Now that we got all the morose stuff out of the way, let’s talk about all the reasons that South Carolina is awesome.
I suppose this is how Packer fans feel about their games here, but nothing, I mean NOTHING can compare to a SEC football game in my opinion. I know I am biased and expected Randy to leave pleased with his time in Williams-Brice Stadium, but not as estatic as I am about the experience.
Well, woohey Bob, did Carolina and Georgia give us an experience!! My friend Whitney got our tickets. We tailgated with her, her mom and a bunch of Kappa friends new and old. We did it right with all the appropriate food and drinks, tents and chairs, but also had a generator connected to two fans because SC humidity, y’all. That is no joke!
About an hour before gametime, it started to lightening out in the distance, delaying the game. We hung out under our tent for a bit, but I started to get antzy. Randy, Whitney and I headed into the stadium in case there wasn’t going to be a game at all, I at least wanted to go inside. Well, about 4 minutes after we walked in, they started the warm-up clock. And then for the next 3 hours I did not inhale. Technically, we were ahead the whole time, but the game was so close. Our seats were closer. It rained through the second half, so we all got soaked. That didn’t stop us from high-fiving anyone within a 3 row radius anytime SC scored.
I wasn’t on the super lady-like”COCKS” side of the back and forth gamecocks cheer until we walked out, but that was the perfect end. Well, almost perfect. The students looked like they were going to storm the field. I was considering joining them if they did. God, it was great.
Speaking of great, let me talk about all my great friends that are still in the area. Just like campus, the conversations with these women jumped into the topics I would have expected 14 years ago. We’ve all gotten a little older, but everyone was just as I expected them to be. Except maybe Olivia. She was way too quiet to be related to the girl that lived on my floor all those years ago. ;P Many thanks to Whitney, Olivia, Carol, Amy, McKenzie, Katie, and Jody for tailgating together.
One of my SC favs, Tracy came up from Aiken to have lunch and meet my fam. I forgot how much I loved this girl. Gosh, I knew great folks in SC.
Also, many, many, many thanks to Jenny for watching Miss Malorie while Randy and I enjoyed a date night at Blue Marlin. Thanks to you, I was finally able to have a gentleman buy me dinner at my favorite Cola restaurant.
I’m sad I didn’t get pictures with any of these folks besides Whitney and Tracy. A moment missed for sure!
Pimento cheese. BBQ. Grits. Sweet tea. Mac and cheese. All the shrimp and flounder I could eat. So many good eats!!
We tried DiPrato’s in Columbia for our first meal upon arrival. I didn’t love it as much as I expected, but the pimento cheese and pita chips were great then and as a snack for the next few days.
Whitney’s BBQ with mustard sauce was ah-maz-ing. I’m going to try and replicate this at home. I wonder if it works north of the Mason-Dixon line. (Sidenote: can we talk about this koozie. It has a magnet on the side and bottom, so you can attach it to any metallic surface, a la anywhere on your car. How has no one come up with this before??)
As mentioned, Blue Marlin never disappoints. We were able to enjoy great drinks, the first of many shrimp and grits dishes, and a yummy brownie dessert here. (Turns out grits, fried green tomatoes, and crab cakes all fail in the Most Photogenic category. Instead, enjoy these pictures of yummy drinks, a happy couple, and one worn out baby after a night with new friends.)
Monday took us down to Isle of Palms. We stayed in a condo there. One of the perks for condo-living is you typically get a list of suggestions from the homeowner. We took their advice for our first meal and hit up Banana Cabana for a beachfront lunch. It doesn’t get much better than a hurricane, flounder sandwich, sunshine and your family for a Monday lunch, does it?
Tuesday we went to Husk in downtown Charleston. OMG. Food this simple should not be this good. My fish was so light. The grits were SOOOOOO good. Randy “just” had a hamburger, but it was the best burger I’ve sampled in years. My mouth is watering as I’m writing about this meal. (Yet again with the crappy food pictures. I blame trying to entertain my table companion…and Malorie.)
We hit up my favorite rooftop bar that same afternoon, but it was the middle of a downpour and someone’s crabby time, so it wasn’t the experience I had hoped for. The lemon tart and day drinks made up for it.
Wednesday was spent on the beach so we made our own stuff. Even a turkey sandwich tastes better when looking at this view.
Thursday was a trip to Boone Hall Plantation, but first lunch at a little stripmall joint. I needed something fish-free by then so had a black bean burrito and the best pancake of my life. I think it was made out of donut batter. Is that possible?!
Friday took us back downtown where we ate at Fleet Landing. This restaurant is right next to my pier, so I don’t know how this was my first time there. While they weren’t pretty, I had the best lobster (!) hush puppies.
Saturday was another sort-of beach day. I say sort of because the weather was pretty crappy. The rain broke just in time for us to go to dinner at Poe’s Tavern in Sullivan Island. It was sold to us as the best burger in North America. That would have been a stretch, but it was pretty great. As were Randy’s fish tacos.
I don’t quite get astrological signs and if I’m a water, earth, wind, or fire person, but I can tell you that being nearby large bodies of water, particularly those that start with an A and end with an “tlantic”, makes me happy. Our condo was right on the beach and I really mean RIGHT ON the beach. There seemed to be erosion problems on this beach so when the tide was in, there really wasn’t any beach to speak of. But when there was was a beach, we definitely made the most of it.
It could be a little windy.
On our way home from dinner that last day, I asked Randy to go out on the beach one last time. I’m so glad we went. Just as we walked out, we saw a double rainbow. I see why the dude went a little nutballs. It was pretty cool to see, particularly over the water. Gorgeous, gorgeous finale to a great trip.