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Old 02-21-2013, 09:25 AM   #76
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Chapter 3: A Lack of Adult Supervision










Part 1: Just what do you think you’re doing?

(Another trip… Another introduction)





Having both written and read my share of TRs, I can safely say that one of the most universal complaints that crop up in the various narratives are encounters (generally frustrating ones) with wayward “minors.” Specifically those oblivious and self-absorbed ones that have been left to their own devises by some unforgivably irresponsible guardian. I mean honestly, do these supposed authority figures really believe that they can just simply unleash undisciplined and untrustworthy individuals upon the greater society at large without having to take any blame for their actions? Just who are these people?


Well… in some instances these temporarily misguided soles are among the finest individuals that you will ever meat. Say… for instance…

My wife.

It’s not her fault that I should never be let out in public without proper restraint and supervision. Nor is it an accusation that can be leveled at the spouses and significant others of my friends and associates. And yet… form time to time… these otherwise sane women will mistakenly allow their husband or beau to travel out of their sight and among the general population. All by themselves…


Scary ain’t it?


And that is exactly the kind of nightmare scenario that will be played out in the next chapter of the most pointless non-Disney TR ever written.




(of course… that don’t mean that you have to read it)



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
A Kitchen Pass




Any rational guy will tell ya’… we know without any shadow of a doubt just exactly who’s in charge of our households.

And it ain’t us.





The ladies of the house tend to keep a pretty tight reign on the goings and comings and every other aspect of how family business is conducted (and If you think otherwise… that’s exactly how she wants you to think). Generally the boss will run the operation from their household nerve center…

the inner sanctum of all family activity…

the kitchen.

So if you, as the lowly and untrustworthy fell’a of the house, wanted to do something that is potentially damaging to accepted and orderly family structure (like say… spend some time gallivanting about with your friends) you’ll be needin’ permission (and proper tribute will probably need to be paid as well). To get that permission, you go see the boss in her realm and requrst pre-approval for said foolishness. I.E: a “pass” to be off the premises and out of sight… like having a hall-pass… ‘cept ‘round here, we refer to it as a “Kitchen Pass”





Well in early spring this past year; I succeeded in acquiring one of these rare commodities. And better yet, so did a couple of friends of mine. The result was a guy’s weekend trip to explore a little bit of history (because not only am I a geek… but so are most of my friends… Lord help us).




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Garden City










From my home (which is just about as far north as you can go and still be within the boarders of South Carolina), you could just hop onto I-77 and with very few turns, one day of driving will take you as far as Washington DC, Nashville TN, Birmingham AL or Orlando Fla. But within the state itself, some of the most popular destinations require somewhat more advanced navigation. Try this little set of directions on for size:


US-521 South
SC-9 (Bypass) East
SC-903 East
SC-151 East
US-51 South
I-95 North
SC-327 South
US-76 East
SC-576 East
US-501 South



Quite the mouthful. If, however you happen to live anywhere within the greater “Metrolina” region around Charlotte NC, then you’ll immediately recognize this as the “road” to “The Beach”. Specifically, the “Grand Strand” around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This is one of the default holiday and summer Meccas of choice in our little part of the country. Every area has as a similar destination. It’s the place you’ll find way too many rentable condos, entirely too much seasonal traffic and crowding, a water park or two, a golf course of twelve, the nearest “Ripley's” museum and/or “Medieval Times” dinner show and more gift and souvenir shops then you can shake a stick at. In the general MB area you can’t even swing a dead cat without hitting at least one “beach ware shop”.

But as luck would have it… I just happen to have access to one of those “way too many” condos down there; at the extreme south end of the “Strand” in the town of Garden City to be precise. And we’ll be using this place as our base of operations for the weekend. So now you can add a few more turns to that set of directions…


SC-544 East
US-17 South
Cypress Ave



Once making that last left there and heading toward the marsh, you’ll arrive here…





My Poppa actually owns a small place down here just on the other side of those houses in the center. It’s on the “Second Row” which means that while not “currently” beachfront property… it is just across the street from the beach. We have a lovely view of the buildings that are beachfront, but it’s a short walk to get to the real thing so the lack of a “Water View” (as Disney would call and charge for it) is inconsequential. The best part of all this is that for some inexplicable reason my dad allows both of his young’ens to borrow the place from time to time. Gratis! Myself, I don’t know that I’d be trustin’ reprobates like us, but I’ll take advantage of the situation for as long as he allows it.





