Monday, April 30, 2007

Good Times in Virginia

When your neighbors are people like the little fella pictured above... life is good. We had another great day on the plantation. It's large enough we don't even really feel the need to head off exploring anywhere else for the time being. Since there is a working farm, the James River and several old historic housing areas we have just been wandering around for hours in here snapping pics and taking it all in.

Billy has finished a few new paintings... this one is of an old cabin here in Chippokes and a few of the fantastic, huge old trees out in front of it.

They grow wheat here and the field in front of the cabin is about 4 feet high with it right now. I think wheat is the prettiest crop... it's so delicate and fresh in color at this stage.

Last night we met up with some fellow Airstream owners. They were just passing through on their way North but decided to hang out for one night after we met up. We had dinner and shared stories and ideas about traveling and working on the road until almost midnight. Peter and Cheryl (Cheryl, forgive me if this is not the correct spelling of your name!) have been traveling yearly in their Airstream for about 6 years now. They spend part of their year up in the Adirondacks and we hope to meet up with them again in late Summer when we pass through that way. It was a good time and we are glad the Airstream connection allowed us to meet and hang out. Now that the weekend is over with almost everyone has moved on or gone home and we have this place pretty much all to ourselves. Our site is really pretty and I almost wish we could stay for another week before heading to the next spot.

Today we have to drive into town to ship out Billy's recently sold work and I want to stop off on the way home to a nearby farm to pick strawberries. Hopefully they are around on a Monday afternoon to let us pick.

I will leave you with my favorite shot from yesterday's walk. This is an old wonky house near the farm buildings. I caught a little cloud in the sky perfectly in line with the chimney so as to look like a plume of smoke rising out. Always remember you can click on pictures to see a larger version of them which will open up on a new page. Just hit your browser's back button to come back to the blog.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Allow me to Introduce you to GREEEEEN.

Seriously people...I never even knew about green until today. Today...I met GREEN. We had that huge storm roll through here last night and it dumped a load of H2O on us. Apparently this was waaay popular with the local flora. We went on a 4 hour walk today and snapped a mere 204 photos of ...well, greenery. Also...if anyone of you is aware of the missing bees situation... we found them. They are all here in Virginia busily working in the fields. Or in this one field in particular is really a more accurate way to put it. There are 9.6 billion bees out back on the farm here....they are keeping low to the ground and sort of zwiggling around in small circular patterns. What does this mean? Can't say. But believe me when I tell you...the bees have been found. I'll see what I can do tomorrow to dispatch them back to their proper territories. I am sure they meant no harm in leaving off regular duties to zwiggle around frantically here in the old corn field.

Maybe it's all the abundant greenery that is freaking those bees out. It certainly had weird effects on me.

I could barely keep control of my vehicle all day you can see.

Billy will be doing a seriously silly amount of paintings from this farm locale. It is one of the prettiest places we have been. Virginia State Parks get a big fat A+ from us for being especially fabulous. I did laundry clean, functional machines... in a state park. Amazing.

Tomorrow I will post Billy's new work. He just finished his first plantation piece today. It's of one of the little white cabins (they rent them out!) here in Chippokes. Until then...let me hook you up with a little red canoe. I am going to see if we can score a trip down the river in one of these over the next few days.

Friday, April 27, 2007


No foolin' people... We are getting a mighty big storm out here tonight! I snapped the above shot out over the James River just before it started pouring and lightening over our campsite. This is the biggest storm we have been in since last Summer in Santa Fe. It's fun in the Airstream as long as the wind does not get too strong. Then it gets a wee bit scary! We have had thunder rattling the whole trailer for a few hours on and off now. I hope it lasts through the night.

Here are a few other pics from the plantation area where we are camping...

I fell in love with that field in the shot above. The delicate grasses are almost luminescent. It created this glowing sea of brilliant green. There's a little white cabin tucked at the far end of the field near the woods... what a great spot to live.

Oh! How am I online?? I am in the deep woods of a state park and thanks to Verizon Wireless Internet services we can now jump online anywhere we can get a signal on our cell phones. We have been thinking of signing up for the service for awhile but wanted to make sure we really needed to do it (2 year contracts suck.) So after driving all over the place today looking for a wifi cafe and finding nothing we decided to go ahead and do it. So far so good...I really can't believe it is working here where we are. It's pretty darned cool. And for those curious about it... the speed is great. It's at least three times faster than a land line. I'll let you know how it ends up working over time.

