After changing in the restroom (I figured it would be better to arrive dressed and ready) into the appropriate attire for a wedding, I walked out to see if I could find a taxi. Since the Fort Sumter building and dock is next to Charleston’s aquarium, I figured I might be able to catch one on Saturday at the heavily trafficked tourist destination. I was correct.
The cab ride was pleasant, the driver was jovial and we had a nice conversation about Charleston, family, etc. There are two driveways onto Middleton Plantation, and apparently we took the wrong one. We didn’t know that until much later, however. It was easy enough to find where the reception and ceremony would take place, so that’s where I was getting dropped off.
I pulled out my credit card to pay, and the driver heaved a heavy sigh. Very clearly displayed on the outside of the taxi are markings that credit cards are accepted. Inside was similarly marked. No, he sighed because he did not have the proper machinations to accept credit cards. I did not have enough cash to pay him that way.
And I seriously think this is a major difference between regions of the country. He told me not to worry about it. Granted, he needed the money, but he also saw the futility of pressing me for money I didn’t have, especially when I was willing to pay using a method that was supposed to be accepted.
The cab driver gave me his card with his phone number, as I told him I would be needing a ride to the airport later that evening. I would like to be able to use him and pay him provided he get the credit card machine to accept payment. I felt really bad for the guy.
Over the previous hour or so, my brother Kagan had been texting me with queries as to my location. I’m not sure what people were expecting, but I wound up being the first one at the location of the wedding. Apparently, despite my always being very clear about not getting a hotel room, everybody thought I was going to get one. People were looking for me to be looking for a ride from my hotel to the plantation. Nobody expected me to already be there, ready to go.
Without anybody there to provide direction as to where I should be or what to do, I wandered around the plantation. It’s a beautiful area, large gardens, a river, etc. I spent approximately an hour checking the place out.
Finally Kagan sends me a text that I’m supposed to be at The Inn, which as it turns out was the other driveway for the plantation, the one my taxi driver didn’t go into. Photos are being taken there. Sounds good to me. It would have been nice had somebody told me this beforehand, but this is part of why I wanted to make sure and arrive in plenty of time.
I look around for an employee, find one, and ask how to get to The Inn. I am given driving directions. I reply that I need either walking directions or a ride. It takes two other employees, but finally I get directions – around that path over there on the other side of the fence, over the bridge, up the stairs, head left, follow the path, find the signs, and you can’t miss it.
Upon arriving at The Inn, I was greeted by the bride’s step-father. My brother Patrick was not there yet, and photos were indeed being taken, but of the bride and her party. The traditional “don’t see the bride in her dress before the wedding” routine was in effect. I was then pointed to the parking lot, where the taxi driver was waiting for me.
The man had returned to town obtained the proper equipment, and returned looking for me. I cheerfully handed him my credit card. As I hand over my card, another taxi arrives with Kagan and my dad, Uncle Bill and Aunt Maura arrive in their rental car, and then Patrick pulls up (after his bride to be retreated out of sight). Turns out I was the first one of my brother’s bridal party to arrive there, even after wandering around the plantation for an hour.