A Quick Trip About South Carolina – Part I

 

I took a quick jaunt about South Carolina on Saturday and Sunday, past. Here are some of the places I visited.

I visited Conway, SC and stopped by their new library to pore over some old newspapers on microfilm. Sadly, there were no items for which I was looking.

I then took a short ride down to Georgetown, SC and stopped in their library to look through some more old newspapers on microfilm. I didn’t find what I was looking for there either. I had a good talk with one of their computer techs. He was probably bored with my steamboat ramblings. They have a very nice computer Game Room. Apparently, they wrote and received a grant and they use the room as incentive to attract young readers.

I had confused the drive times between Georgetown and Santee and Santee and Columbia. It takes about 1.5 hours to go between Georgetown and Santee and only about an hour between Santee and Columbia. Not having a map, I thought I had taken a wrong turn, but eventually realized that I had made the trip in as good a time as possible.

What had made me angry was that I had begun to imagine that Clark’s Restaurant in Santee, SC was going to be filled with customers and I would have to eat somewhere else. It had not dawned on me that this was a Saturday night… and that it was also the Holiday season and there might be groups or Christmas parties scheduled. But still I continued on and reaching the restaurant around 6 pm, I was surprised to find that the parking area was not already full.

I went inside and noted that there did not appear to be a full crowd in the main dining area, nor in the side room(s). I asked the hostess if a reservation was needed and she said, “No, not tonight. Please follow me.”

There were diners at about five tables. I looked at the menu. There was a separate sheet with about three dinner specials, but I noticed that they had fried chicken livers and that struck me as something that I liked and could not “get at home” usually. I also ordered a baked sweet potato, their “dirty” rice (which I know is good), and a house salad with Ranch dressing.

The tea was sweet and good. The house salad was especially good for two reasons: There were a couple of slices of a small, highly flavored tomato (this was surprising being that they are “out of season”), and that there were several slices of sweet (not dill) pickles.

The sweet potato was delicious, having a sugary cinnamon topping. I also asked for some sour cream. The waitress commented that she liked sour cream with this also. The dirty rice was good.

The chicken livers were fat and lightly breaded and delicious.

The main dining room reminds me of a New England Inn, although I don’t think I have actually ever visited one. I’ve seen many on television, and have watched “A White Christmas” repeatedly throughout the years. The walls are a rich red, with paintings and golden light sconces and fixtures about. They play “elevator” music with recognizable tunes which is very comforting.

I had brought my iPad in with me and took a quick look at the Carolina vs Kentucky basketball score and then put the device up.

The waitress later asked me if this was an iPad, which triggered a long conversation with me suggesting that a smartphone would be a more productive device, but that the iPad was an excellent flat screen TV. Her daughter was a senior and would be going off somewhere the next year.

I finished my meal and headed for Columbia. The Google Maps directions do not show a map when I am using my iPad, and not knowing the starting point in Santee, I decided to head south of I95. I knew that eventually, I would come to I26 which traverses diagonally across South Carolina from Charleston up through Columbia and on to Asheville, NC, etc. But quickly I saw the Hwy. 301 ramp and decided that even if it was longer, I would eventually cross paths with I26. *This ended up being the quickest way, and probably very close to the Google Maps directions I had been given. Even with a minor slowdown, once I was on I26 (due to an accident, I think), the trip from Santee to Columbia was just about an hour.

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