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Posted 3/08/16 (Tue)


I am writing this from a motel computer in Charleston, S.C. So if I get mad and you hear a crash, it is the hotel computer going through the nearby door. I don’t have a lot of computer skills when I am working with a strange keyboard. To tell the truth, I don’t have a lot of skills at anything. Other than making a pretty good omelette.
As I mentioned last week, I was taking my first wife on a vacation. To a place 20 degrees colder than southwest North Dakota. I posted pictures of Shirley on Facebook. We went on a harbor tour. She was dressed in a down-filled Carhartt jacket and had her winter scarf wrapped around her neck. If she could have, she would have worn her wool-lined mittens and her face mask. But you don’t pack those for a vacation to the south in the winter. My mistake. And actually, it was quite comfortable, if you stayed indoors.
The ad for the hotel said “Ocean view rooms!” Wonderful. Even if it is a little chilly, it is nice to see the ocean. And maybe there is an ocean view. If you are higher up. And on the ocean side of the hotel. Our side looks down on the beautiful hotel pool! The ad didn’t mention the pool was outside and closed because of the thin film of ice on the water. It wouldn’t have been thick enough to play hockey, but it would have been good for a “polar plunge.”
The food has been wonderful. And you know I like food. I mean I’ve had oysters on the half shell. Something my travel mates find completely disgusting. I try to explain that they are good, that even the oysters enjoy it, but to no avail. I’ve had salmon and flounder and shrimp and lamb and shepard pie. I’ve had lime key pie and Carolina Hurricanes and Sam Adams beer. I’ve had crab legs and crab souffle and shrimp and grits. I’ve had fried chicken on waffles and flat iron steak on macaroni.
My brother-in-law has had hamburger and fries. Cheeseburger and curly fries. Mac and cheese. And beer. Lots of beer.
We have toured Civil War and Revolutionary War sites. We have walked miles in state parks where the first settlers in South Carolina carved out a meek and meager living. This morning we are headed for the first museum built in the United States. I have seen Fort Sumpter and Fort Johnson. I have toasted the Union in Savannah and toasted the signers of the Declaration of Independence on Church Street. I have walked down market square and marveled at the cobblestone streets and the houses that predate a white guy being in the Dakotas.
But I am looking forward to seeing the wide open prairies of Dakota. Where you don’t have to climb up on a hotel to see more than a quarter mile.
Right now, I am going to load my mates in our rented car and see if we can find that ocean everyone talks about. I know it has to be here somewhere. And I could run barefoot on the beach. If my toes aren’t cold.