St. Simons Island

Better late than never, right?

I say that a lot these days.  Oops.  Anyway, last month Wheat and I headed to St. Simons Island for three days full of Continuing Legal Education at the Georgia Fiduciary Law convention.  It was great for me, topic-wise, and it was great for both of us, location-wise.  St. Simons is SO much fun!

We got there late Wednesday night and had a drink at The Half Shell, which was within walking distance to our hotel, The Village Inn & Pub (literally the only place I’ve ever stayed on the Island!).  You can see why I’m obsessed with their bar. They give new meaning to the term “oyster bar.”

The Half Shell Oyster Bar, St. Simons Island, Georgia | oysters and pearls

Then we ventured over to Del Sur, which was so dang good we ate there twice on our trip!  It was just around the corner from the Village Inn.  Everything was so very fresh, and the short rib risotto was amazing.  I will eat here every chance I get when I’m on the Island!
Del Sur Artisan Eats, St. Simons Island, Georgia, Short Rib Risotto | oysters and pearls

We ended our first evening in St. Simons at Murphy’s Tavern across the Street.  It was old and smoky and reminded us of college and we loved it.Murphy's Tavern, St. Simons Island, Georgia | oysters and pearls

We spent most of the next day in classes, but then we were able to venture around the Island. We lunched at Southern Soul BBQ, which was phenomenal.  We overindulged, as expected, and could barely walk out of the place.

Southern Soul BBQ, St. Simons Island, Georgia | oysters and pearls

Thus, we took the opportunity to visit Fort Frederica after our late lunch, which was really, really interesting, and provided an excellent opportunity to walk off our BBQ.  From the National Park Service’s website:

Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe to protect the southern boundary of his new colony of Georgia from the Spanish in Florida. Colonists from England, Scotland, and the Germanic states came to Georgia to support this endeavor.

 
Frederica in 1740

Named for Frederick Louis, the Prince of Wales (1702-1754), Frederica was a military outpost consisting of a fort and town. The entire area was fortified with a palisade wall and earthen rampart. The fort’s location on the Frederica River allowed it to control ship travel.

Fort Frederica National Monument | oysters and pearls  Fort Frederica National Monument | oysters and pearls
Fort Frederica National Monument | oysters and pearls  Fort Frederica National Monument | oysters and pearls
Fort Frederica National Monument | oysters and pearls  Fort Frederica National Monument | oysters and pearls
Fort Frederica National Monument | oysters and pearls

We spent lots of time walking around the Village area, which includes this beautiful light house!

St. Simons Island Light House | oysters and pearls

We took in some live jazz at this cute little bar nearby.
Live Jazz in the Village, St. Simons Island | oysters and pearls  
Live Jazz in the Village, St. Simons Island | oysters and pearls

The next day, we lunched at Island Pho, which was pho-nominal.  …Had to.Island Pho, St. Simons Island, Georgia | oysters and pearls

Then we drove over to Jekyll Island and visited famous Driftwood Beach.  It wasn’t as beach-y as we expected, but it was pretty cool.  Naturally we had to do some driftwood climbing and driftwood yoga. ;)
King Dancer on Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island | oysters and pearls  Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island | oysters and pearls
Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island | oysters and pearls  Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island | oysters and pearls

We put our selfie stick to work, too.
Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island | oysters and pearls  Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island | oysters and pearls

For dinner that night we had an awesome meal at Bubba Garcia’s on the recommendation of a Southern C friend, Emily.  Visit her amazing blog, Ems on the Road, if you have a minute and love to travel, or follow her on Instagram @emsontheroad.  Thanks for the rec, Emily!  I loved the jerk chicken salad.

Bubba Garcia's Jerk Chicken Salad, St. Simons Island, Georgia | oysters and pearls

The next day, we had class until 2:00 or so, met a couple friends who were also at the convention back at Southern Soul BBQ for a farewell lunch (so nice we ate it twice!) and hit the road back home.  It was an awesome way to knock out all our CLE for the year and experience a little bit of St. Simons all in one!

