Charleston, South Carolina and the Buick Enclave Graceful but Stately, the Enclave and Charleston Are a Class Act


 

IMG_5327.JPGDearest Readers:

Below, is a story I wrote for Buick Magazine in 2009. Discussing the beautiful, luxurious Buick Enclave, I wanted to share it. Hope you enjoy!

 

 

Embraced along the southeast coast of the Atlantic Ocean lies a historical, romantic city with a European flair and zest for style. Charleston, South Carolina has some of the oldest architecture in the United States, surviving the Civil War, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Charleston is a striking city filled with Southern hospitality, arts, culture, festivals, architecture, gourmet cuisine, and the luxury of the finer things in life.

The ambience of Charleston and the features, design and style of the Buick Enclave have much in common. Driving along East Bay Street in the luxurious Buick Enclave, this amazing vehicle is designed for anyone who enjoys comfort, luxury, and sophistication. Like the City of Charleston, the Buick Enclave has a classic design. The rich, comfortable interior of the leather seats adjust easily to a contented position with lumbar support. The dash is reminiscent of a jet with lapis blue gauges, and everything is placed conveniently within easy reach of the driver.

Graceful but stately, elegant and charming, like the City of Charleston, the Enclave and the city are in a class by themselves. Cruising along the bumpy roads of historical downtown Charleston, the ride is smooth, noise level virtually non-existent. The Buick Enclave is magical. The well-designed stature of the Enclave appears to drive itself. The Enclave has a turning ratio that allows ease in maneuvering the vehicle along the tight parking places and garages of the city. Buick Enclave is the car for dreamers, Generation X, the younger generation of today, baby boomers and the young-at-heart. Designed as a ‘crossover’ this sleek, sweet machine hugs the road, embracing the streets of Charleston, making driving a comfortable experience, not a chore or something to dread. Passengers riding in the car enjoy first-class seating, with Smart Slide second-row seats and cargo carrying convenience.

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Considered One of America’s Favorite Cities

Charleston is one of America’s favorite cities to visit and many residents have stated they moved here because they fell in love with the beauty, charm, and hospitality during honeymoons, reunions, and family vacations. Charleston offers an amazing selection of restaurants, museums, accommodations, shopping, festivals, entertainment, and lowcountry culture for all to enjoy and appreciate. Shag is the preferred dance at all festivals, and locals are happy to teach this easy beach dance to everyone.

Spoleto Festival 2009 is scheduled for May 22-June 7 featuring a variety of arts, music, and culture for all to enjoy. Considered one of the world’s major festivals, Spoleto began in 1977 and has become a tradition to Charleston and the world.

Described by many as “Little London,” the Holy City of Charleston contains an amazing assortment of architecture reminiscent of Europe. The church steeples of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and St. Phillips Episcopal Church are landmarks that decorate the skyline, giving Charleston the well deserved term of endearment as the Holy City. In downtown Charleston, the architecture of Rainbow Row consists of 18th century Georgetown architecture with brick and stucco painted in a rainbow of pastels.

An impressive tribute for the Holy City is the recognition of Charleston as the number two top destination in America. The charming city has achieved this honor for sixteen years from readers of Condê Nast Traveler magazine. Seven percent of the top 100 hotels are in Charleston, including Charleston Place Hotel, Wentworth Mansion, Market Place Pavilion Hotel, John Rutledge House Inn, the French Quarter Inn, and Planters Inn.

Charleston is a City with a Cosmopolitan Sophistication for Gourmet Cuisine

While touring downtown Charleston, deciding where to stop for lunch or dinner might be a challenge. Charleston provides a cornucopia of restaurants to choose from, with a variety of seafood, specialties, fresh vegetables, sushi, and Lowcountry cuisine. While in Charleston, you must try She Crab Soup. Consisting of a crossover of bisque or chowder, She Crab soup was created in Charleston by William Deas, a Charleston slave and butler. She Crab Soup is such a popular dish that many restaurants offer it as the soup de jour. Locals prefer just a drop of sherry added when serving this Charleston lowcountry soup.

