Charleston/SC Revisit 2019

24 Oct 2019 – 7 Years Have Passed By Quickly

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all. App 2hrs drive from CAE-CHS with a lunch stop, but seemed less with much to catch up during the drive. Tkx to HiHills/Glenda for driving us. In CHS to visit with AT-Hiking buddies. MoFo (trail-name who will be known as John here as we are not on the trail) met us@2Meeting St, a beautiful B&B out of my budget-range! White Point Garden must be one of the most popular locations for getting married.

The Battery – known for the stately&grand houses.

CHS&our host certainly lived up to the pineapple expression of Southern Hospitality. Walking on the cobble-stones sure brings back memories from students days in DUB. Halloween is in the air and anyone would turn into a skeleton too trying to fish for food from a sidewalk!

Some of the historical steeples – St Michael’s (1761), St Philips’s (1838), St John the Baptist (1890), St Mathew’s downloaded (1872).

The cast-iron gates are fascinating and could spend a whole day just admiring them. 32 Lagare St (Sword Gate/1849), last pix above has an interesting history behind it, but the other gates too have their own history which I know not of.

Every door&gate has a story but sometimes we stare so long at the closing ones that we forget to appreciate&see the open ones.

Sat: woke up to this view from our hotel window, The Holiday Inn Express&Suites@Mt Pleasant Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning. Expecting Nestor (tropical storm), thank goodness the forecast was not what it made out to be and continuing with our sight-seeing on 4wheels.

The Citadel (1842), a public college is one of 6 US senior military colleges. John’s family, from his grandfather, father, bro and now his nephew 4generations all attended this college, including John who did his MBA here – impressive place with the biggest class-ring I have seen.

Taking in every bit of the history (+imagining what it was like then!) from a knowledgeable local retired-architect guide. Today’s pix are not so clear, mainly with raindrops taken from the windows in the car.

While the rest were shopping,  had a yummy coffee-milkshake in this joint with this lovely painting.

and was checking if Nestor’s visit will flood the water-front – seems like the bark was louder than the bite.

Lunched@Pages Okra-Grill where I first tasted pickled-okra 7yrs ago and now my 2nd time and still like okra best this way – even their BloodyMary is garnished with okra.

The weather called for more shopping and was happy to just tag along with the group. Was told that this doughnut place Fractured-Prune made individual fresh doughnuts with whatever sprinkles you want – was too stuffed to try, perhaps the next time round!

Appreciations to John&Lynne for their gracious Southern-Hospitality with scrumptious home-made Low-Country-Boil, Melon-salad&Coleslaw

in their beautiful home@Mt Pleasant.

Sun: a breezy, refreshing wet walk across Arthur Ravenel Jr./Ravenel/Cooper River Bridge (1,546ft/471m), a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River connecting downtown CHS to Mt Pleasant.

Mt Pleasant Pier: under the bridge, a delightful pier built on the foundations of the old bridge with the tell-tale signs of the weather for the past few days. A goodbye breakfast@Pages Okra-Grill again before the ladies drove off. Appreciations to be included to John’s family dinner where I got to meet 2 (Amelia/7&Jack/2+) of the 4 of their grandchildren. One more night@the hotel as it was paid in advance.

Mon: most delightful morning walk@ShemCreek Boardwalk along the Low Country Marsh Scene.

Softly, slightly rippling the water as it carried the heady scents of late Carolina springtime through the air. Honeysuckle. Jasmine. Ripe, pungent river mud. Ah, the world felt right ― Caitlin Rush

Forest Gump in mind with the shrimp boats.

Life is just so complete in this glorious weather, watching life go by, tkx to John for lunch and letting me stay@their place. Also time to thank my AT-hiking buddies+our charming&the best CHS guide for this most memorable stay.

Sugar had grown up in Charleston, South Carolina: possibly the most luscious of the world’s garden cities. Behind every wrought-iron gate or exposed-brick wall in the picturesque peninsula blooming between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers lay a sweet-scented treasure trove of camellias, roses, gardenias, magnolias, tea olives, azaleas and jasmine, everywhere, jasmine.

