Monday, June 6, 2011

One day more! Les Miserables and a Trip to Charleston. Somehow, they connect.

Amidst all the Les Miserables contesting, I have yet to blog about my 6 day venture to Charleston, South Carolina. A gross oversight, but one must prioritize, am I right? And a coveted Les Miserables ticket seemed a more demanding task considering the deadline. And since we’re talking about Les Miserables, let me just say it was amazing, OF course, and I think my bless-ed companion enjoyed it as well!

Here he is in a picture with people he doesn’t know and me. How’s that for almost "background creeper got in our picture randomly?" Poor Pete. But he's HAPPY! That much is obvious.

And here’s one of my family – aren’t they a lovely family? What I like most is that brother Nick and brother Seth called each other before hand to see what to wear. They wanted to make sure they matched. Cute, eh? So cute.

As far as the production itself: incredible, amazing, and awe-inspiring. Truly I love the story, love the music, and love the changes and adaptations they made for this 25th Anniversary production. Nothing was amiss and all was as it should be. I’d also like to give a shout out to the wonders of CGI in such productions. It fit nicely without taking away from imagination and individual perspective. Bravo! And as always, Eponine is my favorite character, the one I identify with most. I may have to tell you why sometime… but now…



So, why Charleston? Well I expect that most of you know that Charleston (like Salt Lake City thank you very much) is one of the U.S’s most desirable cities to live in (which I couldn't find a site for so I may have just made it up...). Did you also know that SLC and Charleston also boast such awards as the “best looking people” in the US as well? I find this ironic for two reasons – one: as many of you know SLC was pegged as THE VAINEST of the VAIN Cities in the US according to Forbes magazine; citing our exorbitant amount of plastic surgeons to population ratio, as well as our ridiculous expenditures on cosmetics, self-help books, dietary supplements, etc. I admit, in SLC I feel I’m an average looking girl (at best), faced with an intensely high expectation of “beauty” I find not only impossible to maintain, but not entirely worth my time. I have such things as school, work, sleeping, and grocery shopping to pencil in as well, ya know? When I travel outside of Utah, my confidence increases greatly as I find I get more attention (gentlemanly kind… there’s a difference between cat-calls and a double take good sirs) and feel that everyone has a few more things to worry about than making sure their mascara is just-so every morning. I don’t function in extremes – so if you’re going to say “Oh sure! You want us to be ugly furry people who smell like sour milk and cat breath?” Clearly not. Moderation my friends – prioritization and all that. Anyway… aside. I feel SLC beauty can be highly superficial and that’s become the standard of beauty – faux-beauty.

Secondly, however, in Charleston I noticed there were a lot of good looking people but these good looking people seemed to exude a more natural beauty. They of course all had beautiful clear skin I’d attribute to the balmy moist climate and mucho amounts of sunshine rays increasing their Vitamin D which would give any one a twinkle in their eye. But also, I feel there was a quiet confidence about these good looking people that projected outward in a “I like myself” way rather than a “I have to be hotter than that person and that person and that person” sort of way. SLC’s vanity keeps up with the Jones’s… Charleston’s good lookingness finds beauty in living and walking and being rather than buying. But hey, I was only there for 6 days and I’ve lived in SLC for 7 years – so perhaps I have a better handle on the SLC vanity pulse than I do in Charleston. It’s just my “first impressions.”

And the impressions got better and better!

I flew out there to spend time with my old roomie Nikelle who moved out there this time last year as well as enjoy the beauty, food, and humidity of the South. Let me tell you how Nikelle and I have been roomies (with a few gaps here and there) for close on to 5-6 years. That’s a pretty significant time to have a roomie and not want to smother them in their sleep. Am I right? And with a free place to stay in one of the most desirable cities in the US, not to mention after a semester of death and months and months of cold wetness, it was time for a leisurely vacation across the country. That always cures what ails me. I've also never been east of Colorado in the US save the DC airport on my way to London. I know, I'm un-American. I hope to change that in the coming years... starting with Charleston!

Photo documentation below!

