Shine On Beautiful

Family. Food. Beautiful Spaces. Healing. Travel. Living Free.

My First Trip in Almost a Decade

My first trip in almost a decade. Ok, so a decade is a LONG time to not go anywhere and I’m sure a lot of you who have seen me over the last decade are really confused now. Over the last decade sure I’ve been on several trips. Skiing in Colorado. San Diego, California. Outer Banks, North Carolina. Atlanta, Georgia. Greenville, South Carolina. Columbia, South Carolina. I think you get my point. But each one of those trips I had Anamia (my eating disorder) with me. During these trips she sucked all of the fun out of everything. She wanted me to focus all on her, and I did. She wanted me to only pay attention to what I was eating, what I shouldn’t be eating, how much I shouldn’t be eating, how to sneak in work outs, and she filled my mind other eating disorder thoughts. Yup, I’ll say it. Anamia is a bitch.

A huge marker in my recovery happened December 8-11, 2013 when Colin’s boss asked him to go to Charleston, South Carolina for work. Colin and I are kind of a package deal, so I went along too (even the pups Sophie and Bentley were able to come)!

First of all, this was pretty last-minute (like 4 days before we needed to leave last-minute) and anyone who knows someone with an eating disorder would know this is bad bad bad. Colin texted me the morning he found out about the trip. Now if I had still been stuck deep with Anamia our conversation would have gone something like this:

“Hey baby, Amy (Colin’s regional manager) asked if I could help out at Gregorie Ferry Landing in Charleston, South Carolina starting Monday! She said you and the pups can come too! We can leave Sunday and it’s only for three days!”- Colin

“WHAT!? Umm I don’t think I we can go. I can’t believe you’d even think we can go. Ugh, whatever. This really upsets me.” (apparently pissed off for no apparent reason. Honestly, this reaction kind of makes me giggle now at how uptight I was.)- Amy with Anamia

Anamia made me grouchy. Anything that could put space between her and I was a bad thing (according to her). And I agreed with her back then. All Anamia wanted to do was rip apart every other relationship I had. She manipulated me and brought me into her suckfest, which sucked.

Since I was at a good point in my recovery, not acting on any eating disorder thoughts, our conversation went more like this:

“Hey baby, Amy (Colin’s regional manager) asked if I could help out at Gregorie Ferry Landing in Charleston, South Carolina starting Monday! She said you and the pups can come too! We can leave Sunday and it’s only for three days!”- Colin

“Wow that’s awesome! I know I am scheduled to see Ashley on Wednesday and I have group on Monday. Let me call and see if I can reschedule…
Actually, just let Amy know we will be there! This is such a great opportunity!”- Amy without Anamia

Any last-minute plans use to really freak me out. The fear of the unknown and change didn’t sit well with Anamia, making my anxiety levels shoot through the roof. That is something that has taken a while to move past but as Anamia has been shut out of my life, my spontaneity has increased. And it’s awesome!

Our trip to Charleston was incredible! Best trip I’ve had in years!

We drove down Sunday afternoon…

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Charleston PostSophie gets car sick so we have to kennel her during road trips. It’s so sad!

Below are pictures of the beautiful guest suite we stayed in while we were down there! Colin works in property management so most of the time if he has to travel to another property and stay overnight there is usually a guest suite on site. Pretty cool, right?

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Pictures of our first night out on the town! We went to the Black Bean Co. for dinner and got some delicious wraps. Let me tell you, if you ever go to Charleston, South Carolina they have some of the most incredible restaurants (and plenty to choose from for us vegans!).

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Next, we made a trip to Whole Foods for dessert. I am in love with their vegan Chocolate Chip cookies and I was craving one so bad. Colin, on the other hand wanted a cupcakes. So we ended splitting a vegan cupcake and a vegan chocolate chip cookie! (with no guilt, love it!)

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We figured while we were down here we had to made it worth it! So we went and saw the Festival of Lights in James Island County Park. Several businesses sponsor the light show. It was so much fun! We drove around and then walked through the lit pathways to the carnival and Santa. I can’t express to you how incredible it felt to enjoy something as simple as this!

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Colin’s first day working with the Gregorie Ferry Landing staff! He is such an awesome husband. And a great teacher!