With its lush greenery, opulent vines, sumptuous hedgerows and candy-colored window boxes, it was no wonder the city’s native sons and daughters believed it to be the most beautiful place on earth ― Sarah-Kate Lynch

The hotel refunded 20% of the bill as the room’s fridge, micro-wave and coffee-machine were not functioning. So long CHS. 1st time flying off from this airport – tkx to John for the ride and for making me aware that one of Boeing Companies is located by this airport.

2019 SC Visit With My Flock

17 Oct 2019 – 20Days Have Passed By Quickly

Mon: Happy Thanksgiving to Canadian family&friends.

Appreciations to Linn for lunch@Publico, a fun&novelty hip bar&fusion restaurant in Five Points downtown.

Bulgogi Noodle Biff Bowl – was pleasantly surprised how tender the beef was, 1st time tasting Sopapillas –  Tex-Mex dessert. With 54-different local&craft beers on tap, one is not short of choices for beers there.

The backyard alfresco area adds a nice touch making it more attractive to families with the giant Jenga&Connect4.

Tue: more good deals shopping@TJ Max. Congratulations again to Irmo High School where the XC-Varsity-Girls placed 2nd&the boys, 6th@Lexington High School County Championship last night. #1, who is having a superb senior season continues to impress by finishing in 3rd place individually (19.30), sooo proud of her. Way to go for #1&2+their team and their coaches.

Was blessed that the rains did not start until everything was over in spite of the threatening dragon clouds during the start. Dinner@Arby’s with Jeff+#4&5, supposedly a fast food place but it took a while to get our food and got back home after #1-3 even though they had to ride the bus back to IrmoHigh. Of all days to forget my camera, pix taken by the phone and not as clear as I would have liked.

Wed: clearing my mess here to get ready for packing. Appreciations to cousin Wilki in HI for the care-package  (the Panda is new!) arriving just in time to get this goody-bowl together before taking off.

Anyone who uses the phrase easy as taking candy from a baby has never tried taking candy from a baby!

Thu: what never fails to give me a heavy heart  – leaving the flock&packing, this time for 3days in CHS/SC, 1day in NYC/NY before flying across the Pond. What makes it worth the while is when looking forward to catching up with AT hiking buddies in CHS and niece in NYC. Also on wards to 2020 when hopefully the age of 70 will continue to be blessed with new adventures&experiences – top of the list with  #1 graduating high-school.

Time to say goodbye.
Places that I’ve never seen or experienced with you.
Now I shall, I’ll sail with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,
it’s time to say goodbye.

When you’re far away I dream of the horizon and words fail me.
And of course I know that you’re with me.
You, my moon, you are with me.
My sun, you’re here with me…

Cook And Share A Pot Of Curry 2019

13 Oct 2019 – IrmoHS XC-Girls’Varsity


Tue: shopping and a trip to the PostOffice since I had the car. Some good sale items@TGMax (2tops+1dress for US$40 S55) and a tail for #6 Halloween costume@PartyCity.

This annual curry event is about tolerance, understanding and fighting against xenophobia. Tkx to Haley&Brain for opening their house again for this. Appreciations to Sarah&Eric for ice-cream&cookies dessert.

Wed: Jeff took off for NM dark&early for a work-conference. Tkx to Linn for lunch downtown @MenkoiRamenHouse.

Have not noticed these during my previous visits or maybe just forgotten about them! Wed is also Cindy’s day with the grandchildren – had left-overs curry and glad that she liked it as she was concerned with her first curry experience where she burnt her tongue!

Thu: online getting Halloween gifts taken care of since I am here with time on my side.

Fri: woke up with all kinds of joint-pains. Got the pasta sauce ready for dinner&vegetated on Netflix for the afternoon. Enjoyed 2entertaining movies, The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) where 5women and 1enigmatic man meet to discuss the works of Jane Austen, they find their love lives playing out in a 21st century version of her novels. The Music of Silence (2017), a true story of Andrea Bocelli, a blind boy, who against all odds becomes one of the most world renowned opera singers. To date, he has sold over 80mill records worldwide.​

Supporting the IrmoHS Football night on this beautiful full-moon evening.

Nice to see all these young ppl, especially the band performance doing such a good job.

Was saddened to just learnt tonight that #1 Indian friend Tanvi lost her father the beginning of this year. Sincere condolences to Ranjana&her family. Prayers&thoughts are out to them. Again so lost for words like when I met him 6yrs ago where he was there the day after the house-fire with his gracious kindness to help.

