Monday, November 25, 2019

"Love's Lantern..."

Sometimes I go do something, it's really great but I delay writing about it on my blog.

Hate when I do that and I look back at my laziness and just shake my head.

Here's a great event that you can read about here and see pictures I took and - best news of all - it's going to be open Wednesday through Sundays - for the next four months!

The first weekend it was open, I had
headed out to see what all this Lantern Talk was all about.

After a ferocious, monsoon-like rain out the previous weekend, my friends and I last night enjoyed a stroll around 9-acres of spectacular  Chinese Lantern Festival displays at Charleston's Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

 (I understand there is a much larger one in NYC but we are the only public garden in the U.S. as the site of this Chinese import.)

Joan Perry a fellow-blogger, received free tickets and included me so I drove us through an icy rain last weekend only to be met at the gate with "Sorry, it is too dangerous to turn on the generators and all of the extensive electrical cablings have been flooded." 

Joan followed up with a request for a literal Rain Check and secured us tickets for yesterday evening walkabout.... a nice 50 degrees, clear skies and not very crowded at all on a Sunday night.

Free admission was important for the three of us. We are invited to events and write about them on our blog...admission is  $26 per person, a $3 bus shuttle can bring you from several local parking lots and if you do choose to park at the Gardens, it is $50! *Be sure to plan ahead and not just show up!)

(*Important update..the parking is now free at the Gardens and the shuttle has been discontinued!)

On our aborted try the week before, I had parked at a nearby strip mall and we took Uber the rest of the way. 

Fortunately, when we were told the park was closed, the driver just turned around and brought us back to my car. 

We also found that my handicap parking card allowed us to park there last evening and we were able to not pay the $50 parking fee on-site,  so there also was no Uber cost!)

OK, so I DID write and share and I encourage you to take time to go see this spectacular array of bright and clever tableaux in a beautiful setting at our Magnolia gardens.

Be sure to click on the link and the photos for more details about the months-long highlighted event.

The Chinese New Year symbol behind me is MY sign - the Rabbit. 

The whole array of such "Chinese Year Of " symbols are displayed so find yours and snap a Selfie.
Saw a little girl walk up to one of the signs showing the outline of a hand image with a slash through which means "hands-off" to us adults. 

She giggled, slapped it with her small palm and said "High Five!"

(Oh, and check out the title Love's Lantern poem by Joyce Kilmer.)

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

It seemed like just yesterday....

 Actually, it WAS  only yesterday.

Veterans Day 2019 has a nice highlight each year with offers of free meals for vets and First Responders.

Eli Hyman, the owner of Hyman's Seafood downtown, came through again with his offer of a "thank you for your service"  Free Meal up to $20.

Driving downtown, I was thinking of such past treats as his fried Flounder but also have enjoyed his Shrimp & Grits.

This time I was seated downstairs at the bar around 5:30 and it was not very crowded. The bartender said they were VERY busy at lunchtime.

Two others came in and mentioned the Veteran's Special.

As the server went through the choices of what came with the grits, I heard salmon was an option. Had always gone with shrimp but this time I opted for the salmon patties and grits.

That was a favorite meal my Mom would make and I am glad I chose it!

I paid for a beer with my free meal and even bought the new Hyman's souvenir cocktail glass for my evening Jameson-on-the-rocks.

His offer was appreciated and I made sure to add a tip based on the actual total cost.

Usually, I tip at 20% and today was no exception.

Great meal, fine friendly attention and a sincere "Thank you for your service."

My mother would have liked that.

Click on the photos and the links for more detail. Thanks for sharing a holiday Monday with me.

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Sunday, November 03, 2019

Day by Day...and a night or two

A few weeks ago, my paper landed in my yard instead of my porch. 

This has happened before - a substitute carrier or something.

This time, after 7 days of clumping down the stairs and walking around barefoot on the dewy grass, I tried calling Circulation to complain. After 5-6 minutes of hearing "Your call is important to us," I hung up and sent a stinging email about my wish to have my paper on the porch OR CANCEL IT!

I prefaced it by saying that, as a 20-year subscriber, I have heard your daily circulation has dipped dramatically and your Sunday run now has slipped too, so you MIGHT think I am serious and important to you.

Meanwhile, I'll take a peek at the paper online but I think that would encourage them to dismantle the presses and go all online only. I'd rather be a thorn in their side and protect the jobs of longtime pressmen.

Saw the Chick Corea Jazz Trio last night in our fancy 2000 seat Music Center. Signs were posted saying "no photos," but, sitting in the 6th row, I don't know what those behind me were doing but I used my phone to discreetly snap a few.

....until the sweet little old lady seated next to me whipped out her cellphone and fired off three shots with the harsh and startling double-flash each time!

Anybody else like me who had sneaked a photo, quickly put away our phones as two ushers thundered down the aisle to find the "bright" but not discreet culprit!

She was simply told "no photography."

The dire warning signs implied she would be grabbed and man-handled from her seat and dragged screaming up the aisle in front of the shocked Jazz music lovers who didn't have the nerve to attempt taking a (non-flash) photo!

I often wait for the last song and snap a photo  when the audience stands and think "Will this be the time they kick me out NOW?"

I do like how my new phone caught the action onstage only 6 rows away.

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