Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lauren Visits! Day 1

My Memorial Day Weekend was a fabulous start to summer! So fabulous, I am sad it is over. My cousin Lauren came all the way from Baltimore to visit me for the weekend. Our weekend together started with lunch on Saturday at the Gourmet Shoppe. The Gourmet Shoppe is one of my favorite places for lunch in Columbia. Lauren and I enjoyed walking around the store while we were waiting for our table. We share a love for baking and in my opinion there is no better place in Columbia to admire bake ware then the Gourmet Shoppe.

For lunch, Lauren enjoyed a plate of shrimp salad over a bed of lettuce while I ordered one of my usuals but favorites, a plate of pesto pasta with a side of fruit. Note: During my parents recent visit and lunch at Gourmet Shoppe, my Dad informed me that the shrimp salad at Gourmet Shoppe is missing a key ingredient, Old Bay seasoning, therefore it just wasn't the same. Being a fellow Baltimorian and knowing these things, I had to warn Lauren that the shrimp salad at the Gourmet Shoppe isn't made exactly like how me make it in Baltimore. However, Lauren was agreed it wasn't the same, but was just as delicious.

After playing catch up over lunch, it was time to hit the ground running doing what girls do best, shopping! We started on Saluda Ave in Five Points and worked our way to Harden St. and finally up Devine St. We had a wonderful afternoon strolling in and out all of the shops! Lauren was able to enjoy what I refer to as "shopping locally" to support locally own shops and boutiques instead of spending your money at big box stores.

Our afternoon ended with a ride through Shandon, where I hope to buy a house one day, a tour of the Greek Village. Lauren and her husband Brian are saving their money to sell their house in Baltimore City and move to the County and I thought it would be neat to show her my favorite neighborhood in Columbia.

Lauren attended college at the University of TN where she was a member of Tri-Delta. She is the reason I was involved in Greek Life at USC and was amazed by our Greek Village.

An afternoon in Columbia is not complete until you have made a stop at Cupcake. We ordered two cupcakes: German Chocolate and Black Bottom and shared them both. After our sweet treat and brief break at Cupcake while the storm passed, I took Lauren to one more shop in West Columbia.

Evening was on us, so we returned to my apartment to freshen up before our dinner reservations at Blue Marlin. Thomas joined us for dinner and our evening was full of delicious food, wine and hours of delightful conversation!

Stay tuned as our adventure continues in Charleston...

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