Fueled by dinner at Catfish Hole the night before, I began my travels to the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) on the 28th, by boarding a 6:00 a.m. flight (Ugh!).  As is typically the case when I am traveling, there was a delay—this time in Dallas, on the leg to Savannah.  Our flight was late because there had been a “bird strike” as the plane landed in Dallas and maintenance was checking to ensure that there was no serious damage to the aircraft. Our flight was uneventful and the baggage handlers delivered the luggage to the carousel quite quickly.

 

It is about an hour from Savannah, Georgia to Hilton Head South, Carolina.  Showing myself to be geographically challenged, I asked the cab driver whether we were headed north or south to get there. She patiently briefed me on the fact that Florida was south of Savannah, and we were headed north.  She then rattled off in a matter of fact manner the states going north. After my geography lesson, we talked for the remainder of the ride about the drivers in Georgia and South Carolina.  Atlanta drivers and traffic were the worst in her opinion. She put on an oldies R&B station, and between talking about crazy drivers we sang along.  It was a most agreeable cab ride.

As she pulled up to the hotel, I saw LeRoy Purnell, waiting for his car to be pulled around, so we visited for a bit before I went to check in.  Dean Purnell is putting together a collection of essays for a book entitled Deaning While Black. I wanted to check with him on the due date for our essays. Once I checked in I learned my room had a fabulous view (joking). But hey, I was on Hilton Head Island for the first time, so what the heck.  I called my friend Mike Green from the lobby (he is a featured character in the blog).  We’ve been friends going on 18 years now, and have a lot in common.  We’re both from the Southside of Chicago, both labor and employment law profs, (though Mike got his start representing management interests) and he and I belong to brother/sister fraternal organizations.  Whenever we get together zaniness ensues. I’m not really sure why that’s so, but it is definitely true.

Mike had a car and he graciously offered to drive me to lunch, so we sought advice for a good place to go.  The concierge thought our interaction was pretty funny and advised Mike that the “boss is always right.” Now, here I need to inform you, dear readers that many times in the past when Mike and I set out with a map and a plan, things went comically awry.  This time we’d been told the restaurant we were seeking, Santa Fe, was about a 4 minute ride from the hotel.  “Make a U-turn once you pass Longhorn and it’s right there.”  We did that, twice.  We saw the Lutheran church, Longhorn, a neighborhood and an insurance office.  The third time around, we decided to pull into a gas station for directions.  Unfortunately, we pulled off a little too soon and ended up—true story—driving down the bike lane.  We asked a local guy outside the station for directions and he said cryptically, “You can’t really see it from the street.  There are little bronze people standing out front. But, it’s not far.” Mike had a look on his face like, “Yeah, uh huh, ok.”  We did find it, and the little bronze people, but by the time we did it was closed (of course).

 

We’d seen a deli while on our scenic journey, so we went there.  Mike had a healthy chicken salad with all kinds of veggies and I ordered a Monte Cristo sandwich with onion rings.  Yeah, I know, that’s a weird combination, but it sounded good at the time. The food was ok, but when we went to leave, the guy on the cash register had a hard time ringing up our meals separately.  It took a really long time and he had to do it twice.  He also called me back from our escape out the door to question my tip. He actually had to pull out a calculator to check the (simple, after all I am a lawyer) math. 

 Once we extricated ourselves we headed to the hotel to sit/lay by the pool and catch up.  That was glorious. We managed to find two deck chairs in the shade, and enjoyed people watching as well as the joy of a low maintenance, good company. 

After relaxing for quite a while, we decided to try a restaurant recommended to Mike by a LEXIS rep, whose cousin owns a very well-known restaurant on the island, Roastfish & Cornbread, which specializes in low country cooking.  Mike had tried to eat there the night before and they’d finished not serving by 9:00 p.m., so we needed to get going to be seated.  Roastfish & Cornbread doesn’t take reservations, so there’s typically a wait.

Once again, we headed out with a map and directions, though this time we had better luck. Just as we almost drove past it, Mike made a sharp, last minute turn into the restaurant parking lot.  The place was packed! Many tables of diners were seated outside eating in a lively atmosphere. Inside there was a long line, and wait. We waited more than an hour to be seated. We were determined to eat there based on the recommendation Mike received and the buzz about Roastfish & Cornbread from colleagues.

Lemme tell you, it was worth the wait. The food was fantastic.  Everything was well seasoned, the entrees were interesting, and our server, funny and warm.  Mike and I both ordered crab stuffed flounder, with mango chutney, collard greens, mac & cheese and sweet potato corn bread. Yumm.  Highly recommended! Another of our colleagues, Ray Diamond who we ran into and ended up sitting with ordered the Seafood Trio and thought it was fantastic too. After eating admittedly entirely too much, too late at night, we headed back to the hotel where we had a nightcap, with Wendy Greene of Samford Law School, who’s also an employment law prof and who’s a fun person and thoughtful scholar.  Before too long, it was time to say good night as my panel was the next morning, so I headed to my room with a view.

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