My mother wanted a vacation. The result: a few short days traipsing around Charleston, reaching record numbers on her Fitbit, and overeating to compensate for all the steps achieved. It was truly delightful.

I fell in love with Spanish moss, crooked doorways, chipping paint, and the sourdough bread from here. I developed a sincere fondness for the use of pink. Everywhere. And I quickly grew to appreciate the magic of seeing palmettos and oaks grow side by side.

My brain felt especially healthy by the end, filled to the brim with more facts on Southern history than it ever remembered learning in high school. Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy learning, especially when no multiple choice questions are involved. A highlight of the trip was the pound of (locally grown!) fresh turmeric root from the farmers market that I thoughtfully stuffed in my suitcase. The joy!

I never actually did indulge in a bowl of grits, but I did eat a biscuit, so I still feel like I did my part.

Kelsey Gleason