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Southern Travels: Final Notes From The Road

I Only Want A Pic Of You - This Columbia, SC public art piece
pays tribute to hometown favorites Hootie and the Blowfish
At 2,000 miles on the road traveled on this vacation, you can imagine not everything makes it into a focused blog post. However, that doesn't mean that those particular places aren't worth a mention, so count this as our wrap up post of the other interesting places we encountered

With my spouse an avid crocheter and increasing her knitting skills by the day, you had to figure yarn was in the sights during this trip, and two of Asheville's own stitched up our needs quite nicely.

Located in the historic Grove Arcade building (intended by its builder at the time to be the "grandest building in America"), Asheville NC Home Crafts provides a little different twist on the typical yarn shop gig, offering a large supply of locally crafted and produced goods (not all of the knitted or crocheted variety) along with the usual yarn supplies, including one of the largest collections of rounded fedora hats I have seen in one place in awhile.

Meanwhile, Purl's Yarn Emporium, located on the popular downtown Wall Street shopping area, brings a huge geek element to the proceedings. Operating since 2005, Purl's offered knitted patterns and other media on geeky subjects like Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Black Panther on the day of our visit, as well as providing locals with "a place where knitters and crocheters can come and find help, laughter, and a space to create."

Asheville Home Crafts 
1 Page Ave #134 (Google Maps)
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 350-7556
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Purl's Yarn Emporium
10 Wall St (Google Maps)
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 253-2750
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If you pulled a focused selection of books from German Village's The Book Loft and placed them into an enlarged version of one Columbus' neighborhood-style cafes (like Grandview Heights's Stauf's or Upper Arlington's Colin's Coffee), you might get a Columbus version of Asheville's indie bookseller Malaprop's Books/Cafe. Established by Hungarian exile Emoke B'Racz in 1982, this Asheville institution has touted itself as a place "...where all are welcome, and where books are the stars", and has always been a destination on our three visits to town, simply to browse some books and/or grab a cup of coffee. 

Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe
55 Haywood St (Google Maps)
Asheville, NC 28801
(800) 441-9829
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Oyster House Brewing was only meant to be a place for a late night beer or two after a long night on the road, but in the end it was the restaurant's menu which turned out to be equally, if not more, intriguing than the chalkboard-posted beer menu. Various menu items, including (what else) oysters on the half shell from nine different oceanside locations throughout the country, made us wish we hadn't eaten dinner prior to our visit. 

The brews themselves were a mixed bag, with our favorite being the Imperial Oyster Stout, but they all proved better when paired up with our Oyster Shooters (yes, we couldn't resist sneaking in a bite.)  Call this an intriguing "incomplete" worth future exploration, with bonus points for the Tom Waits-themed coasters.

Oyster House Brewing
625 Haywood Rd. (Google Maps)
Asheville, NC 28806
(800) 441-9829
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These bagels were made in South Carolina....South Carolina?!?  Sounds like a reversal on the Pace "New York City?!" salsa commercials, but in the case of Beaufort's Palm and Moon Bagel Company, the bagels are actually pretty darn good.

Situated in the town's cozy downtown area, Palm & Moon sports a welcoming interior, plus some neat little history-based displays on the walls detailing the origins of bagels, coffee, and the state of South Carolina.  

Add in a dozen or so housemade bagel varieties and cream cheeses, breakfast and lunchtime sandwiches, and you have yourself a surprisingly nice find. We were impressed enough to take home a six pack for back home in Ohio, and they held up well for future breakfast munching. 

Palm and Moon Bagel Company
221 Scott St (Google Maps)
Beaufort, SC 29902
(843) 379-9300
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Established in 1807, the Charleston City Market consists of a four-block-long series of historic sheds and the brick-and-mortar structure Market Hall that have over the years been geared toward commerce and shopping. A stroll through reminded me of a walk through something like Gay Street's Moonlight and Sunlight Markets, featuring numerous vendors selling Gullah-, Charleston- and South Carolina-related arts and crafts, souvenirs, and food items. I'm guessing you might be able to find many of these goods for cheaper elsewhere in town, but if you want a one-place-for-everything type of shopping spot, the Market is your place.

Charleston City Market
188 Meeting St (Google Maps)
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 937-0920
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With seven retail locations, plus two in the city market areas of both Charleston and Savannah, GA, the appropriately named Savannah Candy Kitchen has all the sweet treats you could ever want. You could politely decline the piece of a freshly made Pecan Pralines they offer all visitors, but really, why put yourself through that torture? Better yet, pick up a few and munch on them when you need a quick little boost, like we did during our travels.

Savannah's Candy Kitchen of Charleston
32 N Market St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 723-4626
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