December 22 Columbia SC

Since this is supposed to be a travel blog today we will talk about our time around here. Columbia is the capitol of South Carolina. We spent some time Wednesday, Thursday and Friday exploring the town.

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On Wednesday we had dinner with Mark Guild, Fred and Denise Cook, and Chief Warrant Officer Robert Nixon at an Indian Restaurant in Columbia. The food was good and the company fun. Fred and Denise were picking up their Malayan so we enjoyed discussing future plans for our Tigers.

The highlight was a visit to to Conquest Brewery. It reminded us very much of the small breweries we see in Portland. We punched the address into our trusty Garmin and we ended up in a dark street next to the University of South Carolina football stadium. Just as we were going to turn around we saw a little industrial park with a small handpainted sign and we had found it! We tried a sampler and the beer was very good. If you are in Columbia I highly recommend it. The highlight beer for us was a coffee infused IPA. We usually are not big fans of infused beers, but this one won us over, nice aroma and just a hint of coffee in the beer did not overpower the hops.

We had some interesting conversations as this is not only a brewery, but a Christian brewery. Later in the night they had a discussion of art and Christianity in the brewery. Talked to one of the brewers and he really he knew his beer. He strongly recommended we visit Asheville NC as they now have more breweries per capita than Portland. Sounds like we will have to make a visit. We enjoyed the place so much we returned again on Friday.

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While not having the Tiger ready on time has been a pain, it did result in one good thing. Ton's cousin Pee Porn lives near Charlotte. If anyone is responsible for Ton and I being married it is Pee Porn. When we met on Okinawa 33 years ago Ton was visiting Pee Porn. We had not seen her in over 30 years. Saturday we drove up and spent the day with her and her husband Richard. We had a lot of catching up to do and it was a great evening. Pee Porn cooked some great Thai food that we ate for lunch. Later Ton mentioned Ron's love of Carolina BBQ, and before we knew it we were off to a great BBQ joint called Garry's in China Grove NC. We had a dinner of Carolina BBQ with hushpuppies, onion rings, coleslaw, and baked beans. Ron was in heaven, and the price was unbelievably low. It was really nice to see Pee Porn and her family again and we promise that it will not be 30 years before we do it again.

Sunday we headed to Charleston, made the obligatory visit to Costco, then headed to downtown Charleston. We stopped at a coffee bar and taproom and sampled some of the local brews. Nothing knocked our socks off, we then headed towards the market. We were lucky as one Sunday a month they close down one of the main streets downtown. There were all kinds of street musicians, and food vendors on the street. It was a great walk with lots of interesting people to see. We had visited Charleston the year before and enjoyed it then, it is a beautiful old colonial city definately worth a visit.

ducksksr@gmail.com travelin tiger 2013