Southern Hospitality

While New England was digging out from the first big snow storm, I was tucked away in Charleston, SC enjoying southern hospitality with my college roommate and her family.  The years have been good to us and Steph’s family made me feel right at home.

Saturday night we had reservations at Wild Olive, a fantastic Italian restaurant on John’s Island. Though originally we thought there would be four of us, Steph’s younger brother and his son showed up and the restaurant was quick to accommodate six instead of four.  We started with several appetizers for the table. The warm olives disappeared first followed by a plate of duck crespelle with Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onions and a dried cherry sugo. Anything with duck, gorgonzola and onions is heaven in my world.

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Sunday was lazy. The sun came out as Steph and I grabbed leashes and took her two boys for a walk around the neighborhood. The spanish moss hanging from live oaks was a wonderful juxtaposition to the houses decorated for the holidays.

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Both Steph and Lou’s moms came to decorate the tree and share a delicious dinner of grilled pork chops.  Lou is a master chef and served up a meal that would make any restaurant jealous.

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Trimming the tree was a walk down memory lane.  Steph’s mom has collected some amazing ornaments over the years. There were “oohs and aahs” as each uniquely beautiful piece was unwrapped and found a special spot on the tree.

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Lou making the tree come alive!

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Today I am flying home to face the snow. It’s been wonderful to be with “family” and friends and see a part of the country I had not visited before.  The true meaning of holiday cheer and memories will warm me as I dig out and settle in for the winter.

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