Our place is on the top floor of the main building here. Oh, and there’s no elevator either. It’s 51 steps up (and down for that matter). Hauling luggage up there in the high summer is none too pleasant, but it’s still a “free” place to stay and besides, this was very early spring and we didn’t have all that much to carry between us. One advantage of a guys trip… very little baggage. In any case, now we’ve got a place to bunk during this expedition and the passes to be here.

So just who is this “we” I keep talking about?


Well… there’s myself (obviously)





Ummmmm… yah, let’s not dwell too long on that ghastly apparition.



And along for the ride this time around were these two fell’as…






Billy and Sal. I’ve known these guys since high school. We were all geeks in the music department back then and were still geeks today (and regularly still making noise together in the same band). Trust me this group it pretty harmless. That fact is how we succeeded in getting the Passes in the first place. But you’ll see what I mean as this chapter rolls on.




= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Road Food










Well since I’ve now officially explained where we’re goin’ and when we’re goin’ and how we’re goin and who’s goin’ I do believe that constitutes an introduction. Which means that ya’ can’t fuss at me for not writing one. It also means that I might as well get this trip underway.

You’ll be glad to hear that this will be a relatively short chapter. That’s because the drive down to and back from the coast was fairly uneventful (and this is true only because we didn’t have extra time to get into any of the roadside attractions). Good for you because that’s two entire parts of this disaster in the making that I don’t really need to worry you with. One exception however, would be…

Dinner.

We indulged ourselves with two spectacularly excellent meals during this expedition and one of those was encountered on the way down to the coast. Now as I pointed out in the previous chapter, one of my go to sources for finding excellent traveling eats is a series of books and a website know as “Roadfood.com” the authors and creators of these resources are a couple named Jane and Michael Stern and if you were to spend a good amount of time on the road I’d highly recommend picking up one of their books. If you were to do so and then flip through the pages to the map showing their top choices in the “Deep South” it would look like this…





Great choices all, but the one circled in red there is actually only about a fifteen-minute drive from my humble little house. It’s this place here…




521 BBQ and Grill


A very unassuming little spot that is tucked into the far end of a very nondescript little strip mall about half way between Charlotte, NC and the Town of Lancaster, SC…





As it turns out, neither of my friends had ever been to the little paradise. That oversight has now been corrected and both of them are also now complete converts. I could easily go into great detail discussing this little hole in the wall, but we’ve already determined that my writing ain’t worth reading.

So….

I’ll let a professional food writer ‘splaine it to you. Someone like the guy that wrote the books I was on about: Michael Stern. Here’s his take on one of the better aspects of any meal at the 521…


“One word: Marcia. Call ahead to see if she’s cooking, because she makes possibly the best tasting hushpuppies we’ve eaten anywhere in the country—crunchy, gnarled, brown beauties. 521’s BBQ is top-shelf pig, and their housemade spicy vinegar sauce can be ranked with Carolina giants Stamey’s, Lexington #1, and Bill Spoon’s. And remember: no one cooks hushpuppies like Marcia.”

Now let me say that the other cooks have since gotten almost as good about making these culinary jewels as Marcia, so trust that these are gonn’a be excellent. And make sure to order extra…

They’re that good.

But this is at its heart a barbeque joint.
So this is why you need to stop in here if you can…





Again, Michael Stern’s take on it goes like this…

"There are no words to describe how tender these ribs are, nor how flavorful. When the meat slides off the bone, you practically can hear the piggy juices ooze inside the caramelized-sauce coat that encloses the meat."

They start with Baby backs covered in the house rub and smoked five to seven hours depending. When ordered, they’re pulled from the smoker, cut, brushed with just a little bit of the house sauce and slapped on the grill just long enough to caramelize the coating. They’ll make a few batches across the day, but it is possible for them to run out. It’s never happened to me… but it’s possible.


As you’d expect, they also do Carolina style chopped pork.





Boston butts are given the rub and then smoked 14 hours on site. Afterward they’re chopped and mixed well enough to give a good balance of inner meat to bark in every order. Now it’s a fact that “good’ BBQ don’t need no sauce (and this is good BBQ), but if, that’s just not your thing when it comes to pulled pork, I’d recommend using the house vinegar based pepper sauce. That’s some seriously good eats. The folks at the 521 claim that none of their “Que” is ever re-heated and no leftovers from previous days are ever served (and I believe them).

After you’ve had your fill and stuffed the leftovers in a to-go box… you’ll also find that they keep a few deserts on site including banana pudding (a proper South’rn staple) and a couple types of cheesecake. But I have a slightly different take on “dessert” and if the ribs and puppies just ain’t enough to fill you up… chase ‘em with one of these fresh off he grill taste treats…












Slather just a little bit of the house mustard on that bad boy and you’re good to go.






