Friday, November 1, 2013

Charleston, South Carolina and the start of our empty nest!

One of the best decisions that we made was to go away for a week after the wedding. And we did it in a way that we had always dreamed of..........road trip in a Miata! Charleston was meant to be done in a Miata!
We ended up putting about 2000 miles on the little car and a bunch of that was with the top down! We went by way of Memphis, Tupelo, Birmingham, Atlanta to Covington, GA. That was our first day. Our second day, we crossed the SC stateline and stopped for a map at the Welcome center. They told us of a little diner off of Hwy 78 in Blackville, SC. 

Miller's Bread Basket! Great fried chicken and homestyle veggies!
And while their coconut pie was good, their carrot cake was the best that I have ever had, EVER! We took half of it with us to have for dessert later that night.

This bridge just fascinated me. It was a work of art. 

Top down, head back, camera clicking!
That night, we ate at Hyman's . It is a locally owned seafood place. Our stomachs were hinky on this trip. The food was heavy. It was good, but it was really heavy on the gut! Then we walked around downtown Charleston in the dark. The place was a hoppin' with nightlife.
The next day, we did the open market that is in downtown Charleston. They had many, many of the Palmetto grass basket weavers. They were beautiful, very artistic and very expensive. It reminded me of the pine needle baskets that one of the artists at Silver Dollar City made.
Finally, sand between my toes on John's Island!!!!! I love, love, love the feel of it!

We did a whole bunch of walking. Then we would sit a while and I would knit a bit. 
Here I am holding up the shawl that I was knitting for my BFF Kathie's birthday!
Blue Heron.
Gorgeous fountain!
The architecture was mouth dropping. It was so pleasing to my artistic eye. 
I loved the colors, the greenness of everything. 
Rainbow Row was really cool to see. It is one of the most photographed and painted spot in Charleston. 
Here I am on one of the walkways that skirts the whole bottom of the Charleston, where it meets the bay. 
I loved the houses that looked out on the ocean/bay. This one had the most lovely color of green shutters. 
And this was one of my absolute favorite things about Charleston, the trees. The branches just swooped and curved in such an incredibly graceful way. They were God's work of art and I could not take in enough of their beauty.
I loved this little house. It was so narrow and neat and cute!
More gorgeous architecture. 
This was a bakeshop that was recommended by our waitress at Five Loaves. We ate at Five Loaves twice. It had the freshest, not-heavy, flavorful food in the city. 
Yes, I found a yarn store! Not only did I find a yarn store, I found a yarn store with Hempathy on clearance! Hempathy is my new favorite yarn and it is hard to find locally. I have no idea why it was on clearance, but I was all over it! I bought all of the silver gray and turquoise that they had. I had paid for the 17 balls of yarn, when I remembered that we were in the Miata! Oh well, where there is yarn, there is a way to cram it into small places! 
What a lovely, soothing view!
I loved the patterns in the sand!
We always look on Diners, Drivins and Dives for good places to eat. On every trip, we try to add another one of Guy's picks of restaurants. 
The Glass Onion is a local favorite on John's Island. Their menu is made up of what the local produce is for the day. They had fried chicken, but only dark meat was left. I don't do dark meat. Apparently it is such a hit that you can call and reserve your choice of dark or white meat. When it is gone, it is gone. Here in Charleston, every place had their take on collard greens. All the restaurants served them and grits. 
Here I am on the boat to Fort Sumter. 
I am not sure what these remains were, but I found them interesting. I am always intrigued by the possibility of some history. 
Fort Sumter

The brick work was so gorgeous!

The doorway that led to the magazine, where all the ammo was stored. 

