31 October 2017

Making the Halloween rounds

Happy Halloween 2017, Charleston, SC  
There is nothing I like better on holiday evenings than watching all the fun pictures come in on social media. What a creative crowd my friends and family members are. Not having little ones around I especially love the kiddie pictures.

This was my merry band of hospital volunteers dressed as Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. We all contributed candy and they roamed the hospital treating employees and visitors to a sweet treat. I guess that is reverse trick or treating. Happy Halloween to all! Be safe. 

30 October 2017

NICO's on Shem Creek

NICO Oysters & Seafood, Mt. Pleasant, SC     
I've had many a good meal prepared by Chef Nico when he was at Fish Restaurant. Now he has opened his own restaurant on Shem Creek called NICO's Oyster & Seafood Restaurant. This evening was a celebration and the restaurant was packed with friends wishing him well and celebrating the opening.

Check out the details and menu here: NICO.

The parking lot was packed but my understanding is that free valet parking will be a regular option. Congrats Nico and team!

29 October 2017

Church Island Adventure

Church Island, Lake Marion, SC    
Ever since I learned there was an island with a historic cemetery on it on Lake Marion, I've been determined to get there. I don't have a boat and it seemed a bit far for a kayak adventure. It was. I found a fishing guide who was willing to take us on our excursion and filled his boat with friends looking for old tombstones rather than the giant catfish he is accustomed to. My friend Martha Rose already wrote a nice piece about our day so I will quote her here:
Church Island is the nickname given to a cemetery that is now only accessible via boat.
Church Island wasn’t always called “Church Island” - as it was never intended to be an island.
Back in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the S.C. Public Service Authority (commonly called Santee Cooper nowadays) began snatching up land and condemning it for the purpose of damming the Santee River to form Lake Marion for the purpose of a hydroelectricity project.
As a result of government greed, many plantations, burial grounds, Native American sites and more were lost to the waters of Lakes Marion and Moultrie.
Church Island is a fortunate example of graves that weren’t lost to the flooding efforts to create Lake Marion.
Originally, this site held an Episcopal church, which was sometimes called The Rocks Church, because of its proximity to the former Rocks Plantation.
Once the state government inundated properties and the nearby lands began to fill with water, the church deconsecrated the site as the place to house the church, but the site remained consecrated as the church cemetery.
The church relocated to Eutaw Village, now known as Eutawville, and is the current The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany.
It was a joyous day to see the cemetery and perfect weather for a boat ride with friendly souls.
It was a perfect day. The weather held, we enjoyed a stop for lunch at Sweatman's famous BBQ restaurant on the way, no one was bitten by a snake and we all enjoyed each other's company. Our Captain was terrific so if anyone is interested in lake fishing he is definitely your man. Check out his website at: Catfishinfool

26 October 2017

Some things never change

Backroads, SC   
I took this exact same picture years ago! It was a favorite then so when I spotted it again I had to grab an update. I didn't need to rush. This vehicle isn't going anywhere anytime soon, is it?

Happy Thursday kids! I am going to the Symphony Pop concert tonight like a grown up.

25 October 2017

Step right up!

Carriage Stone, Charleston, SC  
I assumed this stone was designed to help passengers step up into a carriage. I googled around to discover an entire Catalog of Carriage steps in the Historic District of Charleston: Paving the Way to Understanding the Historic Streetscape of Charleston by Craig Garrison.

In fact his cover photo appears to be of exactly the same one I took a snapshot of. This is even more fun now that the author is a facebook friend of mine and the stones were recently featured in a Post & Courier article that also mentioned his research. I wouldn't have known any of this if I hadn't happened to have taken the photo and tried to learn about the stone. The internet is an amazing place. Thanks Craig!
Post & Courier: It’s been almost a century since residents (not tourists) got around Charleston by horse and carriage, but one wouldn’t know that by looking at the city’s sidewalks.
At least 105 large stones, or carriage steps, still dot the public right of way downtown, evidence of a time when women and children hopped onto horses like they now pile into cars.
College of Charleston anthropology student Craig Garrison regularly walked his dog by one such stone and became so intrigued that he spent much of this summer counting them.

23 October 2017

Who needs a broomstick?

Branchville, SC   
This witch has upgraded!

That was some rain storm we had this evening in Charleston. I am glad I wasn't out driving in it. Hope y'all are home safe and dry. 

22 October 2017

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - Cummings Chapel

Cummings Chapel, Dorchester County, SC   
Sometime a flash of color down a back road leads to a wonderful find and this morning's addition to our Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance series. This is Cummings Chapel built in 1875 in Dorchester County. The church and cemetery appear to be meticulously maintained. I took the interior shot through the window.

21 October 2017

Avondale mural update

Avondale Murals, Charleston, SC    
This morning's walk took me behind the shops at Avondale so I was able to update my mural collection. Carry on folks! You delight me. 

19 October 2017

Charleston gates

Tradd St., Charleston, SC    
There is always something interesting to discover on a walk in the historic part of Charleston. There will always be an interesting gate to look over, an alley to explore or secret garden to see. That is my worry about our new construction. Walking upper Meeting St. with offices, hotels and new construction is mind numbingly boring. I don't know the solution. Do we have to wait another hundred years for any character to develop? 

