Last night, I attended the Spoleto Finale at Middleton Place with some friends and colleagues. We had perfect weather, good tunes, lots of food, and man oh man, the views. Spoleto brings so much culture and entertainment to the Lowcountry every year and every year that I've lived here, I've been fortunate enough to attend at least a couple of events. Old Crow Medicine Show, Sarah Jarosz, Mavis Staples, lots of Chamber Music, and let us not forget the time my husband played in the orchestra for the raved about Piccolo event, Slammergirls.
Many people travel to Charleston for the Spoleto Festival and my father-in-law and his mother are no exception. When they were in town week before last, we had tickets to join them for the orchestra. My husband and I decided to make a date night of it and meet for dinner downtown at Minero beforehand. He works downtown and I had a home inspection in Mt. Pleasant, so I'd just head that way after I was done. Sounds simple, right?
Well, here comes a bridge problem.
Oh, peninsula life. You're so beautiful, yet so limited when the Cooper River Bridge shuts down. Madness ensues. People leave work, hop on the alternate routes, and then we all come to a big stand-still. Break out the picnic baskets, we're going to be here a while.
Until you realize one of the alternate routes is a water taxi. Wait, what? Yes, that's right. We have a boat that goes from Mt. Pleasant to downtown (and vice versa) several times a day for the low cost of $10 unlimited all day or $6 one way. All you have to do is get your car to the bottom of the bridge. So myself and a good mix of locals and tourists all took a 5 p.m. ride across the harbor, pleasantly chatting the entire way. Everyone was calm, happy to be on a boat, and enjoying the views. "Why don't we do this more often?", everyone was asking. When I got off the water taxi downtown, I ran into a friend going the other way. She was also happy to be getting home via boat in an otherwise dire situation. I was downtown and I was ready for my dinner date and the orchestra with my family.
That day, the one where it took me an hour and a half earlier in the day to get from downtown to my home inspection in Mt. Pleasant? Where thousands of people sat in traffic for hours? Where our local heroes spent hours cleaning up an oil spill (that was luckily successful and no one was injured)? Well it ended up being a really great day. All thanks to the staff at the water taxi, the friends I made on the boat, and the beautiful views our city has to offer. Every now and then, don't forget to catch your breath, take your time, and appreciate the journey you're taking to get to where you want to be.
Did I mention the local news did a story on all of those smart people joining me on the water taxi?