Posts filed under ‘travels’

Wedding Weekend

Charleston is a lovely city. How it has been that I’ve only just visited is beyond my comprehension. I spent this holiday weekend celebrating with my friends and approving of their matrimony πŸ˜‰ in a truly wonderful city.

The drive is a bit long, but has inspired me to do more weekend trips throughout the fall – outside of my requisite quarterly trip to Ohio and Las Vegas. Man, another Vegas trip is looming in the very near future. Have I mentioned that I am kinda over Las Vegas?

Driving through the Tennessee / North Carolina Smokey Mountains was beautiful and I am planning a trip to Ashville, North Carolina for October to enjoy the fall foliage. However, this weekend the mountains were green and lush and Smokey! And by that I mean foggy and misty. Traversing South Carolina isn’t as picturesque until you get closer to the coast. Palm trees and pine trees co-mingle along the highway. The wedding took place in a suburb of Charleston, Mt. Pleasant – closer to the beach near Ilse of Palms. Very golf-y and vacation-y. But Charleston proper seemed like a British version of New Orleans (who’s French and Spanish heritage is heavily evident).

Some highlights:

Old South Carriage Company
buggy tours. Did this on Saturday, before the evening wedding. We had an awesome tour guide, Becky, who had lots of interesting stories – see my flickr for deets. One of my favorite stories revolved around the Old City jail and how haunted it is. I also like the explanation for the porch ceilings that are painted blue: keeps ghosts away (because it looks like daylight blue skies) and keeps wasps from building nests (don’t know why), but I’ll be damned, every dang porch has a blue ceiling.

Magnolia’s Restaurant
.
Ate here for lunch on Saturday. I should have gotten the shrimp and grits, if for no other reason to compare it to my own, but instead I got the Low-country Bouillabaisse. YUMMO! The crab bisque I tasted was good, but more like a crab chowder. Hey! I am NOT complaining. The Parmesan crusted flounder was also quite delicious. Go here if you get a chance. The atmosphere is great and East Bay Street is lined with the cutest shops and restaurants. I could have spent a lot more time strolling in this neighborhood. I’ll go back to Magnolias!

Palmetto Cafe
in the Charleston Place hotel. Lovely hotel restaurant. Not as nice as the Charleston Grill, which is also at this hotel, but nice just the same. The brunch menu is killer. I ate there twice! Once had she crab soup and crab cakes, both amazing, and a egg white / lobster / crab omlette another day. HEAVENLY!

Charleston Black Cab Company
. They are based at the Charleston Place hotel and while pricey, they are a very stylish way to get around town. Imported London cabs (minus the charming cabbies) look very cool on the old fashioned streets of downtown Charleston. Used CBCC to go to dinner and back – super timely and just so roomy! Loved them.

Coast
. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe high-end Micheal Mina type seafood, but what I got was a delicious crab shack. Clearly, I over dressed. This place was super duper casual. They specialize in seafood and low country fare, as well as rum drinks. Charleston after all WAS a pirate port, similar to Savannah and New Orleans. I tried a “Dark and Stormy” – which was dark rum, ginger beer, lemon and lime. Yum – glad I only had one. Started with crab dip – very thick and rich, served with sour dough bread…not awesome – the crab was shelly and I think water crackers or something besides heavy bread would have been a better accoutrement. Then had fried green tomatoes, a favorite of mine, but these were slightly disappointing. The batter wasn’t a cornmeal dusting that I prefer, but rather a thicker, flakier batter. So, there must be two schools of thought when frying green tomatoes: cornmeal vs flour for the batter. Which is to say, someone else might really prefer fried green tomatoes THIS way. The tomatoes themselves where perfectly green and tart. YUM. Then had a delicious lobster ceviche. Delicious. Really. But not what I should have ordered. I ought to have gone whole hog and got some large ridonkulous fish dish. Don’t bother watching what you eat there – you’ll be disappointed and end up wishing you ordered what your friends did.

Part II coming up…stay tuned…

September 4, 2007 at 7:40 pm Leave a comment

Wedding Highlight

Here is my good friend Jen throwing her bouquet…and her friends fighting over it. HILARIOUS American tradition.

I wish the lighting had been better. Oh well – as soon as I upgrade my personal computer, I’ll be getting a video camera. You know, just so I have one more thing to schlep around on my travels. πŸ˜€

September 4, 2007 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

Snappy Snapperson

Well well well…I have just gifted myself with a new digital camera for my big weekend getaway! I’ve been shopping around with a certain budget in mind for a pretty good camera – obvs. I found just the camera: Canon PowerShot A640. WOOT! I heart it already.

Ok, it lacks the flexibility of higher end cameras and SLRs – clearly, AND it isn’t a hot little purse camera. HOWEVER, it takes cool ass pics and has a bangin pivoting 2.5-inch LCD. The screen can tilt up for shooting at chest level, tilt down for shooting over crowds, or even flip all the way around for taking self-portraits (heh heh – gratuitous self-lurve). I was torn on its size as it runs on AA-batteries (gross, but can be charged via DC adapter), but I really really loved all of the functionality. Really, it is a baby step for me to the pricier, more intimidating SLRs. In an attempt to take a wider variety of pictures, I feel I need these features. Not that I am tired of taking sloppily framed snaps of drunken friends in bars, I just want a little variety. So, I’ll probably be taking my cousin’s Casio Exilim 10 mega pixel camera off his hands for just that very purpose.

