Seeing The Sights, Doing The Things In Georgia And South Carolina

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Statue of cute cherubs playing music, presumably happy, in Middleton Place Plantation garden.

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“There’s no rush.”

I can think of no better words to describe a fun vacation.  Not that we didn’t do anything while in Georgia and South Carolina.  We did lots, but we did it at our own pace, in our own way.

This was unusual for us because our vacations in the last decade or so have revolved around other people or business obligations or complicated air travel.

But this time, my gentle readers, Zen-Den and I were totally on our own to do what we wanted to do.

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We flew into Atlanta, rented a car, then drove to Savannah, GA, where we stayed for a few nights.  Located on the Atlantic Ocean, Savannah is a charming town made famous by the book and movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

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The lovely, inviting beach on Tybee Island.

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As we remembered from being in Savannah years ago, the people who we met were helpful + polite, the nearby beach on Tybee Island was clean + beautiful, and the vibe, everywhere, was mellow.  I loved it all.

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Fancy walkway over a shallow swamp on Hilton Head Island.

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After Savannah, we drove north to Charleston, SC, stopping on Hilton Head Island, SC, for lunch.  Hilton Head has a smooth, upscale, planned feel to it.  Fun to visit, we’ve been there before, but it never calls to me like it does to so many people who live around me here in Ohio, who adore it there in South Carolina.

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Beautifully maintained brick homes in the French Quarter of Charleston.

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In Charleston, SC, we stayed in a hotel in the downtown historic district.  If you like to walk then this is a convenient way to be close to hundreds of restaurants + bars + shops.  My impression of this part of Charleston was that it was almost perfectly Disney-esque, but with panhandlers and uneven walking surfaces.  Looked gorgeous, but watch your step.

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Serene view of wood pilings and the river seen while sitting in Charleston’s Waterfront Park.

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While we were in the Charleston area we went to a fort, a museum, an island, a park.  We ate seafood, drank iced tea, and looked at architecture– everywhere.  The weather was sunny and the people were, as reported, friendly.

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A cute sail boat, seemingly with nowhere to go, floating along the shore of Sullivan Island.

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After Charleston we drove back to Atlanta, GA, for a day.  Because the weather had turned cold and wet, we wanted to be inside so we went to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.  It was fascinating, informative, well-organized, and pleasant to wander through.

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And on that note, we left Atlanta the next day returning home on an easy mid-morning flight that was a little over an hour long.  

A flight on which we both were pre-approved by the TSA, meaning that, for once in my life, there was no fuss + no problems involved with air travel.

Imagine that, if you can.

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An alligator swimming away from me in a pond at Middleton Place Plantation garden, lending credence to the saying: “see you later, alligator.”

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On The Cusp Of The Holidays, I Give You Links I Love

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States.  

Much hustle and bustle. Much family related stress. Much TV watching for the non-shoppers, much discount shopping for the wackos people who like to do that sort of thing.

I thought a few fun links might be appreciated this week while you, my gentle readers, eye-rolled at familial lunacy OR made like a potato on the couch OR foraged in over-heated junked-up stores.

Whatever you decide to do makes no difference to me, but please…

Be safe. Be happy. Be.

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A cheery anthem from an unlikely source that gets us where we’re going.

Details about wishbone karma just in time for Thanksgiving.

An easy way to make people more social. Count me in.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Spend some quality time with old friends.

Feeling anxious? Relax with these neuroscience-approved songs.

Here are the 200 happiest words. Use them often this holiday season.

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Not Everything Lasts Forever: Chatting About Luggage

Zen-Den travels for work, flying all over the place, using luggage that he’s had for over a decade.

Said luggage, an example of which you see in the photo below, is now held together, much to my amazement, with some lovely medium green patterned duct tape that coordinates with the darker green luggage fabric.

I’ll give it to him, the boy has style.  He did this himself.

Lovely, huh?

