…and I thought this was a dog-friendly town. I guess in all fairness, I have to remember that we aren’t technically IN Charleston at the moment. Mt. Pleasant is across the river.
Some kindly traveler before us set the alarm for 6:59 AM and we were both jolted out of our dreams. After struggling to find the OFF button, I fell back onto the pillows. Meanwhile, Max stood over the alarm clock as if waiting for something to spring out of it until I said, “Come on, boy. Curl up!” which he did.
Of course, 10 minutes later …
… I finally did turn it off permanently!
So, I got up, dressed and we went out for our morning constitutional. After Max “did his business,” we walked through the trees to a Starbucks. It’s cold and breezy here this morning – weather.com says it’s currently 29 but feels like 20, so probably it was 25 when we went out at 7:15.
When we got to Starbucks, there was no place to tie him while I went inside, so we both walked in and were greeted with smile and “I’m sorry, but dogs aren’t allowed inside.” (think soft Carolina drawl, OK?) I asked if I could order and come back in to get it, and she said “Sure. We’ll bring it out to you.” Gotta love Southern hospitality. (Probably would have happened in the North too.)
Meanwhile, last night. Last night, we drove over to Charleston to walk around and find a place for me to get dinner. I was hoping that I’d find someplace with tables on the sidewalk. After studying the downtown map and feeling that it was “really easy” to get around, I set off confidently in that direction.
East Bay Street goes along the river all the way through Charleston to the battery, so I knew if I could navigate back I could get home to our motel. Figuring I’d cruise through once, scope out the scene, find a likely spot, and go back, that’s exactly what I did.
Of course, you all know what those cute full color tourist maps do – they don’t always show all the little streets with nothing of interest on them (you know, homes, businesses that don’t belong to the Chamber or whomever is putting out the map). This lovely map was no exception.
So there I am, rubbernecking all along East Bay, and I see Broad Street. Hey! My brain remembers the Pat Conroy book South of Broad. My hands turn the wheel, and now I’m driving on Broad Street – which also happens to be gallery row.
Pretty soon – well, many blocks later – I’d run out of storefronts, so I took a right, figuring I’d get right back to East Bay Street, right? Wrong! Aha! That’s Calhoun – I saw that on East Bay, I’ll turn right here and get there…
And so it went, making turns onto streets in the dark until I happened to get back into the Historic District and found myself on King Street (my brain remembered this one too). Taking a right on John Street, I noticed Joe Pasta had tables outside and one was even occupied. So, I drove one block, made a U-turn and circled back around to King Street where I found a parking space. Success!!
Sitting at an outside table on the corner of John and King Streets with Max tied to my chair, I ordered a margarita, garlic bread, caesar salad, and gnocchi with garlic butter. The young guy sitting next to us commented on how beautiful my dog was, what’s his name, etc. His companion said her family had a labradoodle that was mostly poodle.
In the time we were there, at least a half-dozen people came over to ask permission to pet him – which he loved! All in all, he was exceptionally well-behaved. Laid at my feet most of the time.
Oh, the food? It was fabulous! Crusty hot garlic bread in a basket. Real caesar salad; lots of garlic in that, too. The gnocchi was deep-fried, which I didn’t expect. Had I known, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it with garlic butter, but that was just a drizzle so it wasn’t greasy. Great meal, good companion.
And when it was time to go, I found East Bay Street in a snap.