I'll leave you with one more shot of the thunder heads building up late this afternoon over the river.

Ahhhhhhhh....That's Better.

So sometimes a bad thing can be a good thing, right? After our mishap in NC we have landed in a really beautiful spot in Virginia that we would have never discovered had it not been for the goofy place we abandoned back down the road a piece. We are right on the James River near a widespread cluster (can a cluster be widespread?) of historic towns in picturesque farmland. The park we are camping in is quiet and so fresh with Spring greenery as to really make you feel like all is right with the world. We have spotted Bald Eagles here among many other birds such as Osprey and vast amounts of vultures. I am not a huge fan of the vulture (who is?) but he's got a dirty job that he does well and so I congratulate him on that. Good job ugly! Keep on bein' creepy and cleanin' up that road kill! Somebodies gotta do it.

Today we visited the town of Smithfield. It's downtown historic district is really cute (small but worth a stop for sure.) We met some really fabulous folks at The Olde World Tea Company who are endeavoring to bring fresh, made from scratch treats to peeps who stop in to their shop for a bite. The serve lite vegetarian fare as well which is not an easy thing to find in Virginia where HAM is KING (peanuts are the runner up...coming in a close second to ham.) They could not have been sweeter to us and even gave me an iced peppermint tea (my favorite) on the house. Thanks! We will head back later this week to have lunch. I was too stuffed on our breakfast from our breakfast at The Surry House to eat anything else today. Now that was some full on old school home cookin'. Their homemade biscuits were mighty tastey.

We had a rainstorm today which kept us from doing much outside but we plan to get out and hike around the area this weekend. I will post new pics later on tonight from the past day or two to give an idea of what this area looks like.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sometimes You Have To Keep On Drivin'.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. We drove all day yesterday and upon arrival at our new campsite which we booked in advance (and prepaid as well) we were greeted by a scene which would have required BOTH of us shaving our hair into mullets before check in to ensure our safety. I am now completely bewildered by the Good Sam's Club park rating system. I dunno, maybe Good Sam is really into faded turquoise plastic roses "planted" in the front yard by the thousands. Anyway...we drove on into the night and eventually landed at a KOA in New Bern, NC. Also I should mention that lunch yesterday was served by Chef Smitty's at the Myrtle Beach Mall's food court. Grilled "cheese" and fries. Don't ask how or why...just know that is how lunch went down. A sleepless night was then provided by a screaming freight train which apparently screeches relentless circles around the KOA campground all through the wee hours. Cool.

Anyway, we are going to try to shake off all that bad juju today and move on down the line. We will be landing in Surry, VA late this afternoon....and are hoping no unforeseen spirit chapping calamity awaits us there. I am pretty sure the entire region we are about to enter is an internet free zone (they keep the internet discreetly hidden under tea cozies so we think they are still living like early English colonists) so I may disappear for several days.

As soon as we resurface I will post many, many pictures and stories. Until then wish us luck.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Moving Day Tomorrow!

We have returned from our trip down to Savannah. On the last day there we had breakfast at Clary's which has been around since 1903 and was made famous by the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. After that we strolled around town a bit more and discovered the best boutique shop on Broughton. It's called The Paris Market and it is fabulous. Billy bought each of us a bottle of fancy smellin' stuff (to ward of the smell of campiness I suppose) and we pined after all the other posh things they had to offer. Things that have absolutely nothing to do with our reality like antique chandeliers and glass test tubes full of exotic spices. It's a cool shop.

On the way back we side tracked out to Edisto Island for a few hours to walk the trails there in the State Park which is beautiful. The drive out to Edisto is just magical. It's the best tunnel of trees effect I have seen yet. There are a lot of quaint old farms and roadside fruit/seafood stands too.