Now that’s dessert!







Next up: The Fighting Lady


Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 02-21-2013 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #77
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Heck&
Large chunks of this TR and certainly the BFs are the direct result of someone saying: Did you know&

Or in Andys case: Bet you cant&.
I never said that... I believe my quote was:
Quote:
You could probably find a ship in the middle of a desert.
Completely different.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:48 AM   #78
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Never mind the Kool-Aid, don’t drink the Beverly!
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I never said that... I believe my quote was:

Quote:
You could probably find a ship in the middle of a desert.
Completely different.

Details… details…
Never let fact stand in the way of a good story.


Besides, it was still like waving a red flag in front of a bull.


‘cept that bulls are red/green color blind…
But I am bull headed, so it still counts.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:02 AM   #79
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Having both written and read my share of TRs, I can safely say that one of the most universal complaints that crop up in the various narratives are encounters (generally frustrating ones) with wayward “minors.” Specifically those oblivious and self-absorbed ones that have been left to their own devises by some unforgivably irresponsible guardian. I mean honestly, do these supposed authority figures really believe that they can just simply unleash undisciplined and untrustworthy individuals upon the greater society at large without having to take any blame for their actions? Just who are these people?


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
This is hilarious!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Specifically, the “Grand Strand” around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
I've heard of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
In the general MB area you can’t even swing a dead cat without hitting at least one “beach ware shop”.
It'll be called "Wings" or "Eagles". Not sure why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The best part of all this is that for some inexplicable reason my dad allows both of his young’ens to borrow the place from time to time. Gratis!


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
One advantage of a guys trip… very little baggage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Now as I pointed out in the previous chapter, one of my go to sources for finding excellent traveling eats is a series of books and a website know as “Roadfood.com” the authors and creators of these resources are a couple named Jane and Michael Stern and if you were to spend a good amount of time on the road I’d highly recommend picking up one of their books.
I've heard of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
But this is at its heart a barbeque joint.
So this is why you need to stop in here if you can…
You had me at barbeque.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Now it’s a fact that “good’ BBQ don’t need no sauce (and this is good BBQ), but if, that’s just not your thing when it comes to pulled pork, I’d recommend using the house vinegar based pepper sauce. That’s some seriously good eats.
I'm not as big a fan of the vinegar-based sauces. But usually the meat is so good and tender that it just doesn't matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
But I have a slightly different take on “dessert” and if the ribs and puppies just ain’t enough to fill you up… chase ‘em with one of these fresh off he grill taste treats…
I think I'd choose that over banana pudding.

The bbq looks awesome! Definitely worthy of a visit.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:12 AM   #80
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Sorry, wasn't following along as things got crazy busy and there was sickness running rampant through the house. Heading back to try to catch up.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:36 PM   #81
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
This is hilarious!
I was hoping someone would be entertained by that one.


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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
I've heard of it.
Have you now?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
It'll be called "Wings" or "Eagles". Not sure why.
No ones sure why, but they’re more common down there then ants at a picnic.


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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
I've heard of it.
Whoa… déjà vu!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
You had me at barbeque.
I know many of your weaknesses.
(you tend to write about ‘em in TRs)


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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
I'm not as big a fan of the vinegar-based sauces. But usually the meat is so good and tender that it just doesn't matter.
The vinegar stuff can be an acquired taste.
But it’s that second sentence that is the real truth.

A lot of pit masters will talk up their sauce…
but I say good Que don’t need no sauce.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
I think I'd choose that over banana pudding.
You may never have run across the good stuff then.
Actually, you won’t find it in a restaurant… to the best of my knowledge, it only exists in Tamara’s kitchen (she even goes as far as to home-bake the shortbread… Mmmmmmmmmm).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
The bbq looks awesome! Definitely worthy of a visit.
If for some whacky reason you’re ever down this way… the first plate of ribs (and extra puppies) is on me.



I may need to get me some this weekend if possible…




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Sorry, wasn't following along as things got crazy busy and there was sickness running rampant through the house. Heading back to try to catch up.
Oh lord, don’t be worrying about keeping up. Sometime I get so busy I can’t even keep up with it. Besides, I’ve lost more readers then I’ll ever gain. It’s probably not worth my time to even write this stuff, but it keeps me somewhat sane.

