Recent Getaway Weekend

And by recent I mean 3 months ago.....

Brooke, Marcia and I waited for airline prices to go down and chose early December to visit Charleston. Marcia had been there before but Brooke had not. We arrived in Charleston at 10:00pm Friday night. Lynda picked us up and took us to my parents' condo in downtown Charleston. Lynda and I regaled Brooke and Marcia with family folklore while enjoying Bijou cocktails until we were ready to crash.

The next morning Lynda went off to paddle and Brooke, Marcia and I headed to the Saturday market at Marion Square. After Lynda rejoined us we headed to see some of the other sites. We strolled through the city market where the big item of interest was baked okra. We headed towards the Battery after stopping at a tourist place to pick up a map and almost get talked into listening to a timeshare spiel so we could get $100 off our dinner at Slightly North of Broad (SNOB) later that night.


Brooke has a friend who had a relative that owned a little restaurant/grocery store called the Queen Street Grocery and we thought we would try to find it on our walkabout. What we thought would be a couple of blocks away turned out to be a lot further but we had a very nice walk down streets I had never been on. The guy at the tourist place indicated that the area in which the restaurant was located was outside the tourist area and therefore was unsafe. He was, of course, very wrong and we let the guys running the store know what was being spread to gullible tourists (we counted ourselves in that group since we almost fell for the spiel). It turned out that Brooke's friend's relative had sold the business but we still stayed and had a lovely inexpensive lunch. Their specialty is crepes!

From there we headed back to the condo to take in one more Charleston site - Angel Oak - a 65 foot tall live oak providing 17,000 square feet of shade. Amazing!. We hung out for about half hour and then headed back to the condo to change for dinner and meet up with the rents.


Dinner at SNOB was great. The decor was nice. The waiter, food and wines were good. The activities in the open kitchen were fun to watch. After dinner we went back to the condo and went up to the rooftop which had recently been opened. Lovely sites of the city. We then said good bye to Lynda and headed to Edisto with Mom and Dad.

The next morning we went to the beach and Botany Bay Plantation and drove around the island. We saw dolphins and wild turkeys. On the beach we saw a one legged sandpiper that seemed kinda sad. And when we got too close and he hopped away one from us into the surf his ONE LEG we almost cried from sympathy and guilt. But moments later he nonchalantly pulled his other leg out from where he was hiding it and started looking for food in the sand. Once again we felt like gullible tourists!

chs_2011_one leg_t

Mom made us a nice shrimp pasta dish before we headed to the airport for our 6:00 flight.

Take a look at the pictures!

Hey Y'all

Lots to cover. When you are ready here are the pictures

Thursday Austin and I drove down to Augusta to attend my first dance teacher's 30 year anniversary/retirement performance. it was such a great experience. I was thrilled to be part of it.

The highlight of the weekend was surprising Dianne. Austin and I sat with Debbie and Laura and watched the first half of the dance performance (kids ranging from 2 years of age to high school). (Dianne was busy backstage) During intermission I slipped backstage. When the second half started Dianne was told to sit in the front row and tthe MC, Dianne's sister Barbara who was also surprised to know I was there, announced that I had sent a a video congratulating Dianne. It was shown and then it was announced that there was another surprise - I was there. I walked out, managed to step down 3 steps without tripping and hugged Dianne. She was so surprised. Another friend that I danced with Cathy was also sitting there and she was in total shock.

After the performance we went out to eat and laughed and remembered even more. Much fun!

Other Highlights:

Augusta, Thursday May 29
Easy drive between DC and Augusta. I think we made it in record time.

Non-stop laughter with Debbie, Laura and Cindy. They are such a great family, constantly joking about themselves and each other. It was great fun reminiscing and finding out about their lives over the last 30 years. We yapped a lot so I got to practice my drawl.


Realizing that although southerners can be nice on the outside but not so nice on the inside most southern strangers are generally nice.

Driving around Augusta looking for old schools/hangouts. Austin knew where everything was. I would have gotten totally lost.


Edisto Island, Friday May 30
The drive between Augusta and Edisto is one of my favorites - nice forests, small towns, dilapidated shacks, tin roofs rusted. Austin and I stopped at an antique store where we looked but did not buy. Austin taught the proprietor the difference between Fiesta ware and Harlequin. I was at Edisto for 2 hours during which time I ate lunch and set up our old iMac for Dad and drank a beer (in that order).

Charleston, Friday May 30
Dinner at Blossom's restaurant with Lyla, Tracy, Austin, Lynda and Graeme was great. I had to have the wreckfish because of its name. The waiter was slightly obnoxious but when we mentioned our schedule he took charge and got us out of there in time for Lyla, Tracy and Graeme to get to the opera . When sloe gin fizzes are all the rage again by the end of the year he is going to remember that pretty lady who asked him how they could possibly not have any sloe gin. And Lynda will regret laughing at me too.


Austin, Lynda and I then went to Barnes and Noble and Harris Teeters. I think we made 3 phone calls to each other in each store. It was a lot easier than searching the aisles or yelling.

While Austin helped Lynda hang artwork on the wall I Video chatted with Lenore and Paula who have finally decided to join the club. It was Lenore's birthday. I think they celebrated mostly by eating lots of pie. Sounds perfect!

Rehana's 40th Party, Saturday May 31
Tahir and Rehana are NASA Goddard friends who I have known a long time although I hardly see either of them any more. Tahir planned a great party at a local hotel. The best part was the dancing. There was a great mix of disco, 80s and Bollywood dance music. My friend Saima and her 2 sisters were there and they knew the steps to the Bollywood songs so everyone gathered around and tried to follow along. I did not do too badly. We danced to two of my all-time favorites. It was so much fun.

Chaiya Chaiya


Dola Re Dola