Friday, May 30, 2008

What I Did on My Spring Vacation

Sisterknits has been scolding me for my slackness in bloggage (bloggification?) and I must plead guilty. It's even worse because I've been regularly checking others' blogs and grumbling to myself when they weren't updated. So, here's the first of my catch-up blogs, reporting, some time after the fact, on my spring vacation to South Carolina.

Some might say that I do not need a vacation, not being gainfully employed, and I wouldn't argue. I certainly don't need one as much as the friends I vacation with, who all work very hard. But it's always nice to visit a different place, to see old friends, to do different things -- and then to come home.

We all arrived in Savannah on May 13 within an hour or so of each other, and piled into a rented Chevy Malibu (fantastic gas mileage) for the trip to An Island off Beaufort, SC. On the way we stopped at the supermarket and the Gay Fish Co. for food and shrimp, and Dempsey's farmstand for strawberries. On arrival, began the week of rest and relaxation combined with some cooking and just a bit of sight-seeing.

Some of the things we cooked: The Decorator, whose family has ties to Spain, made tortilla de patatas, gazpacho, and sangria. The CEO did the shrimp most of the time and made her special cocktail sauce, More Stately Mansion Brownies, and one special evening, Kir Royal with some pink champagne that had been languishing in the refrigerator. The Accountant brought a wonderful shrimp recipe from Lynne Rossetto Kasper's new cookbook, and I made several of the spreads I mentioned in an earlier post, from St. Martin's Table. One evening, Honorary Oldest Friend had us over for crab-stuffed chicken breasts and asparagus -- mmm!
Each year we try to do one "touristy" thing, and this year it was the "Gardens, Graveyards and Gospel" tour sponsored by the Old Commons Neighborhood in Beaufort. This is an integrated neighborhood just outside downtown, with both large and small houses and many inventive gardens. The graveyards (that we saw) were those of the Catholic and the Methodist churches; the Methodist one had been African-American since the Civil War. Both had well-prepared and hospitable guides who loved their history. Here's a gravestone from the Catholic cemetery with a sad story:

Lillie Small and her baby were lost as described. The baby was never found, but when Lillie's body was recovered a pair of baby shoes were found frozen to her skirt.

The gardens were quite different from those I'm used to. Evidently the paramount value in a South Carolina garden is shade. Instead of sunny gardens full of flowers, we saw mostly cool, shady gardens with many kinds of different (green) foliage and ferns. Just what one would want in a place where by mid-May it was about as hot as I would prefer in midsummer. Here's a photo of one of the gardens (I don't know why I got those odd bright spots, sun I suppose).
In the middle of the day there was a Fish Fry. It was sponsored by the Sons of Beaufort Lodge (Prince Hall Masons -- that is, African-American Masons) to help restore their hall. I didn't get a photo of the fishfryers, who were the Masons, but here's a picture of one of the young sailors and marines from the local bases who came to help out:

it brought home to me how we
in Uppity College Town will miss the servicemen and women when the Naval Air Station closes, partly because of the volunteer work they do in the community.

One of us had some knee and ankle issues this trip, so we didn't spend much time on the actual beach. But a is the classic Feet Picture:
I even took movies on my trip, although as you will see I still have a lot to learn about moviemaking with my little digital camera. However what really excited me about doing this was the audio portion where you can hear the birdsongs. So here are two very similar and very short videos of dawn on Harbor Island:


And last but not least, a bit of atmospheric music along with a photo of what they're singing about:


Cathy said...

OH the music -brought tears to my eyes. It was beautiful. We just don't get music like this today.

Now I am going back to look at your other two videos.

I swear we must be some kindred spirits or related somewhere.

Singing Owl said...

Oh, that was charming! Thank you!