Sunday, July 9, 2017

Our Final Day!

We were determined to make this a really fun day. The whole idea of leaving and what goes with it---cleaning, packing, loading---is just depressing!

The family (except Butch and I) decided to make this a whole beach day. Butch and I headed out for some last minute sight seeing. I figure, this will probably be the last time we go to the Charleston area.

With that in mind, I decided that I wanted to tour the Charleston Tea Plantation. It is the ONLY tea plantation in the country. All other tea is imported. Being the tea snob that I am, you would think I know more than I actually do. I've never said I knew a lot about tea--just what I like.

Our first stop was to see the Angel Oak Tree. Sandy, Mindy and the girls had done it the day before and said it was pretty impressive.

The oak tree is 400 years old. They are trying to preserve it to last 900 years---the life span of the tree. It was pretty unbelievable as to how far it spread out. The limbs are actually hollow.

From there, we went 10 miles down the road to:

 We arrived in time for the trolley tour. This is one of the tea fields. Without going in to all of the details, the most impressive things are:

1. Only the top 3 leaves of each plant are harvested to make tea. That means they get a harvest every 18 days.
2. There are only 3 men that work the fields: 2 that use machetes by hand to open the rows for harvesting machine and do all the weeding completely by hand and one man who works the harvesting machine. That machine does the work of 500 men.
3. There is only one man that runs the entire manufacturing process in the factory.
4. Black tea is made by letting the leaves oxidize for 50 minutes, Oolong tea is oxidized for 15 minutes and green tea is not oxidized at all. All from the same tea leaves!

They gave us as much free tea to drink as we wanted. There were many flavors and it was all sweet---but not like southern sweet tea that is too sweet---just right! It was all good!

We got home with plenty of time to join the gang at the beach for our family book club discussion. We read Hillbilly Elegy.  Everyone really liked this memoir of a kid that grew up in a dysfunctional family to graduate from Yale and write this best seller by the age of 32. Definitely worth the read.

I'm going to try again to post a video. These kids can do everything with their phones.
(Well, once again, I can't get the video to post. It shows up when I'm writing this, but then doesn't show up on the post. I have no idea what to do about that.)

We decided to go to dinner at the Crab Shack since we enjoyed it so much the first time. Plus, Mitchell wasn't with us then. After dinner, the plan was to spend about a half hour getting our stuff organized to go home. We didn't want to end the evening with that.
We played dozens of games of Mexican Train this week---great for all ages. On our last night, we decided on Catch Phrase.
It's a great game for a large gang. We have so many laughs---if you've never played, put it on your list for sure!
Even Elizabeth is really good---not only at giving clues, but at guessing. We also played charades this week---always a good fall back. The only problem with that is we spend more time thinking up the clues than actually playing. I've decided to come prepared the next time!

Well, that's about it. Another one for the books. It all went by way too fast. And, as always, Stephanie has everyone list their favorite thing and least favorite thing about our vacation. I'll start with the least favorite as to end on a high note.

When we arrived, Mindy discovered a bird's nest of swallows in the carport. We all spent the week watching the baby birds. On the last day, one of the birds had fallen out of the nest. Everyone was upset. Butch scooped it up on a paper plate and carefully balanced on top of the trash can (I was a nervous wreck) to put the bird back in the nest. We were all happy. It wasn't two minutes before the mama bird pushed it back out. Butch took care of it so it wouldn't suffer, but no one wanted to know about that. What a downer.

On to our favorite. Everyone agreed that although there were many high points of the week, the low country shrimp boil was the BEST! If you ever get a chance to arrange that, you must do it!

It was a fabulous week and we had a great time being together---that's what it's all about.

1 comment:

  1. I've enjoyed reading about the trip! Sounds like a fun time for everyone!


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