Friday, November 30, 2012

Nov 30 - A Jaunt to Charleston

I think Cousin Deb's wondering if we'll ever leave... perhaps concerned we've lost our wanderlust... our love of traveling. I mean, we have found our digs here at her country estate very comfortable. And the food has been extraordinary.

Speaking of food, between our almost two week stay with Tim and Chris, and our now going on a week stay with Cousin Deb, I've packed on some weight... am now almost 7 pounds over my ideal fighting weight. There's been a lot of fun and pleasure putting it on which I probably won't experience as it comes off. But come off it must.

Back to Cousin Deb... perhaps as a result of her concern about us and lost wanderlust, yesterday she loaded us in the car and drove us to Charleston, about two hours away. She kept saying "See how much fun traveling can be? New places to experience... New sights to see.  "Going" can be so much fun."

Cousin Deb posing with some crotchety old thing...
and a big tree in the background.
Angel Oak
About 12 miles outside of Charleston, on Johns Island, is one of the largest and oldest Live Oak trees in existence. Estimated to be up to 1,500 years old, the "Angel Oak" is something to see. Live Oak trees don't grow impressively tall... this one's about 66 feet. Rather, it's the dominating spread of it's massive limbs... this one shades some 17,000 square feet. Accurate dating is difficult as Live Oaks often have "heart rot"... are hollow in the middle, meaning the earliest growth rings are gone. But regardless, this old organism is one for the record books.

Downtown Charleston
Dar and I have been to Charleston before, during a business trip to the east coast for a distributor association meeting about 15 years ago. We stayed in a hotel near old town and spent about a day wandering around, taking a walking tour, and absorbing the history.

In Charleston
So it was enjoyable to get re-acquainted with the old place yesterday. Our main objective was to have a late lunch/early dinner (lunner) at Hyman's Seafood Restaurant, which we did. But finding a parking spot in downtown Charleston isn't always easy and while Deb drove Dar and I enjoyed the tour through and around town... taking in the flavor of this historic town. Narrow streets, traffic, people everywhere... tourists, college students, local characters, all emitting positive vibes. History humbles. Nature is in charge... we're reminded as Hurricane Hugo came ashore here in 1989.

It's become a larger town than I remember. If one could stay in the historic part of town the people and hustle and bustle are somehow acceptable... part of the energy and scene. But the stop and go traffic and congestion for mile after mile as one leaves the metro area are like every other big town... it wears me down and saps my spirit.

Thanks Cousin Deb for the tour of the Charleston area. And thanks for reinvigorating our wanderlust. We'll be leaving Sunday.