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Free styling in South Carolina

Aiken, United States

I wasn’t able to get a solid Internet connection last night, so I wasn’t able to post anything. I’ll start with a brief recap of Monday. I woke up in Falls Church, VA with about 2” of snow on the ground and more wet slushy stuff coming down. So rather than head into the storm and go to West Virginia and Kentucky I opted for warmth. I spent the day driving to Myrtle Beach, SC to one of my favorite restaurants, Nance’s Creekside.

Back when my parents used to winter in Myrtle Beach they discovered Nance’s, it quickly became one of their favorite restaurants. When I visited my Dad the last 2 years he went to Myrtle Beach, He took me to Nance’s and it became one of my favorites too. The specialty at Nance’s is the Oyster Roast. Locally harvested clusters of oysters steamed in large steel pots and ready for you to pry out of their shells. And when your done with the shells, just toss them through the hole in the table and into the trash can they place underneath. As always, the oysters were great and well worth the drive, not to mention it was 20 degrees warmer in Myrtle Beach.

Tuesday I woke up, it was bright and sunny and warming up and because I hadn’t planned on coming this far south, and I had no internet, I had no clue where I was heading or what I was going to do today. So I decided to freestyle. First place I found was the Florence Art and History Museum, their claim to fame is the salvaged propellers from the CSS Pee Dee. The Pee Dee was a confederate Ship built in the area and sunk by it’s own crew in 1865 before it could be captured. The propellers were recovered in 1925 and given to the museum.

Next was the South Carolina Cotton Museum. Yup, a cotton Museum. I wouldn’t mind people “picking” on me about this if it wasn’t so “seedy”. Seriously, it was kind of cool. They had a lot of good displays that showed the process of taking cotton from seed to cloth.

The Button Museum; you see what happens when I wing it, I end up in places like this. Honestly, I would have stopped here anyway. Dalton Stevens is the self proclaimed Button King. Many years ago Dalton started suffering from insomnia, so what do you do if you can’t sleep at night, you sew and glue buttons on things, all kinds of things, everything. The display in the Museum includes the three piece suit covered with buttons he wore on the Johnny Carson Show, his guitar, car, casket, hearse, Piano, toilet, tub and sink all covered with over a million buttons. The worst part is, he recently received a donation of over 300 pounds of buttons. As I was getting ready to leave the museum I was surprised by a visit from the Button King himself, this 83 year old man is still attaching buttons to things.

And then there’s dinner. Tonight I went to yet another DDD Spot. The Farmer’s Shed, If you didn’t know there was a restaurant here you would never find it. I knew there was a restaurant here and I almost didn’t find it. When you pull up it looks like your typical farm stand. Outside are hundreds of colorful pots and planters stacked up for sale. Inside there are bins of fresh produce and planting supplies, some homemade pies, jellies, jams and such, and a little sign that says “restaurant in back”. All the way in the back is a door to a small 6 table restaurant that looks like they took the tables out of my grandmother’s kitchen, in fact I swear my grandmother had tables just like the ones pictured. The menu of course is written on the large chalkboard wall with different selections for each day of the week.

I told the waitress I was having trouble deciding between the country fried steak and the fried catfish. Three of the five customers in the restaurant turned to me and said “the catfish” I wasn’t going to argue with more than half of the restaurant, and they weren’t wrong. I’ve had catfish in Louisiana that wasn’t nearly this good. Along with the catfish I had collard greens, carrot and raisin salad, and a piece of cornbread. An awesome meal and well worth a trip to South Carolina.

permalink written by  Kugs on the road on March 26, 2013 from Aiken, United States
from the travel blog: Appalachia 2013
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