>> Monday, September 28, 2009
Where do I begin? My website www.tianicolephotography.com has finally launched, I survived what could have been a horrific car accident with one of my best friends, and the Okra Strut has come and gone. Now I'm sitting outside on the porch enjoying the wind and cooling weather.
Today I opened a business checking account and started to document all of my expenses/profits in a budget book. Still a lot left on the to-do list, but it's great to be crossing things off!
I was sad to see Sarah go, but I am excited for all of her adventures to come. Perhaps I'll have an influence on her future destination choices :).
The car accident happened on I-26 near the Newberry exit. If you're from around Columbia you probably know this is an area that is notorious for dangerous wrecks. Even though Sarah wasn't driving very fast and was paying attention to the road, we hydroplaned at the bottom of a hill and managed to cut a 90* turn into the median of the interstate. Thankfully the steel wire barricade stopped us from crossing into oncoming traffic at over 65 mph. The state's decision to install the barricade is probably their smartest yet due to all of the fatalities that occur around that area of the interstate.
Thankful we were in a sturdy SUV and not one of our puny civics!
After about 4 hours we were back on the road in our Kia Sedona minivan. I went ahead and texted Haley and Jordan to see if they would rather do dinner than lunch.. I think I was still a little in shock that we would be driving across the country after barely escaping death!
While on the road we listened to the Clemson game, and bc of the rain delays during the game we managed to make it an hour into Tennessee before it ended! It seemed to be a long day for my friends at that game as well. Once we crossed the border into Tennessee we realized we were exhausted and made the smart decision to hang out with Jordan and Haley for the night instead of making the rest of the trek to St. Louis. We listened to some live music in a coffee shop in East Nashville and had some very tasty margaritas and mexican food. I had an absolute blast and by the end of the night the girls had me convinced that I needed to move to Nashville. Who knows what life will bring.. we shall see!
One benefit to stormy weather is the cool clouds that form shortly after
I was excited to get to see lots of corn fields and barns in Kentucky and Illinois. Evidently the mid-west can be very beautiful :)
Once we finally reached St. Louis we were ready for good food and soft beds. Thankfully, we found both. Sarah checked into her place and moved in pretty quickly and we made our way downtown to check out St. Louis. I quickly learned that the city is full of beauty as well as poverty. Close to the rows of abandoned factories and houses downtown were some modern projects that are designed to appear as higher priced community units. I've heard of cities using this technique in my planning classes but still don't see much evidence of it in the South. I'm honestly not sure how well they work, but it's interesting to see they do exist.
Our second night (after some much needed rest) Sarah and I ventured down to the Loop close to Washington University's campus. It's a long 3-lane street that is full of theaters, coffee shops, bars and organic retail. I have to admit I was pretty excited... mostly because I knew we were about to find some really good food.
Beginning of "The Loop"
Deep dish. Yummm
Our old roommate's childhood friend met us out that night for pizza and later took us on a tour of the city park (largest in the U.S.) and the low-income neighborhoods surrounding the region. Her church is located in an area that is convenient to both the higher income and poorer areas, and evidently seems to be doing a good job of integrating the neighborhood.
After gorging ourselves on pizza, we made it downtown to check out the arch and unfortunately (due to a very uninformed visitor center employee) we were unable to make it in time to head up to the top. I still got some decent shots of the arch from our side of the river. It's definitely huge!
View from the ground
We had a great couple of days in St. Louis and Nashville even though there was plenty more to be seen. It was probably best that I came back on Tuesday because I needed the next full 3 days to get ready for the Okra Strut. I'm glad that I decided to challenge myself enough to learn how to cut a mat, but I realized quickly that it's not nearly as easy as it looks. Perhaps next time I'll give myself a little more time to relax :)
At my booth at the Okra Strut. Definitely could have used some more decorative items, but it wasn't a bad setup for a first show
I had a ton of fun getting to know the other vendors. It seems like these events really are like a small community for local business owners and entrepreneurs. Granted, the lady next to me said she would never do the Okra Strut again, but I think most people really get into all of the insanity that is involved.
Many thanks to my mom for helping me to pull it off on Saturday! I'm glad I did it, but I'm also glad it's over. My prints are finally for sale on smugmug as well! Check them out if you get a chance :)