Last Day in the Deep


In the Grasp


Here I sit zooming across the sky heading west against the jet stream.  Seems like as good as time as any to blog about our last 24 hours in South Carolina.

It started out with a fabulous breakfast.  Virtually every waitress asked not once but at least twice how everything was.  This outfit took teamwork to a new level and this resulted in excellent service and food.  And of course, I loved their biscuits.  Yummy.

Then we drove to Savannah where we parked a car and jumped on a tourist van in the parking lot of the visitor’s center.  A big, heavy set woman with an emphysema-sounding voice conducted a very informative tour of the downtown area of Savannah.  Truly a beautiful city.  With all the squares interspersed throughout, it is an outstanding example of great city planning and it happened in the 1700s.  I think.  Anyway, the oak tree is the state tree…just like CA and FL.  Didn’t know we had anything in common with South Carolina…or Foridah.   But hey, you learn something new every day.  Also learned that many of the mansions in the city center had welcoming hands staircases  that afforded the visitor two ways to climb up to the front door.  Very elegant.  There were also lots of statues and fountains and downtown Savannah may be the only place in the entire state where you can find an accurate street sigh.  It seems the people of South Carolina do not excel in street signage.  The name of the street you might be looking for might be named Petroleum Axelrod Way.  But try and find it.  On the phone app it is called S10-1828 or Chattsworth Parkway.  But It really doesn’t matter because you won’t find a street sign for any of these names.  They just don’t do street signs.  Many times all week long we had to backtrack because we missed the nonexistent sign.  Or if it was existent, it was tucked away as though they really didn’t want you to find it.

And then there is the point in the story when I must take some personal responsibility.  Firstly, we decided to go to S.C. in the first place.  Secondly, we came without Glenda, our Garmin, the creature that gets us where we are going in places we’ve never been before.  Or perhaps we’ve been there before but we forgot how we got there.  She also is adept at locating gas stations, ATMs, grocery stores, golf courses, restaurants, post offices, cupcake shops, hotels, motels…vacation clubs, for god’s sake…all the things that we looked for this week.  But Glenda was home basking in the glove compartment of our car INSTEAD OF IN OUR CARRY-ON.  So…new rule.  No more trips without Glenda (international travel is the exception because I’m too cheap to buy the software which runs into the hundreds of dollars).

But I digress.

We learned all about southern confederate generals and sea grasses.  We found out that crime is a problem and that our tour lady is afraid of bridges because they are high above the water.  Savannah also has one of the largest ports in the nation.  Another thing we learned (not on this tour) is that if you are an out-of-state person that buys a vacation home in South Carolina, you will pay 4% of the assessed evaluation to the S.C. tax assessor.  If you live in S.C. and own a home, you will pay 1% of assessed evaluation.  Now isn’t that interesting?

Ain’t they sweet?


After we took the tour, we hunted down a vinegar and olive oil store that Ruth knew about and she bought some vinegar and then we headed out to Tybee Island to the Crab Shack, a restaurant, who’s motto is “Where the elite come to eat in their bare feet” or some variation of that.  It was unique.  Complete with an alligator pen, we took a few pictures.  Then we planted ourselves under a big old oak tree right at water’s edge and ate crab and shrimp with our sandals on our feet.  The furniture was unique.  Each round table had a hole in the middle where you threw your shells (a big garbage can was underneath).  A good time was had by all.  If you go, don’t go so much for food as the fun.  Just say’in.

Then we headed for the Savannah airport to pick up our rental car.  And just as we got in the car to drive up to Charleston, it started raining.  What great timing.  Luckily it stopped because when it rains here, it really RAINS.  And this is the part of the trip where we got lost about three times because of previously reported signage problems.  Also, because we needed to look at the phone so much, our batteries wore down to less than 10% on both phones.  It was like driving into the gas station on fumes.

We checked into our Best Western Plus which was anything but and it was almost dark.  Rayman announced that he was hungry (we only had 1/4 lb of boiled shrimp and crab stew) for lunch.  So, I announced that first I had to charge my phone and look something up on Yelp.  Yikes.  When I reached into my carry-on to get the cords to the computer/phone…I discovered that they were coated in dark chocolate.  Did I mention that the day was hot and the chocolate was in the my carry-on?  Well, this is what I did.  And that darn chocolate just up and decided to melt all over my cords and the bottom of one of the compartments of my carry-on.  Ugh.  What a MESS.  Yes, it was previously opened.  No, it did not get stored in a baggie.  So.  There you have it.  At this point in the dialog I have to ask the question.  What were we thinking?  More to the point.  What was I thinking?  This faux pas took about 45 minutes of cleaning.  Now… the good news is that my carry-on smells chocolatey.  And it very clean.  Also, it could have been worse.  I could have put the chocolate in the compartment with the computer, Kindle etc.

I’m freezing right now.  The plane air conditioning has gone bonkers.  Apparently it is only affecting about 3 rows in the fuselage and we are in one of the rows.  I picked the seat.  Rayman raised his eyebrows at me.  And you know what that means.  People are turning blue.  Hoodies are on heads.  Less than an hour to go.  Hope I make it!  We change planes in Houston so we’ll get another shot at a warmer seat.

But I digress.

So, at this point a few more overarching observations are in order.  There are a lot of pine trees in the Palmetto state.  They line all the roadways.  They often times hide strip malls.  They always hide road signs.  There really aren’t that many billboards which is a good thing.  Biscuits are the best, best, best and I’m wearing them and the fried chicken I had the other night.  OH, the fried chicken.  Well.  It was a southern thing to do.  So I did it.  At a restaurant called Annie O’s.  But what is so much more memorable is that Beau, our doggie, was home with Aunt Nancy and he found a froggie that Rayman had had since he was a baby which means that this froggie was an antique.  I might have been able to sell it on eBay.  But, alas, that is out of question now because Beau mauled it “to death”.  That stinker.  And Aunt Nancy had emailed or texted me the bad news.  And how this all comes together is that at the restaurant, I repaired to the ladies room where I was greeted with the following.

Caged amphibian


Now, what are the chances of that?  Quite the coincidence, I’d say.  And while on the subject of Beaumeister, apparently he has been eating the tennis balls at the doggie park in our absence.  Oh, that silly dog.  I’m just glad Aunt Nancy didn’t strap him to the roof of her car!!

And did you see that 14 minute trailer of the film harpooning Mohammad?  Talk about causing trouble.  Rayman and I are lightweights compared to the people that did that film.  It just proves to me that there is a fool with money behind every tree.  Who would spend a nickel on that junk?  As Gail Collins pointed out…looked like a bunch of guys who had too many fake beards on their hands…or something like that.   It also illustrates that the rioters are very misguided.  But enough of that.  I only mention it so that if I read this epistle again, I can recall what going on at the time.  I will refrain from pointing out that the Mittster really blew it this week around the embassy communique.

So…the trip is just about history and so am I.  My finger tips are blue and my bare feet are numb (sandals).  But Fleetwood Mac sounds great in my ears.  Listening to my exercise music thru my headphones so that I can wiggle myself to the beat and keep ice from forming on my nose.




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