 Hominy Grill

Hominy Grill, located at 207 Rutledge Avenue, opened in 1996, serving lowcountry dishes that keep Charlestonians coming back for more. The atmosphere is simple, a three story building that was a barbershop, the ground floor of Hominy Grill has butcher paper covering the tables. Southern in cuisine and charisma, a local favorite is the shrimp and grits; and who can resist Chef Robert Stehling’s signature dessert, buttermilk pie. Enjoy dining on the outdoor patio and take your camera to capture artwork by local artist David Boatwright. His painting of the Grits Lady has become a popular site.

Charleston is the Place for Ultimate Desserts

Looking for a great place for dessert in downtown Charleston? Among the favorites of locals in Charleston are Kaminsky’s at 78 North Market Street and Peninsula Grill, 112 North Market Street. Kaminsky’s is rustic in charm, Southern in delicious desserts. Kaminsky’s prepares desserts fresh every day. The menu has specialty coffees and a variety of dessert martinis, including chocolate martinis. Order the local favorite, “Kamini’s,” a delicate sampling of homemade flavors, or order the carrot cake. If these just desserts do not tempt your taste buds, try the cheesecake. After shopping at the Market or on King Street, stop by Kaminsky’s to enjoy coffee and dessert while you watch the horse drawn carriages and pedestrians stroll along the popular Market area.

Peninsula Grill and the Ultimate Coconut Cake

Imagine a dream dessert of coconut cake complete with twelve layers of pure indulgence. Peninsula Grill’s specialty dessert the Ultimate Coconut Cake has been described as a ‘little piece of heaven,’ by the New York Times. Chef Robert Carter has made a name for himself and Peninsula Grill with his signature dish. Covered with coconut and vanilla, the Ultimate Coconut Cake has received accolades in several magazines. The cake consists of pound cake, laced with toasted coconut. The recipe for this award winning masterpiece dessert is one handed down from Executive Chef Robert Carter’s grandmother. Recognizing the cake was “one of the best layer cakes he ever tasted,” he refined the recipe, introduced it to the Peninsula Grill, and in 2003, offered it via Federal Express overnight delivery.

Charleston Place Hotel and Charleston Grill

Charleston Place Hotel is located in the heart of historic Charleston at 205 Meeting Street, within walking distance of Market and King Street shopping, art galleries and restaurants. Charleston Place was ranked one of the “Top 10 Hotels in North America.” Charleston Place has the architectural style of a 17th-century residence and the conveniences of modern life. The Italian marble lobby has a signature Georgian Open Arm staircase and a 12-foot crystal chandelier as the focal point.

Located in Charleston Place is Charleston Grill, recipient of many accolades including Mobil Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond and Distinguished Restaurants of North America. Chef Bob Waggoner joined the Charleston Grill in 1997. Nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef in the Southeast, he received an Emmy for his show, “Off the Menu.” His professional expertise and passion for food have contributed much to the success of Charleston Grill.

The Buick Enclave and Charleston Stand Out

Cruising in downtown Charleston, the Buick Enclave has sleek designs similar to the solid architectural design of Charleston. Architecture around the town is classic Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italian, and Victorian. Gardens and courtyards compliment the stately homes South of Broad, the Battery and Rainbow Row. Driving the Enclave along Church and Meeting Street reveals the Colonial era. Many of the wrought iron gates in the city were designed by Philip Simmons, the ‘Charleston Gatekeeper,’ a world-renowned blacksmith and a Charlestonian.

A daytime excursion in the quiet tuned cabin of the Buick Enclave should include a visit to America’s first museum, the Charleston Museum. Located at 360 Meeting Street, the museum preserves the history and culture of Charleston.

Plan a day excursion to downtown Charleston in the Buick Enclave and visit the Aquarium, or take a ride to Fort Sumter. The South Carolina Aquarium is located at 100 Aquarium Wharf on the Charleston Harbor and a great place to learn about sharks, river otters, and the Sea Turtle Rescue Program. The Aquarium is a perfect site to take photographs of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge and Patriots Point. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge towers above the Charleston skyline with a pedestrian and bicycle lane. Additional daytime excursions could include a visit to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charlestowne Landing, Middleton Place, Boone Hall, Irvin House Vineyards, the Charleston Tea Plantation and so much more.

