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Trip Report COlumbia, SC - Thank You and brief trip report

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I want to thank everyone who responded to my recent request for restaurant recommendations in Columbia, SC. We just returned from a bittersweet weekend - great to see our son, sad to be sending him off to war.

Our son is a brown sand sailor - a Naval Reserve Officer who has been mobilized by the Army to spend a year in Iraq. This happens more often than we imagine. He still does not know where he will be going (in Iraq) and what he will be doing. This is causing him some angst, but he will eventually have a "need to know."

So, we left home on Friday morning to make our drive from the Tampa area to Columbia. It was, fortunately, an uneventful trip. There were a few traffic jams along the way - totally expected on I-75 and I-95.

We arrived in SC in time for a latish dinner. After checking in to the TownePlace Suites, a quick walk to the Waffle House was in order. Walking after a long day in the car is a welcome thing. We ate, returned to our room, read, chilled and fell asleep.

Saturday came in good time. We had to wait until our son called to tell us that he had been released and we could go get him. We ate a light breakfast at the hotel and read over a few tourist oriented brochures and booklets. We were disappointed to discover that on Friday night, if we had known (and had the energy), we could have gone to Bill's Music Shop and Picking Parlor for an Open Mike and Jam. DH is a singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice and good guitar/banjo, fretted instruments skills.

We got directions to Bill's and decided to go there and check the place out after driving by the Camp McCrady part of Ft. Jackson to make sure we knew where we would go to pick up our kiddo. Arrived at Bill's in W. Columbia at around 11 and had a fun visit. Bill Wells, the owner is a well-known Bluegrass musician and he an DH traded stories and tunes for awhile.

We decided to get back towards the hotel and get ready to pick up the kiddo as soon as he called. On the way, we did a little window shopping at Five Corners and Devine Street. We ended up eating a light lunch at Panera after visiting the World Market - we've been in them before, but don't have one in our area.

Our son was finally done with training for the day at 4:00. He called and we immediately went to rescue him. We came back to the hotel and presented the dinner recommendations we had received as a result of my request. He looked at websites and comments and selected California Dreaming. He likes train stations, historic buildings and good food. We got there at about 7:15 and had to wait about 30 minutes - no problem as we had family time.

We were seated and placed our orders. The food was served in a timely way and was delicious. I had marinated chicken an creamed spinach, DS had BBQ chicken and green beans, DH had prime rib and baked potato. We all had the excellent salad.

Seated right across from us were friends of DS who are in training with him. It was coincidence, as they had not coordinated liberty activities.

We all slept in this morning. (DS was able to stay in our suite overnight.) We took our time getting ready, having coffee and talking. We were all in the mood for a typical eggs, meat and bread breakfast. We ended up at Lizard's Thicket, a local chain. It was okay - eggs, sausage, cooked apples and yummy biscuits.

At about noon, we dropped DS back at Ft. Jackson and started our long drive home. Long and boring... We would have stayed another day, but state assessments start tomorrow and I MUST be at work in my role of Test Administrator - yuk.

Again, thank you to everyone who responded to my query and helped us have a wonderful, though bittersweet weekend. The kiddo moves on to Ft. Bragg this week an Iraq whenever.

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