USA Week 3: 26.11.2012 – 02.12.2012 Monday:- Today was the day for repaying Tammy’s generous hospitality – washing, a little ironing, pushing the mahusive vacuum cleaner around, and general cleaning. Job done – sorted! I also attempted to introduce Tammy to Toad-in-the-Hole. Finding only cornmeal I used that. Hmmmhhh not exactly a disaster but I will be cleaning the dish tomorrow once it’s soaked overnight – nuff said. Tuesday:- And so it rained!!! So far the weather had been very kind
Week 3: 26.11.2012 – 02.12.2012
Today was the day for repaying Tammy’s generous hospitality – washing, a little ironing, pushing the mahusive vacuum cleaner around, and general cleaning. Job done – sorted! I also attempted to introduce Tammy to Toad-in-the-Hole. Finding only cornmeal I used that. Hmmmhhh not exactly a disaster but I will be cleaning the dish tomorrow once it’s soaked overnight – nuff said.
And so it rained!!! So far the weather had been very kind to us. Today was time for rain. We spent the day in the shopping mall. A huge place full of very tempting sales. The outcome of the trip was a long awaited and needed update to my trainers. Top rated Asics at just over 20 quid – i’ll take that thank you. We dodged the weather and enjoyed a Vietnamese lunch. Yum yum! A little more ‘window’ shopping before heading home for a DVD evening
Be-au-ti-ful warm day for this time of year. Another packed itinerary – not! A morning run to try out my new trainers, lunch, some pottering (which we all know can be sooo stressful) and a stroll down to Occoquan. I checked out the dive shop – yes there is a comprehensive dive shop in sleepy Occoquan. Caitlin, the manager, just happened to have English parents and just happened to have loved in Thailand for a year. We had a few things to talk about. She also gave me info on a review dive just in case I wanted to brush up my skills. I met Tammy back at home to collect the car from the rear shop, which didn’t go quite as planned. Needless to say she’s still driving the courtesy car. Then off to the gym. Managed to wangle a 7 day pass so enjoyed the gym and the pool. Time to head home and finish off the hybrid toad in the hole.
Another lovely day. Another run combined with a trip to the local library and the heady heights of the local Safeway store. Today I learned how to make beef jerky. It’s not as easy as you would think! First thinly slice the beef – or if it’s your first time thick doorstep slices are ok. Marinade for a few hours in the fridge then load into a dehydrated (we should be allowed these in the UK) and wait overnight. Even if the jerky doesn’t quite turn out right the house smells fantastic. Now off to REI, the gym for a swim (with my sparkly new 7 day pass) and Wegmans for groceries and a $6 meal. Don’t get much better than this!
The first day of our road trip to North Carolina. An easy morning – check out the home made jerky!! A run round the lake (Tammy very trustingly let me drive home from the lake), pack the car with clothes and most importantly the howge box of road trip food and we’re off. Florence was a 6 and a half hour drive, a box of cheesits and bag of jerky, down the I95 . Tammy was behind the wheel so I had plenty of time to watch the passing scenes and the billions of billboards. Microtel in Florence SC reached
Microtel breakfast – really nothing to write about. It’s does what it says on th tin – micro! We thought we would drive through Florence to see a bit of the place but target was about the highlight. We set off again and headed for Charleston. Parked up and found a great place for lunch, Homily Grill – corn beef hash for two. Sooo good.
A stroll around the town to get a feel for the place and stopped by the market full of food and arts and crafts. I’m a sucker for pickles and so when one was waved at me to try I just couldnt resist. Bloody hell – how spicy!!
We walked through the park and jumped on the free trolley bus that took us on a loop around Kings and Meeting. What a mix of passengers. We jumped off at Market, collected our bags from the car and checked into the hotel for a quick siesta. Saturday night – where to go, what to see?
It was the night of the boat parade and it seemed the whole town was down at the dock. There was a steady stream of boats of all shapes and sizes (yachts, dingeys, shrimpers and a few pleasure cruisers) all covered in lights and Christmas deccies.
The last boat passed by and the crowds headed into town. We followed and reached East Bay Street which seemed to have the most restaurants. Everywhere was packed, of course, so we put our name down for the Old Brewery Restaurant and sat at the bar – it would have been rude not to order a drink so I had a cheeky Mojito. We had the best meal here and despite being full I had to try the chocolate brownie. Boy the servings here are big. Now what?? There were so many bars but we ended up in the aptly named Squeeze. The narrowest bar I’ve ever been in. What a great crowd – we met up with Matt, Bradley, Chase and Michelle. Not to mention Ryan, Mark and James the bar men.
A cab ride to the next bar and more friends. Chucking out time and back to the hotel.
Breakfast was free in the hotel and was way better than Microtel. It was a beautiful day and no jacket was required. Down to the dock and a lucky bit of dolphin spotting then round the residential French quarter.
These houses are magnificent. As it was Sunday the locals were at church and there was singing coming from all angles. Sunday was also the day of the parade from 2. For me this felt like a true American town parade. The various churches, businesses, schools, dog club, car club, majorettes, Boy Scouts, girl guides and marching bands were all there. It was endless – really! Where did all these people come from.
Living the life of Reilly is exhausting so another siesta was in order. Dinner, another walk to check out the christmas light and back to the hotel.