Sunday, October 5, 2014

When In Charleston... Do As The GREEKS Do!

Greek Orthodox Church in Charleston, SC
One of the lovely things about Cruising, is the spontaneity of it.  Today was supposed to be a work day.  Yeah, I keep saying that and then we run and play.  I've gotta learn that if we want to get anything done, I should stay off of the Internet.

But it's October!  And it's the BEST month of the year!  Wherever you are... and there are festivals!

Ahhh the day was just perfect.  Cloudless skies and temperatures just brushing 70 by mid afternoon.  Just the barest puff of breeze to keep things fresh...

The Greek Orthodox Church in Charleston was opening its doors to the masses and sharing a bit of their culture.  Now we aren't members of a church, but Bruce was brought up in a traditional Catholic family.  I wasn't a part of a church-going family and was exposed to religion only through summer camps through years... But the history and the traditions have always intrigued me.

We entered the quiet of this grand place and were surrounded by beauty.  The windows were all stained glass depiction various vignettes from Bible stories.

The walls are surrounded by beautiful icons created by a famous iconographer.  The ceiling is just a work of art, full of symbolism and tying to other objects within the church which, to me, creates a feeling of familiarity and "oneness" even though I am not a church-goer.  No one who enters these doors could be immune to the pull of community and history.

We attended a short but informative "tour" of the church, in which a long-time member and historian told us the story of this place.  The Church is relatively young, by Charleston standards.  But it is still filled with history that was tangible.  The speaker did a marvelous job of leading us through the Biblical stories depicted here but in a gentle way so as not to promote any particularly strong religious views.  (does that even make sense?)  It was all very fascinating.

They had BLING before it was COOL!
This celebration was more about the Greek culture than any one religion... It was about dipping your toes into the rich sense of family and fun through the senses.  The Greeks of this Church believe in bringing people to know God through the senses, sight, smell, sound, taste... it's all very rich and boisterous!  These Greeks really know how to throw a party!

There were vendors selling all things Greek, from jewelry, to olive oil, to clothing... And wine... there was wine!

Bruce and I passed up the beer and found ourselves a nice glass of Greek wine to sip while we strolled through the crowds.

After making the rounds and doing a little bit of shopping... we settled at the back of the crowd to watch the Greek Dancers.  Traditional music brought out the little girls and we laughed as we watched them dance and twirl.  One little girl reminded me so much of young Tammy as she took center stage in her pink cowboy boots and twirly skirt...  She was adorable!

We didn't have to wait long for the serious dancers to begin.  The men took the stage with traditional Greek music providing the beat...

They danced precisely, and slowly in the beginning...  gradually bringing it all to a crescendo of fun that had me wanting to spring from my seat and run out there like the little pink-skirt girl!

What FUN it must be to belong to a group of people who aren't afraid to get out there and dance like nobody's watching!

The dancing ended too soon and left us with an empty wine glass and looking for what's next...  The aroma wafting from the food tents called our names...

There were Gyros and Kebabs and all sorts of other unpronounceable delicacies...  The line to obtain these delicacies however was off-putting to us.  We found a shorter line next door and fell in.

We picked out a nice Baklava Sundae (ice cream) and some lovely Loukoumades (yeah, whatever)...

We knew not what we had when we turned away from the food tent to find a spot to sit...

But we soon realized that we had a little bit of heaven in a cup!  The Sundae was divine and the Loukoumades?

What are they?  They are like little donut holes fried, then rolled in honey... yes honey! Then they sprinkle (as if they needed more deliciousness...) cinnamon and powdered sugar on top to create the most luscious of tidbits.

Here honey... take my picture eating the LAST BITE! Booyah!
We found a spot in the sunshine to sit and devour our newfound favorite things.  Yes, we sat outside a church and nearly came to fisticuffs over that last bite!  I had to distract Bruce by asking him to take my picture... Shameful, I know... But I got it!

The crowds were still arriving when we called it a day.  We walked hand-in-hand (sticky fingers and all) back to our car and returned home...

But our wonderful day was not yet over.  We had one more event on our calendar.  There was a world wide Facebook event happening this evening.

Sunday Sunsets was posted by one of our fellow Cruisers and she invited people from wherever they happened to be, to snap a picture of their sunset and post it.

We waited patiently for sunset time to draw near, then took our seat at the end of the dock to wait those final moments.  I left the boat without shoes and the temperature was beginning to plummet.  I dangled my feet off the edge of the dock and was delighted to feel the warmth of the water radiating up to my toes... without touching the water.  It was awesome! The warmth spread through me as we watched the blazing yellow-orange sun slip slowly into the marsh.

It was a small thing but amazing none-the-less... we turned back to the boat when the show was over... and were met with a rising moon and a needy feline!

Yes, cruising life is good.  We had enjoyed the day, immersing ourselves in heart-warming Greek culture, and then we stepped back into the more familiar Cruising culture...

Sampling different cultures is one of the marvelous things that Cruising offers... even though we have yet to leave the US.  But our time is coming...


  1. So glad to hear it's still "good" ... sure looks like it!

    1. Cheryl it is good. The best thing about it is that even when things aren't going well, we have so few outside stresses that we can look at things with a positive spin. We are also able to enjoy the little pleasures so much more readily. It doesn't take much to thrill us these days. Get on out here girl!