One Week Later: A Newcomer’s Thoughts on Charleston so far

So I’ve lived in Charleston for one week now.

I haven’t discussed much on the blog yet, and honestly, I haven’t taken a whole lot of pictures. Don’t even ask to see pictures of my home, because it’s still a mess and we still have unpacking and organizing to do. I’ll post pics one of these days when everything’s done, or at least acceptable for the internet.

We moved last Friday, went back to Florence to clean last Saturday, and spent most of Sunday running errands, tackling household projects, and unpacking. On Monday, Clay headed off to his second week at his new job. I stayed at home to work at my “big girl job” (this is what I referred to my actual job as whenever I was coaching at the track), and I am still working for the same company, at least through the summer.

So here’s a recap on how things are going:

Running and Working out

So far, I’ve run around my apartment complex and neighborhood… and that’s it. Thursday morning (yesterday), I decided to venture into the neighborhood for a 4ish mile run and ended up getting lost and running six miles instead! I had to stop and ask a lady for directions and ended up running through the sand of a construction zone back to my apartment, but I made it back before work!

I know all the mom figures in my life will be on my case now, but I do have a Road ID (need a new address, obviously), and I don’t stray too far from home or run in strange or seedy neighborhoods. I just got a little… confused, I guess. It was still a really great run. I even wore my running club shirt to represent :).

It rained most all weekend and the beginning of the week, but on Tuesday evening when it stopped, Clay told me we could go out and do whatever I wanted to do. So, you can guess what we did… we joined a gym. We joined the East Shore Athletic Club, which is down the road from us and gives us access to two gyms (they have tons of clubs in the area).

It’s a pretty neat gym and has some classes, and we really couldn’t beat it for the price since I like to do yoga and the occasional group fitness class. Wednesday night, I did a class called Body Pump and met some new people and got a great strength training workout in.

Next week, I’m planning to meet up with a running group in a nearby town. I’ve joined a few groups on Facebook and made “friends” with some people in them, so I’m excited to meet the faces I’ve seen on Facebook. Hopefully they know their way around… 

Work and my “Big Girl Job”

First, I love seeing Clay head off for work in the mornings. He dresses nicely for work and I get to kiss him on his way out the door. Since I work from home, I almost feel like a housewife sending her husband off to work.

However, I’ve gotten a TON of work done! I’ve been crazy productive without the office socialization, but I got pretty lonely and cabin fever-ish with all the rain we’ve had. It rained Monday-Wednesday, but since it’s cleared up, I’m leaving the apartment at lunch to grocery shop and explore. I’m also thankful for the occasional phone conversation with coworkers and for instant messenger and Facebook chat (if you like to facebook chat, let me know!)

And, I’m still getting dressed even though I work from home- no pajama working for me! Instead, I’m running a couple miles or working out most mornings, which forces me to shower and get dressed. I’ve been wearing khaki shorts and my favorite snarky t-shirts, along with old sneakers or either flip flops each day. I feel like actually getting dressed

Local Happenings and Food

This week, we’ve been to a few grocery stores and new restaurants. On Sunday, we went to Earth Fare, which is a healthy food grocery store, and they had $2 burgers, including veggie burgers. Most places here have vegetarian options, and I really like that. Also, there are way more local dives, so I like that I don’t feel forced to eat at chain restaurants all the time.

Some of my friends told me I’d love the food here- those friends happen to be marathoners (what marathon runner doesn’t like food?). So far, everything has been tasty, with the exception of the pizza we had delivered on the Friday night we moved in. It took an hour to get here and tasted only slightly better than Little Caesar’s. Don’t think we’ll be getting pizza from there again- every time I see their advertisements, it will remind me of moving anyway.

I’ve also found Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, the mall, a self-serve frozen yogurt place, and a few other cool stores. I even found a little shortcut to one of the grocery stores and I can get to all of those places without a GPS now- score! Funny how I am fine when driving yet get lost running… 

Next week, I’m looking forward to venturing out a bit more and exploring, going running and doing group fitness classes, and probably getting a ton of work done. Who knows, maybe I’ll even try to take a few more pictures ;).

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26 Responses to One Week Later: A Newcomer’s Thoughts on Charleston so far

  1. So glad you are getting settled in (btw, that burger looks amazing an at only $2???) Have a lovely weekend!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks- it was great for $2. They do a grill out every Sunday there with $2 burgers and $1 sides. However, the best burger I had was Tuesday night at the Charleston Burger Company- it was a veggie burger with pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes. Super yummy! But way more than $2 haha.

  2. Shayna says:

    I’m so happy to hear that you are settling in well. I’m sure I’ll go home next month, so if you are in town we must get together!! I love the comment about marathoners all loving food…I think runners in general love food :-) Hope to see you soon!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m not a marathoner and I love food, but I can just imagine how it is with the long runners we know (you can probably assume which coaches made those comments, hehe).

