Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Just Ask

In general, I don't like to ask for help. It sometimes feels like a weakness, an inability to figure something out on my own, an imposition. But, in general, I think I'm wrong about this, and I'm trying to convince myself that it is okay to ask.

I also think, in general, that people like to be asked for help and like to render aid if they can.

Ed and I are just back from separate and then joint vacations. He dropped me off at a friend's condo in Amelia Beach and then headed to The Juniper Club for a few days at the fishing camp. He returned at the end of the week and together we went up to Charleston, SC, stopping in Asheville, NC, on our way home. Our trip was made immeasurably better just by asking for some help.

It started with dinner in Atlanta with our friend Jeananne and her boyfriend, Mike. I had sent an email to friend Robin, asking for suggestions for a place for dinner. She forwarded it on to her daughter Katie, who is a recent graduate of Emory University in Atlanta. Within minutes, Katie wrote back, offering up half a dozen suggestions for places to eat, one of which was JCT Kitchen. It was a winner, a perfect place to catch up with Jeananne and get to know Mike. Plus the truffle oil french fries were quite memorable.

From there, it was on to Amelia Island. Friend Patrice could not come at the last minute, so I was on my own. But, in typical Patrice fashion, she sent along a four-page typed list of things to do/places to go. I spent a very nice three days walking the beach, shopping in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, and eating the freshest shrimp and seafood.

On Thursday night Ed returned to Amelia Island. The next morning, we went out with Capt. Scott on a 1/2-day in-shore fishing trip.

Once docked, we asked about a place for lunch, and he directed us to T-Rays, a converted gas station and local hangout.

After filling up on fried grouper and grits, we headed to Charleston. Two weeks before, I had sent an email to friends Karen and Merrell, asking for their advice about how to best spend three days in that southern coastal town. And daughter Mary, offered up a list of her favorite places for breakfast, lunch, dinner, treats, and places to shop. Armed with all of their recommendations, Ed and I had a terrific time.

Karen and Merrell suggested that we start our stay with a walking tour, led by Tommy Dew. We debated about whether this would be a worthwhile use of our time/money, but ended up deciding to go. Glad we did. Tommy Dew was an excellent guide, walking (and talking) from the market, through the old walled city, pass hundreds of historic homes and churches, all the way to the Battery. He was full of interesting facts and stories, making the town's history come alive.

We followed Mary's restaurant recommendations (echoed often by Karen/Merrell) and had breakfast at Hominy Grill, dinner at The Grocery, coffee on Sunday morning at Black Tap Coffee, my birthday dinner at Husk, and grabbed coffee and sandwiches on the way out of town at The Mixson Market.

In between some fabulous meals, we attended church at the magnificent First (Scots) Presbyterian Church (founded in 1731), took the ferry out to Fort Sumter and shopped at The Heirloom Book Co.

On our way home, we stopped in Asheville, NC, and, again based on a recommendation from daughter Mary, we dined at Rhubarb. It was an amazing meal, a wonderful end to our trip.

I asked for help. And I was given an abundance. Thank you Robin, Katie, Patrice, Capt. Scott, Karen, Merrell and Mary. You made our trip so much better than if I hadn't asked.

Hope I can return the favor.

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