We took the family to NC and esp. SC in 2013 and had a great time. Tonia and I also saw that it would be even better as a couple, so we’ve been looking forward to returning to Charleston. (We also want to get to Savannah, since we hear it’s similar.) On the occasion of our 25th anniversary, we rolled down there for a few days and had a great time.
We flew Allegiant and all was fine: inexpensive, good airplane, non-stop flight to Myrtle Beach. We picked up a rental car and spent the night in Murrells Inlet at Hampton Inn (really nice). We were setting up to see Brookgreen Gardens the next AM. (We wanted to see it in 2013, but it was storming that morning, so we skipped it.) BG is a great combo of impressive sculptures and gardens– and the highlight of this trip. We had enjoyed seeing Frederick Remington’s sculptures and studio in Ogdensburg years ago– and this was even better in terms of quantity (if not quality). Add in the gardens and it was ridiculous.
From there, we drove to Charleston. We had wanted to see 2-3 museums that afternoon, but only caught the Robert Lange studio collection at The Vendue hotel. We tried the Halsey Contemporary Art museum, but the College of Charleston was closed because of Covid. (Unfortunately, their internet presence was no help with this. Frustrating especially when you’ve laid out bucks for parking.) Then we passed on the Gibbes Art Museum, deciding to walk around and go through the Charleston Market (reduced because of Covid but still solid).
The next day, we did the Ft. Sumter tour. We had seen Ft. Moultrie in 2013– given its ease, cost (with a family of six), and surprising historical significance. (We also saw the USS Yorktown in 2013– a must-see.) But the boat ride and tour of Sumter was really good. It’s amazing to think of them spending 15 years to throw down rock and make an island, from which the formidable fort could be built. Again, the history was cool. After lunch, we did the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon– good tour, amazing architecture in the basement. After dinner, we went to Waterfront Park (on the Patriots Point / Mt. Pleasant side of Charleston)– again, excellent (and free).
Walking around, you see marvelous old houses and buildings– and very expensive. We also noticed that there are few high-rise buildings there. Again, probably the age of existing buildings, zoning, and perhaps limitations in building so near the water. One by-product: the churches were the most visible buildings in the city– as they’ve been from the beginning.
We ate really well. Dinner the first night was at Queen82– our anniversary celebration dinner. Shrimp and grits as an appetizer was the culinary highlight of the trip– amazing. The jambalaya and crab cakes were very good entrees. Lunch the next day was at Early Bird Diner– our fav meal in 2013, and it did not disappoint again: Chicken and Waffles for me; Shrimp and Grits for Tonia. Dinner the next day was at Paige’s Okra Grill– again, very good: Tonia’s salmon house salad and my fried chicken, greens, and fried okra.
We look forward to many more years of marriage– and many more trips like this: quick, fun, light, inexpensive, convenient, and more time together!
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