Like Charleston, the Buick Enclave stands up to the challenge of a luxurious crossover. Delivering a ride that is poised and polished, it exemplifies an elegant, classic car. The Buick Enclave is one sweet automobile to drive. It could easily become a new form of hospitality for Charleston, the new breed of Southern Belles and everyone who appreciates the finer things in life.

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Barbie Perkins-Cooper is a freelance writer who loves the journey and exploration of travel and health. She works full-time as an editorial photojournalist and has published numerous articles and photographs for regional, health and beauty and travel publications including the Travel Channel. Barbie resides in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Phil and three precious pups. She is the author of Condition of Limbo and Career Diary of a Photographer. Visit her website www.barbieperkinscooper.com

IF YOU GO:

Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, http://www.charlestoncvb.com/

Charleston Grill, http://www.charlestongrill.com

Charleston Museum, http://www.charlestonmuseum.org

Charleston Place Hotel, http://www.charlestonplace.com

Charlestowne Landing, http://www.charlestowne.org/

French Quarter Inn, http://www.fqicharleston.com/

Hominy Grill, http://hominygrill.com

John Rutledge House Inn, http://www.johnrutledgehouseinn.com/

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, http://www.magnoliaplantation.com/

Market Pavilion Hotel, http://www.marketpavilion.com/

Peninsula Grill, http://www.peninsulagrill.com or http://www.coconutcakes.com

Planters Inn, http://www.plantersinn.com/

South Carolina Aquarium, http://www.scaquarium.org/

Spoleto Festival USA, http://www.spoletousa.org

cropped-arthur-ravenel-bridgeWentworth Mansion, http://www.wentworthmansion.com/

All Aboard…The Carnival Ecstasy Cruise


Dearest Readers:

If you are a follower of this blog, you will recognize I haven’t written much since early May of this year. When my husband was so weak and ill, I could not function, nor could I write. Every time I attempted to write, I hit the delete key. Life was too demanding and frightening for me. My husband needed me in ways I never dreamed. Suddenly, I found myself feeling trapped in a dark and lonely abyss. Walking in the familiar shoes of caregiving, my entire life focused on my husband and his recovery. Friends offered to help, although I did not know what they could do. Once, I told a friend on the phone she could listen to me and my tears. She agreed. Fortunately, our life is improving. I give all the credit to God, all the prayers He answered and my faith.

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Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge – Charleston, SC

 

Cruising on the Carnival Ecstasy

On September 3 – September 8, 2016, we cruised on the Carnival Ecstasy, cruising from Charleston, SC to Half Moon Cay, Nassau, Bahamas and back to Charleston. The cruise was booked over a year ago, and it was a non-refundable “free cruise” that cost us $1078.08, to be exact! Trust me, this “free cruise” had nothing to do with free, and from now on, when we receive invitations to attend a time share dinner where we could ‘win a free cruise’ we will not go. I was told by many people on the cruise they did not pay $1000. Lesson learned!

Culinary Skills Disappointing

While on the cruise, I sat around, watching people, making notes. The only idea I had was about the culinary skills on the ship. The food was so disappointing, my mind drifted back to when I worked at a local culinary college. So you see, I’m not a critic about the food, but I am a writer, and I have quite a few culinary skills, so I do know how good food, especially gourmet cuisine is supposed to tantalize the taste buds and taste. My taste buds were not tempted. The food presentations needed better displays. Seasonings. Well, maybe I’ll keep that opinion to myself. On second thought, let’s just say, the food needed seasonings, especially rosemary, garlic, and the fish should have orange marmalade or other sauces that would complement fish.

My first night, I ordered salmon. Big mistake!

salmon

The only taste in my mouth was a harsh fishy taste. No sauce. No seasonings, only bland. Ugh! The second night at dinner, I ordered mahi-mahi. Certainly, with that delicious fish, my taste buds will be fulfilled. Hardly. The mahi-mahi was a bit dry and lacking any seasonings, spices, or sauces. I ate about three bites. Although I am still doing Weight Watchers, I decided to order a dessert. The chocolate molten cake with ice cream was delicious, so I decided maybe this would be ‘dessert cruise!’