Sat: Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has successfully completed the first ever marathon under two hours in the Austrian capital of Vienna, two years since he fell 25 seconds short. Pix downloaded from CNN

Would have liked to been@BobJenkins SCTCCCA CoachesClassic XC-Meet/Camden, but circumstances were not in my favour. Very excited that the Girls’Varsity took 1st place – way to go for #1&2 and their team+their coach Hall&coach Lewis. #3PR.


Pix credits to Linn. Glad to have Jeff back from NM safe&sound.


Sun: last Sun here for this time round to prepare lunch while the flock is@church. Shrimp-Cocktail for starters and Shephard’s Pie for mains.


What a delightful Sunday afternoon on the neighbour’s porch (my favourtie house in this neighbourhood) in the fresh-air with life cello music by her talented daughter. Thank you Elizabeth&Jessica.


#4&5 picking up pumpkins&flowers for the family. Tkx, Linn for my Tiger-Pumpkin. Appreciations to Haley&Brian for a spaghetti dinner with an unusual yummy sauce from WV.

Oktoberfest 2019

7 Oct 2019 – Goodbye Summer, Welcome Autumn

Fri: TGIF and a fabulous weekend to all. This year, Got Talent made its way to China in an adaptation known in Chinese as Dian Feng Zhi Lu=World’s Got Talent. While it’s a worldwide competition, one exceptionally stunning duo caught my complete attention and it must be the most amazing dance performance I have seen even when I am not a ballet fan!

Drove #1&2 to school to catch their rides to Jacksonville, FL New World Fall Spectacular hosted by BishopSnyder HS. Keeping my fingers&toes crossed for them – such a good experience&privilege for these girls to do an out-of -state XC-Meet. Shopped for hours to stock up grocery, etc while I had the car. Needed to also pick up some fall decorations, following the weather forecast and hoping that Fall will be here tomorrow.

#3-5+friend entertained us with #3 (12yrs) playing the cello – Grieg’s PeerGynt-MorningMood. Dinner from Chick-fil-A, my favourite fast food place for their Chicken-Strips, but unfortunately the coleslaw is taken off the menu.

Sat: bright&early to get chicken curry started. #5 kinda believed that the Fall decorations help to start this cool weathers! Just like his sister some years ago when I asked #4 to sing to the EasterCactus before she went to bed and the blooms will open the next day!! Absolutely lovely morning, paying them to pick up various cones outside – US$5 S$7perbag, making me US$70 S$97 poorer but worth it. Lunch was served@the Tree-House.

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence – Thomas Hood

Oktoberfest in Newberry, a charming city app 32m 52km W of Irmo. Jeff worked there for 4yrs when they first moved here to SC.

#5 enjoyed being in that giant bowling ball knocking all the pins down. #4 (10yrs) surprised me by climbing to the top of this stonewall. Have been informed by #3 that the Pelican’s snow-cones are the best, had a taste of his and it is pretty good.

Old Newberry County Court House (1852) built during the period of cotton-bred wealth, the Greek Revival structure was a testament to the success of the town’s merchants and planters.

Originally built in 1882 and recently renovated and reopened as of 1998, The Newberry Opera House is one of N America’s premier historical theaters and performing arts venues – it is supposed to be haunted!

Enjoyed the crafts and bought the pineapple-beer-caps art as a gift for a beer-drinker friend where the pineapple represents Southern-Hospitality, in Asia, it is wealth.

Need to make a collage of these interesting hair-dos. First time eating this yummy Funnel-Cake, scrumptious when it is pipping-hot&fresh, could feel the pounds adding on even just by looking at it – shared it with #3-5&Jeff who all also thought it delicious. After all these snacks, there will be no need for cooking dinner.

Buildings with personalities

Sun: creative chalk art-work on the driveway and movie day. Both #5&I have seen Aladdin but not #3&4 and we did not mind seeing it again US$3 S$4+pp which is even cheaper than the SIN senior-ticket. Tkx to Jeff – tasty Sunday roast for lunch.

Linn+#1&2 are home safe&sound and pleased with their 4th-place for the IrmoHigh XC Varsity Girls Team. Way to go ladies, proud&happy for them, she works so hard to get this team where it is today. #1 placed 6th out of nearly 200girls.