It was an exhausting couple of days and now we are packed up to hit the road to head North tomorrow morning. We will be traveling about 300 miles which is actually kind of far for us to go all at once! We will end up in the Croatan National Forest in North Carolina at day's end. Billy is excited that this spot holds the possibility of seeing actual venus fly trap plants growing naturally. Carnivorous plants and cottonmouth snakes will be right outside our airstream's door. It's the stuff dreams are made of people. I am ready for a change of scenery since we have been here outside Charleston for three weeks. I would recommend Oak Plantation Campground to anyone wanting to stay near Charleston and unable to get into James Island. It's quiet and clean but I will say a lot of the sites are pretty crowded. The folks who run the show are very friendly though and that goes a long way with us.

I have to mention, tonight we are macking on fresh local strawberries from McLeod Farms and they may be in the top 5 strawberry experiences of my life. They also grow peaches which can be mail ordered starting the end of June. Anymore it seems a miracle to find produce (especially strawberries) that actually TASTE like something. These are deeee-lish. Way to go farmer McLeod!

Before signing off we have to boast that we feel a wee bit famous in a really small goofy way today. When I checked my email earlier the new issue of Airstream's official email newsletter was there waiting for me. As I scrolled down through the letter I was suddenly faced with a picture of US! What?! I guess they found us on Flickr and decided our pic was worth slappin' on the newsletter to promote people sharing their personal Airstream photos (via Flickr.) We are honored to say the least.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Savannah AGAIN!

Billy and I decided to head back down to Savannah to spend a few days walking around and shooting as many photos as we can. We have friends who love Savannah and have family roots here and we wanted to see some their favorite spots. Michelle and I only spent a few hours here and Billy had not seen the city at all yet so it was well worth the trip. It was a beautiful, perfect day for walking the city.

We started the day out with breakfast at The Firefly Cafe which is a really hoppin' spot for peeps to chow it seems. I think we hit them on an off day because the whole experience was two shades shy of train wreck but having been a waitress for many years I know that every place has these sort of days and they should be forgiven. It was a cute place but they did not have their heads screwed on straight for the busy Sunday morning shuffle.

We then headed off to see what we could find to shoot around town... buildings, people etc. We stopped off on River Street (where we scored some free salt water taffy), passed by Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons to check out their menu, stepped inside the enormous St. Johns church and wandered through the Colonial Park Cemetery to read the epitaphs on old tombstones. There was one guy named George who died around 1860 whose headstone boasted he had lived to the ripe old age of 142. Dang George! Way to go man! Apparently George was one in a billion...or he was a really convincing liar. Either way I like him.

My favorite thing about the cities we have visited here in Georgia and South Carolina has been the architecture. You could spend days and take thousands of pictures just wandering the neighborhood streets. The people are colorful and friendly as well. The combined effect is really a treat.

We ended the day by gorging ourselves on green curry and drunken noodles from Saigon on Broughton Street. We are now settled into our kitschy hotel room at The Thunderbird Inn. Yes, we left the Airstream for a night of luxurious hotel living. Tomorrow we will head out to Tybee Island to see what we can see out there and possibly hold down a patch of sand on the beach for awhile.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Big One.

Yesterday was Michelle's last day here with us before heading back up to MA. We spent the day walking at Caw Caw Park which is just a few miles down the road from our campsite. It's a really beautiful spot and I think Billy saw about a hundred spots he wants to paint. We took tons of photos so I am sure that even if he can't get back there to work on site he can still get something painted from that location. The most amazing thing about Caw Caw is the birds. It is teeming with them and there are seemingly dozens and dozens of species. It creates a pretty exciting background "soundtrack" for your walk. There are also quite a few alligators to be seen in the rice fields. There is a cypress swamp and a hardwood forest as well so it really is a gem of a place to visit. If you really look in the photo posted here you will see a decent sized gator in the water on the lower portion of the pic. He was in semi-stealth mode.

I was able to swim 9 inches away from this gator's face (disguised as a floating log of course) in order to bring THIS photo to you. I risk it all for the purposes of blog photography.

The cypress swamp is my favorite thing so far about the great outdoors in the South. It is so otherworldly. It's hard to really capture a true sense of place in a picture... but here are a few to give you a feel.

