Wine Wednesday!

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Spring seems to have finally arrived with some consistently pleasant temperatures recently. I’m proud to report that the lovely flowers that my dear husband and nephew planted in the last snow storm are still going strong! I have broken out my flip-flops and t-shirts and we’ve already fired up the grill with some fresh fish and grass-fed steaks. Even the yard bunny family has begun to make an appearance. How I do enjoy my shoulder seasons. Fall and spring are usually about as perfect as you can get temperature-wise. And I love all the green that comes back with spring. Plus the days are getting longer. Of course, I am already spying insane amounts of pollen on my car each morning, meaning that allergy season will soon be in full-swing in our house. That is my one biggest pet-peeve with this season (well, that and the fact that it’s the lead in to the hellish hot days of summer).

The Husband and I have been staying busy recently continuing to work on projects around the house and work. He’s running in his annual mountain marathon this weekend, and I’m busy planning our upcoming vacations. The Hubs and I are planning a beach getaway to Aruba later this summer. Neither of us have been, so we’re excited to see somewhere new! And, my sister is hoping to take my niece and nephew to Disneyworld this year—a trip for which we have been recruited to help wrangle and ride rides at the parks, lol. I haven’t been to Disney since I was a teenager, so it would certainly be nice to go.

We did spend a lovely Easter weekend in Charleston, South Carolina just a couple of weeks ago. Charleston is one of those cities where you can walk around forever and just enjoy seeing the lovely homes, churches, and parks. It was our second trip there, and we enjoyed seeing more of the Battery, visiting the Nathanial Russell house, walking in the Scots Church graveyard, and taking a carriage tour with a very humorous guide. I was good about shopping and managed to walk away from town with just a few spice blends from the Charleston Spice Company. That store is really pretty neat, if you ever get the chance to check it out. Of course, we ate well on our trip as well! I’d definitely recommend Blossom or Anson for dinner, Henry’s House for lunch (sit on the rooftop for a nice breeze and lovely view), and Toast for breakfast.

Anyhoo, by now I’m sure you’re asking, where’s the wine, right? Well, today’s selection is a robust Cabernet from Columbia Crest. This bottle of Horse Heaven Hills, or H3, is a 2009 that retails for around $14. It was a decent enough wine, but it’s pretty heady, so it might be more difficult to enjoy if you’re not into big, bold Cabs.

My notes:

  • color- purple
  • scent- bouquet of fruit
  • full-bodied
  • little bit of spice
  • plums
  • slightly metallic finish
  • not for the light-hearted wine drinker

And from the experts: “Focused, refined and appealing for its open-weave texture around a generous core of plum and currant fruit, finishing with hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Drink now through 2014.” Wine Spectator, 90 pts.

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Charleston, Day 4 and 5

Day 4– We were up early to head over to Mount Pleasant to visit Patriot’s Point.  Since my husband is so wonderful at letting me meander through ridiculously old houses and take haunted ghost tours, I always try to incorporate at least a couple of things that he will find interesting on any trip.  That, of course, is not to say that he doesn’t enjoy the history or the ghosts, but he’s a guy and I know how much he loves guy-stuff.  Like aircraft carriers. 

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USS Yorktown from the sea

With that said, our first visit at Patriot’s Point was the USS Yorktown.  The USS Yorktown is an aircraft carrier that began its career amidst the fighting of WWII and was served its country dutifully until 1970.  Today, you can wander the better part of the ship, seeing what life was like for the service men and women aboard and visit the many museums now housed within the confines of the massive interior.  There are 6 separate self-guided tours that take you through different parts of the ship.  We end up doing all but that last one since we were running out of time before our Ft. Sumter ferry.  We did spend a good 3 – 4 hours exploring the ship and checking out the exhibits.  There are planes to see as well, both inside and outside on the flight deck-  plus lots of great stories posted throughout about the history of the ship, as well as some of it’s sister ships.  My favorite part was probably the submarine that you can climb around in front of the Yorktown.  Despite gushing blood, I enjoyed squeezing thru the tight quarters and wondering how the heck people keep from going crazy spending so much time in such confined areas.

    After the Yorktown, we took a tour over to Fort Sumter.  There is a ferry that leaves from Patriot’s Point a couple of times a day and gives you about an hour to explore what’s left of the fort.  Honestly, this was one of my least favorite things we did because there just wasn’t much to see.  I guess it’s interesting to be there considering the fort’s role in American history, but … most of you guys know how I am about American history.  😉

    After visiting all of the stuff at Patriot’s Point, we continued our militaristic tourism day at the Naval shipyards seeing the H.L. Hunley.  The Hunley, for those unaware, was a Confederate submarine that happened to be the first sub to successfully sink an enemy ship during warfare.  Unfortunately for the Hunley, it also sank that same night that it made history.  While it was kind of interesting to see the sub, I think that it will be a better exhibit once the sub is in its permanent home rather than its current research facility.  There are some fun artifacts discussed in the museum area, but it would be great to see more of the stories associated with the sub and its personnel.  I will say that our guide was a very colorful (and old) WWII vet who was as unpolitically correct as you could be, especially with some of the “furreners” that were on the tour with us.  You really had to shake your head and laugh— old people are fun. 

   After seeing the Hunley, it was back to Charleston to rest up before dinner.  Tonight, we had reservations for Cru Cafe a few blocks north of Market Street.  The restaurant is in an old house so seating is limited, but the food was pretty decent.  The hubs enjoyed his bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin and I had a steak with an incredible green peppercorn sauce.  Their flourless chocolate torts are also insanely rich but insanely good.  Our service was helpful and competent as well.  I’d definitely go back.  After dinner, we walked over to Waterfront Park for a bit and just took in the sights and sounds by night.  Then it was off to the hotel to start packing and get ready for bed.

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a little house hunting for my vacation home...

Day 5— was pretty much come home day!  We did have one final meal at the Buccaneer.  The Buccaneer is a family-friendly restaurant that houses its very own collection of real pirate memorabilia.  It was kind of interesting to see some different weaponry and tools while waiting on the food to come out.  I told my sister that my nephew would have LOVED this place.  The food was ok- we were getting lunch so it was just a burger and a sandwich but it was decent enough and the service was, again, pretty good.  I really think that the meals we had were one of the highlights of the entire trip!  After lunch, we loaded up the car and headed back home, leaving all the fresh salt air and charming historical homes behind us until next time.