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Charlotte Yoga Retreat

I recently drove all the way up the East coast to visit the best college girlfriends.  We were supposed to meet in Raleigh at our friend (and yoga instructor) Ashley’s new house, but due to a series of unfortunate events, we relocated the retreat to Charlotte.  Since we were missing our favorite yogi, we decided to just roll with the punches and book classes at studios all over the Queen City instead.  I thought I would post a little review of each one, in case any of my readers/yogis live in or are ever visiting Charlotte!

While Sara and Jen were at work, Courtney and I headed to Okra for a 12:30 class.  Okra is the cutest studio + tea bar ever!  We loved our class with Megan, who was really laid back and fun.  The class varied from a nice vinyasa flow to a workshop atmosphere and back to flow again.  We had a great time and learned a lot!  We also loved Gumbo, a yoga/running apparel shop next door owned by the same folks.  I’m sad I didn’t snap any pictures from our class!

Photo via Instagram @okracharlotte

Next up, Courtney, Sara and I did a pre-happy hour first for all of us: aerial yoga!

Aerial Yoga at Air Charlotte | oysters and pearls Aerial Yoga at Air Charlotte | oysters and pearls

It was quite the experience!  I wouldn’t say it was exactly like yoga, because it was a lot different, even though we were attempting versions of the same asanas (poses).  However, it was an entirely new sort of workout for us, and we were sort of surprised that even in a “stretching” class, just how much upper body strength was required.  I had so much fun with my triplets (our house mom in ADPi’s nickname for us) playing on the aerial silks, and we loved our instructor (and even stayed to chat with her for a while!) but I have to say I don’t know that I would be a regular if it were an option down here in South Georgia.  It was a great experience, though!

aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls aerial yoga at AIR Charlotte | oysters and pearls

After our “relaxing deep stretch” aerial class, we met our friends Jen and Parker and Sara’s husband Chris at Napa on Providence for wine time and catching up.  We got some stares in all our workout gear (Jen and Parker had just come from Cross Fit) but we didn’t care.  #yogapantsarepants in our books.

Cheers at Napa on Providence in Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Also, our waiter’s wine rec was en pointe – we loved this vino!

Napa on Providence, Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Saturday morning we set up a private yoga lesson at Yoga Shala with Hollis.

Yoga Shala, Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Hollis was patient, kind, and extremely knowledgable.  We loved our lesson with her!  We gave her a heads up when we scheduled the session that some of us would like some pointers on building up to inversions, that we had a beginner in our midst, and we were a mix of levels of yogis.  She was amazing working with all our differences and we worked on breath work at the same time as strength building, especially in our core.  The first half of the class began with warm ups, including a new Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) for all of us – Sun Salutation S!  Hollis studied under the Rod Stryker school of yoga, so this is his own personal Surya Namaskara.  In case you’re interested, here’s a video of some warmups from Rod Stryker himself.

We ended the class with lots of L-stands to practice for handstands, some headstands, too.  It was much more of a workshop atmosphere for the second half of the class, which was a lot of fun!  I think all four of us really enjoyed it.  It was a great way to end our yoga retreat in Charlotte!

Yoga Shala, Charlotte, NC | oysters and pearls

Not only was it a relaxing, yoga-filled retreat, it was a soul-nourishing weekend with best girlfriends.  I’m so fortunate to have such a tight-knit group of college girlfriends that still talk every single day, even though we are spread from Raleigh to Tampa to Shanghai!

Namaste, y’all!

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Do you Snapchat?

Do y’all snap?

oysters and pearls on snapchat

Yeah, Snapchat.  Not in a dirty way!  Snapchat is all the rage these days for bloggers, so I’ve been trying it out.  And turns out, it’s really, really fun.  I try to make all my Instagram pictures pretty and perfect, but there’s no pressure for that on Snapchat.  It’s just ridiculous and fun and uber-temporary, which is kind of liberating these days.  Be my friend?  My username is nataliekirbo – no oystersandpearls to be found… which is also kind of liberating.  It’s just meeeeeee!

On Snapchat, you can catch exciting snippets of my life, such as strange gym sightings, and lots of food.

  

But really… if you’re just standing there… why are you on a treadmill????

I swear, my life is pretty exciting.  Snap me.  All the cool kids are doing it.

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls