Friday, April 29, 2011

Charleston, part 2

For our last day in Charleston, we did more walking and touring of homes. This time in downtown, we actually went inside several of the historic homes, and I bet we walked miles and miles! Here we are in front of our trolley that took us across the bridge to downtown.

First stop was the Manigault house. It actually had a huge piazza on the other side. Inside had been changed quite a bit, because the house changed hands several times. In the depression, it was converted into a boarding house, and subsequently occupied by the USO.

The next house was also impressive. One of my favorite things about this architecture was the windows on the piazzas. They started at floor level, were very tall (of course, because the ceilings were high for better airflow), and they opened high enough to use as doors onto the piazza. This created more breeze and crowd circulation during parties.

Next was a home on the battery- we were at the top of the peninsula, and would now make our way all the way down to the bottom. This one was my favorite home in town. It had the large window/doors and a beautiful piazza.

This is me on the lovely piazza taking a rest on a joggling board. They are contraptions originally designed to give arthritic women exercise, and then later used as a way for courting couples to scoot next to one another!

We headed over to the Nathaniel Russell house, home of the magnificent flying staircase. It was different from the others... Very ornate. It was said that it took years to build- can you imagine?

At this point we were all starting to run out of steam a bit, but we huffed over to the last home on our tour list. George Washington had rented this home out in the 1700's while in Charleston! Alas, we were about 5 minutes too late, and the tour guides were ready to call it a day.

We piddled around awhile and had dinner before catching the trolley back to our resort.

Happy birthday, Hillary! What a fun trip!

Charleston 2

The next day I went on an early long run. I always enjoy exploring new places while running! This time I ran over a long bridge joining our resort with Charleston. I wanted to make it all the way down to the battery, but I reached my turn around time several blocks short. Because I had no idea where I was going, I carried my phone with me. While running, I wanted to show things to the kids, so I snapped a few quick pictures!

This time away from my children was different than any other; it was much more technologically advanced! I would randomly snap pictures with my phone and email them to the kids... Little things like, "Hey, we are in an old fashioned candy store!" Or, "Look at that battleship!"

After cleaning up from the run, we headed out to tour plantations. You see, the plantation owners and the owners of the beautiful city homes were at one time one and the same. They would live on their plantations for most of the year, and then go into town for the social season. Just guess how much one of those second homes in the city might cost a buyer today? Between 7-13 million!!! I think you could buy our entire county for that! (location, location, location!)

But I digress. Plantations. The first one we visited was built in the 1700's. At the time, the owner wanted to build an English Manor house... It was like something out of Pride and Prejudice!

I suppose that's why, the entire time we were touring, I kept thinking to myself in a British accent (much like Elizabeth Bennett's), and quoting random Jane Austin lines. You know, like, "Shelves in the closet! Happy thought indeed! Or, "The window glazing alone cost over 5,000 pounds!"

Occasionally, I would change stories and pull out quotes like, "A pokey hall and a fire that smokes.". Out of all the homes we toured, this would have been my choice. It was absolutely beautiful, and I loved that everything had been
Preserved rather than updated. I could just imagine using this staircase to go upstairs to the drawing room for a ball or music. Did you know that entertaining was done on the second floor so that it would be less dusty and a little more breezy?

This is the entrance that guests would have originally used, because people would have travelled by river boat rather than road.
Here are Hillary and I... Taking a break on my lawn down by the rivah, before we head up to have some iced tea.

I don't have any pictures from the next plantation. Strangely enough, I got really sick and had to go sit down for a while. The gardens were the main attraction here, and I know they were beautiful.

We left the second plantation hunting for food... And found some fabulous grouper sandwiches and a University of Memphis basketball game at a little joint on the water.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This year my baby sister is turning 30. To celebrate her advancing years, mom, Hillary, and I took along weekend trip to Charleston, SC. It was very fitting for such an occasion, because we had a blast doing old people stuff... Touring old homes, gardens, plantations, and other historic things!

When we arrived on the first day, we found our resort, got settled in, and headed back out to find some fresh seafood. I am not a geography scholar, and I did not think about that Charleston is right on the coast... This was the first time have seen the Atlantic outside the Gulf of Mexico! The view and fried shrimp at RB's was fantastic!

The next day we decided to take a carriage tour to get acquainted with Charleston.

There were lines of carriages at the market waiting to take groups on tours of different parts of the historic district. The market was an open air flea market type place, with all kinds of good souvenirs.

Our tour guide was interesting, and we quickly learned that Charlestonians do not have porches... They have piazzas, and these piazzas were considered an extension of the home.

We admired piazzas all over the peninsula! Interesting to note... They would put the piazza on the south or west side of the home to shade the home's interior and to catch a cool breeze! (remember, these were built way before air conditioning!)

After our tour, we did lots of walking and window shopping. I'm telling you- our idea of a great vacation was probably one and the same as a Josh Duley nightmare! Walking all day long... Learning about the architecture of 150 year old homes... And window shopping! His torture... Our delight!

For dinner we ate on the patio of a restaurant located in an old home.

What was on the menu? For me, it was shrimp 'n grits! Yummy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Just testing

I am working on learning how to post from my iPad. However, it is failing every time i try to upload a post about charleston. I am going to try this post... Much smaller and only 1 photo. A picture is worth 1,000 words.

Sunday, April 24, 2011