Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Much Needed Visit to See Family and Friends - Good Peeps, Good Food and Drink, Good Times-July 2017

I really needed this vacation. Before I could begin a summer of house repairs and creative projects, I had to see some family and friends, even if they did try to kill me in the heat of the south. :)

I really should be to bed by now, 9:14 pm EST, because I'm exhausted from a long trip, but I just had to show you some of the fun I had on this summer trip.

Here is my buddy Keddy G. I love visiting him.
I know some would be upset at a dog sitting on a chair at the table. No worries, he doesn't eat at the table, he just wants to be a part of the group.
 Here is Keddy's friend Zoe. How cute is she? Such a small pup.

Don't be jealous if you can't fit your pup in a leopard bag. It's not for everyone.
Donna is a retired teacher from Schoharie Elementary School. Her friends made her this gorgeous quilt upon her retirement. She has it hanging on a wall above a bed in a guest room. It's just too beautiful to keep folded up in a chest. The quilt has a beach theme. She is so lucky to have such thoughtful friends. I like the way the quilt is hung on a rod with starfishes at the ends. I stole this idea to hang a quilt for my daughter which you will see later on in this post. 


Our friends, Donna and Art, took us to the NC Aquarium to see the Lorikeets. It was really a fun adventure. Well, for most of us. 




We purchased nectar to feed the birds. It took a little coaxing to get the birds to drink because everyone was feeding them. The bird keepers said they were probably full. After many bird blasts (we really did need helmets) the birds eventually wanted to eat more.


The party pooper, Rich, was very skeptical of this adventure. He hates getting dirty and especially hates bird "doo doo".  Wouldn't you know it, Rich gets a little spot of Lorakeet poop on his shirt and it ruins his day. Notice the tiny little spot on his shirt below his ear. Oh, my Lord!!  Secretly, though, I think he liked the bird on his hand. 


We had lunch at a popular place called Flaming Amy's in Wilmington. I kid you not, the burritos were as big as footballs! Very tasty too. If you are ever in Wilmington and love Mexican food, you must seek out this restaurant.
Yes, it really was 112 degrees out. I love being with my friends, but I just can't take the summer heat in the south. I really want to move to the south in four years, however, I think the summer days will be spent inside working on projects that I should be posting here instead of my travel posts. 
Donna and Art's garden at their home in Brunswick Forest is beautiful.

The BlackFinn is a new restaurant in the Wilmington harbor. Another winner with great food and satisfying drink. 

For an appetizer, we had fried deviled eggs. OMG! I've never heard of such a thing. This is the first recipe I'm going to try to make at home. They are the bomb! The batter was panko crumbs and very light. When I make them maybe I will post.
This chicken blt tacos were delicious.

On to the beach. The last time I went to Charleston in 2015 during the summer, I thought it was the hottest day in my life I had spent outdoors. For some reason, really hot and humid weather and I just don't get along.
This is at Wrightsville Beach. I tried the best I could for the team, however, Rich says I was just about to collapse of heat exhaustion.
Look how comfy Art is while I'm up almost wretching in the bathrooms. Sorry friends, I think I went beyond my limit on this day.

The last supper in NC: Grilled shrimp, chicken and veggie kabobs. Art really is a great cook. He has a great marinade for london broil, but for now, it's top secret.
Sunday AM we started out to Charleston. The rainbow was a good sign. 
If you've never been on Rt. 17 going into Charleston, the Sweetwater basket stations are a sight to see. Click on the link above to learn about the history of these baskets.  There are many stations along the highway into Mount Pleasant and Charleston. They are beautiful and intricate handmade pieces of art and history. They are expensive and I'm saving my pennies to purchase one the next time I go to the south. 
You can call Rich and me creatures of habit. For the past 38 years, we've headed to the beaches of Maine for our vacations during the summer.  The ocean is cold, the sand is cool, the coastline rocky and the beach with its northern breeze is tolerable for me.  Once we park our car, the beach is right there. I've never seen a pier in ME, but I haven't been to Old Orchard Beach either. 
The south is different. I love the access ways to the beaches. Open plank walkways or dirt paths add a sense of anticipation when walking these paths to the beach.  You must wear your shoes though, especially if you have tender feet like me. The sand is SCORCHING! 
Here we are on another beach day that I'm trying my best to "do it for the team" on Sullivan's Island. Historic, ritzy, beautiful and quaint all in one. The beach isn't crowded and for the most part, the people very friendly.  