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Although I jotted notes, I could not find story materials to write about until Rina Patel of New York apparently jumped from the 11th deck of Carnival Ecstasy in the dark of early morning. Why did she jump, leaving the family, a young child and a husband behind? Only Rina and those who were witnesses might possibly know the answer to this question. I’ve written about the experience of that early morning twice, so this post will not be about someone ending her life on a cruise ship. I still have difficulty with this when I find myself drifting away to those events. I’ve never been on a cruise ship where a passenger goes overboard. I have to compliment how the crew on Carnival Ecstasy handled the situation. Totally professional and caring.

“Passenger Overboard”

However, when my friends heard about someone missing from the Carnival Ecstasy, they admitted to me their first reaction was, “Oh no. Did Barbie actually throw Phil overboard? I thought she was joking!”

I have to admit, I did state that comment as a joke when we decided to go on the cruise. I mentioned to Phil that if he didn’t give me a bit of space, he might find himself overboard. Trust me. I would never harm my husband. Domestic violence of any type is not my style. Thank God I did not joke about that on the cruise. Can you imagine? Joking about going overboard? It isn’t a funny situation. Tragic. Shocking. Unbelievable. When I heard the announcement, I prayed the person would be found. When I watched the rescue boat searching for the passenger, I prayed he or she would be found. At that time, none of us knew if the passenger was male or female; nevertheless, when guest services continued paging “Rina Patel,” as a writer, I was able to determine Rina Patel must be the missing, overboard passenger. Truly a horrible way to change the mood on a cruise ship. Everyone was a bit gloomy while we all prayed the passenger would be found.

Sorry, I promised not to write about the missing passenger, didn’t I? I must stop and post this section of my epistle for today. Next topic:

Day One – And We’re Off!

Stay Tuned!

Carnival Fantasy — Cruising Along On A Rocking Ship!


Hello Readers, and Carnival Fantasy:

Yesterday, I reported briefly about the first bitterly cold day of our cruise. Although it was cold, Phil and I could not check into our room for a bit, so we dragged laptops, cameras and other items around with us. We chose to eat at the Mongolian Wok and Off the Grill where food was plenty along the buffet lines. I was impressed with how clean the buffet area was, choosing to do my best to eat healthy via the Mongolian Wok. After lunch we continued our journey to find our friends and tour the ship. Climbing onto the next level, I found the jogging and walking track and mini-golf.

Carnival Fantasy would not depart until 4pm, so we walked around in hopes to stay warm. Of course my husband is always hot natured so he wasn’t cold. We chose to locate our cabin so we could drop off the personal items we were carrying. Trust me, next time we will not pack laptops. Never did we use them, along with cell phones! This was a nice way to ‘unplug’ for a bit.

I changed from boots to my ShapeUps, deciding to find the walking and jogging track. Believe me, it was cold there. The wind rushed thru my hair, freezing my ears, but I was determined to get a few laps in. Meanwhile, Phil is still trying to find our friends — on a cruise ship loaded with guests, staff and a few children.

After my brutally cold walk, Phil continued leaving voice mails to locate our friends. I heard someone whistling in the distance, looked up and finally — our friends approached!

We were scheduled for early dinner at the Jubilee Dining Room. Jubilee Dining Room resembled an upscale restaurant, with the wait staff dressed in black and white, intimate lighting and soft music. While the ship rocked back and forth, ever so relaxing, I ordered chicken breast — the driest chicken breast I have ever eaten. If memory is correct, Phil ordered a steak or maybe it was prime rib. Nevertheless, it was small. When I saw the prime rib, I could not believe my eyes…. The prime rib was the thinnest prime rib I have ever seen – reminding me of a package of thin deli meat.

On the menu, there was a box with several tempting entrees that I do not recall now. Lesson and note to myself – carry your journal everywhere, even when on a vacation. What I do recall is the entrees listed within the box were an additional $20.00!

As a food and travel writer, I know quite a bit about culinary cuisine. The baked potato our friends ordered was overcooked and dry. Carnival Fantasy could do a much better job with their dinner presentations along with serving sizes and culinary skills! The wait staff was amazing. Never did I have to request a refill of water or decaf coffee. I splurged on the chocolate molten cake, served in a small ramekin dish with vanilla ice cream. It was delicious!

