My job revolves around time and abbreviations.

How many hours are in a layover.

How many minutes until departure.

Where the UMs are sitting.

Remembering FAA regulations.

How many minutes to be on the plane before boarding a flight.

And city codes.

There are hundreds. Every airport has one. It's somewhat important - you know, to know where you are going.

In training, we learned all of them - and came up with the most ridiculous acronyms. Because some of the city codes are in fact, ridiculous.

For instance:

I'm going to visit my aunt JAN in Mississippi. (Jackson, MS)
My band has a GIG in Rio. (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)
Mouse Club Orlando. (Orlando, Florida)

I had a pretty funny one for Pensacola, Florida (PNS). But I will just leave that to everyone's imagination.

All of that to say, I discovered I had a thirty-three hour layover in CAE.


Obviously, I did a great job at retaining all of those useful acronyms.

Everyone - contain the excitement.

It was Columbia, South Carolina!

It was one of those trips where I earned my layover. A lot of boarding. A lot of deplaning. A lot of drink and snack tossing. (I mean passing).

  Since I can't fly anywhere without visiting Atlanta first, I took advantage of the concourse shops and got some new lipstiiiiiick. Mobsessed. I flew with a girl that had this and it was so flattering. It's like Sisterhood of the Traveling lipsticks. It looks good on everyone. It doesn't come off. Even after straw sipping sand sandwich devouring. And I bought it from the duty free shop - where I also received an employee discount. SCORE.  (It's Viva Glam I). 

Once I nestled safely in my cozy bed, I took to some hotel television watching. The only time I really get to watch cable. Does anyone else remember this movie? I saw it in my formative years. I'm pretty sure my mom didn't know - because it's traumatizing and what the heck is even wrong with you, Rebecca De Mornay? THAT IS NOT YOUR FAMILY. Also, JULIANNE MOORE, DON'T YOU DARE GO INTO THAT GREENHOUSE.

I was so tired that I even found myself watching Toddlers & Tiaras. Per usual, I was dumbfounded and wanted to call child social services.

"Okay henny, it's tahm ta jack yer hair up ta Jesus." - Baby Hair Stylist

After a good night's rest, I went to explore around the city a bit. Antiquing, anyone?

I'll be honest, sometimes I am overwhelmed by antique shops. It feels like glorified hoarding and sometimes I think things are overpriced. My mom found a place out in the country near where we live that has an oversized barn full of so many antique treasures. The woman who owns it buys everything by the pound from a Goodwill and then sells it at really affordable prices. I bought a perfect old Samsonite for five dollars. FIVE.

I mean, the barn does smell strongly of cat whiz and dirt, but that's part of the adventure.

Right outside the Columbia Museum of Art.

Though it's difficult to see, there is a confederate flag waving proudly in the wind. Some people just can't let go of the past.

Should you ever find yourself spending time in Columbia, might I suggest:

  • The Columbia Museum of Art - I popped in the gift shop and bought my little sister some MOMA-esque highlighters, which I conveniently lost before I even made it back to Kentucky.
  • The Congaree Vista - Where I did most of my exploring. There were a ton of restaurants and (some) little shops. There's also a Starbucks that has done a surprisingly good job of maintaining a coffee shop feel.
  • Cool Beans - for those that just don't do Starbucks. 
  • The Mast - every outdoorsman's dream store. I had a hard time not walking out head to toe in Patagonia and Vibrams.
Has anyone else been? I'd love to know what else is on the list for a short visit!



  1. aw, i know all those abbrevs too! The cinci aiport confuses alot of people..until the realize it is in CoVinGton KY :)
    My least favorite is BDL...geez. i never remember it because it is HARTFORD CT!

  2. pretty pretty lipstick!

    don't know much in columbia but if you ever have a layover in greenville, sc i can help. lots of fun things to do in our little city.

    and connect the dots time. jen (withgraceandlace) is one of my besties and she is how i found your blog, i'm from nky, know your bf (lead YL in lexington) and love your blog. just thought i should introduce myself!

    hope that sounded more introduction and less stalker-ish than i think it does :)

  3. For those of us who do live where you live... where is this BARN you speak of???

  4. Vulgar acronyms are the only way to remember city codes... Just sayin. I had a few myself. But those will be best discussed in a text message. :)

    Story time. You can file this story right under my mom put mountain dew in my baby bottle. In elementary school when we had to memorize state capitals I couldn't remember Topeka, Kansas to save my life. My moms solution: "did he go to the bathroom TOPEKA (to pick) his nose or to kick KANSAS (Ken's ass)?"