They had a museum, with relics. This is the SC flag, notice that it is a palmetto tree. The fronds of these trees are used to weave the baskets that were being sold in the marketplace. 
The old flag that flew over the fort. I loved looking at the way it was woven and trying to figure out the type of thread/yarn used to weave it. 
Once more the cool bridge.
The houses along the shore. 
The bridge, again, as we pulled back into the dock. 
I could just walk for hours and I usually do!
Cool driftwood.
Weird objects that you wish you could take home with you.
I am wearing my favorite shirt and doing one of my favorite things, walking on a beach, feeling the sand between my toes!
My first time to see a horseshoe crab in real life. Odd things they are and rather large. It was exciting to see one.
I found some really stunning, old churches. This one was on Sullivan's Island.
Here is another one that was on Sullivan's Island, too. It was being used as a house. 
The courtyard

Really old.
Cool metal work for the handrail.
Dragon? Serpent?
The doors.
Notice the 2009 on the left pillar. Probably a repair after damage from a hurricane. 
One of the locals recommended Sullivan's Restaurant on Sullivan's Island. I splurged on crab legs. I adore crab legs!
Here I am about to devour me some crab legs. I look excited, don't I? It was a short lived excitement. I had talked to the waitress to make sure that I would be getting REAL butter. Cajun Boilers in Hot Springs does not know the difference. The waitress assured me that it was real butter. Sigh, the poor girl does not know the difference between real butter and melted margarine. I was so disappointed. I honestly don't eat crab legs unless I have real butter. It was very difficult to eat them. I would never recommend a restaurant that serves melted margarine with crab legs and does not know the difference. It is just wrong, so wrong!  I learned a valuable lesson.......never order crab legs at any place but Red Lobster.
On our last day in Charleston, we stopped by a shop that had hand made truffles. This was for Grace our new DIL.
They had one of the most delicious almond croissants that I have ever, ever had. 
Earlier in the week, we discovered that there was a real tea plantation on John's Island. We had to go there. It was just passed the yarn store. I stopped in to get 2 more skeins of a bamboo yarn that I had bought previously. 

The trees at the tea plantation were so beautiful, so beautiful. Doesn't it make you want to take the road ahead? I love when there is a canopy of trees across a road. 

Another beautiful church.
From there, we headed toward home via Columbia, SC to Asheville, NC. We spent the night at Asheville, stopping in at Earth Guild to pick up some Cushing Cotton dyes. We got up and out fairly early the next morning in anticipation of the Blue Ridge Parkway! Top down and heater on!
We were above the clouds!
Went through about 20 or more of these cool tunnels.
The rock faces were lovely, too.
My sweetheart was having a blast driving these twisty roads!
This was a tree called Mountain Ash. The berries were this vivid, vivid red. 
My Mikey at the highest elevation.
We drove all the way from Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway until we were almost at Cherokee NC and then we took the Newfound Gap Road to Gatlinburg, TN. From there we spent our last night at Juliet, TN. Did breakfast at the Athen's Family Restaurant at Nashville. Well, with us being in Nashville, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to visit the Marathon Automobile building and the American Pickers store Antique Archaeology.

The building was very interesting. We had fun roaming the place and taking in the history!

There was a coffee shop in the building. It was called Garage Coffee. 
Cool decor.
Cool mug.
Loved the art work.

This sign was in the American Pickers store. We remembered watching the episode that featured this one.

We remember this episode, too. 
Some cool retro bikes. 

And that, dear friends, is how we started our empty nest! Has it been hard, at times it is a little sad, this passage of time. And at the same time, we are rejoicing in our love for each other and rejoicing with Ben and Grace and their love. This is the natural order of things and I am so blessed to be dealing with an empty nest with a man that I love and who loves me. I am looking forward to this stage in our lives.


Delighted Hands said...

Excellent way to mark a new chapter in your lives! The places you visited were beautiful; so glad you had a great time!

danielle said...

what a wonderful trip! and you got to the American Pickers Store!!!! Neat! No photo of your yarn tho - any projects in mind?

luggenlinda said...

I hope this is where I can contact you with some questions.. they are about the Nostalgic Wrap baby blanket.
My sister was making this for her first grandchild. She got stuck on the edging and gave it to me to figure out. I mostly knit, but do some crochet. On round 1, if you do 3 dc in each ch-2 space (there are 40) that equals 120 sts. Then, there are 3 in each corner. That would be a total of 492 sts. But, it says to pick up 163 sts... is that on the second side? 120 on the first side, 163 on the next, 120 on the next??? this won't be square!! help please.