Wednesday night we took Aengus to the vet to get his booster vaccines before heading to his first puppy class. We took a quick pitstop to visit our friends at Half-Moon Outfitters. Aengus had tons of fun meeting some puppy friends. Our class has a Great Dane and a miniature Australian Shepherd. Our meals are now determined by where we can take the puppy so we we stopped at PDQ before Alex dropped me off at my mom's house so that I could stay the night there.
Thursday morning, Corey and I got up around 2:30 in the morning to shower and get ready to hit the road by 4 a.m. The roads were much busier than I thought they would be at that time. I stayed up and talked to my mom so that she wouldn't get too sleepy, although she only had to wake up about an hour earlier than usual. We got to Charleston just as the sun was rising. First things first, we stopped at Breugger's for breakfast. I had my standard, the Rio Grande wrap. Check-in for CofC orientation was at 7:30 so they headed over to do that while I checked out the student artwork in the Halsey Gallery. I had forgotten how much I like being awake at that time of morning on campus. It was quiet so I took advantage of the stillness to start reading Roald Dahl's The BFG before we go see the movie. I'm also always in awe of the student artwork that comes out of CofC. It is very humbling considering I was once a part of that same art department. I was particularly struck by Shelby del Vecchio's be h(YOU)man photography project. A few chapters into my book Corey went off with her orientation group to do the student portion of the programming so I went with my mom to the family portion in the Sotille Theatre. She hadn't seen the mural on the wall since the restoration work and was very impressed! It looks so beautiful. I can't believe it was ever covered up.
After the info session, I went to see my old Professor and co-workers in the Art History Department. Both the Administrative Assistant and Digital Resources Curator are retiring after this year. Offices have been rearranged and staff has changed over significantly. Honestly, it was hard to take in all the changes that had occurred just a year after leaving. I also went over to the Treasurer's Office to talk to my friends there. I missed how sarcastic they all are.
We met back up with Corey for lunch at Taziki's, my all time favorite. I know it's just a chain place but it is seriously delicious. I really wish they would just go ahead and open a restaurant in Augusta or Evans with all this new development that is going on. Instead, we are stuck with Zoe's Kitchen for now. Every Thursday is Taco Thursday at Taziki's so my mom got to experience the deliciousness that is Taziki's fish taco. I just had the regular chicken gyro with pasta salad and Corey got her favorite, the chicken pesto with basmati rice. I thought the restaurants on King Street would have had more of a wait but maybe the students were taking advantage of their free meal coupons to Liberty Fresh Food Company on campus!
After lunch we went to the Mace Brown Natural History Museum that opened in the College of Charleston's new Science building. It's such a priceless hidden gem in the city. The college is definitely fortunate for Dr. Brown's contributions. I finally got to see their new T. Rex in the lobby of the building.
We sat through an information session on Pre-Health Professional Advising and it scared me to death. It definitely sounds like a lot of work and commitment to be a successful student in order to make it into graduate programs. I hope that Corey will find her niche and that I can give her a helpful push when needed.
My mom and I took a walk around Bull Street which is one of my favorites. It really hit me how much I missed being in Charleston when I was able to think about places we could walk to and see. And I'm not just talking buildings. I'm talking specific things on buildings. Like the color of the door at the house on the corner or the vines that grow on the house down the street. Charleston just really feels like home to me and it made me sad for a few minutes to think about why we moved and how much has changed since making that decision together.
I was supposed to meet my friend April at Jeni's for ice cream but there was a pop-up thunderstorm just before we were planning to meet up. I texted her and suggested we meet at the Starbucks in the library instead. I sat and listened to some music with my feet propped up while I was waiting around to avoid going back out in the rain. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the Starbucks closed at 5 p.m. so we ordered our drinks, sat to chat for a while, and then went outside to find a table. The rain let up so we were able to sit on the damp chairs using our rain jackets as cushions. I know better but still came unprepared without my rainboots. My friend Lillie met up with us after her training session. It was so good to see both of them. I forget just how good our friendship base in Charleston is. I'm really lucky to have a group of girls who are on the same page as I am and have my best interest in mind. I just wish we lived closer so I could turn to them more often for advice and companionship! Before leaving the library, I had Corey stop by and look at the CSL labs, one of the best on-campus resources for studying. My shoes were wet so I was quacking like a duck all the way through the library. It was slightly embarrassing and I know at least one guy that was getting a little annoyed by the noise.
That night for dinner we wanted to eat somewhere local so that we could get back to our hotel room in enough time for Corey to do her advising homework so we finally settled on Coast, one of our favorite places for seafood downtown. We had to order their hot crab dip to start with a couple of award winning cocktails. I ordered the Salmon Almondine as my entree and it was amazing. I could probably eat that dish once a week! I also ran into one of our committee members from work on their way to eat at Rue de Jean. It's a small world, after all.
I spent a couple of hours trying to help Corey pick out her school schedule which was pretty much pointless because it's impossible to tell which classes are open or not until you get to your allotted time. It was at least good for her to experience the struggle first hand because it never really changes. Scheduling classes is the worst! Despite the disappointment of never getting the perfect schedule, at least there's the excitement that goes along with getting a few classes that you're really passionate about too (enough excitement to make you immediately want to go to bed).