After the swamp tour we headed out onto John's Island to see if we could find a really old tree. And I mean REALLY OLD tree. It's called The Angel Oak and it is said to be 1400 years old or so. And... when you see it, it reaches right out and smacks your brains right out of your beanie little head. There is really no way to convey the intense smacking out of the brains that occurs. Although...for once I do think that even just these small photos will kick your brains around just a little bit, right here on the computer screen. I will post one with no peeps in view and then another with peeps just for the sake of perspective.

We really could not even fit the whole tree into the camera lens, even when set on wide angle view. Please note that in the above picture we have A. One smallish boy doing calisthentics near the tree under the casually watchful eye of his personal photographer B. Several people and a large muppet like dog who seem to be somewhat unaware of the tree like they are all "Whatever, I see trees like this in my own back yard so who cares." and C. One person (who happens to bear a strong, uncanny resemblance to me) involved in a deep level of communion with the tree. I find it to be a really fascinating pic. Hope you enjoy as well.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Well, Chelle and I drove down to Savannah today as planned. It was an ultra quick visit, sort of a whirlwind actually. If we had not had the gps we would still be wandering around in some neighborhood down there saying "I *think* this looks familiar.... did we go down that road before?" It's easy to get lost in Savannah. Our walking around was hindered by a mack daddy of a blister on my pinkie toe. Actually my innermost will to live was hindered by said pinkie toe blister before it was all over with. I now have 14 bandaids on the festering wound and will be having the whole left foot amputated on Tuesday due to the extensive tissue damage I suffered. Other than that everything was quite nice. We ate lunch at a little Thai place and then explored the various neighborhoods in the comfort of the car and off our feet. Savannah has some rock star action on the most average of it's hood's streets. By "average" I mean middle class, smallish houses from the 50's or so. Example....

Not too shabby eh? There are parks every few blocks featuring the same enormous, mind blowing trees as well. It's tree-licious. Here is another example. This next pic is of a dentist office. The tree is all "Hey baby" and just steps away inside someone is getting a root canal. This has to have some profound effect on the overall vibe of the dental experience. I know I would endure the pain with a bit more grit than normal if I could gaze out the window at that phenomenon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

At Times It Was Dangerous.

Tonight can be summed up in a very few words. Scrabble. And... Walk to gas station. Or I should say gas stationS. We went to three. On foot. Why? No good reason. It was something dumb to do. But as the title of the post explains... at times it was dangerous. We crossed a busy highway intersection in the dark. Always a smart move to make. Anyway...I think you will get the overall feeling for the whole night here in this short photo essay of sorts. Note the high math on the Scrabble score sheet.

You will have to click on the above pic strip to see it bigger....

I think we are heading to Savannah tomorrow while Billy stays home to paint. Thanks for tuning in. We appreciate your support in these odd posting times.


It has been a busy week... My friend Michelle is here with us and we have been out prowling around Charleston, going for long drives and tormenting Billy with 80's music. Last night while Billy was trying to watch "America at a Crossroads" we were blasting "Let the Music Play" by Shannon. Poor Billy. As you can see those are two media moments that were never really meant to be mixed, shaken or stirred together for any reason whatsoever.

We discussed the concept of a full blown 80's party in the trailer park here... but decided our true theme would be lost on most of the parties attendees. I just like the idea of Air Supply cranking out over the roofs of $300,000 motor coaches while I stand by as host in a pair of pink leg warmers.

I have not really shot any pictures yet this week. And we have not painted. Tomorrow those two things will change though and I will post results. Happy Wednesday and be glad wherever you are that you don't have sand gnat bites all over your ankles they way I do. In parting let me share with you this excerpt about the dear, beloved creature which has been tormenting us here in SC...

"So why does it hurt like mad when a gnat takes a meal from your arm or, even worse, your scalp? The secret is in the mouth parts. Sand gnats don't just puncture your skin like mosquitoes do. Instead they rip it open using sharp cutting teeth located on the mandible. After inserting two sharp, sword-like blades into the skin as anchors, the sand gnat uses the cutting teeth to rip up the skin and get the blood flowing. As if that weren't enough, the gnat then squirts a chemical into the open wound to inhibit blood clotting. The tiny pool of blood that forms is then sucked up through a straw-like structure called the proboscis. Some human victims have allergic reactions to the chemical and must endure itchy red spots or even swollen welts."

Ok then.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Condiments and Round House Kicks.

