Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring is in the Charleston.

Ah, the progression from the pre-Christmas snowstorms and all those that followed to the very beginnings of Spring is a most welcomed feeling! It was a tough winter on Philly which was NOT helped any by the city's ineptitude at gauging the foul weather correctly to remove the snow from the streets. They did a good job at clearing I-95, but for the local streets, they dropped the ball.

This is a pic of Benner Street. My place of residence. (I still have the lights up, they will come down now that it is warming up). I was dating a pretty girl Lyudmila and took this pic on one of our dates. I ne'er thought to get her in the pic. She would have said "I'm too fat" in her deep heavily accented voice anyway.

The Wood Burning Stove in the shop on a later snowstorm. I thought it was a cool shot. I got lots of decent pictures from the numerous storms, but blogspot only allows 5 per post so I took a progression of only 3 of the storms. The stove was a gift from Geoff McKonly when I worked for the Philadelphia Wooden boat Factory. Thanks Geoff, the stove is a nice addition to the shop! Geoff is teaching a boat building school in New York City, it's a pretty good school. Don't remember the name off hand.

Here is Andy shoveling a path in yet another one of our storms. This one in early 2011. This one buried us even more than the others and since the others hadn't melted it was an even greater challenge to shovel. The temps hadn't risen above freezing for two months, so it stuck around and it was a mega menace to drive on the secondary roads. Once again, the city miscalculated salting and plowing. Salting 24 hours before a storm, not plowing and then salting in 15 degrees at night instead of at near freezing temps during the day when the sun is out. DUH

And the switch to Spring! This is part of the view from our hotel room on Shem Creek, SC. I have the panoramic, but couldn't load all the pics. I"m gonna load them all on my facebook account (Wissinoming Brewing). It was cool watching the progression into Spring as my Dad and I drove south on I-95. PHilly still had a bit of snow and NO buds on the trees (still no buds on them), but as we got into Delaware, they had a ton of snow from a storm a day earlier and no buds on the trees. Maryland same story, lots of snow, still on the branches with no buds. Virginia, little or no snow and no buds. Virginia looked as bleak as PA did. Southern Virginia had small patches of red color on the trees, very little, but noticeable. And when we hit North Carolina there was clouds of red hanging in the trees. It was really cool for Dad and I to see some color in the trees for once! When we grudgingly left Charleston, those red buds had actually started to bloom and the pear trees were in full bloom! It was incredible to see this happen all in a days time!!! Awesome! The end of February, Shem Creek has an annual Mardi Gras Fete. In sight of our hotel room window were 5 outdoor bar / night clubs and it was poppin! Over 2000 people had signed up for the fun and it was raging for most of Saturday. We kind of avoided it, and that was a pretty wise option anyway. I"m not big on crowds, although there were girls-a-plenty! I had gone out the Friday night before across the creek to Reds and they had an incredible band from Tennessee playing there. A bit of boozing, a bit of dancing with fair maidens of the blond variety and I was in heaven. I was, however, distraught when the band finished up at midnight and everyone disappeared in a flash and I had just gotten a good buzz rolling! So I meandered around that area of Mt. Pleasant looking for more goings-on and found a little pub that had some microbrews for me to taste. Once again, when I got there, there were lots of girls, but after my first beer, they were goneskis. I had Stone Arrogant Bastard to start off. OMG, wicked bitter. Over the top for me, but I knew that goin in so that is that. Nice alcohol by volume content though! Then I tried one of these newly found belgian sours that the craft beer industry is trying to shove down our gullets. It was from Allagash and it was mind curdling horrible. I'm a beer guy, and to tell you the truth, I would not classify this as beer. It tasted like mead that has gone bad! I might be able to tolerate it as a marinade or if it was paired up with some heavy on the lemon meal or desert, but man, I took two sips and asked for another micro brew. I can't recall which one now. By that point I was pretty lit and man did I feel it Saturday morning! After a gallon of water, my dad and I were ready to hit the road in search of some trouble to get into while we waited for my nephew (the reason we were in SC in the first place. He's at the naval weapons station getting training as a petty officer in charge of nuclear power plants on carriers. we are pretty proud of that lad. a brother to me and a son to his grandpop. a good guy all around). While we erroneously driving to find Fort Sumter (which is actually in the middle of Charleston Harbour) and laughing at the futile drive to the south shore of Charleston Harbour, Chris called and we changed direction and headed to a truly spectacular sushi lunch in which Chris drank a full bottle of plum wine! NICE! I passed not wanting to waste a truly delicious repast. We found ourselves at the south battery of Charleston ogling the college girls in bikinis and sweating alcohol. A truly summertime thing to do! OH! and my Dad claims to have seen a "very large shark fin" in the water! If it was Philly I'd say it was probably a half submerged pizza box or some other form of refuse, but this was Charleston Harbour. Immaculate to the core! Maybe he did see a fin! I would bet it was a dolphin eating baitfish because they are starting to run down thar I do believe.

Friday morning before Chris's ceremony we dropped by the Yorktown to see the Fighting Lady. This is a really good pic. We timed it so that during a 2 hour rain storm we were on board and below decks to stay dry. Pop had a lot of fun. I'm glad he didn't let the rain get to him too much!

And so goes my introduction into Spring 2011! We Yankees are all just waiting for those trees to bloom up h'yar!

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