever wondered what the stars do to prepare for the show...)

Upon Becca's arrival, Benson promptly had to "show her som-thin" in his room.
He pointed out his top bunk, his ladder, and his bookshelf.
That's about all there is to see in there, but he's pretty proud of it.
Then they settled in for a good story...

And later we went downtown to grab a bite at my favorite place in all of Hartsville...

Its a coffeeshop/courtyard eatery that has the most yummy dishes
and awesome atmosphere.
I'm totally a fan.
Love it.

Benjamin always rolls his eyes when I pull out the camera to snap my food... it never ends up looking as good on the screen as it tastes in my tummy-- but that never really stops me...
I just feel like goodness like this need to be documented.

This is the daydreamer salad.
It's organic spinach salad with warm pistachio encrusted goat cheese cake,
roasted red peppers, tomatoes, with honey bacon dressing.
I get mine with grilled shrimp on top.
So.very.good. Dreamy, in fact :)

The next day, we went to a little festival downtown...

And I made becca "be natural" and sit on an old train and smile.
She resisted. I persisted. I won :) So glad I did :) Pretty girl.
I totally see how you're the star of your own reality TV show.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Zoo First

In all the times we've been to the zoo, Benson's never ridden the pony.

That could be because he is just about to turn three and is just now old enough for me to feel comfortable with him riding a small animal without a five star rated carseat or something strapped on in order to keep him safe.

Or Because Grandmama was with us and offered to pony up the five bucks it costs to ride these babies.

Here he is getting all suited up...

Here's Jockey Benson Ryan giving one last kiss before entering the Riverbanks Stakes.
(He went on to finish in a dead heat, winning by a nose, dashing the triple crown hopes of jockey Calvin Borel. His grandmama was proud to be his sponsor.)

Preparing his Filly...

His trainer led him to the gate...

Victory Lap

He's a humble winner...

And he's planning to give all his winnings to his mama and daddy. After all, this day would have never been possible if it weren't for all their love and support :)

After his victory lap, he heard the simangs and went running across the zoo to find them...

The little monkey found a good tree to hold onto and settled into a good long gaze at his second favorite animal.

His first, of course, is the Tiger.

We do love the zoo. Do you?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

a history of the zoo

I love the zoo.
I've always loved the zoo.
Growing up 20 minutes away from an awesome zoo, we went there on field trips every year.
I loved it every time.

Well, actually, now that I think about it, I didn't. When I was little, I didn't love the zoo.

I think I love it so much now that it makes me think I liked it then, but in all honesty, I wasn't a huge fan. I liked it for a little while until the Columbia "Famously Hot" hotness hit me.
And then I was miserable. I do NOT like being hot. At. All.

Plus, the elephant exhibit used to be at the front of the zoo. There's nothing like being walloped upside the nostrils with the smell of elephant dung as soon as you walk in a place.

They have now strategically moved the elephants to the BACK of the zoo, in order to waft the stank over the woods instead of every other exhibit.

Whoever thought of that should be given a raise.

Now, I love the zoo... Now that I'm all grown up, and get to decide which day I want to go (always checking the weather first) And I get to buy a coke whenever I want...
(They never let you visit the canteens on field trips. And I love canteens.)

Canteens and Gas stations.

I love getting snacks in gas stations.
I rank them according to selection of goodies.
And whether or not they carry Starbucks Vanilla Frappucino.

The pilot gas station in Clinton on the way to Clemson is one of the all-time best.
I visit there even if I don't need gas.
Or need to go to the bathroom.

Unless Benjamin's driving.
And in that case we don't stop.
Making good time is Key.
It trumps Frappucinos.
So I usually pack a cooler.
Because I like being hydrated.
Plus that makes me have to go to the bathroom.
And we get to stop at the Pilot.

They didn't have this exhibit when we went on our field trips back in the day. It's gotten cooler over time. The attractions. Not the Temperature.

You gotta admit, having a giraffe nibble out of your hand is a pretty cool experience...

Sometimes giraffes get three year old hands and lettuce leaves confused.
I can see how that would happen.
Sometimes, I wanna eat him up too.

And they have Zero regard for personal space.. But having a giraffe all up in your grill is part of the coolness.

But the zoo has other awesome things than just animals...
It has trees...

And new friends...

And my heart.

Please do note the complete loop-de-loop curl on the back of this child's head. He received a haircut later that day.

I just thought this lion looked so picturesquely posed.
I like his paws. Looks like he just got back from the groomer.
I need to take Peaches to the groomer.
Wonder if this guy would be willing to share the name of his stylist?

As many times as we've been to the zoo, there's always something new to do...
Check back tomorrow to see a new zoo first :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May Lake Day

Last weekend, we enjoyed a beautiful day on the lake with Nana and Papa.

Benson's friend, Great Granddaddy Hunter, came along for the ride...

Benson asked seventy-two thousand questions
about the boat, the lake, the wildlife...
everything he could think of...

And Papa happily answered every one...

And Papa let him drive the boat...

And he got to ride on the top with Nana...

So did Peaches...

Seventy-two thousand and One.

It was a perfect, sun-shiney day...

And he could not have had more fun.

None of us could...

Until next time...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Georgia (Benson) on my mind...

Benjamin and I are on a couples outing in Savannah.
We're having an absolute ball, eating way too much seafood and pecan pralines,
and not sure whether to be happy or sad about the fact
that Benson doesn't even realize we're gone...
he's having way too much fun with all of his grandparents.

We had to bribe him with a "surprise" just to get him to talk to us on the phone!
We're pretty sure he doesn't even miss us.
Let's just say, the feeling isn't mutual.
And the thought has crossed my mind...
Is this what it feels like to have a teenager?!
I feel like I'm missing an arm.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A page is turned in the book of Lash

We got to celebrate Lash's graduation from the University of South Carolina this past weekend.
It was a nice (*quick :)* ) ceremony.
And I may or may not have cried. :)

I totally pulled a paparazzi move to get these pics.. I darted over to the edge of the seating area and was hanging over the rail... someone asked me.. "Are you with the school?"
"Nope... I'm just a sister :) "
Moment Captured.

Magna Cum Laude woot! woot!

We are proud of her :)

It was a bit windy

the father daughter snap..
love it :)

Me Miss, Uncle Rick and Hunter hosted the graduation party at their house.

Aunt Sherri and Uncle Earle came too!

And there were shenanigans...

And Lash's first monogram with her "new" Benson-given name
(from our Great Aunt Susie- such a cool gift :) )

Happy Graduation Lash!!!