Friday, June 17, 2011

Bed and Breakfast Weekend

The very fact that my lovely wife would even suggest an unplanned weekend getaway should have sent me to DEFON-1 and running off to some undisclosed location. It was a typical Thursday night last week with the kids watching South Park upstairs and me dozing on the couch counting down the minutes until the time I had to leave for work. I’m not sure what Dragonwife was watching on television but it was sufficiently boring that I was caught up in my usual fantasies of dark-skinned ladies wearing skimpy bikinis on a white sandy beach next multiple coolers filled with ice cold beer as equally hot ladies wearing Hooters “uniforms” watching over tables loaded with food.

“How about we go away this weekend?” Dragonwife asked suddenly as a raven-haired beauty and I cavorted under a palm tree with beer, chips, salsa, and a bottle of edible sun block.

“What about the kids?” I asked back figuring that would derail any possible marital adventure.

“My mom has agreed to watch Wiggles at her house and Spoilboy can stay home alone.” She responded strangely certain as if this were not some futile exercise in wishful thinking. My wife simply does not come out with impromptu plans; she and her kinfolk are just not genetically capable of being spontaneous. All events and vacations have to be planned down to the second, any deviation and they melt down in puddles of molten metal and electronic circuits.

“Sure,” I say playing along, “where are we going?”

“Some place I am sure you will enjoy.” She said with me, as expected, thinking the coast.

Hindsight being what it is I now realize her wording of our exact destination for a fun weekend was excessively vague. So early Friday afternoon we "took care" of the kids sending one with her grandmother and stocking the refrigerator for the other hoping the food supply lasted out the day. We are talking a teenage boy here and figuring all four frozen pizzas, three bottle of sodas, and about twenty microwaveable meals could be gone by Saturday night we left a twenty for pizza money but only to be used in case of an emergency.  Earlier that morning after work I had run a bunch of errands getting stuff ready so I was very tired and was frankly a danger if I tried to drive. After some final wrangling over what we would listen to on the radio Dragonwife drove away from the house with me not so slowly dozing off with me wondered what we would do on the beach that evening.

Needless to say, I was very surprised to find myself nowhere near the ocean after waking up. However, it turned it turned out to be a great weekend, except for a visit to a certain unnamed art museum.

Our real destination was the Magnolia Inn bead and breakfast located in Chester, South Carolina. The house was originally built in 1903 during the heyday of the textile industry in the south. If I remember correctly a doctor and his family bought the house in 1911 after spending time in China as missionaries. Both he and later his son practiced medicine in that house up until 1977. After that I have forgotten but the current owners bought it sometime around 2005 and converted it to its current use. 

In the old days people spent most of their time socializing with their neighbors sipping lemonade and eating homemade ice cream on porches like this. Upon arrival we were greeted with two glasses of wine, which I needed since I had slept the entire way to Chester and was still shaking the cob webs out of my brain trying to figure out why I was not drinking a margarita. It only took a few minutes of relaxation before any disappointment at where I found myself had disappeared. The town of Chester is somewhat lost in a timewarp in the sense that most major employers closed up shop decades ago. Because of that you can sit on that beautiful porch and sort of lose yourself to another time since the surrounding homes are all from the same era.      

The formal sitting room where folks entertained without benefit of electronics. Being a person raised in the era of television and later such things as video games, stereos, computers, and other items of modern home entertainment I was somewhat concerned at having to carry on a decent conversation for any length of time with the other guests and our hosts. It is a forgone conclusion that intelligent conversation is at best a dying art but the atmosphere of the house was so comfortable we all fell back into habits long thought extinct.    

This is the room Dragonwife and I stayed in, the early twentieth century decor was undisturbed except for the forty inch television mounted over the fireplace. 

The breakfasts served Saturday and Sunday morning were out of this world. Saturday was French Toast served with fruit and thick cut bacon. My only regret was that I was unable to steal Dragonwife's two slices.  Sunday was grits and eggs and for anyone not luck enough to know the taste of finely ground grits I feel sorry for you. All told it was great food and company and if you are in the Chester area I very highly recommend you stay at Magnolia Inn.

