Trees, bees and dirty knees

OPA PNGA few blogs back, I went on a downtown library date at the suggestion of Ben with On Purpose Adventures/Dating. We had such a good time with his first suggestion that I decided to look back at his other ideas and the man is full of great local freebies. If you ever catch yourself saying,“I have nothing to do!”ask this guy for date help, or just check out his FB page to make you look really boring. That man is way too busy! Did you see his awesome RiverDog ZombieDog?

I digress, but another one of the date suggestions he gave to us was to go on a Geocache. What the heck is Geocaching, you ask? Well, it requires a good GPS app like Google Maps, some passion for treasure hunting, a bit of patience and an eagle eye to seek out your pot at the end of the rainbow. Are you waiting for a dinner reservation somewhere? I can guarantee there is a Geocache within scouting distance. I initially dismissed this date idea since I’m just not tech savvy. GPS/smart phone gadgets intimidate me, but my man, Mr. D, who doesn’t prefer a flip phone from the old ages, wanted to give this date suggestion a whirl. How could I say no? It was another chance to explore our fabulous city for free.

geocache-labelWe took on North Charleston/Park Circle for an afternoon. Pulling the truck into a church parking lot, we unloaded our bikes and headed down the street to the first GPS coordinates, just down the way from EVO. The geo community site offered only one simple clue to help guide you in locating the smallest of small caches. It’s shocking…hmm.

We were an entertaining sight to others who watched as Mr. D wandered around with his giant phone outstretched in front of him, trying to narrow down the location. I got down on hands and knees to peer under cob web and dirt encrusted possibilities. We even got asked if we needed help finding our keys. Well, I’ll be honest; that first one was a bit tricky. I experienced first-hand what other “cachers” had rightly warned me about in their online feedback. It took me looking in the same place three times to finally find the little bugger, but it was me – competitive me – and not Mr. D who found the small-as-my-pinky, silver, magnetic bullet that held a book of signatures curled onto a piece of paper tucked inside. I was proud of myself for not giving up when draft beer at DIG was calling my name and found that I was immediately addicted to the hunt. Excited to find the next hidden booty, we peddled to the local pond and as I ranaway from some scary geese, Mr. D hauled the medium sized container out of the bushes. We plopped down on the grass and looked through all the little tokens that people had left inside the green container. The afternoon went on with one cache that must have been stolen, one snuggled next to a bunch of busy bees, and if any of you ever find the one on the Frisbee golf course, you must tell us where it is!

goodies insideThe only thing missing was a picnic basket full of Southern Season cheeses and a beautiful red wine stashed at our last find. Since then, we’ve found a great hide after a visit to the Frothy Beard and I also had the skills to find another tiny, silver gem in a West Ashley parking lot while we waited for my foster dog from Carolina Coonhound (I haven’t lost another one yet – cross your fingers). You will never look at your environment again without wondering how many caches there are out there. So, get out into our city with a friend or your family and start looking!

 

A warm Welcome Back to Tatiana Fisher as our main contributing writer and blogger. We look forward to sharing more adventures of hers! You can check out her blog for more fun times.

 

The Legend of Edgar Allan Poe and a love in Charleston left unfulfilled – Annabel Lee

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Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe was the last complete poem ever published of Poe, two days after his death in 1849. The beauty and elegance of the poem, with its theme of eternal love, reaches deep into the depths of Charleston folklore. Delving into the mystique of the supernatural, the romanticism of the city and the love affair between a rich young girl and the orator/soldier who was swept away by her beauty and intelligence, this is a tale that needs to be shared from generation to generation.

Poem: Annabel Lee
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Published: October 9, 1849
Poe Death: October 7, 1849

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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Charleston history tells the story a little like this:

In Charleston, South Carolina it is said that people visiting the Unitarian Cemetery sometimes see a young woman’s ghost. She seems to be roaming the cemetery looking for somebody. Her name is or should I say was, Annabel Lee.

The story starts before the Civil War. A sailor from Virginia was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina and met a local Charleston girl named Annabel Lee. The meeting quickly developed into love. The two would meet constantly and could not be kept from each other. Not that no one tried. Annabel’s father strongly disapproved of this relationship. He forbade Annabel to see the sailor anymore. This didn’t stop them though. Annabel would meet the sailor clandestinely in the privacy of the secluded Unitarian cemetery. This worked for several months, but Annabel’s father must have gotten suspicious. One day he followed her and caught her meeting with the sailor. He was enraged and determined to put an end to this relationship. He locked Annabel in her room for several months, forbidding her to leave the house and making a meeting with the sailor impossible.

