South Carolina for the joy of Friends

Everybody knows that Puerto Rico is my favorite place in the world, but South Carolina is a very close second. I think I have been to SC close to 25 times over the last 30 plus years. And this year has not been an exception. Last time I was there was for Juan's graduation in May, and then the summer hasn't even ended and there I was again. My dear friend Rosa Serralta, and her family invited me to join them at Garden City Beach, close to Myrtle Beach. On my way up there I stopped to visit one of my best friends, RanneGamus, on John's Island, just a hop skip and hop from Kiawah. Driving in there was a dream, since the road off of 17 is lined with old Spanish moss covered trees forming an intricately weaved canopy, splashed with little American flags here and there, and many little white painted neighborhood churches. It seemed holy in a way to know that fervant worship had lined this road. It was only fitting that on the day I headed out to what I thought was Murrell's Inlet, I take a ride with my camera and explore the surroundings. I hesitated since they were waiting for me at the beach and it would be backtracking, but I thougtht I heard the Lord say I might see something beautiful if I went towards Kiawah. And I did. Just check out the pictures of the sunflower field, the hydrageas. What a refreshing time it was. Not only the surrounding but spending time with RuthAnne and her family, including her momma, Ruth and sister, Lydia, and her taco loving kids within the ruckus of the World Soccer Cup final.

I slowly made my way to the north. First going over the new Cooper River Bridge, which is so wide that is seems more like a highway in the sky than an brigde. I liked that!!! I stopped in different places, as I made my way north, through the Francis Marion forest, named for the Revolutionary war hero, who was affectionately called the Swamp Fox. One more stop in Georgetown to the Visitor's Center, and then on to Murrell's Inlet. What a picturesque place, but the apartment wasn't there but in Garden City Beach. Even better since it was right off the water and it was a blast. We saw fireworks all week long, but it was hotttttttttttt!But we had the ocean and the pool to cool off in and all the excitement of three energetic boys, Joseph and Christopher, Lee's boys and a friend, Donald, to keep us entertained and occuppied. Lee Marie and Donny, were lots of fun to be with too, and we even got to play some Rummy till one o'clock in the morning! and then sleep in late if we wanted to. Awesome!

One day, Rosa and I went sightseeing and headed towards Georgetown. Before getting there though we took a detour on Pawley's Island. Breathtaking. One main road goes into the Island it seems, and once there it splits. We went towards the right for some reason; easier I guess. We drove for 15 minutes down street after street of this vacation area, and then started looking for a bridge or walkway to the ocean, when we finally came upon a spacious beach area with good parking. The view was wonderful and it was raining in the distance, and then the distance was shorten and then you could feel an occassional raindrop falling on you face or arm. Then the wind picked up an beach umbrella and tossed it our direction and then people started heading back to their cars for shelter, but not before I was able to take some pictures. You know I want to go back. If it hadn't been for the rain, we might not have left.

Then we proceeded to Georgetown, the third oldest town in South Carolina, and took a tour of the town and learned all about the history including the indigo and rice plantations which brought these plantation owners extensive wealth. We ate at the nicest restaurant, The Rice Paddy, naturally. Located in an historic building which housed the Revolutionary Military Headquarters, the restaurant with its lace curtains on all the windows seemed very private. So I didn't know what to really expect. Well, it turned out to be elegant and very busy, and was in fact, hosting a large group of ladies who were all decked out. Probably the garden club, who was celebrating someone's birthday. The food was delicious and reasonable for the excellent service and cuisine. So if you ever go up that way, I recommend it as do the locals. There is a picture of the restaurant located on a corner.

To complete our visit, we ended our time with a stroll down the Harbour Walk and took our time examining beautiful paintings by various artists in an art gallery.

The pictures don't capture it all, but they will have to do.


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