Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Charleston, Chewed - Part 5

Click Here to read this story from the beginning…

So, now that Tiffany and I had decided that we were not leaving this beach, ever, we thought it might be a good idea to actually go fully investigate the beach. Since we were going to be living there and all. Good idea, yes?

Terry and Nina were still piddling with those things that they seem to be piddling with all the time, so Tiff and I decided to launch the expedition as a duo. We excitedly gathered up things one might need whilst near sand and water, then slammed out our respective doors, paused with increasing impatience at the elevators that took forever (and that we would grow to despise with an intense passion over the next four days), and then clattered into the lobby.

First leg accomplished with great skill and few casualties. Great. Next up was an end-goal critical to almost any mission worth undertaking: Alcohol. Where to get it, and what were the local zoning regulations concerning both the consumption and the regional transport of such.

It’s very important to establish the spirit boundaries before you actually begin to consume. You don’t want to be three bottles of beer into your quest and then discover that there are evil restrictions that will cause misery and pain in your immediate life. Counter the surprises before your motor skills have been affected.

Why was this so important to us? Because we hailed from the land of the Dallas metroplex, a patchwork quilt of alcohol variances that make absolutely no sense and were an endless source of agony, discomfort, and the complete bewilderment of visiting friends and family. In a given establishment, you could have bikers mainlining jet fuel while swinging on trapezes. Walk next door, and the strongest thing you can legally obtain is a baby aspirin. Served by nuns who scowl bitterly, and remind you that “Jesus died for you!” if you dare to ask for a glass of water to choke the pill down.

Nope, we needed to know the complete lay of the land before demon hooch touched our tender lips.

We scoured our surroundings with a practiced eye. Within three seconds, we had surmised that alcohol was abundantly available via a bar island at the in-house restaurant, a cavernous space several yards away. It was nice and all, but it had a roof and walls. We wanted the beach and its lack of structural supports. What to do?

Tiffany’s fighter jet peeled out of our formation and she made a beeline to the front desk. “Excuse me,” she said to the 12-year-old manning the reception quadrant and flipping through something that apparently needed to be flipped or people could die.

“Hi there!” quipped Flip, having not been through Stranger Danger training in her girl scout troop. “What can I do for you?”

Tiffany beamed back, an expert in the field of beaming. “We were wondering… If we get a drink in that bar” (herewith she pointed, because visuals always help your cause) “would we be able to take our drinks out to the beach?” (More pointing, just in case Flip had never noticed said beach, which had been there since shortly after the planet was formed.)

Flip paused, apparently perplexed that she had even been presented with such a query, especially since there was important flipping to do. “But there’s a bar ON the beach!”

For whatever reason, most likely yet another twisted synapse in my mind, those things that often knocked me off the path of decency and civility, I thought this response was completely hysterical. We were being far too analytical. This was Folly Beach. The whole point was to drink and look at the water.

Tiffany was not nearly as amused. She curtly offered her thanks to Flip and then dismissed the child, turning away and stomping toward a set of glass doors that presumably led to the beach, since we could see the beach through the doors. “She didn’t have to be so snippy,” muttered Tiffany as we thrust both doors open, the muted sound of gulls and happy people suddenly intensifying.

“Well, I guess we could have looked first,” I offered, nimbly leaping out of the way as a sunburned little urchin barreled past me and immediately began screaming at her tired mother that ice cream was in order, NOW.

Tiffany paused, about to remind me of the intricate bylaws of our friendship and undying support for one another, but her eyes were diverted by something she spied behind me. “Oh my GOD, there’s the bar!”

I think we ran. And possibly knocked a few people over. It’s all a bit hazy, and I’m certainly not going to sign anything about exactly what transpired. But within an amazing few seconds, we had arrived at a pseudo-Tiki bar thing perched right on the hotel deck. Happy serving people were concocting colorful nectar for equally happy patrons. It was beautiful. We wanted to pet the bar and give it a special name.

“What are we getting?” inquired Tiffany as we waited our turn.

“I don’t know. What should one drink while on the beach in South Carolina?” We did not have the answer for this. We were perplexed. Then we mutually spied an enormous sign to the right of the bar which spelled out the options and exactly what one would then find in their beach-safe plastic cup. Oh. So that’s how it works.

We perused. Dang, I had never heard of half of these things. I purposely chose something with an odd name (Papaya Penetration, maybe?) and a combination of ingredients that I would never have considered as drinkable roommates. Just because. If I didn’t like it, it would be a life lesson. You never really learn anything unless you get sick. Write that down.

I don’t remember what Tiffany ordered for our virginity-shattering Folly Beach beverage. Something, obviously, she‘s a girl with goals. What I do remember is that the female barperson was incredibly sweet and friendly. Very charming. We fell a little bit in love with her. Not lustfully, mind you, the knobs on her control panel were in all the wrong places for both of us, but there was a bit of innocent swooning.

We snatched up our treasures and then turned to find a comfy place to sit. The deck was buzzing, but not overly so, and we soon found a few chairs at the edge of the raised platform, along the railing, where some clever someone had nailed a super-long surfboard to serve as a nifty table for beverages and such.

We settled in, took healthy swigs, and relaxed. Deep sighs. The sun beamed, the gulls flew, the sand sparkled, and those mesmerizing waves rolled gently in and caressed the land and people. A convenient gospel choir burst into song, St. Francis of Assisi walked by leading a donkey, all wars immediately ceased and 401K’s filled back up.

We sighed again.

“Live here,” whispered Tiffany.

“Sayin’,” I whispered back.

“I have some timeshares you might be interested in,” said my drink.

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series…

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