Archive for the ‘Murrells Inlet’ tag
Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of A Thousand Candles 2014, Brookgreen Gardens: 13 December 2014 no comments
I got to Brookgreen a bit later than I had planned this year, and so did not hit all the spots I usually hit, but it was still a very nice evening out in the cold and lights. Actually, the weather was relatively moderate compared to some prior years -- I was able to hold my camera and adjust the controls without my fingers going numb. There is still an official ban on tripods, and I decided this year I wouldn't go for much in the way of "set the camera on something and do a time exposure" shots, so I cranked the ISO way up and took what I got, so I have to admit I've gotten better shots in previous years. I did play around with the in-camera HDR setting, and that's where some of the freaky green-lit exposures come from. Sometimes it did quite a good job of capturing both the lights and normal objects, and sometimes it didn't (I haven't used those spoiled shots here, obviously).
Getting in was a little quicker this year as they did not bring back the suboptimal secondary dirt road route they tried last year, although there was still quite a jam on US-17 (where I witnessed a fender-bender just as I finally got waved through). You still have three more chances to catch the lights this year on 18 December, 19 December and 20 December, and you really should if you are anywhere near the area.
It's a few months until the candles, but what better way to spend a gorgeous Fall weekend than out in the sun at Brookgreen Gardens Harvest Home Weekend? You can build a scarecrow, paint a pumpkin, make a birdfeeder, see butterflies up close and personal, gawk at extroverted otters and cruise past basking alligators.
If you don't happen to have children in tow, you could even look at some sculpture,
T-Bones (no relation to Tbonz) was in Murrells Inlet on the US-17 bypass almost directly across the street from the old Rosa Linda's South.
I only ate at T-Bones once that I can recall, and that would have been not too many years after they opened in 1988. I had a burger, and it was pretty good.
I'm not sure why I never went back -- perhaps because there were closer options for burgers, and because I have a general list of favorites I try to hit when I'm at the beach. At any rate, though I didn't stop again, I often admired the best slogan on the beach as I was driving by, though I would have used a colon instead of a comma.
I noticed this weekend that the place was closed, and the realty sign suggested it was not an entirely voluntary state, which the article linked above confirms. Of course it would seem so far that closing it didn't actually help the bank that much..
Apparently this was not the last Krystal in South Carolina, but it's pretty close. It looks like the other few that are left are clustered along the Georgia and North Carolina border areas with none in the Midlands, Pee Dee or Low Country.
This store, on US-17 Business near to Inlet Square Mall is not in an obviously bad location (though a Five Guys did open nearby a couple of years ago) but is in a little strip that doesn't seem to prosper. In particular, a Moe's failed a few storefronts down, something that seemed unlikely to me at the time, and one end unit has cycled through quite a few entertainment concepts (comedy club, karakoe..) in the last few years.
Well, this is no surprise I'm afraid.
I've told how the original Rosa Linda's was the first Mexican (ish) restaurant where I was a regular, and an important part of my beach trips from the 80s into the oughties, so I was quite excited when the original Rosa Linda's family started to re-establish the restaurant in the former Hoof 'n' Finz in Murrells Inlet where US-17 business and US-17 bypass reconverge around Inlet Square Mall.
When they finally re-opened, everything tasted exactly as I had remembered it, from the yellow rice to the pinto beans flavored with crisp bits of lightly cooked onion. My only disappointment was that the new floor plan (and possibly elevation..) did not make a pizza oven possible as I had really loved the pizzas in the old locations. (And after all it was "The Mexican / Italian Connection").
My only concern was that attendance seemed very light the times I was there, and sure enough I found it closed on one of my 2011 trips.
Later, I heard it was open again, but the story seemed a bit confusing. Basically piecing things together from the Rosa Linda's Facebook page, and some things that local restaurant writer Becky Billingsley (who often seems to know more than she puts down) had written (here, here, here, and here)., I think the story was this: The original owners had a silent partner in the re-establishment of Rosa Linda's and when the initial financial goals weren't met, the silent partner took over the operation with some grandiose plans for making it a chain.
I was a bit reluctant to go back, as the original manager knew me by sight if not by name, and I didn't want to undercut her, but after I saw that they had moved to Texas, I figured it would be OK to check it out. My thought was that the new management would have tinkered with the menu, possibly adding some standard Mexican fare such as chile rellenos etc while keeping the signature items in place. In fact that was not the case, and the menu was completely new without any of the historical Rosa Linda's items. I thought it was acceptable, but gave me no reason to come to Rosa Linda's in preference to the many other Mexican restaurants on the strand. I mean, no Mexicana Mud? Come on!
After that, the place showed the dreaded Rule #1 from signs your favorite restaurant will soon be closing: The hours changed. More to the point, though the place was not supposed to be seasonal, it closed for the winter with a note on the roadside marquee that it would be open again in March. When I went down in March, the sign said it would be open again in April. I think we all know how that story ends! When I went down in early May, the branding signs (except for the parking lot marker) had all been taken down, there were Home Depot boxes and packing tape inside, and the new phonebooks sat in lonliness outside the front doors.
Brookgreen Gardens Nights of 1000 Candles 2012, Brookgreen Gardens (Grand Strand): 22 December 2012 no comments
I went down to see the Gardens last weekend (the 15th) and ended up getting rained out, so I took a daytrip back yesterday.
This was neither the warmest nor the coldest of the Candles events I've been to, but it was cold enough that I had trouble feeling the smaller camera controls with frigid fingers..
I didn't take my tripod this year. They were disallowed last year, and while I didn't see any verbiage one way or another this time, I decided I would do more handheld shots at high-ISO rather than try to get a lot of long exposures. (Though I did set the camera on various rests to get some). That is preface to say there is a good bit more noise than previous picture sets, but there are still some nice ones.
They went all out in the exhibit room with electric trains this year -- possibly the most iconic Christmas present for boys of a certain age. The room had that immediately identifiable ozone smell from the working transformers and small hot engines as well as the unique sounds of O-27 trains (there were other guages as well). I've still got a set up in the attic -- I ought to take it out and set it up some time.
Well, it seems to me I got better pictures last year, but I had a good time as usual at Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of 1000 Candles last Saturday. The weather was nice -- I didn't have to zip my jacket or put on gloves, and the lights were as spectacular as usual.
If you will be in the vicinity of Murrells Inlet on 9, 10, 16, 17 or 18 December this year, you should definitely stop by and check it out!