  5. Errrrca: I only remember Hartford because I was born in Connecticut - it's a crazy one, too. But I won't bore you with the acronym. And I owe you a shmeemail! What has happened to our constant flow of love letters?

    Shannon: Girl I have totally stalked your blog, too. We all need to have a party where we are real life friends! I am so happy you said hello! Hi hi hi! :) Bryan actually lived in Greenville for a while - are you close enough to get coffee if I ever have a layover there?

    Kara: It's called Garden Girl and it's off of 27. A lot of character, a lot of 'interesting' smells (in the barn, anyway). Definitely more of a warm weather thing so you can take advantage of the gardens, too.

    Brittany: hahaha please text them to me I am sure I would love them. And I will never forget Topeka for the rest of my life now. I am loving your southern baby anecdotes. Oh my gosh.

  6. CAE is where I live! I'm another stalker coming out of the shadows to comment, I found your blog through a friend's blog and you had me at "Nimbus 2000." Seriouly, I squealed out loud when I saw that post, and have been popping back in ever since to check on your adventures.

    I moved to Columbia last year from Lexington and I've never been to the airport here, but I love everything else about this city so far. If you're ever back in town, we know a lot of the same people from KY so I know we'd get along(Bryan and I were briefly on the same YL team) just e-mail me ( and we could go exploring together!

    Love your blog, thanks for sharing!


  7. umm...definitely close enough for a coffee if you ever layover here! would love it!

  8. First - your lipstick is amazing. Thanks to your link - one of those pretty sticks are headed my way! I love a good lipstick.

    Did a little antique shopping this past summer - overpriced for sure! However, I couldn't believe the amount of people buying stuff. Crazy....

    Can't wait to see where you take us next.

  9. Jennifer - I am so glad you spoke up! I've decided it can't be stalking if people are making this information readily available on blogs. It's sharing with everyone, right? And Harry Potter! Oh man, bringing everyone together! Someone else brought their Nimbus on board recently and I was more excited about it than they were and then I was embarrassed.

    I am sure I will be back, and I would love to meet up and explore!

    Shannon - yesssss!

  10. Heather - I tried replying to your comment by email, but I've never done it before. Let me know if it worked :)

  11. I am just catching up on my Google Reader....I apologize for being so far behind on commenting on this post!
    I'm another blog follower/stalker/whatever ;) We probably have mutual friends somewhere along the road....
    Anyhow- I really enjoy reading your blog!! the travel, adventure, wit, comic relief, honesty, all that and more!!! Love it!

    Getting to my real point....My parents moved to Cola in 2006 and it's where I met my hubs :) I went to UK and he went to USC- small world, long distance relationship for years, & an awesome God with a plan :)

    I haven't spent a whole lot of time downtown, but I definitely have a few favorites!!!....
    Eat:The Gourmet Shoppe (kitchen & wine shop too), Thirsty Fellow (looks like a library inside) , Pawley's Front Porch (local themed hamburgers & famous sweet potato fries), Tsunami (great sushi),
    Shop: Five Points (tons of stores & restaurants), Ernest Lee (the Chicken man paintings) he has a traveling stand- found usually on Harden St, the Village at Sandhills (in the Northeast)
    Look: USC's campus Horseshoe, Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens, State Museum, Riverfront Park

    Plus, Design Sponge has a little city guide too!!

    So..HI! :) and hope you enjoy your next time in Columbia!! If you ever come to Charleston, SC let me know!!!

    1. Ahhh! I am so happy to hear from you!

      Do you ever feel stressed out when you haven't checked your Google Reader and there's an outrageous amount of unread posts? I think I am a blog hoarder. I had to clean some out recently. But I digress.

      I feel so bummed that I missed all of those things - but it makes me really excited to go back, now.

      I've been playing with the idea of coming up with some general city guides, but then that seems dumb when Grace Bonney and her team will obviously come up with something more awesome and, DUH Google exists.

      Girrrrl, I am totally coming back to this for my next CAE layover! Thanks :)


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