During this time, the Navy transferred the sailor back to his home in Virginia, and the two were doomed to never meet again. Annabel was heartbroken and deeply depressed knowing that she would never be able to see the one she loved so much again. While home in Virginia, the sailor received news that his beloved Annabel had died of Yellow Fever. The heartbroken sailor quickly returned to Charleston to the graveside of his beloved Annabel. Annabel’s father, ever spiteful of this relationship, decided to keep them apart as he did when she was alive. He devised a plan so the sailor would never know which grave was Annabel’s.

He had Annabel’s grave at the family plot dug to the depth of 6 feet. He then had all the other graves in the family plot dug to 3 feet. This would be just enough to not disturb the graves but enough to make them all look freshly dug. When the sailor arrived, he went to the cemetery as he would continue to do every day, and sit for hours. He sat by the family plot in the Unitarian Cemetery to grieve her death, never knowing exactly which grave was Annabel’s. He would come and remember how they so joyfully used to meet in the same cemetery by the same plot. Now he sat alone weeping.

There is no record of what ever became of the sailor. It’s a different story with Annabel. Some people think they know the story of Annabel Lee, but others say they know the whole story. To this day, people claim to have seen Annabel Lee searching the cemetery for her lost love of long ago. Perhaps this is because of the strong love she had and the abrupt ending of the relationship, never being able to properly say good bye. Her ghost appears to still be looking for her sailor.

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There are some that say that the poem, Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allen Poe was based on this incident. “The kingdom by the sea” being Charleston. Poe did spend some time in Charleston; however, most scholars believe that the poem is about Poe’s wife.

*Courtesy of http://www.chuckstraub.com/Letterboxing/annabellee.htm

Whether you believe the story is based on information passed down to Poe, a tribute to his wife or a true unconditional love between a young 14 year old daughter of a wealthy family and a soldier in Charleston, SC that will for all eternity go unfulfilled, it is a beautiful and timeless poem. Next time you enter the Unitarian Cemetery at 4 Archdale Street, you may be in the presence of young Anna Ravenel, a girl whose yearning for love was left incomplete.

Reference links:

http://scaresandhauntsofcharleston.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/anna-ravenel-and-the-unitarian-church-graveyard/

http://www.gothichorrorstories.com/classic-gothic-ghost-stories/poe-in-charleston-and-the-legend-of-annabel-lee/

http://www.graveaddiction.com/unitarch.html” title=”http://www.graveaddiction.com/unitarch.html

Supporting the 12 AM Bar Close Proposition – Charleston, SC

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There have been a number of arguments for and against the proposition to close some downtown Charleston bars at midnight. Though the rationale may be flawed, there are a number of advantages to the city of Charleston and it’s citizens if this proposal passes.

  • By the end of 2015, there will be potentially 15 new hotels in Charleston County.
  • Between 2012 and 2013, 1100 new flights were added to Charleston a International Airport.
  • Mount Pleasant was ranked by the US Census as the 9th fastest growing US city with a population over 50,000 with a growth rate of 4.5%.
  • Increases in tourism will drive revenue in retail, dining and hospitality.
  • Charleston is going through a cultural evolution. When O’Malley’s closed last month, a quote was made that it is making room for another high end restaurant in the new upper class upper King.
  • Charleston is not new to cultural evolution. We have seen 4 AM bar closures and a time when all liquor was served from airplane bottles. We are veterans of change. From rebuilding after the Civil War to great fires to hurricanes, Charleston is resilient and that is the strength and charm of this city.

Over the last three years, periodicals like Conde Nast have put Charleston on the world stage opening eyes to the historic beauty, Southern charm and friendly hospitality we are known for. With its far stretching beauty, the city of Charleston and its surrounding areas remind us that Heaven on Earth is a real place.

There are several reasons the 12 AM bar close proposal makes sense in a positive way for downtown Charleston

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  • It does not affect the entire city of surrounding towns. Most businesses will have the option to thrive into the late hours of the evening.
  • With the additional evening hours, waste management has the opportunity to remove waste / garbage from the streets so that as the sun rises, citizens, students and tourists can walk the streets free of garbage and bad odor.
  • Charlestons has and will continue to see population growth and increased tourist traffic. This could hinder the beauty and historic simplicity this town has come to love. Having a forward thinking approach to this growth and taking a small step to maintain the level of elegance and charm that makes us special is important for every person that walks the cobble stone roads. We are a proud city built on traditional values. This is a small sacrifice to make to maintain a very special piece of Americana.
  • The growth in hotels, new businesses and restaurants will generate significant revenue growth for Charleston and thus two hours less from a select number of bars will not have a detrimental impact on the Charleston economy.

Take a step back and look at the proposition. Don’t think of it in terms of black and white. Think about the future of this truly blessed city. At the end of the day, it is not the bars, restaurants or stores that define this city; it is the people, the tapestry of architecture and nature and the history that paint a picture that has people coming back for more.