The Charleston Trip, Part 3: Creepy Ghost Walk

My first night in Charleston, we went on a ghost walk.  Part of it involved a campfire and telling a story about a nice, young lady named Lavinia Fisher and her husband who ran an inn just outside of town.  Lavinia would entice travelers inside, give them a nice (poisoned) drink, show them to their room, then chop up their bodies, hide them under the floorboards and take their possessions.

It was the perfect crime except when a mortician stopped by and recognized the dead body smell emanating from the house.  He excused himself, continued into town, and returned with the sheriff.  When she was hung, Lavinia wore a white wedding dress and proclaimed that she was going to hell to marry the devil.  Like I said, a nice, young lady.

Back to our ghost walk, though.  My main photographic interest at that point was the fire.  It’s not often that I get to take photos of fire.  I can’t exactly ask my wife if I can set one in our living room, after all.  I took many fire shots and the next day, copied my photos to my friend’s laptop.  As I showed him the photos, this one stood out:

Do you see it?

How about now?

That’s a face.  In the fire.  During our ghost stories tales.  Creepy, huh?

Here are the rest of the photos, I took:

The Charleston Trip, Part 2: Wandering the Grounds

In Part 1 of my story, I got to Charleston safe and sound, but an hour later than scheduled.  This delay meant that the rest of the wedding party had departed for my friend’s property.  I was left alone at The Inn at Middleton Place.

My first take was to check into my room.  They needed to give me a new room since my first one was still being cleaned.  Otherwise, check-in went smoothly.  Soon, I was settled into my room.

My friend, his fiance, and everyone else weren’t going to back for a few hours, so I decided to wander the property.  I quickly found out that Middleton Place is a photographer’s dream.  From the spanish moss, to the wildlife, to the thousand year old Oak trees, to the Ashley river, to… well, you get the point.  By the end of my self-tour, I had learned quite a bit about the history behind Middleton Place and had walked quite a few miles (or at least it felt like that).  Here are some (ok, MANY) photos from my walk-about: 

Coming up next, we get creepy with a ghost walk and an unexpected visitor!

The Charleston Trip, Part 1: Photos From Up High

It’s taken me awhile, but I’m finally going to blog my photos from my trip to Charleston, South Carolina for my friend’s wedding.  Well, not *ALL* of the photos just yet.  There are over a thousand of them after all.  1,004 to be exact.  (The "over 1,100" number from a previous post and includes some blurry shots and some videos I took.)  I’ll post the photos in batches in chronological order with a narrative accounting of the events.

Let’s start with the flight down.  The day before my flight out, the weathermen were talking about a big snowstorm that was to hit us that night and into the next morning (when my fight was).   They were predicting 2-4 inches of snow.  "Great", I thought. "Let’s add bad road conditions and icy plane wings to my takeoff fears."  To be safe, my wife set the alarm for 3:45am.  (My flight was scheduled for 6am.)

We were spending the night at my in-laws’ house since that was where my wife and kids were going to stay over Halloween.  NHL woke up one time during the night and, though sleepy, was surprised to see me come to his bed.  "Daddy?  Why are you still here?" he asked.  I explained that I hadn’t left yet, gave him a kiss, and helped him get back to sleep.

I woke up at 3:45am, tossed on some clothes and got ready to leave.  I had already packed the previous day, so I was ready to go very quickly.  In addition, that predicted 2-4 inches of snow didn’t materialize.  Yes, snow fell from the sky, but nothing stuck.  Not even a dusting.  I tossed my suitcase and backpack (containing snacks, a book, flight/wedding information, and my camera) into my father-in-law’s car, and we were off.

At 4:30am, I arrived at the airport.  I thanked my father-in-law and headed in.  Checking my bags went smoothly.  So did airport security.  By 5am, I was sitting by my terminal waiting for my flight to board.  Reading (Lord of the Rings) helped pass the time and soon we were boarded and in the air.

The flight was pretty uneventful except for a missed photo opportunity.  We were above the clouds and I saw the sun rising in the sky.  There was a beautiful sunrise popping over the fluffy white clouds.  It would have made a beautiful photo.  Except I was on the other side of the plane and would have had to lean over a perfect stranger to take the photo.  Call me crazy, but I felt just too awkward saying "Hey, that’s a great sunrise out there.  Mind if I lean over your lap to snap a few photos?" to him.

My connecting flight brought some drama.  I got off my first flight and saw the gate immediately.  I had an hour to kill, so I decided to wander the airport a bit.  Lucky I did that since I saw on the arrivals/departures board that my flight had changed gates.  Then it got delayed.  And delayed again.  (Mechanical troubles.  How fun!)  Finally, we boarded a "mere" 55 minutes after we were supposed to.

I didn’t have a window seat, but the window seat next to me was untaken so I claimed it as my own.  Once we were in the air, I snapped some pics. 


 We landed with no problems other than a bonked head while standing up.  (Mental note:  Remember to watch out for the overhead luggage bins when standing!)

On the downside, the flight delay meant that I didn’t get to see the property that G & L purchased in South Carolina (that they are turning into a vineyard and Italian community).  On the plus side, I did get to wander the grounds where I was staying alone and take many, many, MANY photos.  But that will have to wait for another post.

Cooking With TechyDad: Cheesy Potato Pancakes with Sausage

A couple of weeks ago, we were looking through the Sunday circular and came upon an ad for Hungry Jack products. Along with the ad was a recipe for Cheesy Potato Pancakes with Sausage. They sounded intriguing, so we decided to make them.  Of course, we keep a Kosher home, so sausage patties were out of the question.  Especially when combined with milk.  We substituted veggie sausage instead, so this recipe is both kosher and vegetarian:

1 package Veggie Sausage Patties
1 cup Buttermilk "Just Add Water" Pancake Mix
1 1/2 cups Mashed Potato Flakes
2 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

 First, I prepared my dry ingredients.

I put the pancake mix into a large bowl.

Then added the potato flakes.

Next, I prepared my wet ingredients.

I cracked the eggs into a glass bowl.

Added the milk,

The vegetable oil,

And whisked it all together.

After that, I poured the wet ingredients into the dry ones.

In went the carrots.

Then I took the veggie sausages (cooked in the microwave as per package directions)

And crumbled them.

I mixed it all together.

Into the oil it went.

Turn it over.

Some cheddar to put on top.

Finished product with melted cheese (via microwave) and syrup.

All in all, this was a pretty good dish.  I did omit a few ingredients to either try to make it more palatable for kids (e.g. onions) or to make it easier to keep kosher (Parmesan cheese – hideously expensive for the kosher stuff).  Next time, I’ll put the onions in, put the syrup in the mix, and maybe even spring for kosher Parmesan cheese.


The Adventures of Super Kid

Faster than a speeding toddler.
More powerful than a toy locomotive.
Able to leap small stacks of blocks in a single bound.

Look! Up in the sky!
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Super Kid!

Yes, it’s Super Kid – strange visitor from another planet (at least he seems like it sometimes) who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Super Kid – who can change the channel on mighty televisions, bend Play-Doh with his bare hands, and who, disguised as NHL, sometimes mild mannered child of TechyDad and TheAngelForever, fights the never ending battle for Truth, Justice and More Time Watching Noggin.

Zooming Boy Photo

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