Saturday, August 20, 2016

The 2016 "East Coast Tour" - Part One

So I left Alameda Thursday night for my once-a-year trip back East to see son Michael in South Carolina, daughter Beth in Connecticut, and all the rest of the family and friends that I "left behind" when I moved to California nearly two years ago.  My friend Jane took me to Oakland airport where I caught the 9:24pm redeye flight to Charlotte, North Carolina by way of JFK airport in New York (where I changed planes in the very very early morning).

I got to Charlotte and picked up my rental car.  I hit upon a great idea at the Enterprise counter. . . .  The guy started trying to sell me on all the "bells and whistles" like an upgrade (tho the Toyota Camry is comfortable enough for me), pre-paying for the gas tank fill-up (which I turned down), the added fee for renting their GPS (told him I had brought my own), and finally - when he got to the "hard-sell" of buying the insurance - I got him to stop when I said to him "I think I'm a pretty good driver. I'm a DMV Road Test Examiner."  (A bit of a fib, tho I had taken the test for that job years ago but didn't take the job.)

A great little fib. Think I'll use it all the time in the future whenever I rent a car.

Anyway, I went my merry way.  Got on Billy Graham Parkway to I-77. Stopped at a Sonny's BBQ for an early lunch at 11:30 on the way to Columbia, 

and got to Columbia and Mikey's place by 1:30.

I looked around the yard at all of his kayaks and rafts. . . .

Then went in and unpacked and waited for Michael to get home.  

Here's some of his flyrods, right inside the front door. . . . just where I last saw them about a year and a half ago:

We drove downtown and had dinner at Jason's Deli. Roamed around a bit. Never ceases to amaze me how this State Capitol city seems so "podunk"-like. Main Street completely tree-lined and having head-in parking as if it was Sheriff Andy's "Mayberry". . . .
But the State Capitol building is at the end of that street.

Anyway. . .  Went back downtown today, to the same area, for the weekly Saturday Farmers Market (more like a mix between a Farmers Market and an Arts & Crafts fair). . . .  You can see the State Capitol building at the end of the Main Street from the Farmers Market:

A lot of interesting stuff at the Market.  I was reminded of how sick to my stomach I got some years ago when I first ate boiled peanuts, a South Carolina "treat":

I got a kick out of just wandering around it all, and relaxing when and where I could, too. . . .

The "drums" made from propane tanks and the seats for them - made from farm-tractor seats - were very cool!

I made a short visit to the art museum in town after the Farmers Market and decided I'd go back there on Tuesday while Michael is at work and then we went for dinner before going back to Mikey's.

Went to a new place not far from Michael's for dinner, "War Mouth". . . .  a bit pricey and the food wasn't as good as we expected, but it was okay. . . .

Came back to Mikey's and watched the rest of "Avatar" which we'd started watching last night.  I'd never seen it before. I thought it was very strange, but a very good story too. It seems so much like the story of Native American Indians, but placed on another planet. Reminded me of the story of General Sullivan's march to exterminate the Senecas in Geneseo, who were thought to be British sympathizers during the American Revolution.  The Senecas were able to demoralize and turn Sullivan's army back by the time it reached Geneseo but Sullivan retaliated by burning their village there to the ground and destroying all their stores of corn and wheat before turning around and retreating.  Just an interesting comparison, I thought.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to these past few days.  The epic "East Coast Tour, 2016 Edition" will continue tomorrow!

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