Mon: Happy Birthday to my dear bro Leslie in SIN.

Feeding My Flock

3 Oct 2019 – LAM Without The B

It’s a myth that generally Asians are mostly vegetarians. The Japanese are the kings of red meat, but it’s expensive. The Chinese and Vietnamese love their pork. Many Indians, especially the Muslims, can’t live without their lamb – Wolfgang Puck

Mon: without a car and no public transportation here, time to read&chill. Enjoying the Colombia Metropolitan Magazine, getting good Southern ideas for the Fall. Today’s menu – veggie fried-rice with meat o f the side from Sunday’s left-overs wild-rice.

Tue: a cuppa@Starbucks/TrenholmPlaza, tried their new Sous Vide Egg Bites made with Cheddar & Peppers Diced ham with roasted red and green peppers, inspired by the classic Denver omelet – quite good, but would have been better with a touch of tomato ketchup! Nice to catch up with Sarah who is just back from the UK and is originally from the UK, Linn’s running friend who once qualified for the Olympics. Today’s dinner menu, veggie paste+garlic-bread (to carbo-load the runners for tomorrow) with meat on the side.

Wed: this household starts their day before 0500hrs with #4&5 on their school bus before 0700hrs.  Driving onto the sunrise this morning as the school-bus for #3 did not show, drove him to his MiddleSchool, #2 to her Orthodontist and getting the car home in time for #1.

XC meet was hosted by ChapinHigh@CrookedCreekPk in 99ºF/37ºC, 65%+humidity is no joke. #3 looked as red as a lobster, but did finish his race. #2 did not run due to previous injury and #1 was running+pacing herself for practice, ie not racing – amazing and total respect to these young ppl for running while my head&heart were throbbing uncomfortably just walking in these conditions.

Did not get to explore the area except to walk across this bridge to the start&finish line. Tkx to Cindy for driving and for Caesar’s pizza dinner.


Thu: another hot day in the forecast – best to stay indoors in the AC and drink lots of water. Leftover pizza+taco for dinner. Record Heat Today and Friday, Much Cooler By The Weekend.…/first-alert-forecast-record…/

3 Happy Bday CHONG SiongYin

6 Happy Bday David WONG

7 Happy Bday Leslie LAM

8 Happy Bdays Larry LAM, Audrey WONG and KONG HengSun

12 Happy Bday Karen SCAF-BENHAM

13 Happy Bday David YUNG

16 Happy Bday Patricia LAM

21 Happy Bdays Steve LAM & Dee HALL

27 Happy Bday Ellen HALD sr

29 Happy Bdays LAM KwokLock & Kiera CHUA

31 Happy Bdays Adeline LEE, Mark BOROWSKY, Haley (40th) and Happy Halloween

Last Homecoming For #1

30 Sep 2019 – Irmo High School

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all. The trees have grown and so have #1-5. Nothing stirred except the mistress of the house&Zuno the dog who welcomed me with his wagging tail yesterday morning before 0500hrs. Blessed&happy to reunite with the family.

Tkx to Linn, was able to stay in the AC-cafeteria and had more than a few bites provided for the faculty. It was way too hot&humid outside before the sunset and both my head&heart were not happy with me.

Would think that I could gather my flock for a family pix@Irmo HighSchool with #1 representing the XC-Girls in the Homecoming-Court! Somehow #2 seemed to be camera-shy for this round!!

Am told that there will be other Kodak-Moments, but interesting hair-dos caught the attention. Being awake since 0400hrs this morning, needed to take leave with Jeff (who is on-call this weekend)&#3-5 just after half-time. And just as well as the score was 7Home and 40Guest!


Sat: last Homecoming game (last night) & dance (tonight) for #1 – she will graduate high-school this summer. Nice to see #1&2+their dates all dressed up and blessed to have such beautiful grandchildren inside-out+all angles and with a sense of humour – here they are showing their running shorts in case they have to run away! Somehow out of 6, #5&6 are the ones with darker hair and am still convinced about the recessive genes on the maternal-side of the family, but probably way far back.

