Karen and I traveled to Charleston last Friday to attend the opening night reception of our two person show at Principle Gallery. The drive was easy and the weather was perfect. Our hotel was just next door to the gallery so it was really easy to drop in when we first arrived. The paintings were beautifully arranged on the walls, and we had a nice time talking with Thomas and Michele the owner of the gallery.
Our friends Jeff and Leslie Cohen had driven in from Wilmington to attend the opening and we spent the afternoon with them gallery hopping until it was time to get ready for the show. The doors opened at 5 and guests began to arrive almost immediately. Everyone was very complimentary and friendly, and at the close of the evening Karen had sold two paintings.
When the reception finished up we said our good-bye's and told Michele we'd stop by and see her again the next morning before we left. After that Karen and I meandered the streets visiting other galleries then called it a night.
|Breakfast at Eli's|
Saturday morning we got up early and walked around Charleston. It's a great city for walking. Michele said she'd open the gallery at 10 but at around 9:30 we found ourselves outside the gallery. She had said that we could "buzz" her apt and she'd come down, but there was no response when we did. Eli's Table, a very nice restaurant, was literally right next door, so we decided to treat ourselves to breakfast. We ate on the back patio, and the food was wonderful. Fabulous roasted potatoes, creamy grits and huge biscuits . . . delicious! We took our time, had an extra cup of coffee, and when we finished we walked over to Principle one more time to thank Michele for putting on a wonderful show.
|Fort Fisher Sunset|
After that we went back to the hotel, packed our gear and headed up to Wilmington. The Cohens had been trying to get us up for a visit for a while, and since we were so close we accepted their offer. The drive was nice, with the exception of the Myrtle Beach stretch, which was hell. Their new house was really cute. They had been working on it for a year and was full of Coheny touches.
That first afternoon they drove us around, pointing out the various places of interest. They took us down to the boardwalk, with a mandatory stop at Britt's Donuts. After that we drove out to the beach at Fort Fisher, walked around that wonderful park and that evening enjoyed a gorgeous sunset. At this point we were getting pretty hungry, so we headed back to their neighborhood and had dinner at a terrific burrito place they love called Flaming Amy's Burrito Barn. We spent the rest of the evening catching up. They moved away from Atlanta a year ago, so we had a lot to talk about. About 1 am we finally gave out.
|Wilmington Waterfront from the deck of the USS North Carolina|
The next morning Jeff made us all french toast and we planned our day. The main event was to be a tour of the battleship USS North Carolina. The weather could not have been more perfect and from the deck Jeff pointed out parts of the waterfront just across river. We lucked out on our visit, because just as we arrived we got to talking with one of the docents. He seemed to take a liking to us, and wound up escorting us throughout the entire ship. It was great. He (I wish I could remember his name) was a wealth of information, and even opened up a few areas that were locked off. Jeff and Leslie said that they had been to the ship a number of times and that was the best time they'd had there.
|Jeff and Leslie on our battleship tour|
That evening Jeff made us his famous Pad Thai, and later that night we went out and drove through the city of Wilmington. That is a happenin town at night.
|Karen and I on Zeke's Island|
Our original plan was to return to Atlanta the next day, but the Cohen's talked us into staying another day and taking part in their new favorite pastime, kayaking. We called Alex, our nephew and favorite cat sitter and he was okay with watching our kitty for one more day, so we enthusiastically agreed to stay.
|Hunting for sharks teeth|
He was right, we found a bunch. I have to say, kayaking is really fun. It's easy to understand why they love it so much. With the exception of falling out of my ride (I have the dubious honor of being the only person they've taken out to fall out of their kayak. Fortunately I had put my iPhone into a ziplock bag) it was a wonderful adventure. The water, wildlife, salt marsh and good friends came together to make a pretty perfect day.
We spent that afternoon visiting with Jeff's mother at her beach house, and finished off the day with one more trip to Flaming Amy's. Early the next morning we we bid our friends farewell and returned to our non ocean, non kayaking home.
We've already made plans to go back.