I hope y’all are feeling better and I’m just sorry to hear that you were having troubles in the house at all. You take your time. I’ll be here one way or the other. I just say thanks for reading along at all.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:57 PM   #82
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Stripper Clause...

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Quite the mouthful. If, however you happen to live anywhere within the greater “Metrolina” region around Charlotte NC, then you’ll immediately recognize this as the “road” to “The Beach”.
Then why didn't you just say that to begin with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The best part of all this is that for some inexplicable reason my dad allows both of his young’ens to borrow the place from time to time. Gratis! Myself, I don’t know that I’d be trustin’ reprobates like us, but I’ll take advantage of the situation for as long as he allows it.
Your dad rocks!

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Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
It’s 51 steps up (and down for that matter).
You counted???

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
They start with Baby backs covered in the house rub and smoked five to seven hours depending. When ordered, they’re pulled from the smoker, cut, brushed with just a little bit of the house sauce and slapped on the grill just long enough to caramelize the coating. They’ll make a few batches across the day, but it is possible for them to run out. It’s never happened to me… but it’s possible.
I'm getting hungry...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The folks at the 521 claim that none of their “Que” is ever re-heated and no leftovers from previous days are ever served (and I believe them).
I wonder if they'd sell them at a discount to toss in the fridge for lunch later in the week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
I'm not as big a fan of the vinegar-based sauces. But usually the meat is so good and tender that it just doesn't matter.
I totally agree. Those sauces do nothing for me, but I'd suspect that once the meat is cooked, as long as I don't slather on extra sauce, it will be good.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:27 PM   #83
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Stripper Clause...
You’re welcome.
Actually… that may well be the funniest part of that one.


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Then why didn't you just say that to begin with?
Cause knowing that it’s the most direct route ain’t enough.
Ya’ still have to know how to pull it off

To this day… DW won’t drive it for fear of getting lost.
She’s been up and down that list of roads with me (and her family before that) more times then we could possibly count but is convinced shell miss one of those turns somewhere and get herself hopelessly lost.


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Your dad rocks!
Yes he does.
Wouldn’t even dream of disputing that one.


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You counted???
I’ve climbed them many times.

Often with a duffle bag slung over each shoulder, a suitcase in each hand and a beach chair under each arm… in August… I’ve had time to contemplate each tread on each riser.

Many times over.


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I'm getting hungry...
Me too…
I may need to head over there tonight.



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I wonder if they'd sell them at a discount to toss in the fridge for lunch later in the week?
Good question and I may have to check into it.
I suspect that any leftovers from the day are divided amongst the cooks and staff.
A benefit of being part of the operation.



Wonder if they’re hiring?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:52 PM   #84
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Oh...I must have one of those for my husband. And I think my sons' girls would like to have them too. That is just awesome!

Sounds like this is going to be an interesting expedition.

And my mouth is already drooling over the ribs.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:03 AM   #85
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I was hoping someone would be entertained by that one.
It reminds me of some other office supplies I've seen that I'd like to get for my office sometime. Here's one of the "nicer" notepads, and you can see other examples of some of the less family-friendly ones further down the page:

Amazon link

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
I know many of your weaknesses.
(you tend to write about ‘em in TRs)


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The vinegar stuff can be an acquired taste.
But it’s that second sentence that is the real truth.

A lot of pit masters will talk up their sauce…
but I say good Que don’t need no sauce.
True. I love good sauce (like Flame Tree), but tend to lean towards the tomato-based sauces.

Quote:
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If for some whacky reason you’re ever down this way… the first plate of ribs (and extra puppies) is on me.
Now we're talking!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:44 PM   #86
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Life Update…



Well…
It’s certainly been a long while since I was able to actually work on this here TR.
I’d ask if y’all missed me, but that’s really a rhetorical question that I already know the answer to.

Life’s been a bit crazy ‘round my house. Firstly, this is about the worst time of year at work for finding time to do anything else. Then once I get home, I’m generally too brain dead to even consider writing. Considering how few brain cells I’ve left in the first place, you can see how devastating that could be.

OK… so what about the weekends then, hummmmm…

Nope, those have been consumed by matters musical and educational. If you’re unaware of it (meaning you haven’t yet been assaulted by my discussing it in the past), my son is a fairly good musician and a high school senior who wishes to continue studying his particular passion. That’s something I wasn’t able to do for myself so we’re trying our best to help Max accomplish the goal. To that end we’ve spent the last month of weekends traveling for auditions at several area universities. It is one thing to have the college accept you academically (and a number have), but then you still have to be accepted in to individual schools of music separately.

