Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Day in Charleston, South Carolina

We decided to spend the first two months of the year in Savannah, Georgia. It's an area we haven't visited before, and the weather will definitely be warmer than New Brunswick weather, but not too hot.

On January 2, with the car loaded down, we started out. We had planned a leisurely five days to get there, also allowing for a bad weather day if necessary.

Here we are in Maine with beautiful Mount Katadin in the background. I have a love affair going with it, but every time we drive through Maine, the scenic outlook is always closed. One of these days...

Entering New Hampshire, our stop for the first night.

Jim discovered a new local beer. I just loved the name and graphics...

The next day we blew by New York to stay in Delaware for the night...

Savvy, short for (you guessed it) Savannah, a gift from my Sissy, is coming along for the ride. A shoutout for Hairspray..."Good morning, Baltimore!" in my best Tracy Turnblad voice.

Our third night was spent in Roanoke Falls, North Carolina, before landing in Charleston for nights 4 and 5.

Charleston is the second largest city in South Carolina, and was first named Charles Towne in 1670 in honour of King Charles II of England.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn in the historic district.

Many of the buildings downtown were originally factories that have been converted into hotels or office space. The Hampton Inn was originally a burlap bag factory in the 18th century and was in a perfect location, close to restaurants and the Visitors Centre.

We ate at Coast Bar and Grill where we had the only bread pudding that has ever rivaled the one in St. Andrews. White chocolate banana bread was amazing!

We strolled by Citadel Square Baptist Church...

Before taking a 90 minute city tour. One of the many beautiful homes we went by...

This is the Embassy Suites hotel which is next to the Hampton Inn. It was the original Citadel Military College.

 And here is the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. It was founded in 1842 and sits on 300 acres. Remember Shannon Faulkner? After a legal battle, she was the first female cadet to enter the College. 

Their mascot is the bulldog, a popular statue to have your picture taken with.

The Citadel ring is 10 karat gold with no gem stone and is one of the heaviest college rings in the United States.

Beautiful homes across the lake...

This door is a privacy door. When it was closed, it indicated that the residents were "undressed." This didn't mean that they didn't have clothes on. It meant that in the summer heat the gentleman sitting on the porch had taken off his jacket, or the lady might have removed a petticoat and were not receiving callers.

The jail was operated from 1802 to 1939 and housed many pirates while they awaited hanging. After sitting vacant for 61 years, it was taken over by the American College of the Building Arts.

Beautiful wrought iron...the separate entrances to the staircase were for ladies and gentlemen. Heaven forbid, that the ladies in the hooped dresses would show some ankle. You could show as much cleavage as you wished, but no ankle!

City Hall was constructed in 1921 in the Neoclassical style.

These coiled sweetgrass baskets are very popular here. They were originally made by the slaves as early as the 1600s using a technique learned in Africa.

This house originally belonged to Nathaniel Russell, a Rhode Island merchant, who spent $80,000 on it before 1809. It is considered one of America's best examples of Neoclassical houses. Interestingly, it has an elliptical (oval) spiral staircase which ascends three stories. That would be something to see!

These houses were considered town houses and used when the owners came to town from the plantations.  The pineapple is considered a sign of hospitality, and if it was out, the owners were in residence and receiving callers.

This house is now an inn and is referred to as the Wedding Cake House. It has an original Tiffany window and was purchased by a couple who married in 1890. They used the incredibly generous $75,000 given to them by the bride's father to purchase this house in the best part of town.

More beautiful mansions...

We stopped on East Battery Street for a view of the harbour and the three forts...Fort Moultrie, Fort Johnson and Fort Sumter.

Homes on desirable East Battery overlooking the water. The pink house is the Palmer Home, one of the 50 most famous homes in Charleston. These homes have withstood several hurricanes.

Fort Sumter located in Charleston harbour is best known as the site upon which the shots initiating the American Civil War were fired.

Original cobblestoned streets...

And with that, our lovely stay in Charleston was over. It's on to Savannah!

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