Miss Orchid in Her Glory

She has finally opened her final blossom. Miss Orchid’s stem carries eighteen gorgeous phalaenopsis flowers. I promised to show her off when she was in full bloom so those who have never seen this type of orchid in bloom could have that opportunity.

I posted a photo of her first blossom in my piece titled Brighten Your Day With a Bloom in January, 2011. On that day she began her bloom cycle. Today, on Valentine’s day she gave me all her love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Needed Downtime

Barb's Orchid CollectionThis BLOGGER took some needed downtime. Peggy and I went south and east until we hit some serious water, then followed the coast further southward. We were seeking warmer weather, and some colorful spring flowers. We got it all.  Along the way, we stopped to visit friends from another life.  I have a list of friends I want to visit before I die, and I got to see four of them.

We also got to see a section of the country that we’ve never seen before, i.e. the North and South Carolina coast. Peggy lived in Columbia, South Carolina during the nineteen fifties. She was with her husband Ron, while he was in the army.  Our sight seeing began in the small hamlet of Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, on the Atlantic ocean. Sneads Ferry is a fishing town located on the southern border of Camp Lejeune, a U.S. Marine training base.

The couple  we visited built their dream home on Everett Creek  which winds into Stone Bay, then  into the Intercoastal Waterway, and finally the Atlantic Ocean. Barbara, the Lady of the House, is a Master Gardener. She took her training in North Carolina, and was a encyclopedia of horticultural knowledge about local plants. She has been building her new garden for five years. It continues to expand. Inside the house she sports a collection of orchids. Many are in bloom, and are gorgeous.  Gary, the Master of the House, designed and built the home. He is an engineer and it shows in the construction details of the building, and layout. He also added a greenhouse for Barb, and a walkway from the house to the creek . 

White Orchid

 Time flew by rapidly, and the visit lasted longer than we had anticipated. Gary and Barb drove us around Sneads Ferry, and Topsail Island. The town is a blink of the eye, while the island, and beach stretches for miles. The weather was cool and drizzly, so there were not too many hardy souls on the beach; it was empty. We quickly gathered a few shells to bring home, then moved on. We lunched on softshell crab at the Sears Landing Grill in Surf City, and talked about times we spent together.

Gary and Barb recommended we see Charleston, so onward down the coast we drove to Charleston, South Carolina.  The city founded in 1670 is one of the oldest in the United States. We checked into the Mills House Hotel in the heart of the historic district. Built in 1853, it stands as one of the oldest hotels in North America. It was totally remodeled, and updated in 1970. Without doubt, this is a five star hotel.

Peggy and I arranged to take a carriage ride around town in the morning. We passed homes and churches built in the seventeen hundreds. All have been meticulously restored. The entire historic district is on the National Registry, and will remain so in perpetuity. Even though the district is historical and old, it is houses many private citizens, and commercial enterprises. We ate lunch in an old building, once a cotton warehouse, and now a modern sports bar.

Rainbow Row-Charleston, SCCharleston in BloomCharleston HomeCity of ChurchesAfter lunch, we sauntered to the harbor and took a cruise around the bay for a waterfront perspective. One of the porters on the ship lives in a house boat at the dock . He is retired, and fortifying his income working on the cruise boat. He commuted by taking a thirty second walk from his tiny float home across the dock to the sightseeing boat. Peggy and I got sun burn while basking on the deck. She was white knuckling the chair the whole time, not being one for taking boat rides.

Very Large Old HouseBridge to CharlestonMills House LobbyAntebellum HomeWe arrived at the Staybridge Suites in Savannah, Georgia on Bay Street early. Our room was not ready yet so to kill time, we booked a trolley tour of the historical district. What a city! I always wanted to see Savannah, but somehow this part of the country eluded me. Savannah was founded in 1733, by General James Oglethorpe. He was also the architect of the city layout.  The historic district is a beautiful grid of streets  divided into districts by squares or parks. Twenty four distinct little squares define open spaces between congested avenues of row houses and mansions. Twenty two of the squares still exist. Two have fallen prey to civic center development. In between the streets with the squares are larger more elegant boulevrds. The median dividers on the boulevards are filled with pink, white, rose, and red azaleas. Shading the streets are giant oaks, three hundred years old, and dripping with dainty  Spanish Moss. 

Wisteria Laden Home in Savannah, GAPeggy and I roamed the streets from square to square taking house tours, and visiting museums.  Among the more notable homes we visited was the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace. Juliette  founded the Girl Scouts of America In 1912. The house has been preserved, and is in excellent condition. It contains many pieces of the original furnishings. In the Telfair Museum of Art we saw two wxhibitions by black artists. One of them by a man named Robert Colescott has a series of contemporary paintings on display. It is my opinion that this man was on some serious shit while he painted. The second artist, Elizabeth King, displayed a ceramic mannekin head the size of an apple and with infinite realistic detail .  She photographed the head from various angles against a black background; the photos are magnificent. She is a true artist, while Colescott seemed to paint only while high, or maybe he just can’t see too well.

Red Azaleas on River Street, Savannah, GATypical Savannah SquarePre-Civil War Funeral Parlor Pink AzaleasWhite AzaleaReally White Azaleas

Home of Juliette Gordon Low, Founder of Girl Scouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

White CameliaRelaxing in a Square, Notice the ShoesThe Savannah river front along River Street is a string of shops, and restaurants, converted from old cotton warehouses. A Green and Yellow Trolley runs along a track laid in the center of the cobblestone street, reminiscent of streetcars I rode in Chicago during the forties. A container ship passed by as we shopped. Savannah is the second largest container port in the US.  Here is a piece of useless info, the largest export out of the port is chicken; shipped to China.

More to follow.

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