      I’m not planning to really leave town much over the next month unless I end up back in Florence for a visit. I do have to return to get some cavities filled (what a crappy reason to have to visit!).

  3. ladycoop says:

    So glad you are getting settled. :) And yay for more local places to eat. I love supporting local peeps.

  4. Ya, I am so proud of you for embracing your new home. My sister goes to school in Charleston and loves it, she is actually there this summer! I loved visiting her.

  5. allieksmith says:

    Hey hey! It seems like you are doing so well!! I’m so proud of you :) I smiled at how your 4-miler turned into a 6-miler… oops! That will be a fun story to tell people, right?!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Haha yeah! It wasn’t bad, though. It was actually a great, though unintentional, longer run. I felt like I could keep going, just that I had to work. I want to start getting *real* long runs in soon so I can train for a half that’s going on here in December.

  6. krisranhere says:

    Sounds like you are settling in really well! $2 burgers make me hungry :)

  7. Rebecca says:

    Hey Amy! :)

    I was excited to see how your first week in Charleston worked out. I’m so relieved and happy for you! Wow, that’s nice about the work-from-home career. What exactly is the career? Are you paid every 2 weeks? Do you pick up your check, or is it mailed or direct deposited? I’ve always wanted to know how those careers work out. Yeah, I need the people-interaction job right now in my life. But I’m sure if I would get married someday, I could handle a work-from-home scenario.

    Do you ever see yourself doing your work outside? :D

    Wow, that’s a nice veggie burger for 2$! Nice.

    Look forward to hearing more! And… I was the same way when I moved into my apartment about settling in and the pictures. :P

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I am still working my same job at ACS, so my career is still in technical writing (I will most likely always be a writer in some way). I’m on a different project from now until August but pretty much the same thing I was always doing. Technical writing is definitely a good field for working at home because every company I’ve heard of that has tech writers has at least somebody who works from home.

      As for working outside, that’s a great thought. Depending on what I have to do, I guess I could technically take my personal laptop outside and work (my work computer is a desktop, though).

      I’ll have more pictures for you guys soon, I promise!

  8. So glad it’s so far, so good! And uhh…$2 for burgers?? Say whaaaa!

  9. Kara says:

    I’m happy to hear all about your new home; you seem to like it so far! I’m sooo jealous you work from home. I would NEVER get dressed in real clothes though, haha! I would wear yoga pants every single day :)

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Don’t be jealous, lol. I guess it has it’s pluses and minuses like everything else. I’m glad I don’t have to commute, but I do miss seeing people a lot. I’m still getting used to it really.

  10. Wow that sounds like so much fun. I’m glad you aren’t *too far* away. Those burgers look super good!

  11. Phewww I know this has been a heck of a journey for you- emotionally and physically, but I am so so glad to hear that things are going well for you! $2 for a burger is ALWAYS a good thing.. and burgers are a bit errr “tough” for me, but for that price, all that BS would be flung aside ;)

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Some foods are tough for me too Tessa. But I guess if any veggie burger is cooked well, one at a store like Earth Fare should be. And you really can’t beat a $6 lunch for two people.

      It has definitely been a crazy journey, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I really haven’t been very transparent about how hard it is lately, and I guess it seems more like a vacation to others, but there’s a lot going on that I’m not letting the blog/facebook world in on, too.

  12. CONGRATS!!! man, once u’re done packing and at least unloaded a bit into the new place and getting settled isn’t it a HUGE relief!! it sounds like u’ve made some awesome finds in the area too…grub wise and running wise, well at least ur weekly mileage gets an accidental boost. ;) jk. i’m the WORST with directions i prolly woulda run 110 miles. keep enjoying the new area!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks Cait! Yeah I wasn’t too far from home, fortunately. I don’t venture out too much for that reason. But yeah, getting settled in will be a huge relief for me!

  13. Mario says:

    Came across this blog after a web search about thoughts of moving to Charleston. I am being offered a great job there (I currently live in the northeast) and was wondering if you could share with me some experiences and perspective as soneone who has already made that leap. Have you enjoyed the change? What are some of the things that caught you most by surprise? Where are the bad parts of town? If you had to move again would you have still picked charleston as your new home? We have no friends or family that live there so this is somewhat of a blind leap of faith for me (and my wife/kids). Thanks!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Hey- we pretty much love it here. We’ve made friends really fast (a lot of people here have moved from other places with the military or jobs, so people are pretty welcoming to newcomers). The cost of living isn’t that bad, but there’s a lot to do here and most of that costs, so I am spending a little more since I moved (it will be a lot cheaper for you though coming from the northeast).

      The only negative… this is the muggiest place i have ever lived. So just be prepared for the humidity!

      Also, if you want specific information, feel free to e-mail me (proudpatriot2007 AT yahoo DOT com) and ask.

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