Ok so it's 1AM and I'm filled with so much emotion. Where do I even start?! Let me begin by saying that going to a concert today was the LAST thing that I would have expected, and I guess that's what makes it one of the best nights of my life. It was my turn to go up to Jersey City, and the plan WAS to have dinner at some Italian restaurant once I arrived and relax for the rest of the night. I finished my normal 10 hour Friday shift, picked up my WaWa coffee for the road, and headed up to Jersey City. About an hour and a half into my drive, it was around 7:30 when Kyle called me and said "HEY! Wanna go see twenty-one-pilots tonight?!" I immediately was super confused because I knew they were playing in NY both today and tomorrow, and that tickets were sold out way back when and for a FORTUNE... so there was this long pause. He said that he was scouting tickets online and that really great seats were going for such a bargain of a price. Mind you that this concert started at 7pm and the first act was already close to finishing. I knew I wouldn't make it to Jersey City for another half hour and it took about an hour to even make it all the way to Brooklyn. I said no. I kept justifying reasons why it was not worth like we've seen them three times already and that it was too last minute, and that I haven't eaten since 12pm, and we have some birthdays and a wedding coming up, and that we just came back from a costly mini-vacation, and I just payed off my semester tuition, and yada yada - just a bunch of excuses. We sat in silence for a little bit and then he just agreed. I proceeded to tell him about my day at work and about 5 minutes later he said "Wait... the price for lower levels are super cheap right now, ARE YOU SURE you don't want to go?!" I don't know what made me change my mind but I said "Uhh ok, let's do it!" We went back and forth about 3 times, saw about 10 pair of tickets come and go until he just finally bought a pair. I kept saying to myself "What just happened?!" I parked in JC, and we literally RAN. We ran to the PATH, ran through the oculus, ran to the next subway train, and then ran to Barclays. Kyle had no printer and they wouldn't accept our e-tix so we had to go back out of the building and have this sketch guy print our tix from his printer for $5 each (like CMON!)!! I kept saying... omg it's a scam and we just lost money. But nope. It all worked out and we were in our seats at 8:50. We missed both opening acts, but made it just in time for twenty one pilots at 9! My stomach was in all sorts of knots. I couldn't believe I was there. I couldn't believe what just happened the past hour and how I even made the decision to do something so spontaneous. I'll tell ya that it was one of the greatest choices I've ever made. Although it was our fourth time seeing them in concert, there was something different about everything just being unplanned and just the feeling of living in the moment (not to mention our killer lower level seats!!). I thought to myself that I would have regretted everything if I didn't go. When they played A Tear in My Heart, which was one of the last songs, I teared up a little bit because I thought "how in the world did I ever get so lucky?! how is this my life? how did I get blessed with landing a man who loves spontaneity & thrill?" I just couldn't find the answers. I just looked at Kyle and smiled.
Try to always follow your heart and your gut intuition. So often we make decisions through outweighing all the pros & cons, and leading with our brains on what is the "right" choice for us., but sometimes you just have to DO. Don't think, don't hesitate, just do it. I've always been one to second guess myself. I've always played it safe, followed the plan, think smart... but that isn't always the best thing. Do things out of your comfort zone, out of your norm... because life IS short, and it'll pass in a blink of an eye. Just make sure that you live yours to the absolute fullest and the way YOU want it. On that note, gøødnight.
Okay so the last and final stop of our 10-day trip was Charleston, SC! It was by far our favorite place, and so far my favorite city that I've been to. The people, the buildings, the architecture... it was all awesome! Charleston had a very old school look to it and almost all the buildings looked the same with a certain "Charleston feel." Our Airbnb hosts were super nice and the husband was a local photographer. What are the chances that he owned the same two Nikon cameras that I own?! I introduced them to Jeni's Ice Cream, which they had NO IDEA was right in their own town. I was SOO excited that there was a Jeni's there because it was our last stop and I have been craving it so badly since we left Atlanta. We rode a carriage to learn a little bit about Charleston (which I highly recommend), visited Isle of Palms beach, saw the famous pineapple at The Battery, saw so many palm trees, and ATE A LOT OF FOOD. I miss this place the most. If there would be a town that I would go back to, it would definitely be Charleston.
