Town of Charles: Day First

Giant old pink house on Bay Street in Charleston, SC

I don’t have quite the energy of my evenings in Maine to write about this little weekend away, but Valerie and I are in Charleston for the weekend alone as a slightly late celebration of our anniversary. The kids are with my mother-in-law in North Carolina and we’re staying at a B&B (not the house above – that’s a private home for some wealthy NewYorker). This afternoon and evening were chill; walking around The Battery, meandering up Bay Street until we dropped in to an incredible (and incredibly renovated!) favorite from our first visit 10 years ago: The Gin Joint. This place is still the absolute jam. I wish they were open on Sundays so I could go again tomorrow night.

Just a random old house in Charleston, SC with some cool sunlight hitting its facade and dramatic clouds in the sky
Just a random house off Bay Street with some cool light hitting it.

We caught a Lyft all the way to the other side of town for our dinner reservation at Chasing Sage, an impossibly cool vegetable-focused restaurant that did almost everything right. The decor, the menu, the music, the dang bathrooms! This place was cooler than me. The food was great, the cocktails were great, and Valerie and I felt like we were on the verge of 30 again like our first visit, instead of nearly 40 as we are now. Turns out this place is in the super-hip neighborhood of Cannonborough/Elliotborogh which, as you can predict, is a post-gentrified district of Charleston. Now the gentrifiers are complaining about the encroachment of college students, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

a cocktail and a prickly pear soda on a table at Chasing Sage restaurant in Charleston, SC

Anyway we have a light itinerary for tomorrow that includes lots of walking. The weather turns sharply autumnal tonight which should make that walking lovely. But most of what I’m looking forward to tomorrow is sleeping in without my kids climbing in bed before 6 AM.

Westward Expansion

Westland Shopping Center cactus sign on West Broad Street in Henrico, VA.

The Westland Shopping Center was built in what used to be the “Far West End” on West Broad Street back in 1963, and boy does that sign place the strip mall marvelously in that decade. I know being way out in the counties was considered the hinterlands at the time, but a saguaro cactus? Hilarious. Anyway, this was shot on Kodak E100 slide film with my Hasselblad 500 C/M.

Maine Day 4 Film Photos

The top of the Portland Head Light (lighthouse) in Maine

And here’s the final post of my film shots from the Maine trip. If you read the proper blog post for that day then you’ll remember it was the Portland day. I don’t have any photos of the incredible bagels or coffee I consumed, but I still managed to snag some goodies along the way.

Tandem Coffee Roasters' cafe in a repurposed service station in Portland, ME.

Tandem was, of course, a highlight of the day because of its thematic resemblance to Richmond’s own Lamplighter (bike themed, first cafe in an old service station, etc.).

Of course, Tandem is all about the two-person bike, not the tall bike. But you get the idea. Really missing that pistachio cake I ate there. Chef’s kiss, man.

After hitting one more coffee stop we drove to the south end of Casco Bay to Fort Williams Park so we could check out the Portland Head Light. I loved this park so much.

Portland Head Light and house on the cliffs at Casco Bay in Portland, ME.

And we headed back to into town for one more coffee stop which we enjoyed in Post Office Park while a busker played the harp.

A busker plays a harp in Post Office Park in Portland, ME.

Everything from this day was shot on a roll of Lomography Color 400. I think I let this film age a bit too much as its saturation and contrast bumped up a bit too high for my taste, but that last photo still managed to retain some natural-is skin tones and dynamic range. Anyway, as I’ve said before – I didn’t got to Maine for the sake of photography, but I’m going to bring a camera with me wherever I travel, and these three days’ worth of photos are exactly why. The memories are truly great, but the images provide that extra reference, texture, and detail to my recollection.

I head to Charleston, SC for an anniversary weekend with my wife this coming Friday and I’m sure I’ll fire off at least a roll or two while I’m down there. We’ll see whether I get anything worth sharing 😀

Maine Day 3 Film Photos

Mount Katahdin with its peak in storm clouds viewed from the Katahdin Woods & Waters picnic area

And here we go with my film photos from the 3rd day in Maine (really my 2nd full day if you recall). These were pretty much all from Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Loads of time on gravel roads, stopping occasionally for some gorgeous sites, and high-tailing it out of there once we realized the storm was headed our way 😀

All of these were shot on Kodak Portra 160 using my Hasselblad 500 C/M.

triangular, vertical slate formations in a river bed

This isn’t the most beautiful photograph I took that day, but it was the most fascinating thing I saw – naturally-occurring, triangular slate formations that protruded near-vertically from the river bed.

Hill visible above trees opposite a wetland pond

Unlike Acadia, with which my friend Robert is deeply familiar, I don’t know what all these places are called. Somewhat anonymous beautiful spots, I guess. Whatever their names, it was the most breathtaking scenery of the whole trip.

Denuded trees in a wetland reflecting the clouds
Reflection of denuded trees and clouds in a wetland pond

Maine Day 2 Film Photos

The Bubbles mountain peaks as viewed across Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park, ME.
The Bubbles, as viewed across Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park. Shot on Kodak Portra 160 with my Hasselblad 500 C/M

You can consider this a companion post to my second Maine post. Sure, I included a number of iPhone photographs, but my next few posts are all about the film I shot on my Hasselblad 500 C/M when I was in Maine.

I got a few keepers I was happy with from Acadia, and a few additional fun shots after we left.

Bar Harbor as viewed from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, ME.
Bar Harbor as viewed from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, ME. Shot on Kodak Portra 160 with my Hasselblad 500 C/M

I didn’t visit Maine to take photographs, of course. But I do take a decent camera with me every time I travel because I’m an enthusiast. And the weather really cooperated each day I was up there.

Cliffs and rock formations near Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park, ME.
Cliffs and rock formations near Thunder Hole in Acadia. Shot on Portra 160 in some really hard light on my Hasselblad 500 C/M
Hot lobster roll and potato chips at Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound near Acadia in ME.

That weather, of course, made for some pretty fine meals outside.

Wood-fired lobster pots at Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound near Acadia, ME.

Honestly, the weather was so exactly my jam (chilly in the morning, perfect low 70s and low humidity in the afternoon) that it was almost as significant a part of my vacation as seeing my friend and the beautiful landscapes of Maine.

Boats in a marina on the Passagassawakeag River in Belfast, ME.
Boats in a marina on the Passagassawakeag River in Belfast, ME. Shot on Portra 160 with my Hasselblad 500 C/M

Seventeen Years Married

Today is my wedding anniversary and, as the title indicates, I’ve been married to Valerie for 17 years. I don’t have anything profound to say this morning, so I’ll share an anecdote. Yesterday while the kids were at school, we went out to lunch and enjoyed great food and beer in some glorious weather. We followed lunch with some relaxing at a cafe sipping coffee and passing time with conversation. It was a real treat to have such calm and unhurried time with my wife to talk, take in a meal, and be comfortably idle together.

We’re taking a weekend trip in two weeks to truly celebrate, but days like yesterday are what reinforce how much I still love my wife and the years we’ve had together.


I think Apple’s silicone MagSafe case might be one of the more comfortable cases I’ve ever used; soft to the touch but not squishy, good grip, and rigid enough that I’m confident it’s protecting my phone. I’m a big fan of orangey-pink tones that we frequently call “salmon” or “coral”, so I got the similar “pink pomelo” color that seems to complement my pale blue phone.