Segment run plus vacation. This adventure started with a sort of whimper at the Duclaw branded outlet at BWI, where I occasionally stop off for a beer or two if there's not time to dine with friends. The menu featured a new item, tomato pork shank with dirty rice, so I decided to try it along with my Misfit Red, a mild but quite acceptable beer, suitable for quaffing with a meal or when you want to do a bit of mindless drinking. The shank had had the bottom part hacked off, which means about a quarter of the meat was missing, plus most of the tendon, whose presence would have been welcome, as I quite enjoy that textury sticky aspect of the cut. It had not been overbrined but was still decently tender; the tomato sauce didn't improve things but was easy to ignore. As I pointed out to the chirpy young bartendresses, the dirty rice was altogether too clean and bore an uncanny resemblance to undercooked Uncle Ben's. There was also a vegetable medley on the plate: zucchini and yellow squash, yum. As I hadn't eaten any of my sides they offered another side, fries perhaps? I said, just a bottle of hot sauce would improve things, so Tabasco came, and I managed to choke down some of the rice. When the bill came, they'd taken 20% off the price of the dish. I told the bartendresses that I would have come back again anyhow, but thanks. Some of that 20% went to more tip. [note: this dish has since been taken off the menu] The shuttle to the Hampton BWI came in a timely way, and I was greeted as befit my gemlike condition, and the room was quite fine, with a very sleepable bed. The only issue that I had - a tiny though considerable one - was that the clock was set 12 hours off, so that the alarm one might set would ring 12 hours off from when one thought it would, and say no more. I did get up in time to bolt down a plate of the usual workaday breakfast offering of soggy sausage patties and synthetic eggs before the airport beckoned again. -- US 867 BWI CLT 0845 1019 752 3F This plane had the Envoy seats, which are pretty okay, with sleepable recline if you figure out the old-style footrests - mine didn't work until I coerced it, which meant kicking and tugging at its various appendages: entertainment and exercise for the price of a plane ticket. I was looking forward to the cinnamon crunch, but instead of the (relatively) nice snack basket, there was just one offering, a mixture of dried banana and papaya and some nuts and raisins; I think it was called tropical crunch, so I got my crunch after all. US2778 CLT CHS 1114 1208 CR9 2F US has put a first class of sorts on the bigger regional jets; I'm not sure how they choose what routes to put these planes on, but I'm relatively happy to see them when I see them - the seats are reasonable facsimiles of the real thing, and one gets snacks and free beer. The FA seemed inattentive; the rather pretty blonde in 1F tried with all her Southern wiles to get him to unfreeze, no success. I noticed him later talking into the closet while he meant to talk to 1D and figured that he must have some hearing deficit; though nowhere near friendly, his behavior then became much more comprehensible. Not a big deal on a 30-min flight, which provided enough time for a Heineken and an envelope of savory snack mix, the second least desirable of the snacks available on an airline scraping for every penny. Better than pretzels, worse than that tropical crunch. I went off into lalaland and woke to the guy in 1D railing at the cutie in 1F, who had foolishly revealed to him that she was an elected official of some sort, and worse, a Dem. CHS: Despite the ambiguity of the airport maps, it turns out that the two piers at this airport are not connected beyond security. There's a food court of sorts between. I tried the Magnolia Grill for a Palmetto pale ale (standard, and I'd rather have had a Sam, also on tap, but I do try to sample local products and support the idea of microbreweries). The "low country stir fry" sounded interesting: blackened shrimp and smoked sausage over Charleston red rice with sauteed cabbage. The menu description gave me this impression of what the plate should look like, but I was totally wrong. What came was a scanty assortment of little dice of sausage, a half dozen sizable and fresh shrimp (firm and pretty tasty) though the blackened (really bronzed) coating was bizarrely salty. The cabbage, rather greasy but familiar in a Chinese-restaurant way, was spread in a layer over the rice, which was incredibly tasteless, the proteins strewn messily over that. Again, a bottle of Tabasco saved the day. Down the way some bizarre lowlife in a Panama hat tried to hit on the bartendress, but being brushed off humorlessly turned his attention to a blonde next to him, who seemed to be playing along as I downed the last of my beer. I am glad that I was going to leave before the denouement. There's no PreCheck here, despite what the TSA says. If you get the triple beep, you are exempt from taking your shoes and jacket off but must still do the liquids and electronics dance. People react to this with some confusion, but everyone ends up going through the motions in goodish humor.