Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Day 4, Pt. 2 -- ... Enter heaven.

At this point, I knew that Wesley and the kids had probably been on the flight deck and come down from it. I walked through the hangar deck, swiveling my head in search of my family. They weren't there. So after another stop at the ladies' room, I went up to the flight deck.

There I had an epiphany of sorts. I don't know. Maybe it was the heat. It occurred to me that Daddy must have run all over a deck like this when he was young and hadn't even met Mama yet, and that then later he was all over a deck like this when he had met Mama and knew he was going to marry her someday. I missed him so much. It's been thirty years, and I know so very little about him. I cried. I couldn't believe I almost missed seeing this sight because I was sitting on a bench in the shade at least three stories below feeling sorry for myself.

Anyway, the family was not up there on the flight deck, so I made my way back to the hangar deck, stopped by the lovely, cool Medal of Honor Museum for a dash of AC, and then started walking around looking at the airplanes. Fighter planes. Whatever. I don't know exactly what kind of plane Daddy flew, but I have pictures, so I was looking at cockpits and wing structure. Based on my totally limited, uneducated eye, I think he flew a Hellcat. I'm not sure. Someday, I really must write to the Navy and ask for Daddy's records so I can find out exactly what the heck he did in WWII.

I was headed back toward the ladies' room when I finally found my family -- or my family found me. All I really noticed was a streak of green and red with blonde hair barreling at me at about 89 mph. That was Emily. She loved the modern fighter jets. She has no sense of history or tradition.

The kids had done the flight simulator, even though it cost nearly $5 more to get in the thing. I was terribly surprised that Wesley paid for it. ROFL!!!! I guess being on vacation changes a guy, if only for a few days. Wesley and Woodrow headed for the snack bar to get something to drink. Emily and I went to the ladies' room -- AGAIN -- and then we went to the Medal of Honor Museum to cool off while the boys drank. We spent a good bit of time in there, and I read lots of stuff in there. One guy, Stephen L. Bennett, was a real American hero in Vietnam. I nearly cried just reading his story, and then they went and named a ship after him. Y'dang skippy.

We went downstairs, took a picture in front of the Yorktown, and made our way across that long sidewalk/pier thingie back to the welcome center. On the way back, I looked over the side of the pier and asked, "What are those things on the mud?" Scattered thick and icky were tons of dark little crabs, sitting, walking, and sludging across the low-tide mud. Ewwwwwww. I'm glad we had a sidewalk. The mud itself looked bad enough. Add in those crabs and ... ewwwwwwwww.

Back at the entrance, Wesley bought the photos that were taken before I fell apart. The green screen allowed them to digitally insert a majestic Yorktown background behind us. I think the packet cost $10 -- not a big expense, and maybe I can use sandpaper to erase my extra chin.

I went into the big gift shop with the kids because I knew it was air conditioned in there. We shopped. I went to the ladies' room again. I bought a postcard or two; Wesley bought a shot glass, and Woodrow bought a shot glass. I don't remember if Emily bought anything. I sent Wesley to retrieve the car from the parking lot, and when he drove to my location and I stood up, I realized that I was really not finished with being sick.

The plan had been to go to the Yorktown and then go to the historic district for lunch and a tour of the Edmonston-Alston House. For years, maybe decades, maybe my whole life, or perhaps even some other life I lived in Charleston if there's such a thing as reincarnation -- for *ages* I've wanted to tour the houses that are open to tourists in the historic district of Charleston. I love them all. I want them all. I adore all the history that's piled up in their foundations and walls, and I want to see it all.

The kids, however, have never been as keen as I to tour these places. I remember the first year we went as a family and all the complaining about walking in the historic district. I was ecstatic with all that walking. It's so much more satisfying than driving by in a car or carriage.

Anyway, that was the plan. And we did drive downtown. But I simply could not get out of the car. I sort of suggested to Wesley that he just drive me up to a restaurant, drop me off, and then go park, but Wesley's brain doesn't work that way. It never has. My father was always dropping my mother off at the door and then going off somewhere to park, but Wesley's never done that. We always park and walk together. At one point, we even drove into a parking garage, but I said, "I'm sorry, but I cannot walk from here." It cost us $1 to get out of the damn garage. Out-freaking-rageous. I'm still mad about that dollar. We didn't even pull into a parking slot, for crying out loud!

We drove back to Edisto and stopped at Main's Market for a very late lunch. (It's about an hour from Charleston to Edisto.) We usually eat at least three meals at Main's Market when we go to Edisto, but this was the only time we stopped there this year. They were out of everything we ordered. So we had to get alternates. And then they were out of banana pudding. That's just... insane. The food was good, but we didn't go back to Main's.

We took our food home to the Pink Flamingo, where I took Advil with my lunch and laid down with a cool washcloth for a few hours. It rained some more, and finally cooled the horribly hot day. I would have thought the previous day's rain would have helped, but no -- it takes daily rain to keep it cool enough, I guess.

When I awoke, I felt much, much better. We dashed to the beach for an early evening walk in the surf's edge, but there was a wedding at the beach access that we usually went to. So we went down to a different one, and the view was so picturesque and the light was so pink and perfect that I took a few photos. (See "this post" for the photo of me and Wesley that Emily took.)

A quick dash back to the house to rinse our salty feet, and we were soon off to ... Po' Pigs Bo-B-Q. Oh, yeah, baby. It was 9 miles back toward the bridge and worth every single foot of the drive. I could crawl there on my hands and knees for another meal at Po' Pigs. It was *heaven*, nothing but heaven. I knew the moment we walked inside that I had at last found the perfect restaurant. You could order from the menu, or you could prove sanity by getting the buffet.

The food was really, deeply, profoundly Southern. I already wrote about it so I won't transcribe the menu, but my favorites were the barbecue, the fried chicken, the baked beans and kitchen-cut green beans, the potato salad and the real, strong, freshly brewed iced tea that melted my ice and made me go back for me. But of course, the best thing on the buffet were the hushpuppies. I could cry. I sent Emily back for more, and she got a little bowl and brought me five of the darling things. And I still wanted more.

The kids and I got desserts, too -- I had the pineapple-upside-down cake; Woodrow had chocolate cake that made him roll his eyes and moan, and Emily was the smartest person in our crowd and got nanner puddin'. (That's "banana pudding" for any Yankees who may need a translation.) She was so sweet. She shared with me. That nanner puddin' was the second best nanner puddin' I've ever had. (The best, of course, is mine.)

Wesley ate so much that he literally hurt himself. I don't know what he had that was so good, but he went back for seconds and didn't have room for dessert, and it *still* hurt.

And besides the fabulous food, I really liked the *people* at Po' Pigs. They all looked like my parents and my parents' friends. They all sounded Southern. They looked really comfortable in there, and it reminded me of what a small-town restaurant is like without theming or hoopla or waiters in red-and-white striped uniforms with buttons all over their vests.

The whole meal was $40, give or take a few dollars for the tip, and we went back to the house in the dark. (In fact, it was so late that I think Po' Pigs was actually closed when we left.) I spent far less time on the porch this night, drinking just one White Russian before going to bed. For the day to have started out so badly, it certainly ended fabulously. I called Amy and told her about my day, and then I conked out, ready for another good day. We were now more than halfway through with our vacation, and I was determined to find myself in the ocean a lot for the rest of the trip.


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