a weekend away…

My weekend conference at Seabrook Island managed to sneak up on me, and before I realized, I was packing at the very last minute to head to the beach. Of course, even while I hurried to pack on Thursday night, I realized that the weather forecast wasn’t very good, so I included plenty of hoodies, waterproof jacket, and two umbrellas.

On Friday morning, the adventure began with Starbucks coffee and scones, and ended with the best hush puppies in the world, which we ate at Gilligan’s. These hush puppies are not your crappy Long John Silver’s type appetizer, but the real deal, with bits of some kind of pepper in them. They have a bit of bite, which is something to look forward to.

The weather was cool for the first two days, but the rain held off, for the most part, allowing us to be outside a few times. But over the whole weekend, the wind, the temperature, and later, the rain, kept us off the beach. Instead, we played games inside, took naps, spent time with friends, wrestled with siblings, or played with the speaker’s children.

Who can resist playing with the kids or the baby? We certainly couldn’t. Little Moses was carried around everywhere, while the bigger siblings got spun, tossed, and played with until we grownups were out of energy.

A few of my dear friends were unable to come because of classes, clinicals, and expensive plane tickets. Of course, with Charleston Airport shutting down, one of them almost didn’t get there at all. So, in Susie’s honor, I had to remember to take some pictures of the food, because they certainly feed us well. We feasted on cauliflower cheese soup, tilapia, Mississippi Mud pie, and many other wonderful things.

When we headed into Charleston, on Monday, I was really trying to get a few good pictures of the oak trees that overhang the roads, when you get near the ocean. The branches drip with Spanish moss, and they oppressively drape themselves over the roads, which can be quite intimidating when you drive through after dark. I’m always afraid I’m going to hit one because it leaned out too far.

After breakfast at the Town & Country, where at least one person was rooting for rain, because rain means going bowling, the rain decided to hold off. We headed downtown to the Market, where I was almost tempted into buying a sweetgrass basket, for the first time in my life. The coloring and design was so intricate and beautiful, I had to resist, because my wallet couldn’t afford it. Meanwhile, the guys were wandering through the two hat shops, and eventually bought some. The first hat model, by the way, didn’t own the hat, but I thought it was a good modern version of a character from Oliver Twist.

Down at Waterfront Park, the Pier was dry but windy. The park itself was covered in puddles, but we managed to get to the Pineapple Fountain without drowning. Some of us remember sunny May conferences, when we actually stood in the fountain for a photo shoot, or one friend that climbed that fountain while wearing rollerblades. None of that happened that day, with rain imminent, however.

A stop at a quaint little coffee shop, where we thawed out, and enjoyed pumpkin or Mexican spice lattes, was the prelude to heading for the bowling alley.

At the bowling lanes, we had a great game, as we didn’t have time for more than one. We had a deadline to make, in order to have pizza with the rest of our group. I am happy to say that I won the game, though I hadn’t played in several years. However, when I got home and told my parents that I won with 127, they were completely unimpressed. Now I have to play again and get at least 200 in order to get any kind of reaction from them. Maybe next May conference. Or better yet, if some friends accept my challenge for bowling in March, in Pennsylvania.

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