Taking it for the team…in Charleston, South Carolina!

I was surprised.  Pleasantly surprised.  I don’t know what I expected on my first trip South of DC.

I traveled for work…apparently I’m really now a grown-up if I went on a business trip to attend, of all things…software training.  You had a hard time keeping your eyes open just reading those words…didn’t you?  Nothing more boring than software training for your database program you use at work, right?  WRONG!  It was thrilling, encouraging, invigorating, hopeful and enlightening.  I’m telling the truth.  This is how I really feel about my trip…and I am referring to the actual training and not some other aspect of the trip.  Seriously.

Professionally, I was in need of knowledge…specific knowledge…for specific tasks.  If acquiring that knowledge meant that I had to fly all the way down to Charleston, South Carolina…during the workweek, and that my employer would be paying for the trip, and that I would be going with a coworker/friend…so be it. So. Be. It.  I will take one for the team.

Seashells in the cement – use what you’ve got.

My great friend/co-worker mentioned above.

Gaslights all over town.

First place we found…?  A cooking and kitchen supply shop.

I love.

We did not have time on our side in regards to sampling all the restaurants that tempted us.  I love the name S.N.O.B.

Another place we wanted to try.

This huge, stately, government building is perched on the edge of the coast and surrounded by small shacks and beachy-feeling, marshy piers.  Somewhat out-of-place.

Then there were the gum posts.  Telephone poles covered in gum of tourists and locals alike…only disconcerting when you find yourself standing next to one waiting to cross the street and catch yourself almost leaning on one – until you realize how disgusting the potentially is.

There were hundreds and thousands of crabs…very small ones, in the muddy tidal flats.  As your shadow passed over them…they would skitter away…which was the only time you could see them.  Can you spot the crab?

Yet another restaurant we didn’t get a chance to try.

Even in early May, the light lingered until well after 8:00 pm – I miss extended periods of dusk.

yummmm….beer!

On the menu: She Crab Soup, Calamari, and Steamed Mussels at the Charelston Crab House.

Here’s a new one – a bar that serves frozen drinks – typically known as fluffy shots.  That’s one way to go.

Wine and cigar shop…that looks more comfortable than my living room.  Who wouldn’t want to sit around in there pondering a purchase of some fine tobacco or an amazing vintage.

Brew-pub we didn’t try.  Yet another.

I couldn’t resist sneaking a photo of this couple in the lobby of a hotel…almost looks like it is from another era.

No, I didn’t take a trip to the swamp – this little guy was hanging out right outside the corporate building where our training was located.

Behind me is the parking lot for employees and the fence was only installed after several incidents of employees trying to reach their cars and being blocked by gators hanging out and sunning themselves on the black top in between the parked cars.  The fence is only on one side of this small pond…so, if the alligators were motivated enough, they could just walk around the side, but apparently it’s been pretty effective.

Mmmmmm….Sangria!

We did eat here…and it was delicious!

We ate here – Amen Street.  It was also delicious.

Fried green tomatoes with bay shrimp remoulade and hot and sour okra.  On the right is a ‘shrimp corn dog’ with chinese mustard and gherkins!

Conclusion:  I would go back.  I enjoyed the town and it is certainly worth another trip to truly explore all that is there.

Morning rain…

Even in LA, we are having a late spring.  (I might get kicked by those I know suffering through a bi-polar, flip-flopping, spring-winter cycle currently happening in Salt Lake and most of the west for even saying such a thing.)  Many a morning recently have been a little chilly, foggy/dreary and damp – great for the lawns and the water bill.  I grabbed my camera for a few shots before work one morning.

Peacocks in Pasadena

Woody came across a new friend the other day on the morning walk with Cleo.  I was barely waking up…and I hear “Where’s your camera?  I need it right now.  I made friends with a peacock in our front yard.”  Woody then dashed out the door and came back 10 minutes later.

They walked down the sidewalk together.  Chatted a bit about the weather.  Considered the lack of snails at this time of year, and went along their merry way.

The Standard (not so standard afterall)

A friend and colleague of Woody’s had told us for months that we needed to go have a drink with him at The Standard in downtown LA.  What better night to try it out than a Wednesday.

Immediately, upon walking into the hotel…I had the sinking feeling that I was not hip enough to be there.  I also think that the coolest Los Feliz indie-rocker hipster might get this same feeling.  The rooftop bar is where else…the roof top.  Exiting the elevator, standing on various colored astro-turf…there was much to explore.  We were bit too late to catch the actual sunset…traffic…always traffic – but there were still some rays of sun.

Yes, there is a pool…and it is meant for bar guests.  They open early in the day and encourage bar patrons to utilize the 4 foot deep pool.  If you search online for images of the bar/pool…it looks like a scene out of a 20-something coming of age Hollywood movie.  Or a commercial in which everyone is tan and beautiful and having the time of their lives lounging at the pool…in the middle of a weekday…cause no one has real jobs out here.  They’re in the ‘industry’.

Yup…do we look like we’re from Caltech…?  Not in normal life…but at The Standard…a bit like sore thumbs.  Also, no one else at the bar had a beard…except for a bouncer who was an almost 7 foot tall black man, whose beard was the only hair on his head.

It was a beautiful evening…perhaps a little on the chilly side…ya know…all the way down to mid-60’s.  The red Hershey kiss lounge booths are actually water-beds.  Good fun…reminded me of when having a water-bed sounded like a good idea…when I was 8…and having a mattress filled with water sounded magical.  Very fun at a bar however.

Looking towards the San Gabriels.  It could almost be Salt Lake…almost.

Drinks were good although, they lose a little something when they come in thick acrylic glasses.  A Manhattan should be elegant, gin and tonics are slightly more forgiving.

Yep, those are ivy covered unicorns in the background.

And last but not least, please examine the photographs below.

Dead-ringer for Luke Skywalker.  Seriously…which one is our waiter and which one is Luke Skywalker.