Travel France

Oyster Roasts, Magnolias and Pat Conroy

Oyster roasts, magnolias and Pat Conroy

This must be the “South”… USA, that is.

While away from my beloved France, I thought, perhaps, friends there and beyond might like to know how we spend time in the winter months in the southern states along the east coast.

In Beaufort, South Carolina — where I used to live– the Historic Society throws a party in January as a fund raiser for the organization. An oyster roast is held “down by the riverside” in front of one of the town’s most beautiful and historic properties — Marshlands.

2015/01/img_0085.jpg

2015/01/img_0084.jpg

This year the weather was very agreeable with temperatures in the 50’s. (I’ve been to some when the temps were barely above freezing.) Unless there’s torrential rain, folks gather around each year, ready to put down bushels of steamy hot oysters, served by the bucketfuls.

2015/01/img_0112.jpg

Oyster roasts, southern style, are accompanied by a spread of pork barbecue, baked beans, coleslaw and cornbread. For most of us, the main attraction is the plump oysters that are plucked out of the marsh-water beds that surround the town.

2015/01/img_0105.jpg

Nothing like their oyster cousins in the south of France that are single-shelled and huge, the low country variety are small but, oh…so tasty. Short knives with wooden handles are put to action slipping into the crevices of the shell clusters. You know it’s worth the trouble when you take your first bite, with lemon slices, saltine crackers and hot sauce on the side.

2015/01/img_0108.jpg

2015/01/img_0107.jpg

The tradition of serving steaming oysters on long tables by the waterway goes back to the earliest times of southern living.

2015/01/img_0094.jpg

Truly, in Beaufort, old customs are very fitting. Here Spanish moss and ancient oaks have graced the landscape for centuries.

2015/01/img_0222-2.jpg

2015/01/img_0218-2.jpg

Stately mansions have survived revolutionary and civil wars.

2015/01/img_0243.jpg

2015/01/img_0216.jpg

2015/01/img_0215.jpg

The flags of five nations have flown over this town– Spain, France, England, the Confederacy and American.

2015/01/img_0241.jpg

Novelist Pat Conroy calls this “home” and many of his books and movies have been rooted right here, including “The Prince of Tides”, and “The Great Santini.”

2015/01/img_0227.jpg

“Forrest Gump” and the “Big Chill” were filmed in Beaufort, and at least a dozen more.

In Beaufort front porches, magnolia trees and quaint gardens are common along historic district streets.

2015/01/img_0224.jpg

2015/01/img_0240.jpg

2015/01/img_0244.jpg

2015/01/img_0239.jpg

Breakfast patrons at Blackstones stand to pledge allegiance to the flag mornings at eight (see #3).

2015/01/img_0251.jpg

Not far away are beaches and scrub grass and places to play.

2015/01/img_0242.jpg

2015/01/img_0225.jpg

2015/01/img_0230.jpg

2015/01/img_0231.jpg

2015/01/img_0234.jpg

Yes, if there are beautiful destinations you want to see, head to one of the best on earth — Beaufort, S.C.

2015/01/img_0233.jpg

6 replies »

  1. I loved seeing the blue porch ceilings. When I had mine painted blue, my Pennsylvanian in-laws thought I was crazy.

    Like

    • I bet they did! It’s called “haint” blue color and supposedly it keeps Mosquitos away. They say the mosquito thinks the ceiling is the sky, so they don’t can’t land and hang around the porch.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s