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I’ve mentioned to him, as has his assistant, that it’s time to get some new luggage, with snazzy little twirly wheels and lots of outside pockets, but he’ll have nothing to do with that crazy idea.

He prefers, instead, to ignore the fact that time has marched on.

I can’t figure if this is an example of him being practical.  Or of him being ornery.  It could be either.

Or both, I suppose.

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I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but last week 3,000 bags were stranded in the Phoenix Airport after there was a TSA computer glitch.  [Story here.]

Now as fate would have it Zen-Den was in Phoenix, where the piece of luggage featured in the above photos was going through the system.  But did the TSA and/or United Airlines manage to lose his ratty old bag?

HELL NO!

Zen-Den’s bag made it through the system without a problem.

Which only adds credence to his stubborn belief that there’s nothing wrong with his dilapidated, scuffed-up luggage– that according to him, clearly has good travel karma.

As evidenced by the fact that his bag, when the opportunity presented itself, didn’t get lost in the system.

Dagnabbit.

My Unhappy Story Of Flying Trapped Inside A MRI With Wings

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Seating chart for MRI with wings.

While on vacation last weekend, I spent one leg of my travels on a flight from hell, trapped inside a MRI with wings.  This would be a plane that is known to aviators as a Bombardier CRJ 200.

This airplane, while not the smallest one I’ve ever flown on, was the worst flying MRI I’ve experienced because– and I hope that I’m not going to get too technical here— THERE WAS NO AIR CONDITIONING AS WE WAITED AT THE GATE AND THEN ON THE TARMAC FOR TAKEOFF… ON A HOT SUMMER DAY… AT MIDDAY.

I’d love to tell you what airline I was on, but I’m not sure.  It was some pokey little airline, doing business under some obscure name, for some larger, formerly independent, airline recently acquired by some huge US airline.

In other words, the usual inane flying experience that I’ve come to know, pay exorbitant amounts of money for and loathe.

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As fate would have it two things occurred simultaneously while I was on this flight from hell trapped inside a MRI with wings.

First of all, I had a hot flash.

To be clear, that would be my body spontaneously increasing its core temperature while I was sitting in the middle of the airplane, Seat 7C, where the ambient room temperature was close to 100ºF.

Trapped, I was.

And so far beyond toasty that I could barely keep conscious.  I could see my vision begin to tunnel– and I knew that I would faint, unless I thought of something fast.

So I shut my eyes, let my head droop and begin to remember how cold and bleak it was on our screened-in porch in February, when I’d step out there for a bit of fresh air, mid-afternoon, with my mug of hot tea.

Oddly enough this mental distraction kept me from passing out and it gave me an opportunity to decide that, if I lived to tell the story, I’d call out the airline on this unconscionable, unhealthy, inhumane, ridiculous, shameful, cheap-ass behavior.

Didn’t their mothers teach these airline PTB to not treat other human beings as chattel?  Hmmm?

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Actual MRI, similar to Bombardier CJR 200.

This would be the end of the story if it weren’t for the man next to me on the flying MRI with wings from hell who was an employee of one of the airlines that was part of the afore-mentioned cluster.

And he was taking notes.  Lots of them.

For real.

And he was telling me EVERYTHING that this flight crew was doing that was wrong, that was illegal according to FAA standards, and that was just plain stupid.

So despite being the most physically and emotionally uncomfortable I’ve been on an airplane in decades, I had the pleasure of knowing that this flight crew, a bunch of yahoos who really should be ashamed of themselves, were going to get in trouble.

AS IN FAILING TO PASS INSPECTION.  JOBS ON THE LINE.  HELLO REVIEW BOARD [I CAN ONLY HOPE].

It is because of this note-taking man that I can look back on this flight as a learning experience for the crew as well as for me.  To wit, I will never, ever in a hundred years set foot inside a Bombardier CRJ 200 again.

And if you know what’s good for you, you won’t either.