Posted tagged ‘trip’

I’m in Charleston, South Carolina!

March 14, 2011

My fiance and I arrived in Charleston, South Carolina yesterday evening! We are spending five or so days here for vacation. It’s so sunny and warm (high of 75). We left Boston on Saturday morning, and headed toward Connecticut. Connecticut traffic really slowed us down (as a result of this horrific accident), but we eventually made it over the border to Westchester County, New York.

We had lunch in charming Tarrytown, which sits right beside the Hudson River. We chose the Tarry Tavern, a Main Street locale prioritizing locally grown ingredients. I wasn’t that hungry, as I had enjoyed a calzone and yogurt in the car. So I just got some acorn squash soup, which was amazing.

My fiance had a “TT Wagyu” burger that he called “one of the best burgers” he’s ever had (the meal included bacon onion jam, white cheddar, and hand-cut fries).

Before out meals arrived, they served us rolls with butter.

Here are a few photos from Tarrytown:

This phone booth was in someone's front lawn.

The Hudson River is in the distance.

From Tarrytown we headed over the Tappan Zee Bridge.

We drove through some more of New York and New Jersey; then we crossed the Delaware Memorial Bridge to Delaware.

We went through Delaware, Maryland and part of Virginia, before stopping in Ashland, VA. After getting prices from several hotels off the rest stop (including a somewhat sketchy hotel with a glass barrier protecting the concierge), we settled on a Quality Inn. Ruby Tuesday was right across the street, so we went there for dinner.

My fiance had lobster macaroni; he said it was rich and very good.

I had one of their tilapia specials. It included a bruschetta sauce, grilled green beans, and white cheddar mashed potatoes. I must say, Ruby Tuesday has really improved their offerings since I was in high school.

The next morning we stepped outside and it was gorgeous out (about 60 degrees and sunny). We decided to take a picture so we’d remember this moment.

We got back on I-95 and drove until Wilson, North Carolina. There, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch. We had yet another fabulous meal! My fiance had meatloaf with mashed potatoes, green beans and macaroni and cheese.

I had grilled chicken pieces with green beans and steak fries.

Our meal came with corn muffins and biscuits.

While we were in the car, we played the state license plate game (where you write down the names of all the different state license plates you see).

I fell asleep somewhere in North Carolina. Before I knew it, we were in South Carolina. My fiance and I loved the lush greenery on the side of the road.

We stopped at a McDonald’s for coffee (by the way they reacted to our request you’d think no one drinks coffee in South Carolina), and then got back on the road. Around 7 p.m. we arrived in Charleston. We drove by an industrial part of the city that wasn’t so nice. However, things improved as we got closer to downtown.

I thought we were staying at the Days Inn but my fiance completely surprised me. He had booked a room at The Anchorage Inn, an adorable bed and breakfast on Vendue Range right by the Waterfront Park.

Just so you have an idea of how cool this place is, each day they have a continental breakfast, a 4 p.m. wine and cheese, and an 8 to 11 p.m. sherry. Not bad, huh?

Cameroon: A land of family, friends and solidarity

January 6, 2010

I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Cameroon, Africa. Here’s a little something I wrote up about the experience:

I had no idea what to expect when I traveled to Cameroon last month. I had never been to Africa before, let alone this particular Central West African country.

I just knew things would be different, and that I would learn a lot. I was right.

I saw that many Cameroonians earn a living from selling fruits and vegetables. Because most of them don’t have cars, they must wake up at the crack of dawn to carry the crops from the fields to the market. It’s a colorful and humbling sight to see scores of Cameroonians — children and the elderly alike — balancing heavy baskets of goods on their heads along main roads.

We Americans don’t have it so bad, you realize.

I saw men in the airport going to extreme measures to earn a day’s wage. They accost you upon your arrival, asking if you need help finding your suitcases. You say yes, thinking they are airport employees. As they jet around the baggage claim conveyer belt, trying to match your luggage with a ticket you’ve given them, you realize they are not at all affiliated with the airport. They are just doing what it takes to earn some extra cash, working for tips.

I saw the excitement in a young man’s eyes when he told us he had won the visa lottery to move to the United States. His lips upturned up as he explained this was his third year applying, and that he had finally beat the odds. He wondered if his banking degree would suffice in the United States, with comparable American job candidates. Either way, he had a ticket to opportunity.

I could go on and on about the things I saw and the people I met. (more…)