Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vacating, Day One

I've always sort of wanted to take a road trip. Not a nine-hour slog to get to my mom's where she's going to drive me crazy for three days before we turn around and drive nine hours home. But an actual road trip.

I'm not as impulsive as I used to be. I like to have things planned. I like to know what I'm doing and where I'm going.

And a road trip just seems like the epitome of everything that I'm not. Impulsive. Crazy (as in carefree, not crazy as in psychotic, because I think we all know that I'm psychotic.) We should do that. Oh, that looks interesting, we should stop there!

Joking around with my dad, this summer, I leaned in close to him at the July 4th picnic and said, "Hey, old man, I'll trade you my daughter for your car."

Did I mention my dad has a Porsche?

To be honest, I didn't really expect him to go for it... that's a hella expensive car... But he did, and so Saturday, we drove our daughter and all the stuff she was convinced she needed for a week at the farm (she's terrified that YouTube will vanish if she's away from a WiFi connection for a week.) and picked up the car. We arranged for a friend to take care out our cat and turtle, and to board our Chinchillas. (The Chins are VERY high maintenance pets, and the lady who runs the Chin rescue also boards them for a ridiculously small fee... and that way we know they're being well cared for.) (PS - because I really appreciate everything that Whimsy does, I'm going to link this; you can Sponsor a rescue chin until they find the right home!)

I was a little dubious, at first, about whether or not this was going to be a fun vacation. I mean, we all know that a long road trip is the ultimate relationship test. And the husband had - in recent weeks - described it as being my vacation.

Which made me wonder if he really wanted to go at all. And that was going to suck, among things I might have forgotten to mention, because I don't know how to drive a stick. (I've done it a few times; once I pulled the clutch-cable out of the firewall in an exboyfriend's car. No, I don't know what that means, but people who do make a really awful scrunchy face about it. And the other time was being taught on a 14 hour road trip with my dad, up to New York, in a pickup truck where my feet didn't reach the floor, no matter how far up I pulled the bench seat. Which was a terrible, scarring experience that I have no yen whatsoever to repeat.)

But we got into the car that first day - first day, we drove down to Charleston, SC via back roads, mainly 17 and 11 - and for the whole trip, he just grinned... (he doesn't like to have his picture taken, so I can't really show you... but he just radiated smug and satisfied, like a cat in a sunbeam... )

Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem

The first truly random stop - as opposed to the like 15 million times we stopped to get soda, stretch our legs, go pee, etc... - that we made was at a Garden Statuary warehouse shop. These were huge, huge statues, not cute little garden gnomes, although they did have some of those, too...

BuGawk, motherfucker

The husband shown in this picture for scale. These were some giant fucking chickens. (If you wander off to the Bloggess's site, please remember to come back. I'll miss you!)

You could ride this damn thing

What I liked best about this gargoyle, aside from the look on his face, is that all the flats under the gargoyles were smashed. This was not the case with any of the other statues that were standing on wooden flats, so I had a good time imagining that the gargoyles themselves had smashed the flats by coming in a little too hard on their landings.

You could also get painted statuary... (not pictured here are some incredibly racist little "negro child" statues eating watermelon. I shit you not. They had those. I was... baffled, really.)

After many hours of driving around, we arrived at our hotel. I forgot about the Spanish Moss shit. Maybe I just watch too many of the wrong sorts of movies, but I don't think this stuff is romantic. I think it's creepy.

Our first misadventure started after we checked in - getting food. I don't like eating out of boxed restaurants while we're on vacation. Seriously, I can get TGIFridays here. I don't need to eat at one in South Carolina...

However, a lot of the local places were all seafood... which is no good because the husband's allergic to shellfish and we've found out the hard way that getting a burger at a seafood place is 1) not very tasty and 2) usually contaminated by seafood ANYWAY...

We looked at the map and asked the clerk at the hotel and eventually decided that Zeus's greek sounded good. So we drove over there...

And it was CLOSED, Mondays only. (This will become a theme...)

So we poked around at the map some more. Looked at a place called Opal (too expensive and waaay too ritzy for us in our travel-wrinkled t-shirts...)

We ended up selecting a nearby Irish-sports bar. (I'm almost positive there was nothing Irish about it... they did have Guiness on tap, tho, so I guess that was good.)

The waiter was fantastic, lots of fun to talk to, a native Hawaiian world-traveler and he shared some interesting stories about his most recent trip to Madrid... and burgers were tasty and on sale. I got chicken wings with their special secret sauce, which were also on sale. It was Monday, and slow, and our waiter didn't really have any other customers until about halfway through our dinner, so he hung out with us and chatted...

After dinner, we went back to our hotel and crashed. The bed was exceedingly marshmallow. I mean, don't drop a dime on it, you'll lose it, smushy.  We poked at our phones a bit and planned our next day. Fort Sumter.

While we were driving down, I noticed the signs for Sumter and said, "Oh, Fort Sumter... I didn't realize that was here... oh, wait. No, I knew that. I did."

Husband, "Good. Because if you didn't, I'd probably have to tell your mom on you."

(Note: my mother is a historian. The Civil War - or the War of Northern Aggression, depending on when you're talking to her and how States' Rights she is at that particular moment -  is her specialty.)

Tune in for more vacationing...

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