Everywhere we have been so far has its own unique beauty and South Carolina is no exception. The Avenue of the Oaks (pictured above) is just one example of what we have been enjoying the last week. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t also spend a few sentences bringing up the obvious: there is a reason for all this beauty–its the water!! And it is everywhere. Every tree-lined street and freeway has standing water nearby and the air is thick with moisture all the time.
The Spanish Moss wouldn’t be able to live without the humidity so I guess we can too. Lucky for us the temperatures have been in the low to mid 80’s so we have been able to handle it. No need for lotion here, our skin stays “dewey” all the time. And if you are wondering what my first purchase was once we landed in James Island Campground near Charleston, it was bug spray! Bugs and alligators, yup, it’s a package deal.
Speaking of alligators, we have had several encounters, all from a safe distance, and we both are fascinated by them.
They are super-cool to watch especially when they are looking for dinner and we know it’s not us! We were walking between two bodies of water when Mike spied an alligator really close at the edge of the pond, his head was resting in the weeds with his eyes on us. Needless to say, I let out a little scream and jumped back. When I turned my head back to the path there were two huge black snakes ahead. I yelled again and decided it was time to head home–I had had enough wildlife for a day.
We spent our first full day here in the city of Charleston. We both loved the seaport city. The tree-lined streets and colorful houses are hard to beat.
Then add in all the restaurants, churches, and history and you can easily see why we enjoyed our stay here. One thing we wanted to make sure and try was good ole Southern cooking, so we got a recommendation and headed over for dinner. I didn’t realize it when I placed my order, but when my food came out we laughed because every single thing on my plate was fried!
Oh my–can’t eat like that everyday. We trekked around the city quite a bit and found several ornate churches and historic buildings.
The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon building was built in 1771 and housed prisoners during the Revolutionary War.
So much history in this famous place.
We also decided to visit two plantations while we were here. Our first stop was Middleton Place and it really turned out to be a perfect choice.
We spent quite a bit of time walking through the elaborate gardens and then made out way over to an exhibit called “Beyond the Fields-Slavery at Middleton Place”. We were fortunate to have a guide who did an exceptional job with this tough subject. He was a straight-shooter who gave us a view of the everyday life of the enslaved people with facts and information. Hard to listen but important all the same. Our second plantation visit was to Boone Hall and it was different but also informative.
They still have slave cabins standing on their grounds and they have filled them with so much information about this period in time. The bricks were all made by slaves and a few of them even have the imprints of slaves fingers on them.
It is quite an experience. We ended our day here by listening to a storyteller. She was Gullah which refers to the African American culture from the Lowland area of South Carolina.
She entertained us with stories and songs and ended by letting us know that her great grandmother had been a slave–
On our last day in Charleston we headed out on a boat to visit Fort Sumter in the Charleston Bay.
It played an important part in the Civil War as it is where the first shots were fired. It also was held by the Confederate Army for the duration of the war.
After this we packed up and moved a few hours up the highway and stopped for a couple days in the Myrtle Beach area. This was a perfect stop–a huge state campground just steps away from the beach.
We especially enjoyed the warm ocean water and quiet beaches. A great way to end our stay in South Carolina–next stop Williamsburg, Virginia. Colonial America here we come.