Safe and Sound in Charleston
29 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
Pamela, overcast, no wind
The rain poured for hours and the wind kicked up a little, but overall the impact we felt was negligible. When we came out for our dog walk this morning in light rain and literally saw the storm pass to the north of us.
But we didn't really come to Charleston for the weather. We came to see our beautiful nieces and their families! And they welcomed us with true southern hospitality. Bethany and Doug, newlyweds dwelling in historic downtown Charleston arranged a luncheon at a cool slow food café in the old Cigar Factory and Grace and Richard came with their children. We laughed and told stories while the rain poured outside. They helped us speculate on the storm with their local knowledge. We made tentative arrangements for today, providing the authorities didn't close The Bridge, isolating us at Mt. Pleasant.
As the weather cleared this morning we made good on a lunch invitation. Grace and Richard invited us for hand crafted, deconstructed bacon cheese burgers in their lovely Sommerville, South Carolina home. The food was fantastic and the conversation even better! Jonathan retired for a nap (we were a little envious) and Lilly kept us entertained with stories, dancing and a little picture book reading. We feel so blessed to spend time with this remarkable young family and the opportunity to watch them grow.
Charleston is known for its outstanding cuisine and Doug and Bethany live just blocks away from some of the best of it. We ended up at Hall's Chop House. Between trading stories and sharing photos, wonderful food started showing up at our table. Conversation was soon replaced by the low moans of divine culinary satisfaction. I very well may have eaten the most delicious dish I've ever tasted. Creamed Corn, Halls Chop House Style.
After dinner we strolled the streets of Charleston with Doug as our tour guide. Here, history isn't dusty old thing to be trundled out in a dull recitation of dates and treaties, but a living knowledge of what was before, what is now and what might be. Doug and Bethany live at the corner of Meeting and Calhoun just down the street from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. At their doorstep the city of Charleston came together as one to mourn, connect and forgive.
We have been looking forward to this visit since before we left on our trip. Maybe even before we had our boat. Sometimes on long passages when we needed something to cheer us up and look forward to, one of us would ask the other, "What do you think it will be like when we come sailing up into Charleston Harbor to see Grace and Bethany, Richard and Doug? The babies?? As it turns out, we feel so welcomed, so loved and so fortunate to enjoy this amazing family!