While we were waiting to hear back from those efforts, we also spent one weekend traveling to see our boy perform as well. Along the way this year he succeeded in making the cut for the Senior All-State Honors Band as well. Of the couple thousand kids playing the same horn in the state of South Carolina, Max currently ranks eighth. It was a great experience for him to work with the other kids on that level and with the guest director that lead them through that weekend. Needless to say, the result was quite a performance and we were just tickled silly to see him doing so well.

Since then we’ve actually heard back from the most important of the schools that he was attempting to get into and found out that he has been accepted into his first choice, that being the School of music at Western Carolina University in the mountains of NC. This is a smaller state school focusing on the arts and with one of the best music programs in the nation. We’re quite proud and also quite panicked. Currently we’re waiting to hear back from the financial folks up there about the grant situation and then we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to pay for ths foolishness. It’s going to be quite the ride that’s for certain.


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

That’s just about enough of me going on about my family. What say I get back to the TR. Maybe I should start by replying to Mark since he did take the time to comment in the first place.


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It reminds me of some other office supplies I've seen that I'd like to get for my office sometime. Here's one of the "nicer" notepads, and you can see other examples of some of the less family-friendly ones further down the page:

Amazon link
I like ‘em. And I probably need to get me a few as well.


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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
True. I love good sauce (like Flame Tree), but tend to lean towards the tomato-based sauces.
Most do so you’re not alone. Oddly enough, I’m not at all a big fan of the mustard based type that SC is most known for.


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Now we're talking!
All you gott’a do is show up.


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


OK how about an actual Update?
Won’t that be exciting?




Try to control you’re enthusiasm…
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #87
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OK how about an actual Update?
Won’t that be exciting?




Try to control you’re enthusiasm…
Of course you're going to update when I'm already behind on everyone else's TRs and won't be around for a few days.


Curse you!!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:55 PM   #88
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Chapter 3: A Lack of Adult Supervision








Part 2: Via Regia




There are a number of common words in English the convey the concept of a road or path, but they all have their origins in descriptions of what was happening rather then where it was happening. “Path” descends from the Latin and Sanskrit “ped” and “pad” meaning: foot, thus a way to travel by foot. “Road”, on the other hand, evolved from the Middle English words: “rode” and “rade”, (a riding or mounted journey). For that reason a road was generally considered to be a rural way as contrasted with the more urban “street”. “Street”… that one comes directly from the Latin: “via strata” which means: “a way spread or paved, with stones”.

All of these ideas have one other thing in common: “way”. That’s the oldest of the bunch and rolls all the way back to the Proto-Indo-European root: “wegh” (to move). It arrived in English “by way of” the Latin word: “via” (which oddly enough means: “by way of”). Them there “Latin’s”… the Romans that is… those folks were rather good at building “ways”. They put them down all over Europe and a considerable number of those vias are still in existence….





That last image is a good example of a Roman road and the cross section below shows how they would cut a drainage ditch along either side and then move the excavated earth toward the center. Several layers of substrate were put down with he ultimate top level being determined by the importance and final use of the Via in question. The result was consistent though: a raised way, a bit higher then the surrounding land, with a curved “crown” to allow the rain to roll off to either side. That physical height would later lead to the more important roads being referred to as “high-ways” (“byways”, a word with a similar origin, generally refer to private and toll roads). Now, if said road were deemed important enough for a monarch to consider providing maintenance for or even ensuring safe passage upon it as a vital interest to his kingdom, then it would be designated as a “Via Regia” (Royal Road or Kings Highway). And that circuitous (and purposely tortuous) introduction / dissertation finally brings us to the initial topic of this part of the TR…




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The Kings Highway





There were two such important trade roads with this moniker established during the infancy of the “New World”; one on either coast. “El Camino Real” as developed by the Spanish Missionaries on the left coast, and the one that Charles II directed his colonial governors to establish in 1650 ran along the Atlantic.





It’s the east coast version that we’ll be following part of this morning. Running from Boston to Charleston, it’s around 1,300 miles in total and is pretty much still intact. Now-a-days it’s US highways that demark and follow the route though. From Virginia to the southern terminus, that would specifically be the highway identified as US-17.. In fact, it’s even still named “Kings Highway” as you travel through Horry county, which is where we were starting our journey this morning (and by the way… “Horry” is not pronounced like it’s spelled… rather is: “Or’–ree”; one of a hand full of unique family names that you’ll see cropping up from time to time down this way.).

So anyway, we’d decided that we were going to follow the Kings Highway a bit farther south, but first… it’s time for breakfast!





