Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hanging with the parents

In between tons of painting, cleaning, and unpacking, we did have some fun while my parents were here. We ate at super yummy local places all week including Wade’s (good Southern home-style cooking), Monsoon (Vietnamese noodle house), Nu Way (a 70 year old burger dive bar), and Caribbean Sweetness (incredible Cuban food). We also tried chains not found in Texas, such as Bojangles (fried chicken) and Hardees (burgers). Everything was sooooo good.
Everyone is also super friendly, so we got great recommendations from “natives.” Following one of those suggestions, we headed to Tryon, NC for the Blue Ridge BBQ festival. 

 It was small town festival with a craft fair, classic car show, BBQ competition, live music, and great food.
(It's your truck Carrie!) 
(This picture is for you Uncle Dan)
We had a great time walking around, people watching, and listening to the awesome Southern accents. We were very excited to try Eastern BBQ, which we have heard is different from Texas BBQ. We selected the booth with the most award banners and longest lines. 
After a few bites, I made the comment that I didn’t think the BBQ tasted different, which is when we realized the booth we selected was named Texas Rib Rangers. Oops. Though we were proud that Texas style BBQ had the biggest draw. Haha. We did try SC BBQ before my parents left. It was a little different. First, the only meat they know is pork. Second, the BBQ sauce is very vinegary. We liked it, but I think we are a little partial to our Texas BBQ.

We also visited the Biltmore House. 
It is known as the only castle in the US. It is a ridiculously huge house with beautiful grounds. God gave us a beautiful day to explore the house and gardens as well as the winery. We had a great time.

(A sweet little muskrat on the grounds) 

Chris also arranged for a tour of VCOM in order for my parents and me to see the campus. I was so pumped since I hadn’t seen the inside. It is a very impressive campus. Since the SC campus is only 4 years old, it is super up-to-date and has incredible resources and materials. It made me very thankful God selected this med school for Chris.

Finally, we drove to Greenville, Spartanburg’s much larger sister city to drive by my new office and to see the gorgeous Falls Park on the Reedy (only 2 blocks from my office :) ). Chris and I discovered the park when we visited for his VCOM interview in January. The park is in downtown Greenville with a beautiful cable bridge that spans a waterfall.

The park has some pretty trails and is very peaceful. 

 Greenville has one of the prettiest and cleanest downtowns that Chris and I have ever seen.
Too quickly, the 19th arrived, and we dropped my parents off at the airport. I must admit that I did great during the goodbyes but did cry once we drove off. My parents leaving made everything very real. I am super pumped to be in SC, but I do miss being near my parents. Chris and I feel so blessed to have them. They spent 10 days helping us drive to SC, paint, clean, and unpack. We can’t thank them enough for their help! Love you Mom & Dad!!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Our New Home

We already knew from pictures what the rooms looked like and had pieced together a floor plan from a video (as my engineering brother pointed out--it is not to scale).
 Like I said in the first post, the house looked a little worse for the wear when we saw it for the first time in the dark. The next day revealed a house that needs a little TLC but in much better condition than we thought. It has its quirks being 86 years old, but it has a ton of fun characteristics like crystal door knobs, original wood floors, fully screened in porch, and cute front. We already knew from the pictures that the rooms were interesting colors, so we planned to paint as much as possible in the 2 days before our furniture arrived. We spent day one discussing with the maintenance guy all of the repairs we wanted done (there were quite a few ranging from adding lights to 2 of the bedrooms to repairing door knobs that didn’t work), testing paint colors, and waiting for the property management guy to drop off our lease. We were leery to start anything without seeing the lease. In Houston, we would have paid a deposit & application fee, filled out an application, had a background check, and signed a lease before being handed a key. Not in sweet, small Spartanburg. We did none of the above except pay a deposit (all refundable—awesome, right?). They left the back door unlocked and a key on the kitchen counter, so we could let ourselves in the first night. Chris and I are in culture shock. When the property management guy did arrive with the lease, he told us to treat the house as our own home and do whatever except burn the place down (he really did specify that), so we went to work. Here is a walk-through of the house before any of our changes:

The front of the house:

We think it is very cute, and love that it looks small from the front. It is 1550 sq ft.

The front door opens into the living room:

If you enter the front door and turn to your right, you find the dining room (aka my parent's room before our stuff arrived):

If you enter the dining room and turn left through the swinging door you find the butler’s pantry/breakfast room, which will be my office/craft room. It is small with cute built-ins.

From there you continue into the kitchen, which is sadly the most awkward room. It did not convert smoothly into the 21st century. It does have a walk-in pantry and a mud room, which opens onto the driveway.

If you follow Chris through the doorway, you have the master bedroom on your right. Yes it is green.

Here is a picture of the hallway from the master bedroom, which is large and baby poo green.

Next door to the master is bedroom #2—it is very purple-y.

If you come out of the bedroom, the bathroom is on your right. It is small, but I have a few ideas to make it work, and there is a huge linen closet right outside.

Heading down the hallway to the living room, bedroom #3 is on the right. It is burnt orange (Sssssss!), but it has a fireplace, which is fun. This will be Chris’ office. (Chris wanted me to be sure to point out that one of the first things we did was paint the office.)

I will post after pics once we are a little more moved in. We have painted every room in the house, except the dining room, which is too full of boxes. The house is so much brighter with our lighter colors. We are really enjoying the house, especially the backyard. The dogs are adapting. Most mornings, you can find Amber laying in the sun in the yard with a huge smile on her face. The house is definitely coming together. Have a blessed day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

We Have Arrived!!

My parents, Chris, & I arrived in Spartanburg on Monday, June 10th after 2 days on the road. It stormed most of our way here, but we arrived safely and on time--thanks be to God. We appreciate all the prayers for our safe travels!
We went straight to our new home upon arriving. It was dark by the time we got in and unpacked the cars. Being that the house was built in the 1920s, it was old, damp, and musty. It made us a little uneasy about our blind rental. We set up air mattresses and headed to bed. Upon waking, we checked out the house in the bright morning sunlight and felt much better. Ignoring the purple, yellow, green, and orange walls, the house had a lot of potential. We have spent the past few days cleaning, painting, and unpacking some once our stuff arrived on Thursday. I will post pictures of the house (including some before and afters) as well as some of our ideas for the house soon. I will also post pics of all the fun activities and wonderful food we have been experiencing with my parents. Spartanburg has great food. We have a whole list of places to take visitors--we hope it will tempt y'all to visit. :)