Last weekend I traveled to Columbia, South Carolina for Clayton’s family reunion – the only catch: Clayton wouldn’t be there. His job in Vermont has been absolutely insane – they’re working seven days a week, 14+ hour days and barely have time to catch a break, let alone a long weekend. When I found out that he wouldn’t be able to make it for the reunion, the concern of whether or not to cancel my ticket came into question. However I (somewhat selfishly) wanted to attend regardless, mostly because I knew his parents and brother would be in attendance and they are always a good time.
The weekend was my first opportunity to meet his mom’s two brothers (and their families) and parents. Both brothers have kids that are school-aged and busy with numerous activities – the weekend played host to two major events: a drive, chip and putt contest for Ellie (soon-to-be LPGA champion) and motocross race for Teddy. The attendees of both events could not have been more different, with one constant – the entourages surrounding the Burnett participant.
We stayed in downtown Columbia, SC – you may recognize the name from the recent confederate flag controversy. The capitol building that housed the controversial symbol exudes a unique southern charm that is over 100 years old and surrounded by coffee shops, restaurants and bars on every block. Downtown Columbia is also home to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks campus and buzzes with the youthful atmosphere of a college town.
Luckily, Clayton was able to attend for the tail-end of the weekend (less than 24 hours). He arrived Sunday and we were able to catch lunch with his grandparents before everyone headed back to reality. The reason for his absence was due to the first slide of his Vermont project – essentially they are building a new bridge next to the existing one needing repair. Over the weekend, they closed the bridge to all traffic, demolished the old structure and slid the new one in. I make it sound simpler than it is, but fortunately there is light at the end of the tunnel for his time away from home.
All in all, I would highly recommend a visit to Columbia and am hoping our next South Carolina visit is to Charleston. Like Denver, CO – I have never heard a negative review. Bring on more travels!