Sun: while the flock is at church, took the opportunity to prepare a salmon lunch. Sun is the only day of the week that we can gather together for an more elaborate meal, other days will be just simple home-cooked dinners. Love cooking for them as they like my cooking and always eat up nearly everything I make for them.

At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent – Barbara Bush

da297e5b174c5b21eddf480796aa056f--cleaning-humor-prince-charmingMon: goodbye to Sep 2019, Oct is going to pass by quickly in a household where activities for 5grandchildren are quite a handful. Thank goodness #1 drives and she can help getting those younger ones around. The grocery, cooking&cleaning up after me is all I can handle nowadays!

Bought this tree at some thrift store a couple of years ago and Linn commented that it would be perfect with a dog too. Took another year looking around for a black dog, but found only a brown one, so a black marker came in handy – now if only I could get pix slotted into the frames.

‘Go Raibh Maith Agat & Slán’

26 Sep 2019 – Hello Orlando/MCO, FL/USA

Mon:  May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again. Appreciations to Mick who drove his car ahead to lead me to the airport and to Ann who sat beside me while the rental car found its way back to EuropCar. EUR425 S$645 full insurance coverage (considering the flat+looking at the hub-cap, am sure glad I took full coverage!) inclusive tax, etc for 2weeks of app 1,600km drive using app EUR105 S$165 in gas. Arr in good time to get things sorted out (invoice reimbursed for the flat tyre), breakfast&shopping at the airport.

Been a while since in this airport watching that my checked-in bag being loaded during a slight delay before take-off. Uneventful DUB (catching up on flight-time) – CPH (1+hr on transit, just enough time to catch the other flight and arr on schedule) – MCO on NorwegianAir NOK2,956 S$460. Tkx to Jim for meeting me at the airport, the only airport I have worked in, but memories are getting blurred here.

Pix credits to Francisco for this areal pix of  Lake Howell HS. WhatsApp was invented by a LHHS-grad. Bet he was the guy who made the anonymous donation to make LHHS what I see in this pix! There is nothing there I can recognize from L&M (HSdays 8yrs total) where I practically lived then!

Tue: appreciations to Jim&Lisa for putting me up in their beautiful home – this screened porch is a reminder that I am back to places with bugs&mozzy!  Where my SIN HDB – pubic housing one-third of the size of this house and there I paid the same as what this house cost! Just goes to show the difference of the value of property!!

Life@The Springs, a gated community in the luxury of Wekiwa Springs – SpainishMoss always amaze me even though it is an invasive parasite and eventually kill the trees they grow on.

With the wild inhabitants in this surroundings, life is peaceful not getting caught up in the rat-race, but one still has to be aware&cautious with the bears (have been told that they are in this neighbourhood).

Lunched@Zoës Kitchen and Italian-Ice@Jeremiah’s which is new to me, CaffeLatte+Chocolate a good choice for flavours in this hot weather.

Irish Smoked Salmon (bought in DUB-airport), grilled scallops+mixed veg dinner, tkx to Jim&Lisa in good co of their friend&neighbour Norm.

Wed: tkx to Jan&her aunt Lily for lunch co@Another Broken Egg Cafe – delicious Brie&lobster omelette+fried green tomatoes.

Dinner@Café Tu Tu Tango

Artist paints as you eat at this funky tapas joint.

Tasty food but on the salty-side and the heart was not happy…

The only moon tonight is this profile-moon to Lisa&Jim for their kind hospitality and such fun being driven down I-Drive&I-4 in her convertible MiniCooper. I-Drive is now a total tourist street with the world’s largest McD – Peabody Hotel&MingCourt are no longer.

Saw the sign The Holy Land Experience and was told that it is a biblical museum. Looks like some major spaghetti-junction constructions on I-4, doubtful that I will see the completions and no, do not want to be the driver driving there, have always dreaded having to drive this interstate.

The life’s work of Walt Disney and Ray Kroc had come full-circle, uniting in perfect synergy. McDonald’s began to sell its hamburgers and french fries at Disney’s theme parks. The ethos of McDonaldland and of Disneyland, never far apart, have finally become one. Now you can buy a Happy Meal at the Happiest Place on Earth – Eric Schlosser


Thu: tkx for Mexican dinner to Terry&Dee. Catching the Amtrak from my favourite train station, WinterPark/FL.


And no, did not stand on any of the tracks to take these pix…