You know it has been a low key day when I resort to posting these sort of photos. I am mildly justified because we have had an actual request for a condiment line up photo. Somehow I don't feel it is as exciting as one would have hoped.... but it's what we are currently packing in the fridge.

The fridge itself is always kind of a puzzle-esque masterpiece. It's not too bad right now but sometimes stuff is crammed in there in such a way you have to really put on your thinking cap before you try to pull out the cheese slices because you may cause an avalanche of olives, avocado and oranges if you do it wrong.

Wow. You can hardly contain your excitement right? I mean...this is not something you see every day unless you happen to own a refrigerator yourself which I am quite sure none of you do.

Now for something you'll really like. I have spent the better part of the afternoon contemplating THESE . How did I live this long without knowing about these pants? Apparently I'm not the Norris fan I thought I was. If you did have these jeans you could then get yourself one of THESE to wear with them which would probably get you into situations where kicking people in the face may become necessary for self preservation. Because secretly...we all want to kick someone in the face with style and in complete comfort.

So here are two more new paintings from Young William. He's doin' a fine job.

Tomorrow we are supposed to get a "We're all gonna DIE!" type of storm coming through here. Hail, "damaging winds" and rain. I am not feeling so confident about the concept of hail in relationship with the roof of our cozy little tin can here. So everyone please cross your fingers and your toes that we don't get creamed. We will let ya know how it goes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Good Eats and New Work

Well our rainy day ended up brightening up and was actually pretty nice. I did have a low moment at the laundry mat (my least favorite thing about this way of living so far is the issue of having to use the laundry mat.) But Billy got a lot of work done today while I was being hassled by weirdos and their dirty undies.

We spent the early evening making dinner. We had lots of fresh stuff like heirloom tomatoes, fresh mint, fennel and poblano pepper so we decided to make falafel. Any fresh veggies go great with falafel. We always make our version of cucumber raita to go with this dinner, the recipe is plain yogurt, chopped up fresh cucumber, minced fresh raw garlic, chopped fresh mint and salt and pepper, it's simple. It is a perfect compliment especially if you are going to pour on any kind of hot sauce which we also always do. Otherwise we just use a box mix for the falafel, something like THIS one. We grilled the poblano pepper as well as a red bell pepper and wrapped the fennel bulb with garlic and mushrooms in some foil and threw that on the grill too. I use arugula for the greens because it's flavor does not get lost in the mix. We found a killer hot sauce made here in SC. This company (Gullah Gourmet) is so cute and we have tried a few of their sauces and all of them so far have been fantastic. The one we used to tonight is the Vidalia Onion Peach Hot Sauce. It seems like almost every single product is vidalia onion based... but once you try them you can see why. They are super yummy and their product labeling is brilliant. Oh, and I always warm up some soft flour tortillas to wrap the stuff up in.

If you have a hankerin' for fresh veggies and a creative night in the kitchen bust out with some falafel. It's one of our fave dinners... but the real challenge is perfecting your form in building your tortilla full of stuff. Inevitably Billy always ends up proclaiming that his wrap is too big to pick up.

Here are Billy's latest two paintings... both are scenes from Hunting Island State Park. I am really loving the way he is infusing the whole piece with color...even the sky has subtle pinks and yellows. He is really putting out some atmospheric work and it is fun to see him painting the actual places we are staying.

Both of these pieces will be up on eBay this week.

Rainy Day Thoughts

After a not so good night's sleep (heavy rain on the roof of an aluminum shell can be pretty loud people) we are having a low key day of reading and just hanging out. Last night we watched a program on PBS's Independent Lens series called "Black Gold" about the coffee producers of Africa. As they state at the beginning of the program, on the world market coffee is second only to oil in trade. OIL. Are you with me on that? Coffee is a really, really big deal. The next thing you need to know is that a lot of people in certain regions of Africa, Ethiopia in particular, are completely reliant on coffee as their countries most prominent source of income. Millions of people are involved in a life or death sort of relationship with coffee... and I don't mean people who think they will die if they can't drink a whole pot of coffee every morning before they start their day. Coffee prices are at a 30 year low and the producers literally make next to nothing off their product they take so much pride in and work so hard to maintain. Why am I telling you this? I dunno...just to get ya thinking about it I guess. A gentle reminder to actually consider where the stuff comes from and there are humans at the other end of our cups of joe we get from Starbucks or wherever. Billy and I try to buy fair trade coffee when we get coffee for home. It is a lot easier to find even at your regular old grocery store anymore than it used to be. But I will admit to (especially this winter) being a junkie for Caramel Macchiatos from Starbucks. I paid around $3.00 apiece for those drinks and the person at the other end of the spectrum is making like 50 cents a day for the work they do to produce the beans. It sure does put an ugly dent in the pleasure factor when you know that. It's something to consider when you buy coffee or for that matter chocolate or any other number of harvested, hand crafted products. If you are interested in learning more about Fair Trade products THIS is a great website to check out.

