Monday, November 5, 2012

Visiting visitors

Add to Google Reader or HomepageWe have made a number of trips this summer. On the return trip from South Carolina and a visit to Margaret and Gary in Edisto Beach and Betty in Charleston, SC, I realized that our excursions have taken us to see people who have visited us in Vaison la Romaine.

We cherish the memories created by our visitors when they came to Vaison la Romaine and we now have new memories from being with them in the US. We were so well received I can only hope that our hospitality measured up to that which they bestowed on us.

Visiting different towns and regions highlights the differences we experience in the US. It is striking how similar shopping can be as chain stores and franchises seem to be the same whether in Chicago or Charleston.

Dining could fit in to the same pattern but we avoid franchise restaurants. Most of the time, we have been very pleased with the food and service of a local restaurant/diner. There were a few-less-than-wonderful spots but they became memorable in their own right. We had a wonderful lunch with Betty at a restaurant overlooking Shem Creek and Charleston Bay and a great “small plate” meal at Nia’s in Chicago with Jim, Taffy, Alex, MB and French neighbor Jane. – and don’t miss pizza buffet night at Pizza Pronto in Naubinway (in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) with Dusty and Tim. Mark and Dan took us to a new restaurant in Traverse City called Apache Trout Grill and we had a nice dinner at the Waterfront after taking a sunset boat tour of the Edisto River backwaters with Margaret, Gary, Dorene, Jackie and Norm.

Wonderful restaurants! Excellent company!

Groceries are more regional than retail stores. I don’t think we have a Piggly Wiggly in the Midwest, so when we were shopping at one in SC, we were amused when a special sale item was announced in aisle 3(?) followed by: “There’s something big at the Pig!” In fact, I am right now wearing my T-shirt from the Piggly Wiggly that Betty gave me. (The logo on the front of the shirt is a smiling pig wearing a butcher’s cap. The back says: “I dig the Pig!) I doubt that the local Kroger store could match that.

BTW, while in South Carolina, we got to see an alligator at a pond on a golf course (and signs warning residents and visitors: “Please do not feed or disturb the alligators.”) – I was amazed at how calmly people seemed to accept the presence of these creatures and thankful that I didn’t have a small dog to walk as it/I could have become a meal. 

BTW2, At the end of the sunset tour of Edisto Island, dolphins began swimming beside our boat as we returned to the dock – almost as if a film director had shouted: “Cue dolphins”.