Sunday, June 23, 2019

Leaving Charleston

The city of Charleston, in the green feathery modesty of its palms, in the certitude of its style, in the economy and stringency of its lines, and the serenity of its mansions South of Broad Street, is a feast for the human eye.
                                           Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline.

If I were able to compose a sentence like the one above, I would. My writing is far more pedestrian. I was trained in journalism and was told by the advisor to our college student newspaper to "put the hay down where the mules can reach it". Somehow my simple style  survived the corrupting influence of law school and has served me well. But I am no Pat Conroy.

So here are some thoughts about Charleston. We have spent just over three weeks here. The boat has been at the Charleston Maritime Center, which has proved to be the best possible location for walking the city. All of the other Charleston marinas are not within easy walking distance of the main parts of town. We are a mere block from the grocery and an easy walk to shopping and dining. We are on a busy part of the harbor, just north of where the Carnival Sunshine comes and goes on Bahamas cruises every four days, and just south of the main cargo port facilities. Sightseeing boats come and go from the Maritime Center, and we are at a main stop for the water taxi. Our only minor complaint is the occasional rough water. But we do get rocked to sleep at night.

Our dogs have done well staying on the boat, and tending to their needs has led us to dog-friendly beaches and parks that we would have never discovered without them. They are time-consuming and sometimes sleep-disrupting, but we would not have wanted to be without them for this length of time.

Charleston has been not only a feast for the eyes, but also simply a feast. The spectacular food available here is nothing short of magical for a city this size. We have eaten our way through the city, and if anyone wants a list of recommended restaurants, I will be glad to furnish it.

More important than the sights, shopping, food, and drink have been memorable good times with friends old and new. From The Ford Plantation, Dwight and Jennifer Davies joined us overnight on the boat our second night here to celebrate my birthday at "Chez Nous". They got a quick taste of living on a boat, and we hope they will join us again soon for a longer visit. We got in a lunch and visit with Thomas George, son of Rebecca George Ogden from Ford. We toured the old building he is renovating into a bar and wine club. From Birmingham, our old and dear friends Bob and Ashley Spotswood were in town for four days, and joined us for sightseeing and dining experiences at several of the best restaurants here. Finally, also from Ford, our good friends Austin and Marti Sullivan were in town for just one evening a week ago. We met up with them where they were staying in a friend's charming old home on Meeting Street, proceeded to the private rooftop garden of another friend of theirs for cocktails, where we were joined by another couple, and then our party of eight had an amazing Italian dinner at "Coda del Pesce" on Isle of Palms.

While here, we met up one day for lunch with Brantlee De Brux, my daughter's best friend from college, who is a successful real estate agent in Mt. Pleasant. Her dear parents Sumter and Clydie invited us to join them, their extended family, and several friends and neighbors for a fish fry on Sullivan's Island last night. It was truly a fabulous evening full of charming and interesting people. We haven't laughed as much in a while. A great evening amongst a family full of love.

So now the trip is coming to an end. The lovely Laura Lee leaves tomorrow with our dogs and car. I move the boat Wednesday to a boatyard to have it hauled out for bottom paint, stabilizer service, and a few other needed maintenance items. It should be completed by the end of July.

Charleston is a "feast for the human eye", a mere two-hour drive from home. We shall be back.

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