Hello, from the nice SpringHill Suites in Charleston, South Carolina. Located close to the banks of the Ashley River, this hotel has unusually large, wel-equipped rooms with kitchenettes, comfortable beds, and even full living room furniture; including a couch on which I currently lie.
Arriving here yesterday at 5 was no easy task. We depart my apartment at a bit before 12. While I await her arrival, I am amused by the arguments of angry neighbors.
“Hey, open this f―in’ door! My name is on the (dang) lease too, don’t forget that!”
I know not about what she was so mad, but just shook my head.
A quick stop at McDonalds, where I wolf down the sausage, egg and cheese biscuit as if it might well be my last meal. We sail unencumbered through Cary, Raleigh, and onto the way leading to I-95. Where all just about stops.
Progress is slowly made, but even so, she says the level of driving required to keep both from plowing into and being plowed into is nearly too much. I am sadly of little use here, other than attempting to conduct pleasant conversation while watching my Carolina Panthers against the Atlanta Falcons through play-by-play via the Sports Alerts iPhone app. We lost our first game, y’all! How disappointing, but I knew it was likely. Hard to beat a team, and especially an arch rival, twice in three games.
Anyhow, we finally broke out of the traffic snarl once merging onto I-26 about 30 minutes outside of Charleston. Then it was hugging the speed limit before exiting and following the somewhat loopy GPS directions until we approached the hotel at 98 Ripley Pointe Drive.
That was the longest car ride I’ve taken in many years, so to stretch was grand. We hauled out our luggage and made our way to the second floor check-in area. As it turns out, our room would also be on this level. While on the elevators, some other travelers asked where we’d come from. I think maybe they were from Charlotte.
The hotel offers a shuttle to downtown starting at 5 PM. We’d contemplated using that, but it didn’t take long to decide that having the car would be better. This is primarily because the rides are provided only once an hour. So, we worked through the vast selection of restaurants on Google Maps to choose a quaint place called Crust Wood fired Pizza, located at 1956 Maybank Highway, #B. They have a greater selection than pizzas though, so we figured it would be a good option.
I really liked the atmosphere here. Even though all of the tables were taken, the volume of conversation was such that one didn’t have to pitch one’s voice way up in order to be heard. The staff were also accommodating, allowing us to move from a less back-friendly bar to a booth once it became available.
My only issue with this place is that they need to update their online menu. I’d settled on a meatball sandwich, supposedly made with balls in house, but they’re no longer there! So, i go for a giant Italian sandwich that comes cut in half, along with some deliciously crispy fries that more resembled hot potato chips. She opts for a shrimp gnocchi, (pronounced yokey). I think it is composed of potato-based noodles, but have never tried it.
And not much else. I finally purchase the tickets for the boat ride around Charleston Harbor we will take in a few hours. I’d discovered this through the Charleston SC iPhone app. It never ceases to amaze me the degree to which this technology allows me to assist in the planning of a trip like never before. I’ll probably post about how today unfolds sometime tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I’m suffering through a Charles Dickens book called The Chimes, available free on Audible, so I can quickly notch book 49 and hang onto a shred of hope that I’ll finish this challenge before 2015 finishes me! More later.