…know each other quite well now. Now that I’ve driven up and down it for about 20 hours total over the past couple of days.
The first stage was a brief leg on Saturday, which involved a stop in one of my favorite downtown areas: Greenville, South Carolina.
I was traveling with my daughter, who’d never been there. She was impressed, just as I had been last year.
Nothing beats a downtown park. Unless it’s a downtown park with a river running through it. Right?
A summer production of Much Ado About Nothing was happening down on the green.
We watched a bit of it after a dinner at Smoke on the Water.
The next day up further north to take care of business. Since it was Sunday and we’d not arrived in Greenville early enough to get to Mass there, it was time for a continual consultation of the indispensable and amazing MassTimes.org along the way. There’s no website that the official and institutional Catholic Church in the United States has produced that is as valuable and efficient as MassTimes.org. I hate that no official and institutional part of the institution thought of doing it, but I would hate it more if they got their hands on it – who knows how they’d wreck it.
Anyway. I’d first thought we might hit Mass at the Cathedral in Charlotte, but then my daughter fell into a deep sleep in the back seat, a sleep I was loathe to interrupt. The girl is a very good sleeper. It’s a talent. So I decided I would just see how long she would go – and if she slept all morning, oh well. I knew there was a Sunday evening Mass at our destination, so we could hit that if need be.
And I think she just might have slumbered the entire way – six hours – if the gas tank had not reached “E,” necessitating a stop, which roused her. Abashed, I might add.
At that point, MassTime.org told me that there was a 1 pm Mass nearby – a Spanish language Mass, but who cares? Same Mass, same Scriptures, same Faith.
Plus: confirmations. Juan, Juan and Gabriella were being confirmed, and I was honored to be there to see it.
We arrived where we were going , worked hard did our thing , and then todayI made my way back south. Passing by Colonial Williamsburg in the early morning:
…and now I am back down tonight in the ATL.
Visited my son who lives here and who was enjoying his first day off in three weeks (he works in the production end of an entertainment corporation based here) and who was glad to welcome me to his apartment for a bit, but who, because of that first-break-in-three-weeks thing, was also loathe to leave it.
So after dissecting last night’s Mad Men, I left, checked into my hotel, and thought about dinner.
Empire State South is in walking distance from where I’m staying. I was sort of interested in going to a celebrity-chef’s operation, but I freely admit to you that the menu didn’t grab me. At all. So I settle for Ecco - an even closer walk.
I sat at the bar and had some cured meats and cheeses as well as some olives. My favorite stuff, and all good. Although I will say that I look at the board of – yes – high quality meats and cheese and my glass of wine and I do my mental calculations of how much this very same array would cost me in Italy. About a fifth of the price? Probably. If that.
But that’s not counting plane fare, true.
No dessert, even though the bartender did give me a taste of olive oil ice cream. Olive oil, salted and chocolate chip ice cream. Quite good, and I spent some time trying to figure out the how and where of the olive oil. I finally decided that it was in the finish. No, it doesn’t taste like olive oil, but it lends a solidity that lingers and is quite satisfying.
(Are you wondering about the missing pieces? They are in Florida, visiting Mike’s family. I will gather them up on Friday, but not before one more major jump up north…stay tuned…)