Phase Two: Columbia, SC

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Late Sunday night on May 10, we rolled into Columbia, SC to visit with my brother and his wife for a few days. He graduated that weekend with a Masters in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. Congrats, big bro! Mom was there for the festivities, so I had a good half a day to visit with her, too.

The Reids have a hard time taking normal photos:
Reids in their Natural State

But here we do a better job:
Erica, Tricia and Christopher

My sweet little family:
Family Hug!

Here are Mokey and Doozer in a lazy cat face off (yes, my brother loves the Fraggles):
Lazy Cat Face Off

C&K are amazing for many many reasons, but one of the coolest new things they are doing is raising bees! We were beekeepers! It was SO amazing and fascinating to learn about the bees and how they live and work. Plus, we got to don sexy little outfits.
Beekeeping is Sexy!

Fuzzy, how do you feel about bees?
Bee Keeper Fuzzy

Katie looks for the queen:
Beekeeper Katie

We found her! The one with the green dot is the queen. The other bees were taking good care of her. I asked what her name was, and they hadn't yet named her, so I did. Of course, I named her Latifah.
The Queen! We named her Latifa.

Me and Katie, keeping the bees:
Erica Looks at Bees

Beez Nuts!
So many bees!

I'm covered in bees!
Beautiful Bees!

These roses were sent to us in MS from the Blewt crew after Dad died. They are so pretty and still going strong!
Blewt Roses

On Tuesday, Katie took the day off work, and we spent the whole day playing. Fuzzy made an amazing breakfast, we did some shopping at Five Points and then went to Frankie's Fun Park for some laser tag and mini golf! It was a blast!

Katie was nervous at first, but then kicked all our asses at Laser Tag (she is #22). Guess who was player 16? (Bwah bwah bwah bwah.)
Katie Kicked our Asses

Christopher and I are such nerds for mini golf. I got 3 holes in one, and I ACTUALLY WON THE GAME! The first time ever. It was close--I had a 53, Fuzzy and 54 and Christopher and Katie tied at 55.

The Menfolk won their wives these Hardqore studded skull bracelets at the park:
Erica and Katie are Hardqore

That night, we got some groceries and Christopher started a fire in the pit. We grilled, made s'mores, drank wine and smoked cigars. It was amazing just hanging outside with family. I miss having a yard, and the fire was reminiscent of the grand bonfires we used to have in Vicksburg growing up. Christopher is now carrying the torch, so to speak.
Hanging by the Fire

I was sad to leave them the next day. That was the first visit I had had with Christopher that didn't involve a hospital in 2 1/2 years. It was nice to just sort of commiserate and detox from the last couple of years together. Plus, he and Katie are damn hilarious. And their cats are ridiculously precious. I hope to see them again soon.

After that, we started the trek up to Baltimore!

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Oh man I miss Laser Tag from high school! And that fire pite looks so relaxing.