"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

April 30, 2013

April 30 – Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

Charleston is a foodies paradise…with wonderful restaurants specializing in great seafood and Lowcountry cuisine. We decided last week we needed to break away from our favorite places and try some of the other restaurants we've heard so much about before we leave. Today we had lunch at Poogan's Porch, one of Charleston's oldest independent culinary restaurants, with a fresh approach to Lowcountry cuisine. The meals we chose were excellent, full of delightfully fresh ingredients and flavor.

Poogan's Porch was opened in 1976 in a grand Victorian home that was built in 1888. When the original owners sold their home and moved away a little dog named Poogan stayed behind. He had been a neighborhood dog for years, wandering from porch to porch, in search of back scratches and table scraps. From his proud porch perch, he served as the restaurant’s official greeter until his death in 1979. It seemed only right that the restaurant be named after him. His porch and restaurant live on in his honor.
One of the dining rooms at Poogan's Porch. We sat at the table to the right by the window.
LOWCOUNTRY PASTA - Bowtie pasta, chicken, sausage, smoked gouda, bacon cream, cherry tomatoes, tri-colored peppers, Vidalia onions
SWEET TEA SALMON - Candied lemon & mint risotto, sautéed asparagus

April 29, 2013

April 28 – Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

We spent the day enjoying the activities at the Mt. Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival. The festival began in 1987 to support and honor the local shrimping and fishing industry. It’s held in the picturesque Memorial Waterfront Park and Pier, overlooking Charleston Harbor. There were food booths, craft vendors and lots of activities for kids to enjoy…a real family friendly event that was well attended. People brought their chairs, blankets, coolers and dogs to enjoy the day of events.

The beginning of the Blessing of the Fleet
Shrimp boats getting ready to receive their blessing. They came by one at a time to receive a personal blessing from the priest.
Listening to the Southwood Band...they were very good.
Tony the Peanut Man is a Charleston favorite, he's been selling his peanuts (boiled) at sporting events, the city market and festivals for over 20 years. We saw him on Friday at the RiverDogs game. If you ask him what kind of peanuts he has he'll sing you his famous song. See him in action on this video.

April 27, 2013

April 27 – Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

We only have a few more weeks in Charleston, so we are trying to go to different restaurants and do a few different things before we leave. Earlier in the week we went to Fuel’s Cantina for lunch, it’s located in an old gas station and they have a wonderful patio area. They were featured on DDD a few years ago…it was a fun place and the food was pretty good. Last night we went back for happy hour on their patio and enjoyed their famous Cadillac Margaritas. The cantina was just our first stop…our next stop was at “The Joe” (Charleston’s RiverDogs Stadium) to watch a baseball game. The River Dogs are a Class A team affiliated with the New York Yankees.

It was fun to go to a minor league game, the stadium is smaller and everything is very relaxed and family friendly. We had great seats behind home plate and enjoyed some pretty good hot dogs. The River Dogs played the Kannapolis Intimidators from Kannapolis, NC...and won. After Friday night home games they set off fireworks. The stadium is just up the river from our marina, so getting there and back on our bikes was very simple. We really had a great evening.

Relaxing at Fuel's
The stadium is built right next to the river
Pre-game activities
Charlie and Chelsea...the RiverDogs mascots.
We had wonderful seats
Stan having a little fun with Chelsea 

April 26, 2013

April 26 - Charleston Sights

Ashley Marina

Stan has been working on our brightwork. After applying a new coat of Cetol or gloss each day we have time to play. Here are a few sights from around Charleston.
Another one of my favorite houses in Charleston...there are MANY.
I never get tired of watching all the action around The City Market 
Our neighbors are getting BIGGER...and they are blocking our view of the river.
The sun coming back out after a rain storm 

April 25, 2013

April 25 – Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

One of the first things you notice while wandering around Charleston, especially south of Broad is the abundance of stunning window boxes overflowing with beautiful flowers on almost all the homes. Many of these homes in the historic district were built during the 1700 and 1800s. These homes were built close to the street, many sharing exterior walls with little green space; therefore planters are the only gardening space available…at least on the front of the home. Although many of these houses have small gardens or patios in the back, hidden from the street.