The “Garden City Pancake House” is one of many spots along the Kings that specialize in breakfast and most of them close up by dinnertime. Of those that I’ve tried in my time along the Grand Strand; this one rates somewhere in the middle. It’s good, but I’ve had a better break of the fast elsewhere. It did have the advantage of being very near our starting point and also on the way toward our ultimate destination. Oh and the staff here are quite friendly and accommodating, so it has that going for it as well… which is nice…

Fast properly broken, we got back on the highway headed south. Into Georgetown county, past Muriel's Inlet (where you’ll find a large number of excellent seafood restaurants) and on down toward Pawley’s Island. That’s not just an area name, Pawley’s actually is and island, and a very fine high-end beach resort. Most of the homes are rentable and relaxation is the order of the day. I’ve never had the opportunity to actually “vacate” here, but ruminations from a TR authored by these very fine folks can tell you all about it.


On this stretch of the road you’ll also encounter both Huntington Beach State Park and Brookgreen Gardens along the way toward Georgetown (across the street from each other actually).

The park is a pristine strip of Atlantic beach; a fine campground and a designated nature preserve known as a “birders” haven.
It even includes a “Moorish Castle” that can be toured during the summer…





The gardens (which share a common history) include one of the largest collections of outdoor figurative sculpture in the US, along with gorgeous Victorian style gardens, walking paths and trails.





While not everyone’s cup of tea (especially those with kids or even grown family members that find “culture” to be supremely boring and devoid both of thrill-rides and explosions), there are a few other offerings here to make it a bit more palatable. Things like the Lowcountry Zoo and even a Pontoon Boat “Creek Excursion” if you’d like to learn about the critters that inhabit the mashes and a little bit of local history. I can also pretty much guarantee that somewhere along the line you’ll encounter at least one of these critters…





The encounter may not be quite as “exciting” as say… this one was… but it’s a little something else you can use to convince the young’ens (and young’ens in mind) to tolerate a bit of time in a garden amongst a bunch of sculptures… “figurative sculptures”… have your tween boys look that last phrase up and they may well be requesting to spend time here. Oh, unfortunately none of this is free mind you, but it makes for an interesting diversion from the considerably more commercial offerings along The Stand.

Moving on…

The next thing along the Via Regia would be the city of Georgetown.





Believe it or not this town (that you may well never have heard of) use to be one of the wealthiest and most important seaports on the east coast. At least up until the 1860s when there was a minor (and necessary) change in the way labor was distributed. There’s still a good bit here to see though.
Find the old part of town and poke around a bit. Trust me… its worth a little bit of time to check out.

The next thing you encounter along US-17 is the Francis Marion National Forrest. The view through this part of the journey can best be summed up by this picture…





That’s pretty much the view you’re going to have for a long while until you get into the outskirts of Charleston (or more rather: Mount Pleasant). It’s not that there isn’t anything to get into in this area… there’s hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and any number of other outdoor activities, but not too many that could be considered a part of a site-seeing excursion. There is one bit of tourist oriented commerce that does begin cropping up as you get closer to the Cooper River…





These “hand weaved” baskets are a staple of Charleston history and its modern tourist trade. They can also be a bit pricy (if they were actually weaved by hand that is… if the price seems reasonable or even cheep, it was probably manufactured by machine and imported from else where), If you’re interested in having one of these gems as proof of visitation, there are stands chock-full of ‘em all along US-17 coming into and back out of the Mt. Pleasant area. The town actually builds some of the stands and rents them out to the vendors so they’re actually more common then kudzu along this part of the road.

We’ve almost made it to Charleston now and the end of the first part of our drive for the day. The official gateway into the city proper would be this rather picturesque suspension bridge…





To those of us from down this way though, that is considered to be the “new” bridge over the Cooper. The pair that I’ve crossed far more often in my time as a Carolinian were of a somewhat older vintage which you can get a bit of a glimpse of here (just scroll down a little bit).. Actually, I’ve got a more entertaining glimpse of the old bridges…





There ya’ go! I was actually able to work an explosion into this part of the TR.

You’re welcome.


Now then, just to be clear, I’ve seen all of these sites at one time or another but didn’t stop at any of them this day. So why exactly then did I spend so much time explaining some of the various sites that are available for you to enjoy on this often ignored stretch of road? And why did I make a point to add copious links throughout leading to other TRs and various information sources along the way?

