All right, I’ve got a good night’s sleep under my belt now (is 11PM to 9 AM too much?), so I feel I’ve got the appropriate amount of energy to devote to a blog post for you guys.
Although I did say in my mini/half post before bed that we really did have a good day, after reading my little update, I realized it didn’t sound very truthful. So, I would like to stress again, it actually was a great day! The weather was perfect, and we had no real schedule for the day so there was no rushing around. Our day started the same way it ended:
With us hopping on a big blue trolley. The hotel runs a trolley from Patriots Point to the Downtown area and back six times throughout the day. We hopped the 10AM trolley. Once we got into the historic downtown part of Charleston, we were pretty impressed with the architecture and the preservation of historic buildings. We saw a lot of streets like this:
Since our hotel doesn’t have complimentary breakfast (who doesn’t do this??), we were on the lookout for some food. We found a bagel shop just off of King St that really hit the spot. The fresh-squeezed orange juice was delicious.
Jordan read a bit of the USA Today. I read the free local newspaper searching for restaurants. We headed out on a self-guided, (self-made too so we might have missed some things) of the city. We saw a few beautiful churches.
Here’s just one example. Charleston is known as “The Holy City” because of all of the churches that dot its (low) cityscape.
We stopped at the Aiken-Rhett House for a house tour. Jordan wasn’t exactly thrilled to go in and decided to opt out of the headset for the audio tour, but came along with me snapping pics. I didn’t get many pics on this camera, so you’ll have to wait for the post-trip wrap up to see them. The Aiken family was one of the most prominent; Mr. Aiken was a governor. It’s always strange to tour historic homes and be struck by their grandeur, all the while knowing that this lived in luxury because of the work of slaves.
After touring this house, we stopped by the Fort Sumter Museum, though we didn’t take the boat ride out to the Fort. We’re planning to fit that in this afternoon. Seems like the overcharge to me (17 dollars per person), but it is where the Civil started, so we will pay it. We noticed at the museum that we often find ourselves on similar vacations as boy scouts and retirees. We’re guessing all of the vacationers in their 20s and 30s must be hitting the beaches.
Naturally, we needed a bit of fuel after all of the walking around:
From this point on, we spent the day walking, eating, and drinking our way around Charleston. We met a couple folks at restaurants or pubs, and no one seemed to have anything bad to say about the city. As we continued walking, we were more and more impressed at the size of the historic district. In Knoxville, we’ve got a few solid blocks of historic buildings, and a number of them are still sitting vacant, just waiting for a renovation. Here, nearly every building looks to be well-preserved (even in spite of Hurricane Hugo’s effects) and in use. I do always hate seeing an Abercrombie & Fitch in a historic building, though. The stench of cologne is going to ruin that building somehow.
I’ll take you on a little photo tour of the rest of our day.
This market now houses vendors of trinkets, baskets, etc, but was originally used during the slave trade.
Okay! Hope you enjoyed them. I must be off to enjoy the nice weather today. We’re off for breakfast and to find Jordan some new sunglasses before we head out to Fort Sumter. Adios!