17 October 2017

Shades of gray

Charleston, SC   
Shades of gray on the home, shutters and window boxes. It isn't a color palette I would consider but somehow it all works! The planters still look lush and green but we had our first slightly cool day today. The weather is delicious.

Check out this delicious caramel pie I was treated to yesterday for bosses day. It is so rich I've been able to cut tiny slivers and share it generously. This is the caramel pie from O'Charley's restaurant. Someone was listening to what I like! Thanks ladies. I didn't let myself bring it home last night because I would have been in a sugar coma.

Caramel Pie
On Sunday night I was fortunate to attend the Feed the Need benefit in the Cedar Room at the Cigar Factory. Thanks to all the restaurant owners, food and beverage staff and chefs who cooked our amazing dinner, funds were raised to feed the hungry in our community.

Feed the Need Benefit, Cigar Factory

16 October 2017

Hutchinson House, Edisto Island

Hutchinson House, Edisto Island, SC    
Built by a newly freed enslaved gentleman known as one of the "Black Kings of Edisto" for his wife, this charming home is one I have wanted to see and finally had the chance on Saturday. We couldn't get to close to it but I was delighted to happen upon it as we toured Edisto Island. What a charming home. It is sad to see it in ruins but a happy relief to learn that it will finally be restored.
Post & Courier: EDISTO ISLAND — Not long after the Civil War, some newly freed slaves on this sea island were able to prosper, to the point where they got the nickname "the black kings of Edisto."  Henry  Hutchinson was the son of one of these kings, and Hutchinson's late 19th century home, built next to the island's first black-owned cotton gin, signaled how quickly fortunes were improving for some in the wake of the war.  His two-story home included three dormers and eaves decorated with stylish Victorian detail, while a wraparound porch gave Hutchinson and his wife, Rosa Swinton Hutchinson, a grand view of their field and even of the distant marsh.
You may donate to the Edisto Open Land Trust for preservation here: Edisto Open Land Trust 
Take an inside tour with my friend Brandon Coffey: Youtube
Check out my friend, artist Charlotte Hutson Wrenn's painting here: Charleston Through an Artist's Eye

15 October 2017

Swallow Bluff Plantation

Swallow Bluff Plantation, Edisto Island, SC  
I lined my shot up as closely as I could to match the beautiful painting by Andrea Hazel of the dovecotes at Swallow Bluff Plantation that was on the guide book to yesterday's Edisto & Beyond tour. I was one of the lucky ones who snagged a ticket to the sold out tour and had such a lovely time.

We visited churches, plantations, saw the Hutchinson home and topped the day with dinner at Ella & Ollies on Edisto Beach with Chef Philip Bardin. I will have more pictures of the day but these dovecotes at Swallow Bluff Plantation delighted my eye from the moment I saw the beautiful painting on the cover of the tour booklet.

14 October 2017

A healthy start to the weekend

Avondale 5K 2017, Charleston, SC   
The Avondale 5K ran right past my house this morning. I didn't even have to walk to the run to grab a shot. I believe they took care of my exercise obligations for the weekend. Thanks team!

11 October 2017

Down the alley

Charleston, SC    
Love the iron work on the upper porch on this house tucked away on one of Charleston's alleyways.  They actually fit a joggling board on the porch.

10 October 2017

Window boxes

Window boxes, Charleston, SC    
Charleston's window boxes are so lovely all year long it shames me and I fully intend to come directly home and spruce up my yard and plants. I don't of course, but I fully intend to at that moment. Well done, homeowners and thank you. 

09 October 2017

Teeny, tiny buildings of Charleston

Charleston, SC  
Teeny, tiny buildings. I love them. You know I do.

In other news, I didn't make my 10,000 steps today. It's already getting dark too early. I headed in at around 6,500 steps so must assume I walked 3,500 during the period that my phone was charging at work rather than logging steps.

In tastier news, I made these individual sized Fruit & Cream Cheese Breakfast Pastries for brunch yesterday and they turned out exactly as advertised and were easy-peasy with prepared puff pastry.

07 October 2017

Teeny, tiny buildings - St. George

Elba's Puppy Love Pet Grooming, St. George, SC   
I trust no one in St. George, SC has a big dog since this is Elba's Puppy Love Pet Grooming business. Cute, I tell ya. Cute.

Ahoy there!

Magnolia Rd., Charleston, SC   
It must be October! I spotted this boat boarding and ready to take off on Magnolia Road last night as I walked down to Avondale for a quick bite at Gala Desserts (desserts, tapas, paninis and wine).  On my return I was lucky to catch Daniel D. in action on the lawn by the Schoolhouse as part of the MOJA festival. What a treat!

06 October 2017

If you miss the train I'm on, you will know that I am gone...

Salters, SC   
Some time ago I happened to mention on social media the direction we were driving on country roads and suggestions started flowing in of places to see. It was quite wonderful. My friend Brandon suggested a quick detour to the old train depot station of Salters, SC. Thanks Brandon!

In other news, it is the weekend. Celebrate!