Well, it’s as a bit of an apology for what is about to happen next. Ya’ see…
My friends (or at least one of them) are just about as geeky as I am and our destination for the day actually did not involve crossing that bridge and partaking of the many historic aspects of one of Americas oldest cities. No, we were going to make an actual left turn off of US-17 right at the foot of that bridge and get into something else (or more rather: get on board something else)…


A ship…

A couple of them actually…



Sorry about that, but that’s where we were going. So, being as I spend far too much time discussing ships in the first place, it wont hurt my feelings one bit if you just skip the last part of this update (and probably the next couple as well).




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Patriot’s Point





Let’s say, just for a moment, that for some odd reason you were interested in exploring an Aircraft Carrier. Yes I know that the notion seems a might odd, but since you’re still reading, I’ll assume that you’re somewhat willing to go along with this preposterous notion. Now this goal could be accomplished by joining the US Navy (the ultimate experts on this type of vessel, as they maintain more of them then the entire rest of the world’s navies combined). Once enlisted you could then set about working toward being stationed aboard one. A might extreme as solutions go, but there are several retired examples that are more easily accessible (if you happen to be in the vicinity of one of them). In the eastern US there are three that can be explored. Sisters actually and all from the same class of WWII veterans.

The USS Intrepid (CV-11) in New York City

USS Lexington (CV-16) located in Corpus Christi Texas

and the one that we were headed for…

The USS Yorktown (CV-10) located at Patriots Point on the north side of Charleston Harbor.





There will also be one thing about this part of the TR that is a might different from most of my updates (and you better shield your eyes because I’m going to demonstrate it right here…





Pictures with people in ‘em (worse yet, pictures that I show up in form time to time). When on vacation, I’m generally the photographer (so I’m not usually in the images). The rest of my family is basically averse to being photographed so my wife and son rarely even allow me to post pictures that include them as part of the subject mater. On this trip however, all three of us were armed with cameras and being guys, we’re neither so bright nor not quite so proud. Heck, hen you’re this ugly, you can’t afford to be proud. Of the two goofs in that first “proof of visitation” image, I’m the really ugly one. The other fellow on the left there is Billy; one of my best friends and a fellow ship geek. The guy taking the picture in this instance was Sal (short for Salvatore, you’ll see him in a minute or two). Another good friend who thankfully ain’t so much of a ship geek, but wanted to join us on the expedition just because we were going. A good reason if ever I’ve heard one.

Anyway, we were actually here today specifically to get aboard on of the smaller ships at the museum: The USS Lafffey (DD-724)





“The ship that would not die”, is a highly decorated vessel that had just recently returned to the museum after nearly three years of renovations (and desperate attempts to avoid the scrap yard, complete the repairs and then bring her back to the museum). The triumphant return only a couple of weeks earlier just reinforced her justly earned epithet. For that reason we wanted to check out the work done.

Is it happens, we’d have been better off waiting a few more week s before heading down here. Exploring the upper decks of the Laffey was allowed, but the exhibits on the lower decks were still under renovation and closed to the public. Ehhh… win some, loose some, but we did get aboard…





There’s Sal, next to that ugly guy. We were inspecting the aft five inch gun turret at the time. From there we worked through the artifacts and historical exhibits on the main deck and then headed up to the boat deck and the ships bridge. While I was trying to take a picture across the bow and toward the marina, Bill decided to snap one of me doing so…





Honestly! I think he could have chosen a better subject. If you’ve never been aboard a naval ship (museum or otherwise) you’ll quickly learn that the stairwells are better described as ladders with handrails so you might want to watch you step…





Now, from this point I could bore you with a couple hundred detail shots of the inside of the ship, but I do that kind of thing far too often. Given that fact I’ll be nice and restrain myself. For now at least, so I guess it’s time to move on…





However… if you were to inadvertently click on that last image, it will take you to an excellent little video that walks you around the vessel and explains a lot about what you actually looking at.

Really! Try it!




Like I said, time to push on. We weren’t going to come all this way and not also explore the Yorktown while we were here. When you first board the carrier you’ll end up on the main hanger deck where all the aircraft were stored and maintained…





There are a lot of exhibits on this deck alone and I do mean “a lot”. It’s the perfect spot for two ship geeks to… well… to basically geek out!





And we certainly did. Again, I’m going to spare you the bulk of the pictures taken but there is one exhibit in this part of the ship that actually confuses a lot of folks.

