Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our Pantry, The Exchange and Bubba Gump's

I started my day with some good old fashioned cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, laundry...well, you get the picture.  My pantry went from this....

 to this.......


That was well worth the morning's effort!  It made me smile, anyway.  After all that fun, we decided to head out into the 95 degree heat and see what we could get into for the afternoon. 

In the car.  On I-26 East to Charleston and off on King Street.  It is the Second Sunday of the month-no traffic on King St. except on foot!  One of my favorite streets and it takes me back to Paris.  People sitting outside of every restaurant.  Eating.  Drinking.  Relaxing.  Enjoying the sun and taking their time!   No one in a hurry......ahh, Paris.

Anyway, we decided to tour The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon.  I will just share this quote with you..... "Is the Old Exchange Building a fancy architectural jewel designed to house 18th-century assemblies? Or is it the ghoulish prison of the Revolution, the place where the martyr Isaac Hayne spent his last night? Or is it the place where George Washington greeted his fellow citizens?"  I guess it's all of the above. The historical facts all blurred together after awhile.

 
 There is no doubt.  It  is a stately building.  It's been standing on this spot on East Bay for centuries and the history is mind-numbing.  I don't use that phrase lightly!!  After my 40 minutes in the dungeon listening to historical facts, I began checking things like my email and facebook.  However, the inside upper floors really are sights to see.....


And, the woodwork is truly amazing.  The time and effort that builders used to take was really exceptional.  I know I made this comment last week-end as well when we were touring Drayton Hall.  It's true.  They took pride in their work and I suppose that is why it is still around for us to see.


The building itself has served several functions over the years.  It was a post office.  Of course, it was the jail thus the creepy dungeon. Assemblies have been held there.  And, now, you can rent it out for tours for students and for parties for young people.  Interesting but not exactly where I would like to hold a celebration!   Although I can imagine kids loving it....Pirate Scavenger Hunts, Colonial Lifestyles, Colonial Christmas, the Making of a Pirate...you get the idea. 

The part of the  tour that we really could have done without?  The talking, animated puppets that gave us the history lessons downstairs. 



Our guide was really personable and extremely knowledgeable, though.  He was even pleasant to two very small children!  Why they were touring the dungeon, I'm not really sure.  

Interesting or not, there is always something to see, something to learn and something yummy to eat.  After our historical walk backwards, we came back to the present and to Bubba Gumps.  It was calling our name for some cold beer and shrimp cocktail.  That definitely made us smile as much as our clean pantry!

If you are wanting a VERY historical lesson:
The Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon
122 East Bay Street
Open Every Day from 9:00am-5:00pm


Alone and in the pantry?


Today begins our few weeks of quiet mornings, no beach towels and wet suits on the floor, extended hours of reading, watching only the Food Network instead of Pokemon and the occasional bout of sadness.  Our younger three children headed north yesterday to visit their "other" parents (our exes) and we are living the alone life for a bit.  It always seems strange the first few days when they are all gone.  

Raising six busy, loud, laughing, challenging small humans for the past 11 years together, we have always welcomed the silences.....but it only lasts a short while and then we are missing them tremendously.  I have found that being present, enjoying the calm and being productive help.  So, it is likely that you will see many new blog posts in the near future!!  

I started my morning by turning my crock pot into a soup pot and filled it full of fresh, local ingredients from my Gruber Farms CSA box.  Our Italian vegetable soup should be smelling delicious and ready for a sprinkling of fresh parmesean by dinner.  The loaf of homemade Italian bread is rising on the counter and I have decided to conquer this mess.......
 

We have really been eating a lot of whole grains, fresh seafood and cooking at home to avoid the processed, fattening fare that is out there.  However, it is really taking a toll on my limited pantry space.  So, this morning, when I normally would have been whipping up some homemade fruit muffins or banana pancakes for my crew, I cleaned out my pantry.  Off to do some shopping for containers!!  If the soup turns all delicious, I may post the recipe later.  And, I leave you with this quote...."The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children."  ~Elain Heffner
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