Getting Patrick to travel with me is a task that often is more trouble than it’s worth, but I’ve found the (most obvious) secret weapon- promises of beer, burgers and hot dogs. I secured tickets for a Charleston Riverdogs game from a colleague of my mom’s. We started that Saturday in a leisurely manner, no real rush to haul it out the door and kept it up the whole day, which made for an incredibly pleasaurable and memorable trip. No trying to cram everything in, no running from appointment to place to place. We just did what we wanted.

First thing we did was park the car downtown and met up with Catherine. How do I describe our relation to her? Well, she is the sister of a friend that Patrick grew up with. She is also the daughter of our wedding photographer (who only wanted to be paid in vodka and orange juice. We obliged.). We were going to try and have lunch at Husk but of course the wait was insane, so we ended up going to Toast on Meeting St. I had been there a long time ago when it was another place with another name, but this place seems to have upped their brunch booze offerings. We had a good breakfast for lunch there and parted ways with Catherine to cross the bridge for a trip to the mothership Westbrook Brewing in Mount Pleasant.

I am the biggest fan of their White Thai which is brewed with lemongrass that apparently comes right out of their front yard! Their bushes are WAY more impressive than my piddly little ones. Don’t tell, but I took some of the seeds and will try to sprout them in my yard to amass their amazing growing energy.

They also grow some of their own hops up the side of their building thanks to these wires. This is dried out hop flowers, I guess.

After a flight for me and a pint for Patrick we drove back across to park downtown and walk around. I wanted to go up and down King Street, and Patrick wanted to walk through the newly-renovated Market. We both agreed that it just didn’t feel like the same market, with the walls, and windows, and air conditioning. Fortunately as you go towards E. Bay Street come of the pieces of the market were left open air. This was getting towards the toasty part of the day so we went back to Husk, only this time we retreated to the dark coolness of their bar.

They serve cold water in former whiskey jars, which is really awesome. The glasses appear to be upcycled wine glasses, much like the ones from Mr. B’s Sustainable Glassworks here in West Columbia.

The mister got himself a Manhattan which I believe was around $16, but said it was worth every cent. He took a picture of me taking a picture of him taking a picture of his drink, and this is the picture of me taking a picture of him. Confused yet? Me too.

The non-alcoholic drinks sounded a lot more artistic and fun so I went that route, knowing that more boozin’ was ahead. This soda has a ginger beer base, with muddled whole seasonal berries and basil, with a dash of cracked black pepper sprinkled on the top for a bit of spicy bite that is a contrast from the kind that you get from the ginger.

My only complaint about this soda is that there wasn’t more of it in the glass. I believe this one was around $5 a glass. The other one I wanted to try was had cinnamon ice, but they were already out, which means that it’s probably the best drink ever. It’s on my list for next time. A cheeseburger from there is on Patrick’s- we didn’t eat here since we were on the way to the Joe (where the foodies go, as we learned).

Husk on Urbanspoon

My excitement for the beer milkshakes could barely be contained. After we walked the entire stadium looking for where our seats were, I saw the shake stand and ran up to order a Palmetto Porter chocolate shake. As a long avowed disliker of dark, thick beers I wasn’t sure I’d like this one it was everything I could have ever wanted in this one concoction, and was better than my version because theirs was a bit more liquidy and able to be drank through a straw with greater ease. That’s definitely why it was mostly drained by the time we got to our AMAZING seats.

They were right above the home dugout, with a perfect view of the batter. I could tell if it was a ball or strike in ways that I never have been able to at any other baseball games. Home run, indeed. It was an absolutely gorgeous night at the Joe (P. Riley Jr. Stadium) with no suffocating humidity, no bugs, just gentle sea breezes, blue skies, and the perfect temperature where it feels like the air is giving you a hug.

I wasn’t aware until Patrick saw it, but this lovely marsh view is on the backside of the stadium. We spent some time hanging out back there taking photos and enjoying the view.

As promised, I got Patrick a pickledog, and a dollar beer (Natty Light, if you’re curious). Look at that noodle smiling.

Or is he more bemused than anything? This is a big weenie on a bed of slaw, nestled atop a bright green Charleston Pickle Company pickle that functions as the bun! He said that it packed a vinegary wallop. The CPCo. pickles that we have had before are cut into little chip sized slices, so this big honking one was quite the saliva inducer. He ate the whole thing though, but I think he prefers the little slices, to which I agree.

I got myself an unexciting veggie taco from Wacko Taco and we stayed until the 7th inning stretch. My baseball hating noodle did good to stay that long, so we headed on out of the Joe only to see that it was SC Watermelon Night. I had my photo taken with the Watermelon Queen for the LOLs, and we walked through this riverfront park along the Ashley River at sunset for a bit.

Looking on these photos makes me want to move down there for an easygoing coastal life, but I know that the hustle of everyday life would easily overtake the daydream thoughts of sitting on the dock of the backyard marsh, whiling away the afternoon. I’d rather keep Charleston a retreat that we can go to whenever we need an escape from the craziness, the work, the deadlines, and the pile of dishes that are home in Columbia, at least for now.