This one…





What you’re looking at there is a mock up of the “Freedom 7” Mercury space capsule and the Apollo-8 Command Module. Now why would those be there? I actually heard someone asking that very question but I also got the feeling that they really didn’t want me butting into their conversation to explain it. This being a monologue however, you are not so lucky. Unlike the Russians, NASA figured that a parachute assisted landing of a space capsule would work a bit better over water then over a Kazakhstani desert (a somewhat more pliable surface to be sure). But once one of these voyagers would “splash down”, they’d obviously needed to be rescued from the waves by somebody and generally that somebody was the crew of one of the Navy’s carriers.





For Apollo-8 astronauts: Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, the first folks to ever orbit the moon, That someone who would pluck them out of the drink was the crew of the USS Yorktown. So that’s why you’ll find a NASA exhibit aboard a naval museum.


Well, that’s about all the room I’ve got for one post. Here’s just one more image of the Hanger Deck as we started heading up toward the Fight Deck.





I’ll save that and the rest of what is available here at Patriots Point for the next update.

Hopefully I won’t have so many outside distractions to interfere with my pointless aspirations as a writer and I’ll get that worked up just a bit sooner. Or maybe it would be better for everyone if I encountered more distractions.


Naaaaaaa…


You ain’t gott’a read this mess, but do gott’a write it.



Next up: Busted Subs, Hollow Planes, Southeast Asia and the Cold War…
A memorial in several parts.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:09 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The result was consistent though: a raised way, a bit higher then the surrounding land, with a curved “crown” to allow the rain to roll off to either side. That physical height would later lead to the more important roads being referred to as “high-ways” (“byways”, a word with a similar origin, generally refer to private and toll roads).
You know, I come here to escape work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The “Garden City Pancake House” is one of many spots along the Kings that specialize in breakfast and most of them close up by dinnertime. Of those that I’ve tried in my time along the Grand Strand; this one rates somewhere in the middle. It’s good, but I’ve had a better break of the fast elsewhere.
I think I remember seeing that one on our travels. It's kind of cool to be able to recognize certain places from the photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
That’s not just an area name, Pawley’s actually is and island, and a very fine high-end beach resort. Most of the homes are rentable and relaxation is the order of the day. I’ve never had the opportunity to actually “vacate” here, but ruminations from a TR authored by these very fine folks can tell you all about it.
Sounds interesting...

(and thanks for the plug!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The view through this part of the journey can best be summed up by this picture…
Yeah, I can't say that stretch of road was among my favorite drives ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Actually, I’ve got a more entertaining glimpse of the old bridges…


There ya’ go! I was actually able to work an explosion into this part of the TR.

You’re welcome.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
No, we were going to make an actual left turn off of US-17 right at the foot of that bridge
And then NOT be an idiot and make a right to get back on the bridge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
A ship…
You? Getting on ships? Get outta here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Patriot’s Point
Sounds familiar...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Let’s say, just for a moment, that for some odd reason you were interested in exploring an Aircraft Carrier.
Sold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
“The ship that would not die”, is a highly decorated vessel that had just recently returned to the museum after nearly three years of renovations (and desperate attempts to avoid the scrap yard, complete the repairs and then bring her back to the museum). The triumphant return only a couple of weeks earlier just reinforced her justly earned epithet. For that reason we wanted to check out the work done.
Wish we'd had the time to check that one out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
There are a lot of exhibits on this deck alone and I do mean “a lot”. It’s the perfect spot for two ship geeks to… well… to basically geek out!


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
I’ll save that and the rest of what is available here at Patriots Point for the next update.
Patriots Point was a great place to visit. Well worth the time, and it's fun to be able to re-visit it. I'm sure you'll spot plenty of things we missed.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:26 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
You know, I come here to escape work...
Yah…
I figured you’d appreciate that chunk of my musings.


“Ain’t I a stinker?”


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Sounds interesting...

(and thanks for the plug!)
You’re welcome.
You had more pictures of Pawley’s then I did.
I figured the few poor slobs reading my TR needed some kind of diversion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
And then NOT be an idiot and make a right to get back on the bridge...
I’ve done the same in the past, but baclk then it was those old bridges that you’d end up on.
A bit more, shall we say, “exciting”…


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
You? Getting on ships? Get outta here.

Who’d a thunk?
What do you figure the odds are that it won’t happen in the next chapter as well?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Patriots Point was a great place to visit. Well worth the time, and it's fun to be able to re-visit it. I'm sure you'll spot plenty of things we missed.
A couple that you didn’t have time for, but y’all got farther around the Carrier then we did that day. I’ll ‘splaine that a little latter on. As for right now…

I think I need to abuse Andy a little bit more by putting up part-2 of my monster Bonus Feature that I’m completely blaming him for.
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