Anyway, this dang thing is a bit on the complicated side. We’ll see how I do. Stay tuned.

My first pic!small-cornfused.jpg

August 29, 2007 at 3:22 pm 4 comments

Summer In the Corps

Well, when I was home this weekend for my parents’ 35 wedding anniversary (YAY!), my sister told me she wants to volunteer next summer in the Peace Corps. She is a teacher at South High School in Ohio and spends 9 months out of the year helping her students. Why not help other kids the other 3 months out of the year?! I think it is a great idea and I am so proud of her!

She was a Rotary Exchange Student, like I was, but didn’t like being so far away from home for a full academic year (unlike me). So this summer program is a perfect fit! PLUS she would go some place really interesting like China. HOWEVER, since it is a summer project, she would have to pay for her flight and her accommodations. WHAT?! That is bunk. So, I’ll be setting up a blog for her to talk about her motivation and her trials and tribulations online and to collect donations by inserting a PayPal donate button on her blog. That way, family, friends, dear anonymous internet donors, can help her make a difference not only in her community but in a community on the other side of the globe.

Stay tuned – I’ll link to her blog here when we have it up and running. The hard part will be to get her to post stuff to it. LOL. I guess I had better start by donating a digital camera to her cause!

August 20, 2007 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

Happy VACAY Day!

Have a great weekend, ya’ll – I am outtie. Don’t be too jealous – I am only driving to Ohio. Driving. Ohio. Generally, not a super combo. But, Frankie is my co-pilot – I’ll be sure to get some pictures of him in his doggles – and that makes the drive more fun.

Talk to you on Monday!

August 16, 2007 at 4:43 am 1 comment

Ve-gizzle

How many times have I been to Las Vegas recently? Like about a zillion. I am so sick of Las Vegas I can barely stand it. BUUUUUUUT, I went for the first time ever with a bunch of chicks a few weeks ago and it was the most fun I’d had in ages.

We stayed at Mandalay Bay and I would stay there again in a heart beat. Mendy and I got there early and decorated our room very “bachelorette” – wild girl police tape, penis guns, raunchy pics, the works. We weren’t there but 2 minutes before a knock was heard at the door, “Did somebody order a stripper?”! WHAT?! Some dude decided to be flirty and just see what was behind door number 1. Hilarious. Dale, the pretend stripper. He was pretty cute.

Moorea, the ‘european’ pool at Mandalay, was the scene of numerous crimes and some old fashioned dirt-baggery. I saw a LOT more silicone than I had bargained for, but what are you gonna do? I think I’d rather do that than go to hot night clubs – water, cold drinks, sunshine, tunes – loved it. I think I’ll pony up for VIP next time tho. But hey, John Mayer was there on Sunday, so it couldn’t be all that bad!

I even managed a work out. All in all, the best trip I’ve ever had to the desert. Now I can’t wait to go back. Halloween weekend is a possibility…

August 14, 2007 at 3:38 pm 1 comment

Bringing Frenchie Back

Anyone who knows me well is very aware that 90% of my stories start off with: “One time, in France…” So, yeah, I lived there for quite some time and I am every bit the Francophile. And as such, have taken some lumps over the years due to the American way: complete and utter refusal to dare to like the French. Perhaps to do so might project: 1) an obscure approval of socialism, 2) intellectual snobbery, 3) good taste, or 4) healthy understanding of the “au contraire” – none of which are regular flavors on an American palate.

Many Americans propagate stereotypes of the French that were developed during WWI, you know, the very early XXth century, when most of Europe was at war…tough times. To say the French don’t bathe, well, frankly, I’ve met plenty of Americans who don’t either. It is just an ignorant thing to say. Another thing I love to rant about is the rampant Northeast Superiority Complex (NESC)…like NO ONE ELSE IN THE UNIVERSE (outside of New England) can release glutamate at a synapse that binds to NMDA receptors on the surface of the “listening” neuron (read: think). So you can imagine my reaction to this perfect storm of NESC and pure bigotry towards the French…

Basically, this douche from Boston says:

β€œYes, the French may be many things β€” arrogant, supercilious, self-righteous. They may use too much cream in their cooking, not bathe frequently enough, and insist on their narcissistic notion that, Civilization β€” il est France. But on Iraq, they were right. Pure and simple.”

Ok, by even saying any of that, he not only shows terminal signs of NESC, but also illustrates just how self-righteous he is. Hilarious. Hypocrites are like vampires, they can never see themselves in the mirror, how hideous they are. I am pretty sure that if we asked Wiktionary it would say that is racism. I mean, if Ted Reinstein got on the news and said that Mexicans do not bathe frequently and use too much spice in their cooking YOU KNOW latino organizations would be on him like white on rice and he could say Adios! to his paycheck.

So I am on a personal quest to do like Mr. Timberlake and bring the Frenchie back…

March 28, 2007 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

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