Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Charleston, South Carolina

When George and I crossed over Rhett Butler Blvd just outside of Charleston we knew we were in the ‘deep south’.  Fried food of every shape, color and taste, humanity of every color and nationality surrounding us, ‘ya’all have a nice day’…was the greeting of the day, seagulls, plantations everywhere, horse and carriage rides, confederate army memorabilia and enough charm to win over this yankee girl!  I was so excited to get here because Charleston has been on my ‘bucket list’ forever. 
Outside view of French Marketplace

Birthday boy in front of stones from Giant Causeway in Ireland....been there done that!
Our first day of tourist things was on Halloween Day, which just so happens to be my wonderful husband’s birthday, so he got to pick wherever he wanted to go that day.  He picked going to the Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum.  It was the perfect day, no clouds, sunny, 80 degrees and a warm breeze off the ocean.  First we toured the USS Yorktown battleship. All I can say about it was it was BIG and it was in WWII and didn’t get to retire until 1986.  We walked, climbed, walked, and walked and then climbed through more doorways all over that immense ship. 
Next it was off to the USS Clamagore submarine that was also dry docked there.  Walking through a submarine tour is tight, smelly, dark and I knew I could NEVER be in a submarine longer than 10 minutes…and I’m not even claustrophobic.
Inside view of submarine

Last, but not least, was the USS Laffey Destroyer.  I breezed through that ship because I just lost interest in ships at that point.  I saw too much military, stairs, navy, testosterone, etc. etc. for my liking.  After that exciting day of touring I took him out to an Irish Pub for dinner.  He was one happy camper…my birthday boy mission was accomplished!

The next day while we were in downtown Charleston going through all the stores, streets, etc. we walked our little legs off.  So much to see and do downtown that we decided to call it a day and come again another day. 
French Marketplace


The next day we took a carriage ride to see and hear all about Charleston. 
One of the fun things we saw while in the French Quarter was all these trucks, etc.  The tour guide said they were filming a TV series here.  Noticed on one of the trucks there was a sign that said CBS, asked him if he knew what series and he said he didn’t know…bummer.  Towards evening we took a walk in the French Quarter of the downtown area to see all the historic homes.  


 We learned why these homes were built with the side of the house facing the street with the house’s width facing the other home in front.  It was because when these were built in  the 1800's there was little land to put them on and the homes were taxed by the dimensions of the front facing the street.  Clever I may say, to build homes sideways as to not pay taxes.  Most plantation owners had a home in town to enjoy the breeze off the ocean during the summer months. 

I just had to go to a plantation while there, so we decided to go to the Middleton Plantation.

The house was all brick and not like you imagine in the ‘Gone with the Wind’ movie. 
The gardens were what made this plantation famous.  He had over 100 slaves build a terrace that went from the front of the house down to the water’s edge, ponds, rose gardens, reflection pond, private lawn areas and the list just went on and on.  
He wanted this garden to be the best in all the 13 colonies.  I was thrilled to see my first swamp pond.  It even had its own alligator (didn’t get to see him though).  This plantation grew rice for their crop of choice.  Didn’t know how hard it was to grow rice…I’ll really appreciate eating it from now on. 
Terraced lawn that goes down to the rice field

Many hours of wading in knee deep water that had snakes and crocodiles was a present danger while working.
Adam and Eve would have loved these 'fig leaves'!

They even had a slave house and a list of all the slaves that worked on the plantation with a short history of the slaves’ lives.  Very different than what I have experienced in the west. 
Slave quarters

Our last day here we drove to Isle of Palm Beach.  All these summer cottages lining the beach were fabulous.  Of course, most were built with the garage on the bottom floor so that when hurricanes come and flood the bottom floor the living quarters are hopefully dry.  We walked on the long beach and picked up seashells and just enjoyed sand between our toes.
Don't you just love tee shirt shops

One of the things advertised in the tourist brochures was Moon Pies.  They had a general store that sold them with other memorabilia of the famous Moon Pies.  Since I have never had one, I proceeded to purchase three.  After eating one I quickly discovered that my high expectations were quickly crushed.  Not what I expected… round vanilla cookie with a marshmallow filling with chocolate coating on the outside.  George had his and felt the same.  I guess it’s a local thing from childhood that makes it special down here.  FYI: won’t be buying any in the near future.

Did I love Charleston…yes…would highly recommend it!  Would I like to live there…not so much. I can happily check off another city from my bucket list.
Would definitely come back for the southern food!!!

Happy Travels Ya’all,                                                                                                                           

Peggy (plus George and Coco)

No comments:

Post a Comment