Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sweet Tea

Welcome to day two of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost and #FlavoursomeTuesdays.

In reviewing 2017, I realized I had never blogged about the several days my husband and I spent with our adult son, traveling in separate cars (but together) from upstate New York to Columbia, South Carolina. It was the first vacation together we had in 11 years.

Our son helped us when the entire state of Virginia turned into a parking lot, with seemingly the entire East Coast of the United States having the idea of  traveling to South Carolina to see the eclipse. His young nimble thinking ran rings around what suddenly seemed like our senior thoughts stuck in concrete.

It's kind of funny - I had chosen the word determination as my word for both 2016 and 2017.

And now it was my son showing the determination, as one hour of avoiding stuck traffic stretched into hours.  My son led the way, as we kept in touch by cell phone.  He found secondary roads to escape Interstate 81, which had turned into a parking lot.  At one point we even thought of turning back.  That thought never entered his mind.

When had we become quitters, more interested in comfort than adventure? Yikes.
Fancy Gap, Virginia

Finally, past the traffic jams, we entered the mountains on the Virginia/North Carolina border and my son asked me to take a picture of the runaway truck ramps.

We got to our first stop, Mt. Airy, North Carolina, a couple of hours after my son arrived.  We had called the motel to tell them he would be getting there before us.  And the desk clerk complimented us on our "nice polite son".

The man who made fun of our garden as a teen admired the gardens of the South Carolina state capital after we arrived the day before the eclipse, and took this panoramic picture for me of the African American mural.  Yes, my son had to show me how to take a panoramic picture with an iPhone.

It doesn't look it in this picture, but it was a brutal, humid 95 degrees F (35C) Sunday with a heat index of 100.  The central South Carolina sun beat down upon our Northern heads (although I had protected mine with a hat).  After a few minutes of gazing at what the grounds of the state capitol offered (it was our second visit, and I highly recommend it, incidentally), we fled, trying to escape terminal roasting, to find some good air conditioning. (I must add here that I've lived in Florida, Texas and Arkansas, and summer heat is not unknown to me.  But I am no longer used to it.)

We made our way to a local restaurant called Rush's After ordering some broasted chicken, a young server came to our table and offered us some sweet tea.

Here, for my foreign readers, I have to pause to explain.  In the northern United States, iced tea is drunk without sweetener.  However, in the South, it is assumed you will be drinking sweet tea unless you specify "unsweetened".  My son had never had sweet tea.  I must admit, I do not like it, but then again, I am not a true Southerner.

If you want to try it out, here's a recipe.

But son said "yes" to the tea, as we all gulped mass quantities to quench our thirst. He loved his broasted chicken dinner, too - so much so that we ate at Rush's again the next day, after the eclipse.
not our family
Dear son, who hated the history museums I took him to (I love history, while he was a science person), explored the South Carolina State Museum with great enjoyment, while waiting for the eclipse to begin.

That afternoon, we used our tickets to view the total eclipse of the sun with hundreds of other people on their front lawn.

And the eclipse itself - our third, his first, we felt wonder together.
The horizon during totality, Columbia, South Carolina

At totality, I yelled with other participants while son exclaimed over and over "This is crazy!"

This video was taken by the local newspaper - I was one of the people screaming in that crowd.

I found out we had some similar things on our bucket lists besides viewing a total eclipse of the sun- visiting Iceland one day, for one thing (I'll pass on his skydiving goal, though). 

I don't know if we ever will taken another vacation together, but I do know I will remember this trip for the rest of my life.

It made 2017 for me, realizing that I enjoy the friendship (my non-word for 2018) of my son.

And there was that sweet tea....something to bond over.

Join Bellybytes at Mumbai on a High and Shilpa Gupte at Metanoia for #FlavoursomeTuesdays. If you want to share a food related memory, why not join us?

Day 2 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost


  1. Good luck with the challenge. I am looking forward to the next eclipse as it passes over my area of the country.

  2. Ah, making memories. Got to love it!

  3. What a great thing to do with your son. I hope I get the chance to do something like this with my grown sons, bonding in a whole different way,

  4. You reminded me of two things. My first foray into a Charlottesville restaurant to be assaulted by a ton of sugar when I sipped my iced tea. And, my return to New York, when- without asking- I was provided my coffee with a gallon of milk and a pound of sugar.

  5. Realizing you like your adult children's company and have things in common besides the obvious is wonderful. Great you had this bonding trip over the eclipse! With my husband and my parents we went on two mini vacations together when they were in their late 70's and had a ball, just 4 adults having fun vacation time.

  6. I'm glad that you got to see the eclipse. I was only 3 hours away from prime viewing, and I didn't go. GAH! That was a mistake. I'll be sure to catch the next one. I'm glad you had such a wonderful vacation.

  7. true friendship to enjoy :) and love this story..

  8. What a great story! I took a harrowing trip last year, and wish your son had been along to help. :) And I love sweet tea!! It is one of my favorite drinks, especially as restaurants.

  9. What a wonderful trip. I'd love to do something like this with my daughter when she's older

  10. I had to laugh at your post as a true South Carolina southerner the crowds from the solar eclipse were out of this world haha! We live in the upstate, but watched it from our back yard it was amazing. I also had to check out your sweet tea recipe and it's the same one I use every single day! Thanks for visiting! Haha!

  11. While I missed the last eclipse, I'm glad I didn't miss this post about your eclipse experience. Sweet Tea...sweet story and sweet friendship with son. Course, I know about Sweet Tea...being from Texas and one nevah evah use fake sugahs, Honey!

  12. Humid 95 degrees? We have hot summers here, and I'd be heading for the a/c in that. Ick.

    It's these trips that you'll always remember.

  13. You were in my part of the country! LOL Yes sweet tea is the "thing" down here but me being a NY rebel, I love my tea infused with raspberries and/or strawberries. I do like sweet tea but I'm finding the fruit tea is oh so good! Sounds like you had a great trip!


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