April 11, 2010

Charleston: A day on the town

Charleston was so beautiful that we spent two days "just walking around" instead of the pre-planned one. Ted (trivia receptacle) mentioned that this is one part of the country that has very specific laws regarding what can be built and where, what color it can be painted, any and all signage, and even landscaping the city wants to use. All of this is done in an effort to preserve as much as possible the look that has existed for hundreds of years, and I must say, the efforts are well worth it to tourists like us. Not only was it a gorgeous spring day (which one hopes for on their spring break), but the scenery was enough to just want to sit on one of the large rocking-chair porches and drink it all in. But there was too much to see! So, walk we did.

Some streets were brick, while others were cobblestoned. I expressed my love for the cobblestones until I had to push an umbrella stroller across one for an entire two blocks. Then they weren't my favorite. But they were cool to look at!

We visited Fort Sumter, the site of the beginning of the Civil War on April 12, 1865. It has been excavated and somewhat restored, with some of the original cannons, and they've built a museum to showcase some of the artillery and a HUGE original flag. I was focused on how crazy it must have been to be a part of nonstop blasts coming to and going fro, but I also couldn't get out of my head that this was the place the four girls in the movie Shag told their parents they were visiting and instead went to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. It's not like the Fort was THAT big! How were their parents so easily fooled that it would take them an entire weekend to see it all?!? Of COURSE they were going to go to the beach and meet boys and enter shag contests and throw a party in the senator's house! I mean, the Fort was cool and all, but those things were much cooler when I was 18 and about to go off to college. I'm just sayin'. Sometimes parents are stupid and gullible.

I got a picture of my two favorite people closer up in front of this house, but then I realized the whole reason I took a picture of this house was because it reminded me of so many gorgeous houses and magnolia trees that I miss in my hometown. The scene could have been straight out of Pasadena, for all you know. But nope, Charleston, SC.

There were fountains a-plenty:

Our friend Ashley happened to take this shot right after Tessa stuck her hand in the stream of water and splashed it all over herself, inducing gasps and whimpers. Notice how great a mom I am - laughing at my poor unfortunate child. Whatever. She got over it.

This was one of many incredible-looking churches. But I included it because it was my favorite.

Spanish moss EVERYWHERE:

A small stretch dubbed "Rainbow Row". Fitting name, obviously.

As I crossed one of the streets, I noticed the sun was at a perfect point for a perfect photo. Unfortunately, I'm not a perfect photographer. This was me trying to be fancy.

Our group decided to try one of the restaurants that had been recommended in our "1000 Places (in USA and Canada) to See Before You Die" book. All of Charleston was in there, but they made special mention of this restaurant: Bowen's Island. We would never have just happened upon this place on our own, because it was on the edge of town, down a remote paved road that turned into a remoter dirt road full of huge ruts and bumps, and into a remotest cul-de-sac that housed a barn, a shack, and near-mountains of oyster shells. The barn was the restaurant, the shack was where you pre-paid, got your drinks (go with the cans, folks, because I personally saw a rat walking near the "water cooler"), and could watch your food get deep-fried. If you ordered oysters, you witnessed the little critters getting scalded to death in the huge boiling kettles you passed on your way to the barn/restaurant. Also, if you ordered said oysters, they came to you in an industrial-sized shovel, and the waiter just plopped them on your table. Good luck shuckin'.

None of us ordered oysters.

Here's our group in the quaint surroundings. Patrons were encouraged to write/carve on the wooden panels and 2x4s that made up "the walls", and there was a very fat dog lying in wait to receive any ill-placed table scraps. It reminded me of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and our chubby daughter simultaneously. Note to self: when fat and pregnant, always move to the back of group pictures.

The oyster carnage. This was only one of the dozen or so piles of shells out there. Oh, and go Duke.

Tessa is a bit of a flirt, but even she has her limit. This was about the 14th hug she got that night. From the same cute boy. I hope she keeps this attitude as a teenager, but it's probably wishful thinking considering who her mama is.


Kristin C said...

I am sooooo glad y'all had such a fun time in Charleston! I'm just sad we were able to join along. It's my favorite place ever!

La La Land said...

How fun! I can't wait to visit my B-I-L in Charleston. It looks so fabulous! And some of those photos are looking very fancy-schmancy!

dana said...

oh man. I've gotta go there. Gorgeous

Melanie said...

LOVED being with you in Charleston. You guys are pretty cool :-)

The Cooling Rack

Baked goods are only half the story...