December's Non-Cruising Blog

Bender Blog December 2009
Wild Dunes Marina - Ashley Marina
Charleston, SC

This month (nor November) definitely did not ensue as planned but we're hanging in there knowing that in the whole scheme of things, this little modification won't be a deterrence and there have been some really good serendipitous moments as a result of our remaining in Wild Dunes. We discovered a little Irish pub on Sullivan's Island that we've come to love. It's very small and the SI version of Cheers. During a late lunch, a bearded sailor named Bill, came over for a chat and he and Bill both realized that they'd met on the dock here soon after we arrived. Bill was engaged in a project and the "new" Bill offered him some of his tools, however they didn't recognize each other beyond the sphere of the marina. Bill is the owner of the pub and a life-long sailor. Two nights a week they have extraordinary musicians so we've taken advantage of those evenings which also has given us opportunities to get together with friends, Peggy and Rob, whom we knew when we were in the Ashley Marina, downtown Charleston. When we lived a conventional life in a real house, we were part of a small group from our church. http://www.seacoast.org/. As "vagrants", we've really missed that fellowship and feel so fortunate to be invited to be a part of a small group which meets weekly and is just down the street from us in Wild Dunes. We were introduced to a restaurant, Charleston Cafe, by out of town friends and we'd never even heard of it. When you're in Charleston, be sure to go there for breakfast or lunch and also be prepared to wait! If you didn't know it was there, it would go un-noticed. The name is painted on the window but there is no large sign. It's on Highway 17, Mt. Pleasant, and is a "must-do". Bill had a wonderful afternoon and evening with his daughter, Courtney, and granddaughter, Alleigh, when they attended the Christmas Tree lighting in Marion Square. As you've probably ascertained by now, we're music enthusiasts. Our church had an awe-inspiring concert that so enhanced our Christmas season. This Christmas season has been exceedingly active for 2 Sea Urchins who have no 'roots'. There have been more social opportunities than we could have ever imagined and we've taken great pleasure in celebrating this time of year with quite a few of our friends. Although we expected to be in warmer climes long before now, this has been a positively memorable Christmas for us. We had an unexpected joy of a visit from our Greenville friends, Pete and Darlene. The 4 of us reveled in a delectable Italian dinner at Mercato, a downtown Charleston restaurant. Knowing our affinity for music, you're safe in assuming they had a jazz trio who played during our repast. Kaminsky's, also located on Market Street, is known for their specialty coffees and most excellent desserts prepared fresh each day by their talented pastry chefs. This was the perfect culmination to our gastronomic indulgence. In a continually aborted effort to cruise south, we moved about 10 miles from Wild Dunes to Ashley Marina. Not a quantum leap but at least we're south of the ever-fabled Ben Sawyer Bridge closing. Again, if you're in the Charleston area, please call us at 864-525-5236 or email us so we can plan a visit. Our departure date has again been changed to January 26! Christmas Eve found us at Abba's throne for a marvelous worship service followed by a congenial evening and dinner in the home of Norm and Jean, new friends we've made while attending Seacoast Community Church in Mt. Pleasant. Christmas Day we were engaged in phone conversations with friends and family. The denouement of our day was dinner at the Frances Marion Hotel across from Marion Square and a spectacular sunset viewed from The Battery. What a peerless day and magnificent Christmas Season for us!! Seabrook Island is the home of Dick, a Grand Banks "brother". We spent a day touring Seabrook as well as Kiawah where we visited The Sanctuary, a 4 year old, 225 room hotel, whose construction per room cost $470,000. The drive there from Charleston is so very 'low country' and absolutely stunning as we traveled along a shaded 2 lane road canopied with an archway of moss-bearded oak trees that blocked out the sun. Our New Years Eve plans are to spend a festive but reflective evening as we eagerly anticipate a new year and continuing our trip in a southerly direction.

Best wishes for a peaceful and opportune 2010. Bill and Laura Bender Kindred Spirit III Ashley Marina Charleston, SC

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