Now Dragonwife did not come up with this trip strictly out the goodness of her heart. The spouse of one of her friends is an artist and a couple of his pieces have been added to the collection at a certain museum up in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Magnolian Inn is only about forty minutes away from that museum which will go unnamed. I would have pictures of that museum except that I was warned going in that they prohibited photography of many of the items on display. I was a good redneck up until I saw a few other people take out their cameras, figuring it must be okay I tried to take a couple of shots myself but was immediately intercepted by this burly security lady with arms bigger than my legs. Sure that I was about to be physically upended and possibly eaten by said security lady I quickly put my camera away.          

Click on this photo to enlarge it and you will see that the guy in the upper portion of the statue is pouring something on the guy below him. A curious work of art to be mounted in the middle of Charlotte. After the museum was over and I was safely away from the scary mutant working security Dragonwife and I enjoyed the Taste of Charlotte.

The Taste of Charlotte featured at least one-hundred of the local restaurants, I spent way too much money on the food to the point we had to make a ATM run after our cash went dry. The best items for me was the Mexican and French food offered but I also sampled good old fish and chips and plenty of all American hot dogs. I got kind of toasted as well since the beer, while not flowing freely, was at least plentiful and cheap.  


Lowandslow said...

Oh, you lucky dog. That sounds like a perfect weekend...except the part about the Rambo (Rambette?) security goon. I love those "Taste of..." events. Expensive but yummy.


lime said...

that porch looks so inviting. i love porches, don't want a house without one. glad you had such a nice weekend.

Akelamalu said...

I'd love an impromptu weekend away, unfortunately MWM doesn't organise any of our trips, it's all left to me. :(

The hotel looks lovely Beach, glad you enjoyed it. :)

Beach Bum said...

LowandSlow: She was scary and obviously did not like goofy rednecks, she scared me man.

Lime: It was awesome, my last house had a nice porch but like idiots my wife and I gave it up.

Akelamalu: While not anywhere near the coast the relative isolation was very nice. I could see myself living in that area.

Charlene said...

Sounds like a lovely week end. Lenny has planned spontaneous week ends but nothing that nice! Lucky guy.

Sherry said...

I think I'm jealous of that porch. Then again, if I had it up here, the mosquitos would have a feast since I'd probably live on it.

Windsmoke. said...

I was waiting for the motive behind this perfect weekend away and the muesum was it very sneaky indeed the only sour point was the security guard with the Hulk like arms. As for the inn all i can say is they don't build 'em like that anymore sadly, such a classic :-).

Pixel Peeper said...

That B&B looks like a perfect spot for recharging your batteries!

Sue said...

how sweet of your wife! I've never stayed in a B and B, were you afraid the whole house would hear the bed rockin'? That was always my fear!

I have a house with a big front porch, we live out there for 3 seasons outta the year, it's lovely.

Marja said...

hi beach you're lucky to have a woman that arranges weekends for you. Love the cosy place were you stayed.

Randal Graves said...

Um, I could comment on the mellow salon-ing, the sadness surrounding the dying arts of conversation and letter writing, the lunacy of the sculpture, but shouldn't we consider this event in its entirety one of the seven apocalyptic signs and where does one find ammo and cans of soup in bulk?

Tag said...

Sounds like a great weekend in a beautiful setting. I'm intrigued by the silver thingie. What the heck is that supposed to be. Very odd, Also that guy looks like he's panning for gold. Is that appropriate in NC. Who new?

Beach Bum said...

Charlene and Sherry: It was fun, my only regret was that it was a little hot sitting out on the porch.

Windsmoke: No, they don't I like modern resorts but the Magnolia Inn was very nice.

Pixel: You would love it.

Sue: Now that you mentioned it I did notice how the floors creaked when you simply walked on them. Anything else would have been loudly broadcast all through the house.

Marja: It was a great surprise, like I mentioned on the post from last Friday. Usually her surprises for involve work.

Randal: Damn! Good point, Dragonwife rarely does anything nice although she wanted me to attend the art showing in Charlotte, something that I am not opposed to except when it involves her friends.

Tag: Good question about the silver thing, I take it to be an alien.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

That is some rock-solid elegance, bra. I hope that you picked up all of those Corona bottles before you left.

Mr. Charleston said...

The statue of the man pouring is probably a miner sifting for gold. North Carolina had some sort of mini-gold rush years ago. the dude below... ?? Looks like Baccus.

Nance said...

There. Beer and hot dogs and Mexican food. She knew you'd like it!

Cloudia said...

what a lovely surprise for you-

-and US!

Aloha from Honolulu :)

Comfort Spiral