- Palmetto Carriage Works: We highly recommend taking one of these carriage tours. Our hosts recommended this company for the tours and takes all of their visitors, so we tried it out and we really enjoyed it! All the carriage tours divide the city into three parts and before you leave for your tour, all the carriages line up and draw up a number and that number will correspond to the area of the city you'll be touring. It's a pretty cool concept actually because all the tour guide have no idea where they'll be going and it prevents any one company from taking over a certain area.
- Waterfront Park: This place has the infamous Pineapple Fountain of Charleston. It's also just a really cool place to walk around, take pictures, and see all the palm trees!
- Isle of Palms Beach: You have to check out one of the beaches at least once when you come to Charleston. Also, it's free (unlike here in NJ)!
- Favorite Coffee: Black Tap Coffee. Iced lavender latte is the way to go!
- Favorite Brunch: Callie's Hot Little Biscuit. SO. GOOD. but be prepared to wait.
- Favorite Dinner: FIG. Hands down one of the best meals of my life. They have a rotating menu but their famous gnocchi is always on the menu you don't think about leaving without trying it.
- Favorite Dessert: Jeni's Ice Cream. C'mon was that even a question?
- Favorite Bar: The Darling Oyster Bar. Time it right and come during Oyster happy hour ;)
- Wild Card: Edmund's Oast. We got super lucky coming across this place during their happy hour. I'd recommend making reservations here, because you cannot get a seat without it. We sat by the bar (the only place you can sit) and ordered every food/drink on their happy hour menu. The portions are small so you can definitely split with a friend ;)
So right after exploring the Smoky Mountains, our next stop was Asheville, NC! We picked this place next because 1. FOOD (for me) and 2. BREWS (for kyle). Asheville was such a cute small town to walk around. Following my previous post, I unfortunately had one clear eye during the whole time here. My contacts didn't arrive until the last day we were in Asheville, so the two days we were there, if I closed my right eye, I could not see a thing out of my left one. What a freaking bummer. ...
- New Belgium Brewery: If you love New Belgium Fat Tire, you should definitely check this brewery out! New Belgium expanded from Colorado to the East Coast so Kyle was super excited to check this place out! The factory is so big and you might have to utilize the food trucks outside in case of the drunchies ;)
- Asheville Pinball Museum: Okay so if you know Kyle & I, you know that we are truly kids. We LOVE arcades and we're pretty competitive so we just spend the whole time trying to out score the other. We spent at least 2 hours in this place.. no lie.
- Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar: After beating your significant other in the Pinball Museum, head over to this place for some relaxation. There are comfy couches, loads of books to look though, a coffee bar, and a wine bar. Grab a drink, sit, & relax!
- Favorite Coffee: Double D's Coffee & Desserts. One of the most unique coffee shops I've been to! It's Asheville's version of the Harry Potter knight bus ;)
- Favorite Brunch: Sunny Point Cafe. Be prepared to wait... but it's okay because it'll only get your appetite ready for the huge, delicious portion you're about to get. I'd definitely recommend the hues rancheros or the chorizo omelette!
- Favorite Dinner: Cucina 24. A fancy dinner spot in Asheville! They have one of the BEST focaccia bread I've ever tasted and their portions are just the right amount, leaving you satisfied but not overly full. The atmosphere is perfect for a date night!
- Favorite Dessert: French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Dark chocolate liquid truffle & chocolate creme brûlée is all I gotta say.
- Wildcard: White Duck Taco Shop. The tacos here are unreal! They play around with different sauces and toppings that just work. The pork belly or bancock shrimp are some personal favorites. YUMMMM!!