Friday, May 3, 2013

Doin' The Charleston

The Battery
Google Images

You know you are getting older when you travel!  Honestly, we have spent more time in the last two days sayin..."Where is my ...fill in the blanks?"  You get into your daily routines where things like your tooth brush are always in the same place at home.  You can mindlessly go through the routines of the day with barely a thought of what you are doing, giving more time to concentrate on other things.  Hum, don't try that when you are traveling.  Everything requires thoughtful, purposeful actions and a great, attentive memory.  It has been a hoot, even if a scary one.

The other challenging thing for me is trying to figure out the devices that let me send this out to you.  Regular camera, iPhone cameras, iPad, iCloud, Wifi connections in various places and states and hotspots.  There are cords for this, that, and the other thing.  The plethora of cords are everywhere for phones, iPad, iPods, GP, camera.  And to really get on my last nerve, you cannot use the same chargers interchangeably or in the car for the various devices so double trouble.  It is mind-boggling.  If I didn't absolutely love electronics and writing I'd throw up my hands and forget it.  But I am determined to learn it or die trying!  Believe me when I say the technology and mechanics of all of it do not come easily to me.  Jim is so much more intuitive about it all than I am! But I am the software person and he is the hardware person so we muddle along in our yin/yang sort of way.  But I digress....

Gosh though, we are having a great time here in the South!  Charleston is everything we pictured it to be and more.  Charming is the first word that comes to mind.  Even though there is a tourist feel, it is not the cheap touristy is classy tourism.   The natives have some exceptionally authentic things to make it all very interesting and cohesive.  There is a sense of a homogeneous quality to it all.  They have captured what once was and defined it in a very captivating way.  Because the tourist industry is a huge draw here, they have played their cards well.  The various factions of tourism are competitive and seem to excel in selling Charleston.  This is a partnership between smart-minded people and wonderful resources because it is a beautiful, historic and fascinating place on its own.  They haven't had to over produce things just to entertain the traveler.  It is all here and all they have had to do is manage it well and they have.

Charleston, unlike many other cities, has been into recycling for hundreds of years.  Instead of tearing down the old and worn out,  they have restored, renovated and retrofitted to  preserve most of the old buildings.  And they have continually re-purposed them to keep up with the times while preserving their cherished history in the process.  When you see things like this, you realize more and more about how important history is to the strengthening of not only individuals and families, but entire communities.  There is a sense here that they belong to something much bigger that this generation.  Their past greatly influences how native Charlestonians view themselves. They are aware of their heritage and they celebrate it.

Charleston has more historical sites than any other city in the country.  Today we visited The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and walked where our patriots walked and fought the British in the Revolutionary War.  The very meadows of the Plantation that are now so gloriously green and serene, where once occupied but 8,000 soldiers from Great Britain trying to defend the crown.  It was not meant to be.

We have many of our own photos coming
 once I figure it out!

If you ever come here and want to take a fun city tour by minibus, we highly recommend the "Doin' The Charleston" company.  Marvin was our tour guide.  They have lovely buses with great information and wonderful stories.  They even use a video and music to blend the past and present in one very well orchestrated presentation with a multimedia flare.  The  music from this region of the country really tops of the tour.

You've heard Utah referred to the state with a church on every corner?  Charleston rivals!

For a community of under 130,000 residences you get a lot of bang for your buck in Charleston.  And coming from California I can say they do not try to gouge their visitors.  San Francisco~repent! Can be $$$!  And that is the only negative thing I'll ever record here on this blog about our beloved San Francisco! 

Charleston has parking everywhere and at a buck an hour. The various sites are reasonably priced or free and the food and lodging are not sky high.   They they have carefully reviewed their demographics and they respect those over 50 as much as the precious heritage they have preserved through the ages.   Here a lot of things are FREE!  An example is their free bus service downtown.

Here are some things we have noticed about the people of Charleston. I think the most surprising is we have not noticed many charming southern accents!  Charleston seems to be quite metropolitan with residents from all over.   I was hoping for a few more y'alls and drawls....but no.  Is it possible that media and time are changing regional accents to "Hollywood?"

Regardless, most people have been extremely friendly, chatty and relaxed.  People do not seem angry in general.  This is something that surprises us whenever we encounter it. The south is particularly friendly and cordial and polite and hospitable.  No one is rushing.  They just don't. 

Another surprising thing has been the delightful weather.  It has been intermittently raining some but is still delightful.    A little humid but not at all uncomfortable.  It is the perfect time of year to visit South Carolina because it is not hot.  We enjoyed both days a lot.

Well you may be wondering why I am spending time in our room writing.  Well, Jim is out at Patriotic Point going through three big ships.  Humm, bet you aren't wondering anymore are you?  We are good companions for travel because we do most of it together but when one wants to do something special and the other not so much..we do it that way.  A little absence makes the heart grow fonder too.  I am eagerly awaiting his return.  Tonight we are going out to dinner someplace.  Last night we ate in our room while we got better organized and we were still so full from a late lunch of "She Crab Soup"  (don't ask what makes it different than "He Crab Soup") and a pulled pork sandwich made with honey mustard salad dressing that we shared.  The food here is R I C H.  I bet that does not surprise you.  We ate salads in our room to try to absorb the creamy, creamy everything we had eaten at lunch.

Today we had Alligator Dogs for lunch (not really!) ...but that is a story for next time when I share what we did at The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.  Hopefully by then we will have this photo thing figured out!

  The Palmetto Palm Tree 
The state tree.

Take care all y'all!
  Bonnie and Jim 


Nellie's Cozy place said...

Morning Bonnie,
So glad yall are enjoying Charleston,
so much. It really is a lovely place
and I think the people are so sweet,
gracious and polite. More so than any other place we have been accept
Savannah. Where your hubby went must be where the Battle ship the York Town is......that is the one my hubby and son wanted to see because my hubby's dad was in the name and was
stationed on that ship during the battle of midway. It is an a/c
carrier and he was a tailwing gunner in a plane. They got to see
that just the summer before my Father-in-law's passing, so when things about his military career were talked about, my son was able
to understand a bit more about it.

Enjoy the rest of your trip savoring all the fun sights. If they have carriage rides especially at night, that is such a fun trip
to take if you can do it. Our whole family really loved it.

Take good care, and don't get all
tangled up in those cords. lol

Love and Blessings,

sistersusiesays said...

Tell me about it! I am so in routine (I guess from being a Kindergarten teacher for 28 years) that if anything in the least is out, it messes up my morning (or afternoon)! I try so hard to not have very many appointments in one week! I'm exhausted this week however, due to an appointment every day!

I am not "upgraded" on any of this new stuff! It changes so quickly, it really would knock me for a loop, lol! There should be a law that all of these "electronic" devices be mandated to have the same electrical cords, chargers, etc! HA! I can definitely identify with the palmetto tree! They are all over Florida!
Love to you all, Susan

Unknown said...

You and I are so on the same page for more than a few things. I tried earlier this year to plan a girls party for me and my girls and Charleston was on the list, but then with Nicki's schedule and Regan taking off for Mayland, it just didn't work out. And you know how challenged I am with the whole electronics/social media. I hope you are enjoying your vaca and I hope Jim is getting along.