Charlestonians For A Weekend

Jeff and I were the first up, him fighting the temperamental Kuerig and me procrastinating on updating the blog. After a while the rest of the family and Amanda woke up and a hearty breakfast of waffles, sausage, and scrambled eggs with veggies. Melissa had to work today, her last day before the holiday break, but Jeff, Allison, ourselves and Uncle Wayne were all headed out for a day downtown in Charleston.

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Jeff and Allison led the tour showing us the church where the recent shooting took place, explaining how the strength and unity of the city shined through the horrific event. We explored the Charleston City Market, looking at the traditional sweet grass baskets and other goods for sale. Hungry for lunch we were lured in by the smell of barbeque and a sign proclaiming burnt ends! Melissa snuck out of work for a while to join us, a pleasant surprise. After the delicious food, Jeff and I sampled the whiskey him guiding me through the complexities of the drink.

Our exploration took us to Waterfront Park to view the Ravenel Bridge, the distant Fort Sumter, and beauty of the waterfront. The final stop on the sights and taste of Charlestons Waterfront District was a required visit to The Griffin, a divey place full of craft beers and dollar bills stuck to every surface imaginable. We took our place sticking dollar bills to the walls and any surface that inspired us. Stapling a dollar bill to bricks is an art.

Back at Allison’s house we relaxed and ordered Chinese food for dinner. Eventually we all retired to a bed, a lowkey ending to a full day.


Awake with coffee but no breakfast food, Uncle Wayne and I walked to the grocery store to stock up on eggs and assorted accompaniments. Amanda and Allison drove to a nearby bagel shop to complete the breakfast spread. It has been a long time since I had a good New York style bagel and their bagels hit the mark.

After breakfast and a bit of lazing around, Allison treated us with a ride over to their Boat Club. Everyone had a drink and enjoyed the view of the water. Uncle Wayne had made some new friends and was hard-pressed to leave them.

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Back at Allison’s house I was told we needed a fire with a good bed of embers and set off to gather some wood and start burning it down. Eventually Jeff, Melissa and the kids all came over making it a house full of laughter. At dinner time we learned what the fire was for as Jeff and Gus, the dog, cleaned massive bags of oysters and proceeded to steam them over the fire pit. A first for us and a delicious social meal!!!


Like all good breaks, they must come to an end and our adventure must continue. We shared a final morning’s breakfast and Melissa drove us to the car rental to pick up our awaiting car. The decision was made to drive to Ft. Myers due to the 600 mile distance and only 4 days to complete it in. Our legs would never survive a 4 days of 125 mile riding. As was in Seinfeld the car we reserved was unavailable and we were upgraded to a car many times larger.

Back at the house we removed the wheels from both bikes and packed our gear like sardines into the car we were now thankful for getting. Goodbyes were said and several goofy photos were taken, family is always fun and these moments are the ones we will treasure.

 

Driving in a car was unusually fast and road-tripping is a distant, but familiar memory. Not wanting backtrack several hundred miles we stopped in Savannah for a coffee and a slow drive in circle after circle people watching and commenting on the abundance of parks. A most likely bad decision was made to bypass The Hostel in the Forest, there is always another day…

Crossing another state line into the Sunshine state we got as comfortable in the rental car; the ride was brutally long and was a foreshadow into our biking future in Florida. We missed out on the free oranges at the Welcome Center, but that may have been for the best. Several traffic jams and a few detours we finally got back onto the incredibly fast US-75. The flick of a pedal and we were screaming 75 mph down the road! What would have taken a week took hours and we pulled into Millers Ale House in Fort Myers for a brew poured by the southernmost Campbell, Nicole!

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