Groundhog Day Ends in CWV

02Feb 2016

By Danny Forinash

Travel Writer

… I took a seat at the bar. The jukebox was playing “Get Found.” How fitting. 

The Red Carpet is a Charleston treasure. People here love it. It’s casual and sometimes loud. It has outside seating surrounded by a wooden fence. Inside, it’s cozy and warm. 

On this night, the Carpet was fairly quiet. 

Beer, please.

The bartender and I struck up a conversation, and I told him my stories. 

How each day started the same but led to different experiences – great experiences. 

Day 1 … Day 2 … Day 3 … Day 4 … Day 5 ... Day 6 ... Day 7 ... Day 8

Surprisingly, he didn’t seem surprised. He listened and nodded. 

“You know West Virginia’s anthem?” he asked.

“Is that the song I’ve been hearing every day?” 

“Nope,” he said. “I like that one, but no. I’m talking about, ‘Almost Heaven.’ You know – ‘Country Roads?’"

Yep. Everyone’s heard that. 

“That’s what the call Charleston, too,” he explained. “Almost Heaven.”

I nodded. I agreed. I’d grown to love CWV. But I wasn’t sure where he was headed with this line of discussion. 

He shrugged. “Listen to the lyrics.”

Then, I noticed. It was playing on the jukebox, and some of the patrons were singing along. “Country roads / Take me home.” 

“And, hey,” he said. “It’s past midnight. Maybe you made it to tomorrow.” 

“I doubt it.” I finished my drink as the song ended, paid and said goodbye. 

As I left, he said, “Hope you come back to Charleston. Maybe we won’t have six more weeks of winter, and it’ll be a little warmer.”

Weird thing to say. Except – when I stepped outside, I noticed the air was indeed a little warmer. Very little snow was on the ground. 

I looked at my phone – February 2!

I’d fast-forwarded a week! The wonderful day had ended. 

Still, I hung around. I hadn’t yet visited a number of Charleston favorites. Including Black Sheep Burritos & Brews, where I tried scrumptious wings, a “flock of tacos” – trout, baja and grilled asparagus – and the Raj IPA from Charleston Brewing Company. Incredible food. Delicious brews. Indicative of CWV. 

My own, personal Groundhog Day was over. And whether or not Punxsutawney Phil and French Creek Freddie see their shadows today, I won’t be waiting six weeks to return to this cool, energetic, welcoming city. Country Roads had already taken me home. 

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