First, one must enjoy the finer things of Southern culture and visit such necessary landmarks as:


Both of these fantastic establishments made me feel I was truly in the South. You should also know that the Waffle House is ghetto-DELICIOUS! And anyone who is telling you anything else is smokin something. In fact, let's talk a little bit about food, shall we?

Foods you must eat in Charleston: First, fried things... lots of fried things. If you don't eat fried things then you will not eat. So think about that before you pack your bags and head to that part of the U.S. where mac and cheese is considered a vegetable. You think I jest... I jest NOT lad. Fried things I had: Fried green tomatoes (delish), hush-puppies (which is basically deep fried pancake batter balls), chicken (duh), shrimps and other various basted seafood delights, grits, cheese grits, buttered grits (not fried but oh-so-Southern), and french fries (what?). My favorite place we dined was the Hominey Grill and I demand that if you go to Charleston YOU GO TO THE HOMINEY GRILL. Because if you don't, you suck. And no one really wants to suck; particularly if you sorta suck already.

Also of note is Melvins BBQ. Oh my friends, you have not eaten BBQ until you've sucked back some Melvin's BBQ. It's all about the sauce. They have varieties of sauces for to slather your pulled meat platters and oh what a slathering it is. This is also where I discovered my love for lima beans dripping in bacon-butter. That's right, bacon-butter.

Of course, the sea food is 100 times better than anything landlocked Utah can offer you, but you trade in exquisite Mexican food which Charleston does NOT have. Nikelle and I had ourselves some fish tacos at the end of a Sunday beaching excursion and felt less than satisfied. Utah, appreciate your Mexican cuisine cause you won't find of that business in the South. Not in Charleston, anyway.

Honorable food mention of course goes to Bo'jangles Biscuit and their freakishly good Bo'Jangle Blueberry biscuit shown here:
Internet, you've never tasted anything with such a perfect blend of savory, sweet, and startch. No, not ever.

NEXT! Let's talk about stuff to do.

The South is brimming with history the West can't hold a candle to. And that history goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War. However, the war that left its biggest mark on the South and nearly divided our great country in half, was of course the Civil War. Thus, visiting a legitimate Southern Plantation or two is a hands down 100% MUST!

We chose Middletone Place Plantation

And what trip to the South would be complete without a little Swampin? A pretty crappy one that's what! Below are the adventures of Cypress Gardens. We rented ourselves a wee canoe... and it being wee is significant considering we were paddling our way through alligator infested WATERS! Alright "infested" is a strong word... but they were "around." And that's a crazy thought to think that Alligators can just appear here and there in your everyday life, right?

Dude, Mr. Turtle, was my father. (Movie trivia!)

Next, let’s talk about Downtown Charleston and Beaches, yes? Observe.

One must naturally visit the Farmer's Market, walk The Battery, and weave in an out of the cobblestoned streets of Charleston to truly get a feel for its simple beauty and picturesque ambiance. Come, walk with me:

Turns out I took a lot of pictures. Yep! Ha! And that's not the half of them but I'm trying to keep this erp.. Fail.


There were two, but really only one worth mentioning as it's a very "Southern/East Coast" sort of beach which means not necessarily the miles of white sand, gulls, and piercing heat; rather, a slight breeze, packed sand, and big brimmed hats. Tis referred to as Sullivans Beach. Follow the romper:

Naturally, in between eating and beaching and leisurely hanging about, I also did some shopping and saw a couple of movies. Truly, it was a very relaxing vacation with ample leisure time and not a lot of "we must go here and we must go there!" Many times, I feel I need a vacation from my vacation, such as the case with Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam last tear. Talk about mentally taxing. This one, this one was a true, legitimate, relax and read leisure novels vacation and one that definitely recharged my battery for the weeks ahead which involved MOVING and MOVING and also moving. That's right - I am no longer a single apartment dweller but in fact, a house-dweller with a roommate. And I prefer houses and 1 or 2 roomies in every way: socially, financially,... other significant "lys"

House pictures to COME!


Nasher said...

Finding Nemo.

As the picture was being taken I did think that I was in the "photo-bomb" position. It's possible that I may have considered doing something weird, but since I was a guest I opted for smile. I think I made the right choice.

Thanks again Andrea!

Andrea Jolene said...

Thanks for coming Pete! You made it fun!