If you look closely at some of the photos you will see the boxes have a drip irrigation system, so the owners don’t even have to water these window boxes…the secret to why they always look so pretty.

Here are a just a few of the wonderful window boxes. If you'd like to see more click here to visit my photo album.

April 24, 2013

April 24 - Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

The weather finally looks nice today. It's hard to believe it's the end of April and we're in the south...we still have our heater on! The weather all over the county is crazy this year...winter just doesn't want to go away. We're glad we made the choice to stay here until the middle of May. The weather north of here is just too chilly for us. Ashley Marina is getting busy though with other boats heading north. We had new friends on Old Spice leave yesterday morning, they are starting the Great Loop, and old friends on Amici arrived in the afternoon. It's always fun to catch up with old friends. They shared their thoughts on the Bahamas and gave us advice on where to go in New England.

No cold weather, no gale force winds and plenty of sunshine…today is going to be a day to ride bikes and explore more of Charleston.

A few days ago the wind was 25-30 mph...I guess this sailboats anchor didn't hold.
Old Spice leaving Charleston 
Amici arriving in Charleston
The crews from The Pearl and Amici toasting our friend Pam's birthday...wish the crew of Gallivant were here. 
The view from our flybridge...it's going to be a beautiful spring day. 

April 21, 2013

April 20 – Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

A cold front has moved through the area (again)…bringing with it windy cold cloudy weather. Worse than that, I had to dig out my long pants and socks…again! Oh well, maybe this will be the last time.

We didn’t let the weather keep us from our favorite farmers market. The Charleston Farmers Market is a busy place on Saturdays…there’s all the regular fruit and vegetable stands, but also great food booths, wonderful locally made crafts and entertainment. It’s a fun place to hang out. Today they also had the Fam Jam going on in Marion Square.It’s a family oriented festival put on by the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. No one seemed to care that it was cold and cloudy outside.

Flower pictures I took on the Gateway Walk
Strawberries and asparagus are in season here and in great supply at the farmers market. The strawberries are good, but no where near as good as the ones we got in Oxnard, CA.

April 19, 2013

April 18 - Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

We've had beautiful spring weather this week in Charleston. We start our days sitting on the deck enjoying our coffee and the view of the water...not a bad way to begin a day! Stan has been redoing some of our brightwork this spring, and it's looking amazing. This week Stan's been able make a lot of progress, but the weather will be changing soon, as another cold front moves through. Rainy, windy weather really slows work down. I spent the morning cleaning the inside of the boat; it still amazes me how dusty a boat can get...especially when we're so far from shore.

I took advantage of the beautiful day and went exploring this afternoon. On my way to check out the Gateway Walk, I had a flat tire. I walked the bike part way back to the boat before Stan came to my rescue. He loaded the bike into the car and took me to the bike shop. In about 15 minutes they had me fixed up and I was on my way... back to the Gateway Walk.

There's a little known walkway in Charleston, called the Gateway Walk, that connects the Unitarian Church and St. John's Lutheran Church, located along Archdale Street to the Circular Congregational Church on Meeting and St. Philip's Episcopal on Church Street. It’s situated in the historic heart of Charleston and yet off the beaten path, Gateway Walk provides a break from the busy main streets as it meanders through old graveyards and secluded gardens, much of the way in the quiet shade of moss draped live oaks.

The walk was the first civic project of the Garden Club of Charleston and opened on April 10, 1930 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Charleston. Gateway Walk is one of Charleston's best hidden treasures and very pretty on such a nice spring day.

St.John's Lutheran Church - Established in 1742
The Unitarian Church - the oldest Unitarian church in the South
Part of the cemetery at the The Unitarian Church
The Gateway Walk between the The Unitarian Church and Charleston Library Society
Circular Congregational Church and Parish House - Organized in 1681, it is one of the oldest continuously worshiping congregations in the South
A view of St. Phillips from the Circular Congregational Church Cemetery
Head stones in the Circular Congregational Church Cemetery - these are from the mid 1700s
Head stones in the St.Philip's Episcopal Church. John C. Calhoun is buried in this cemetery.