Yesterday I turned 24. At first I wasn't too excited about it, which is odd because I've never not been excited about a birthday. But no one prepared me for how old 24 sounds. To me, twenty-FOUR sounds like mortgages and full-time jobs and all things that involve too much responsibility, whereas twenty-THREE gives you wiggle room not to have to act so grown-up.
So, my wonderful family + Francis took me to Charleston for the day to remind me that life can always be filled with adventure and fun no matter how old you are if you can keep a healthy perspective.
First. We all piled into the car, which only holds 5 so Dad had to sit in the boot. It being my birthday, I got shotgun. (I did try NOT to be a prima donna about it all, but really, it's my birthday) Anyway we stopped at Cookout for lunch, and it rather excitingly almost ended in blows with the car behind us in line, but it wasn't our fault the voicebox wasn't working or that they didn't give us the cajun fries or lemon with our tea that we had asked for.
After munching on our greasy goodness, we made it downtown Charleston and meandered around. It was so lovely and we walked down the old streets and looked at all the old buildings and graveyards, and everything was just so beautiful and old (which strangely made me feel better about growing older, because I realized I have a general affection for old things) Mom and dad showed us where they got engaged a bajillion years ago at Battery Park, which also was comforting. Two people can meet and fall in love and grow old together and still end up loving each other very much. I liked that.
We walked down Bay Street and Rainbow Row and went to the market and Mitchell got me some prints from an artist I really like. We were having such a good time exploring when all of a sudden out of nowhere this giant storm rolls in and starts dropping buckets. Dad had gotten the car and we made a run for it, but we all ended up soaked anyway. Except my prints (Thank goodness).
I had wanted to go to Sullivan's Island and hang out on the beach, so we drove over there while the random monsoon half-blew the car all the way there. Luckily it rolled over long enough for us to get out for a bit, so Nat, Fran and I headed to the beach with towels on our heads. Well we messed around in the water for a few minutes and it started thundering again. Huge booms every few minutes. But I was determined to get a decent amount of beach time so we turned toward the ocean and shouted Titantic and Mulan lines out to sea.
Which now looking back on that moment, it seems odd--because here I am this tiny little creature caught in between a giant storm with thunder booms and a magnificent ocean with crashing waves, and I'm shouting "I'm king of the world!" It's ridiculous. They're so powerful and I'm so small, and so it would make more sense for me to shout "You're king of the world and I'm just here getting to experience all of your grandness." But that's a mouthful and sounds weird.
Well of course the rain started coming down again and it took everything in me NOT to push Natalie underwater, and we headed back to the car. It was too early for dinner and I wanted to stay on the island to eat at Poes, so we drove around the island for a bit. We drove through Fort Moultrie twice and gazed at beach houses we would never be able to afford, and finally decided we might as well sit down and eat and wait for the rain to stop.
So we had beer and burgers and watched football and it was marvelous. Unfortunately the rain did not stop, and we headed back early. And although we got stuck in frustrating traffic and Dad pretended he was being kidnapped because we shoved him in the boot, we had a great time singing loudly to the Avetts and eating Krispy Kreme all the way home.
We ended by watching Duck Dynasty and playing Lord of the Rings Trivia, the ultimate test of family nerdness. I almost won but that's okay, you can't have everything on your birthday. Needless to say I feel much better about being one year older, and perhaps next year I'll be more prepared for maturity. But I highly doubt it.