I was reminded recently of all the things I love about living in Charleston. When I first moved here from New Jersey, (hi, culture shock) my friend Deanne, born and raised in Mount Pleasant, took great delight in a little game I came to call “Shock the Yankee.”
As my self-appointed guide to Southern culture, Deanne set out on a quest to immerse me in a variety of experiences. And really, after any initial shock, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Here are three of my favorite moments:
- Harold’s Country Club in Yemassee. First of all, if you’re going to Harold’s, you call ahead to reserve food. Saturday is rib-eye steak night, so call ahead for your slab o’ meat. Once there, you’ll hunker down over a very satisfying steak dinner with hunters, fishermen, bikers, plantation owners and other randoms who’ve been lured in by the promise of a good time. After dinner, you can bloat over a beer at the bar and watch the line dancing ensue. By the way, as it did originally, Harold’s still sells both gasoline and live bait. Score!
- The Peanut Festival in Pelion. Not only did I get to hear Miss South Carolina flub the Pledge of Allegiance, (I’m serious. We all winced.) I got to suck on some EXCELLENT boiled peanuts and watch the Peanut Parade, complete with Shriners in fezzes tearing around on go-carts.
- The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene. A Mount Pleasant institution. Named for the trawler tragically impaled on a piling during Hurricane Hugo, The Wreck is a bit of a Shem Creek secret. I know people who have lived here for years who get lost at least twice when trying to find it. A sweet and endearing dive, The Wreck is about seafood of all varieties. And if you know what’s good for you, order it fried. Honestly, go big or go home, people.