After dinner, we relaxed a bit and went to the Cat’s Lounge. Some critics have reported the Cat Lounge is a smoking lounge. Trust me, no one ever smoked in the lounge while we were there. Nor did I smell the dreadful tobacco aroma in the lounge! As the ship continued to rock back and forth, like a slow-moving swing or rocking chair, we relaxed, enjoying the music of most of the karaoke singers. Of course, I sang although on this night we had a new karaoke DJ who catered to one particular singer I reported about yesterday in my blog post. This singer sang four songs before I was able to sing a second song. And in case you were wondering what I drink before finding the courage to sing??? ‘Water with lots of lemon!’ I am one of the rare animals who loves to hop on a stage and take it over!

What songs did I sing? My signature songs — of course:

At Last, Etta James version
Georgia On My Mind, Ray Charles version
Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers

After three songs, I was ready to call it a night, while the ship continued rocking and relaxing me. I do believe this is the most I have relaxed in a long — LONG TIME!

Carnival Fantasy — I hope you change a few things on my next cruise — I am more than certain we will cruise on the Carnival Fantasy again. When? That’s my little secret!

Bon Voyage!

Meeting the Chefs…


As a writer, I targeted this story to many publications, only to discover the restaurant is no longer open for business. Hope you enjoy the read!

MEET THE CHEFS – TRACY ADLER, OWNER – CAFÉ ON THE SQUARE

Café on the Square, Asheville, NC

Located at One Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville, Café on the Square offers appetizing American food in a non-smoking atmosphere. The restaurant opened in 1989, targeting casual, fine dining customers. Artwork, provided by local artists, is on display, complimenting the interior decoration and theme of the restaurant. The lighting is soft. The décor is pleasing to the eye. Tables and chairs are plush and comfortable. Café on the Square is just the place to have a pleasant family lunch or dinner.

Owner, Tracy Adler offers something unique at Café on the Square. After the birth of her second child, Tracy discovered a unique way to snack by using a small four-ounce bowl for snacking purposes, choosing to name the bowl a “Yum Yum Dish.” Promoted on the web site, http://www.yumyumdish.com, the set of four dishes are colorful and safe to use in the microwave, or dishwasher. The Yum yum dishes are great for snacking and dieting since the dishes will only hold four ounces of snacks. Tracy has a passion for children and contributes a portion of the sales from Yum yum dishes to Louie’s Kids, a non-profit organization providing obese children from low-income families an opportunity to attend camps to help them lose weight.

The menu at Café on the Square contains a variety of tempting entrees and appetizers including Cajun Eggplant with Andouille Sausage, Encrusted Chicken with Whiskey Dijon Glaze; Sesame Seared Tuna with Wasabi Vinaigrette, Mountain Rainbow Trout, and a Spinach and Artichoke Au Gratin dip appetizer, served in a Yum Yum dish you get to keep.

According to reliable sources Cafe on the Square is no longer open for business; however, the website, http://www.yumyumdish.com is still available. Visit the website today and purchase the yum yum dishes. They are the perfect size for tasty desserts and snacks.

Happy Thanksgiving


The turkey is ready, awaiting the time to brine and prepare for a Thanksgiving feast. The menu is planned with delicious roast turkey, dressing, fresh cranberry sauce, potatoes, cornbread dressing — or perhaps, oyster dressing. Whatever you as the cook prefer, along with your guests.

Thursday, November 24, 2011 is the day of Thanksgiving for the United States of America. Since 2001, America has learned to appreciate and give thanks during a time of war. Many of our family members will be away from us, and I am certain it is difficult. If that is the scenario in your family, please be thankful for SKYPE, e-mail, cell phones and the ability to surf the Internet to speak with your loved one. Never is it easy to miss a loved one during this special time of Thanks, but many of us are still missing those we have lost, due to death.

As a writer, I would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  May you spend time enjoying your loved ones. May your turkey and all of the trimmings help you to appreciate the life we have, along with our freedom. If you are a soldier, away from home, reading this, I say a special Thank You to all of you.

Our family will spend Thanksgiving with dear friends, and our precious adopted rescue animals. Let us all be thankful for the life we have, the friends and family we share, and for the gift of celebration with our family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy all of the festivities and please remember to say a prayer to God for all that He has given to us, this day — and every day. Have a great Turkey Day!!!