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While he worked, I spent time with our pups (and watching cable television because Colin and I only have Netflix back home). We took a trip to the Hairy Winston dog bakery and got some festive treats. Bentley was in every container possible sniffing and digging through all the treats. Being vegan (our pups aren’t vegan, but still), I am not a huge fan of the raw hides but Bentley seemed to love them. I let him sniff and dig the bins for a good while so I hope he got his fill of raw hides for now (ew, so gross!). Instead of getting raw hides like Bentley so dearly wanted, we settled on some sweet potato treats, peanut butter biscuits, and some really cute gingerbread men cookies (I don’t remember the exact ingredients right now, but I know there was no meat). Plus, Bentley can’t eat anything with chicken anyways; he is very sensitive.

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Night number two in Charleston. We went to a place called Dellz Uptown. The ambiance was incredible! Definitely more our style with the hippie vibe. Colin got the loaded vegan nachos and I got the Thai Bowl. The vegan nachos were the BEST vegan nachos we have ever had! I mean seriously, amazing! The Thai Bowl was also very good. It was different; not what I was expecting but that made it even better.

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After dinner we walked through downtown Charleston. There are so many incredible shops and places to see. In the main square there was a huge light tree put up for the Holidays. I couldn’t take enough pictures of it!

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The next morning I dragged Colin out of bed at 6am to go to The Sprout before work. It is located right beside a gym in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. It is quaint cafe with tons of smoothie, sandwich, burrito, soup, breakfast, taco, salad, juice and coffee options. Oh yeah, and did I mention EVERYTHING is vegan! So many choices I didn’t know what to do with myself! The day before our breakfast outing I picked up lunch for Colin and I from here. He wanted the black bean and avocado burrito so I got the walnut burger crumble burrito (I love trying new things so every time we go out I always choose something different from Colin so I can try both…and take his if I like it better). Both wraps were very very good! Extremely good actually. I was very impressed. We ended up switching our second halves with each other (like I said, I love sharing!). For breakfast we both picked out smoothies. I have an obsession with chocolate smoothies. I love love love them! I got the Supa-Chocolate and Colin got the Tropicool. Both delicious, however mine was the best I must say. The owner made extra and brought me out another cup full! It was great!

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Our last night in Charleston we decided to go on a ghost tour. I found a really great deal through Groupon for buy one get one free (that’s like $20 savings!). Going on the ghost tour was so much fun and it felt great to do something Colin really wanted to do. And I actually had a blast as well! I am just so amazed at how many things I can do without Anamia. I never thought for one second that life could be this amazing!

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And this is just us being goofy.

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One of the best parts of our trip: vegan doughnuts. This was a fun food challenge! I had tried planning as much of our trip as possible before we left that way I knew what we were going into (I am a planner…I like to plan). I came across the Diggity Doughnuts truck while I was searching for vegan foods in Charleston/Mount Pleasant. The Diggity Doughnuts truck is a blue truck that drives around the area and serves vegan doughnuts. Fortunately for us, she happened to be in town Wednesday from 11am-3pm, the day we were leaving (we weren’t planning on leaving until the work day was over). I thought what a great way to sneak a food challenge into this amazing trip!

For those who don’t know or really understand food challenges, it is what someone struggling with an eating disorder does to overcome food fears. Certain foods bring up more anxiety than others, and for me it was starches and fats. There’s this fear that eating this one food will all of a sudden make you gain weight. Let me first say, gaining weight isn’t as easy as it sounds, and you definitely won’t gain weight from eating a doughnut or two (in my case 2 and a half). I’ve learned mindfulness is the best way! Fun foods have to be included, and on this day my fun food was doughnuts.

We got 5 flavors of doughnuts: noggin, smore’s (I have a slight obsession with the smore’s flavor), plain white (called Casper), iced chocolate, and the Frenchie (organic maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger). Colin and I tried bites of all of them and then picked our favorites. My favorite was definitely the noggin but they were all SO incredible good! The doughnuts are soft and spongy and so delicious. If you ever visit Charleston, Diggity Doughnuts is a truck worth buying from.

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Our doughnut experience ended our trip on a great note! Chaundra gave me the idea to take photos of our trip and make a Shutterfly book (and might I add, the only camera I have is the one on my phone). Below is what I created. It was a blast and made the trip all the more fun! Now I can look back and remember all the incredible experiences and fun we had during my first trip in almost a decade. 🙂


2 comments on “My First Trip in Almost a Decade

  1. Skye
    March 29, 2014

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m delighted you were able to enjoy a vacation.

  2. Healthy, Fruity Gal
    April 30, 2014

    Wow, beautiful post! I just started reading your blog now, don’t know why I didn’t find it sooner, it’s inspiraring and honest! What you’re doing is hard in terms of recovery and I don’t know If anyone has said this to you but it takes a lot of courage, determination and tears but you should be proud of yourself, you’re doing so well!!

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