In June 2005 She agreed to judge a competition at Kiawah Island near Charleston SC, May 5 & 6, 2006. On August 29, 2005 she forgot all about it.
At some point, I'm not really sure when, She received an email requesting information about her for the program. She seriously considered canceling, but She/we decided a promise was a promise and She needed the break. Anyway She really wanted to do it. It occurred to me that we could go together and get some much needed R&R.
She does a lot of these kinds of things and I don't usually go along because She is busy all the time and I usually end up at loose ends. The parties and diners are a lot of fun though and the people are interesting. Besides there was a beach. I decided to tag along.
Since we were still spending a lot of time in Atlanta we decided to drive to Kiawah Island. It is a ways from Charleston so having a car seemed like a good idea. The competition was part of a two day meeting including judging and annual meeting with an awards ceremony. This was all to be held at the Kiawah Island Resort. We were to have a condominium to ourselves.
Thursday afternoon we had a nice drive through the country. Our route missed Charleston entirely and we only got lost twice. We arrived in the late afternoon, before dusk. Kiawah Island Resort is a gated community with five golf courses, a hotel, miles of beaches, thousands of residences, including condos, town houses and very little else. As far as I can tell there were only two restaurants outside the hotel. Still it is an attractive environment with miles of walking paths/bike trails and plenty of outdoor activities.
When we arrived there was the usual confusion about accommodations but we were soon checked in. Quickly we settled into our apartment. Our hosts delivered a gift basket and a Styrofoam cooler with a load of low country goodies including cook book, travel guide, souvenirs, frozen biscuits, a sack of grits and a bottle of wine.
We went for a short walkabout, located the nearest beach and contacted the Beach Service to reserve beach chairs and umbrellas for our stay.
We planned to get some quality beach time in.
Since I wasn't participating in the meetings, the next day I decided I needed some supplies so I went exploring for a grocery store. The area is very interesting, lots of narrow Oak lined roads with Spanish moss. Very similar to some of the Louisiana coastal areas.
One of the evening events was held a outdoor pavilion with a vista similar to the picture below. It began in the early evening and as the Sun set over the marsh we ate "roasted" oysters and drank beer.
The "roasted" oysters were interesting. There was a permanent oyster roaster, it consisted of a steel plate with a wood fire below. The roaster shoveled fresh clean oysters on the heated steel plate covered them with a big piece burlap and wetted it down. The oysters were served hot and shucked in front of us.
Sunday morning I made a champagne brunch for one of our long distance friends. Our friend had a late flight back to the left coast so she was sort of stuck, all of Her other long distance friends had early flights and couldn't join us. The menu was sauteed grouper, poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce over cheese grits, asparagus, cheese biscuits, coffee, and Champagne or Mimosas. We had a grand time.
She drove and I slept most of the way back to Atlanta.
All photographs are from the Kiawah Island Resorts web site.