Tuesday, January 15, 2008
a one day low country vacation
random notes from the road:
At one of the early rest areas we hit on Friday, I saw my first waterless urinal. Apparently, Ohio is looking for more ways to turn their bathrooms green (ugh, that sounded bad). I hope it works well enough for them to continue installation, but it was weird. It seems to always be cloudy or raining whenever I have to go on a long drive. And let me tell you, there's nothing to increase the "gahhhhh!" factor of a 14 hour commute than inclement weather. I-77 has to be my favorite interstate, because they have two separate tunnels under mountains. I love tunnels. I always expect to exit in a different country than I enter...or at least drive out and into a video game. Somewhere on the road in a gas station, I found some gummi candy that was in the shape of breakfast cereal...eggs, bacon, and so forth. I was quite disappointed to find out that it wasn't actually egg flavored (or bacon flavored, or so forth). The package claimed that it was actually fruit flavored, but after tasting, I suspect ear wax. When it's gray and overcast in South Carolina, it's still more cheery than the gray, overcast days in Ohio for some reason...it must be the beach. The parts of Myrtle Beach that we traversed were not tremendously picturesque...they looked like the endless strip malls and subdivisions of my hometown of Jacksonville, and I've moaned about this one before. If I were in charge of the world, I wouldn't allow people to consciously live up to their stereotypes...but it was somewhat amusing to find out that the priest performing the wedding (the reason for this trip) was heavily Irish. Receptions are always better with a beach view. And my admiration for my friend the groom grew when he (1) had Bushmill's at the bar and (2) insisted that the cuisine include South Carolina low country cuisine, including bbq pork sandwiches on biscuits or sweet potato rolls. They also had venison potstickers, and I love the opportunity to eat game. When the bride told me that she fought to have shrimp and grits on the menu, I instantly figured out why my friend fell in love with her. My aforementioned respect and love for my friend did not, however, stop me from making fun of how he danced (typical "I'm a man and therefore don't dance" moves...that is to say, very little movement at all). I largely made fun of him while talking to his father, whom I met on the Great Trip to the North Country (previously chronicled here and in earlier posts). Both his father and mother are awesome, and they treated me like a long-lost relative. There seems to be a certain order to wedding reception music: first gentle "let's not offend anyone" music, then the obligatory round of required dances, then the "let's get the kids on the dance floor" songs that no one would ever listen to outside of weddings, then finally the "what the couple actually wanted to hear" music. Whenever the dj played a song from a band I introduced the groom to, my friend would look at me and wink. The spousal unit and I went for a brief walk on the beach, and if I ever actually update my Flickr page, I'll post some shots. After the wedding, the spousal unit and I went to a Piggly Wiggly (the best-named grocery store ever) for some supplies, found a bar strangely dedicated to all things Baltimore where we had the best crab dip ever, and then went somewhere else and had the most mediocre oysters ever. The next day (Sunday) was spend back on the road. Highlights included a stop at my new favorite chain restaurant ever called Biscuitville and lunch at a great NC barbecue place whose name is esca. Otherwise, it was just me driving through dreary weather and the spousal unit sleeping or reading. Monday was recovery day...I sat and watched four football games back to back.
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so if I'm following this one right, Oak is among the married now? A hearty congrats is in order.
Hey, I've been itching to get back to Myrtle Beach lately (winters are doing me in more as I age). We went to Myrtle Beach as a family twice when I was young; I remember it as a southern Niagara Falls only with kitchy mini golf and cheap surf shops
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