Ok...I will step off the soap box now. I don't think I will have too much exciting news to post this week. We are sticking close to home and working for the most part. Billy is painting right now indoors (because of the rain.) My best friend Michelle is coming this weekend from Martha's Vineyard to spend a week with us so we are trying to get ahead.

I will leave you with a picture of Grill Master William McLane cooking on our new "little girl." We had been discussing buying a small propane grill for awhile and I had shared this idea with my Mom. A few days ago while on the phone with her she asked me "So what's the story on the little girl?" And I was all...."What little girl? What the Hell are you talking about?" Yah...obviously she had said GRILL not there you have it. We christened the little girl with tofu dogs and corn.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

As Easter-y As I Get.

I set out this morning to take photos. Of Easter-y stuff. I was not sure what that meant exactly... but I was ready and willing to try for a theme of sorts. I suppose I could have taken photos of ladies in silly hats and little girls in poofy dresses leaving church or I could have even gone to the grocery store and photographed pink sugar cookies shaped like eggs. But I did not do that. Instead I found myself at The Magnolia Plantation. I paid the entrance fee of 1 million dollars to see the gardens (it costs 2 million if you want to see the house as well.) There are 51 acres of gardens so I guess it is worth the high price you pay. I took my highly confusing map and set off on foot through the maze of walkways. I took a lot of photos and it seems they are mostly of creepy cherub babies and billowy maiden statues. So there you have my Easter photo theme. It's as Easter-y as I was able to get. I kept a sharp eye out for any rabbits who may be passing through but there were none. They were too busy elsewhere today I guess.

Billy stayed home today to paint. He set up out on the old grounds of the plantation (now a campground) where we are staying. There are a bunch of great big old oaks out there and he is working on a piece involving them.

People (I won't say WHO...but you know who you are) have been pestering me for days about our Easter dinner. I did my best to appease your worries. I made bow tie pasta with asparagus and we also had some fancy pantsy bread made with rosemary. And wine. And we had fresh flowers on the table. And a candle was lit too. Easter Dinner.

Now Billy is laying on the bed occasionally wailing out a weak sounding cry of "Brooownies!" So...that will tell you how the night will wind up. I'm making brownies. Right now.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Loquat Bombings in the City

Yes. Loquat (click it for more info on loquats than you ever knew existed.) I was hit in the head by one while dining at 82 Queen today and I still have a large crunchy sticky spot on top of my head to prove it. Our lunch was actually a pretty amusing experience. We were seated out back in a lovely little patio area surrounded by old brick buildings and great old trees, statues, arbours etc. it was very quaint. Until the loquats began to splat and bounce off the table and my head. When I looked up to get a look at where my assailants were descending from I immediately spotted a 5 foot long giant snake directly above my head in the tree. After a 1.7 second spike of pure panic I realized it was fake. The restaurant had placed it there in an effort to keep birds and squirrels at bay... nobody wants poop in their soup. Although sooner or later some poor woman may have a heart attack when she glances up and sees the fat serpent in the tree above her head and does not realize it is plastic. Our food came and wow....WOW. I had fried green tomatoes over grits and Billy had barbecued shrimp and grits. I ate 3/4 of mine and immediately felt like I had consumed a quart of warm mayonnaise. It was good food but entirely too fried, rich and indulgent.