Another hot day and I had to retire to the AC in the car. Didn't I miss the gathering of the sand dollars? Yup. These are just awesome to see in their natural habitat. Black means they are alive and they go back into the water. ( Shhh... most of them did. )
Low tide, marshes, pluff mud: they say it has a strange smell, but I didn't notice. Does that mean I'll fit right in here someday?
This is the Sullivan's Island Connector Bridge to Charleston. I love the weather. In my next life, I think I'll be a meteorologist. I'm fascinated by thunderstorms, hurricanes, and even though I lost a home to Hurricane Irene; the power of these storms intrigues me. The bridge below was "crampled", (hehe, new word) during Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Where was I then? A mom with two kids, finishing up a degree at Oneonta to become a teacher. Click on the link to learn more about Hugo and its effects in the south.
Good pizza on Sullivan's Island. 

This is one of Shannon's co-workers, Jera. A funny girl and someone you need to ask for if you ever visit Mex 1 Coastal Cantina on Sullivan's Island
Mex 1 on Sullivan's recently branded their own tequila.  Follow them on Facebook for their adventures into Mexico and learn how they did this.





My girl's "Blonde Bloody Mary". Full of fantastic flavor. You mustn't pass it up if you visit  Mex 1 on Sullivan's Island.
Blonde Bloody Mary and Shrimp Quesadilla. Did I tell you yet the food and drink are excellent?
I'm always keeping up with my work peeps. Molly is having a great time in California this week. :)

On to the Charleston Market in historic, downtown Charleston.


The Sweetwater Rice Baskets are abundant here.
And, Oh!, these Lemon Tea Cookies: Irene M. just can't get enough of them. Well here you go Irene, her website: http://www.southernsistersbakers.com/
The historic market building facade. 
Daughter and dad.
Love these little nooks and cranies in the city.


 
Lots of churches, thus, the Holy City. 
The next section of houses in downtown Charleston are posted because I made my daughter drive around "below Broad St." to find the settings of the recent series of books I've read by Karen White.  Strange you say? The first time Shannon and I visited Wilmington she made me drive to all the settings of the series "One Tree Hill." Payback time. LOL.
The setting of the series I'm reading is at 55 Tradd St. in Charleston. Funny thing is, there is no 55 Tradd St. While I was out snapping photos (okay, yes very touristy of me), she contacted SIRI who said Karen White's book is loosely based on a house that is located at 125 Tradd St. Yeah.. so let's drive around and around one way streets to find this place. Eventually, we did. I could see the resemblance of the setting written about in the books I read.

This is 54 Tradd Street.
56 Tradd Stree is the yellow building. 
This is 125 Tradd Street. From what I've read in Karen White's books, this could easily be the setting for them.


I love the architecture of the buildings here. The next trip will be visiting more of the houses here.  These are just random houses I took pics of.






Here is the quilt Grandma Rita gave Shannon for this Christmas past. After seeing how my friend Donna hung hers, I did almost the same for Shannon's quilt. Hello: Scotch Command Strips. Put two of these babies on the wall and hung a rod, then used clip - rings to attach the quilt to the rod. Fool proof. 


We are now headed to Folly Beach. I requested this trip because it was the setting of another Karen White book I read. Didn't have as much luck on this trip as I did on the last. 
I was hoping to find the bookstore in the book: On Folly Beach. I know it's changed by now, but one can't help to look at the history of where it might have been. 
Beautiful beach flora. 

 
Folly Beach pier. 
Shannon and Michael's hobby is to collect shark teeth on the beach. I've never found one and my friend Art swears Shannon and Michael buy them. Well, they don't buy them. Shannon found these gems and Rich found a couple too. Me? I was in the car with the AC running. LOL. 





The last day in Mount Pleasant. We are headed to The Fish House on Charleston Harbor.



 The last supper. Fish Dip and Flatbread. Yum.
 What they call, Petite Salad is big enough to share with Rich.
 Rich enjoyed Shrimp and Grits.
I had Surf and Turf. Never before, but this looked too good to pass up.  Michael and I had this. Wasn't too keen on peeling the shrimp but it was good none the less.
Shannon had a fish dish. Not sure what it was, but she said she was hungry when we left. 

Great display. Maybe I can tie some sort of knot now.

Love the harbor with the aircraft carrier and new bridge in the background. When I see these, I always think of Mike and Zachary West.



A selfie without me. :) I like it.
Where did you travel to this summer? Have any of you traveled to Charleston? I'd love to hear of your adventures.
In one of my posts in the future, I hope to share with your some of the southern recipes I just need to try.

Enjoy the summer of 2017 everyone!