After lunch we wandered around downtown on foot for about three hours poking our noses into galleries and reading the menus posted outside at all the shmaltzy restaurants. Charleston is really a great place to explore on foot... I would recommend avoiding the Market Street area though. It was over the top touristy and kind of gross. My general rule of thumb is when you encounter a Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory head in the opposite direction.

Charleston has a lot of nooks and crannies...little alleyways and gardens you can get a glimpse of down courtyard corridors. You can really feel the age of the place and it is very well maintained in the French Quarter. The parks are beautiful as well...

We capped off the day with a fat slice of Toll House Pie from a place called Kaminsky's Cafe. It was in the heart of the creepy Market Street tourist district but it was dealing out mean looking desserts so we grabbed one to go and took it out to the Waterfront Park to devour it. Then it was HOME PLEASE....I think I am gonna be SICK. Another piece of advice... Tollhouse Pie on top of fried green tomatoes and cheesy grits is just not a great idea. I have a long way to go before I can hang tough with some hard core Southern eatin' I think.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


We finally made it to Charleston. We have had so much anticipation of arriving here... for a variety of reasons. My best friend is considering moving here and is coming down for a week long visit while we are here so that is the main reason for the interest.

Our camp site is just about 15 minutes from downtown and is pretty decent. It's not as nice (aesthetically) as the last few places we have stayed but it is really close to town so it works. We drove in yesterday even though we were so tired we felt like we really may die. Charleston is a total mind blow. I guess I did not really know what to expect but A. It is WAY bigger than I expected and B. There is A LOT going on in town. The historical buildings/architecture are just fantastic. I am all about any giant old waterfront mansion that's painted pink from head to toe and is surrounded on all sides by enormous oaks and flowering bushes and trees. I will post pics once we get down there in earnest and see more stuff.

So we are settled here for three weeks. After that we have no idea where we are going. Feel free to make suggestions on places North of here on the coast you have been or know about which are good. This would include North Carolina and/or Virginia.

I wanted to mention one really interesting place we visited down by Hunting Island. It was Penn Center and it was a beautiful little town to see. Click the link (Penn Center) to read a bit about the historic info on the place and see some amazing old photos. It really felt like stepping back in time to be there. The buildings and the area are really being well cared for. Billy really wanted to try the nearby Gullah Grub Restaurant but they were not open any of the times we passed by with empty tummies. So it is something to plan a return visit for.

I'll be back to post new pics as soon as I have some to show off. We need to set to work painting too... and I will post new work as it is finished.

Monday, April 02, 2007

BIG POST. Lotsa stuff.....

So we drove almost 20 miles today just to find internet access. It was worth it. I am sitting here devouring a perfectly tasty hummus wrap and a sweet tea at a coffee house in Beaufort while working online.

Arriving at Hunting Island State Park (SC) we were greeted by the camp hosts… “Welcome to paradise!” I could not imagine this place was going to live up to such a bold statement… but it really kinda does. We are tucked back in a deep woods, surrounded by huge old oaks and palms. The beach is about a 4 minute walk from our front door and is enormous, wild and stretches on for miles.

Once we parked our peanut and started to get set up we were greeted by the *other* camp hosts… a family of deer who visit on a daily basis lookin’ for a snack. You can feed them straight from your hand. I was insisting on a whole foods diet….fruits and veggies and an occasional piece of grainy bread. Then our neighbors landed and I watched in awe as a kid fed a single deer an entire bag of Cheetos. So much for the whole foods diet. Anyway… we have also been feeding the 14 million red cardinals who reside in these woods. There are considerably less bugs here (which is weird) and we have fallen in love with the beach where you can find beautiful shells when the tide goes out. It is hard to even consider working (painting) while here, there is too much other good stuff to be doing.

Billy did head out on Saturday and set up out on a stretch of beach to paint a wind swept old tree. I worked outside back at the trailer and finished a small barn landscape I had started back on Hilton Head. So we have gotten a little bit accomplished while here.

It is extremely windy out here most of the time, which I have tried to demonstrate visually for you here...

We have had some low moments with the meals on wheels.... I told you we would eventually. It has been a 'back to basics' sort of mentality ruling in the kitchen for the past week. You can't get much more basic than pb & j.

We will head out again on Wednesday morning to head up to Charleston, SC. Once we get set up there we should have full internet access the whole time. Until then....