Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Southern Comfort~Where The Livin' Is Easy

We just got home from our trip last night.  We were gone from May 1 to June 3.  That was a long time.  I have lots to share but I just hope I can remember all of it and preserve our memories of so many varied and fun activities.  Fortunately the pictures bring back so much and we managed to jot down things here and there.  But I much prefer doing the writing as we go along, but I just never had the time.  Someone, who shall remain nameless, kept me pretty busy doing other fun things!!!

Flying into Charleston at night was a great idea.  We arrived at nearly midnight and got our rental car with no problems. Midnight for them was only 9:00 PM for us so we still had some energy after the long flight. We were delighted they wanted to upgrade us to a van.  It was most convenient to have it for the month.  It was a 2013 Dodge Caravan so everything was in great running order, making it a carefree pleasure to drive.

We were ravenous after an 8 hour flight with only peanuts and pretzels to munch on, so we looked around for a place to eat before checking into our hotel.  We landed up at a Denny's and it was not bad at all.  We met our first friendly and helpful person there.  The waitress had lots of ideas of what was fun to do in area.  We hadn't been to a Denny's in probably 30 years.  They had this fun picture on the wall.

Welcome to Charleston!

This man of mine never, never runs out of  steam.  I swear unless you see it for yourself you would not believe it.  Go, Go, Go is his mantra.  When he gets a little tired he plops down on a bench someplace and refuels.  He has me sitting right there by him lest anyone think he's homeless or whatever.  After about 15 minutes he is as good as new.  What the heck?

It's a Miracle!  Me? 
 I need a two hour nap and not on a park bench!

The weather throughout the trip was precarious.  We have had lots of rain and some sunny days and an occasional hot day, but for the most part it felt like a mild California winter/spring.  Frankly, Jim and I were fine with that because we love traveling in the off season and much prefer rain to sweltering heat.  And the best part, there are no crowds and no snow. It was simply better for our dispositions.  So it was all good except, as you know, photography is all about light.  Not the best photo opportunities with the iPhone camera but, thankfully we got a new camera recently and it really helped.

The South...ah, it was all we imagined it to be.  Friendly, beautiful, coastal, lush, historic and great food.  The food however, was not good as everyday fair.  Delicious on occasion...you  know those plates that are huge portions...all golden brown, fried to a T, and pretty unhealthy.  We are just not use to eating like that and finally on the third day were seriously looking for a salad bar.  Incidentally, we had a hard time finding one.

Virginia's is the restaurant where we had this local specialty below.

 She Crab Soup

If you ever order this, think RICH and get a small cup..not a bowl!  Delicious in small doses. We also shared a honey mustard pulled pork sandwich.  Now that was yummy.  I would imagine you could make it with a crockpot, the pork and a bottle of honey mustard salad dressing.  A nice alternate to the BBQ sauce we usually do. 

One of the most noticeable things about both Charleston and Savannah was that they are truly laid back.  It was visible, tangible and relaxing.  They savor.  It just calms the spirit to not always be rushing.  I love that.

Here a few pictures from that great
 Doin' The Charleston tour of the city.

 St. Micheal's Catholic Church
 The oldest and tallest building in Charleston

You see lots of brick in Charleston, it  adds a
 touch of antiquity and charm. 
 Most of these buildings have been 
retrofitted for earthquakes in recent years.

An old Lutheran Church in Downtown Charleston!
We went inside it was so much like 
the Lutheran Church I grew up in.
Same cookie cutter.

Like the church of my youth...Deja vu!

This hymn board and hymnals 
are exactly like the ones we had!

The Parks are a GREEN like we have rarely seen. 
 All that humidity seems to be a blessing for
 the foliage, grasses, flowers and trees.
Everything is so lush!

The south just seems to love providing a 
carriage ride through their beautiful streets.
This home in the background is one of the oldest in town.

The Streets are just full of beautiful scrubs, 
flowers and trees.
There is eye candy everywhere you look.
The city is immaculate. 

"Spring Evenings" -Garden Gate, Two Meeting Street Inn, 
Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok

This is one of the pictures I had seen on Pinterest that sealed my desire to see Charleston.  I just found out yesterday where it was located so missed seeing it in person.  Drop dead gorgeous place!

As I was trying as best I could to at least get one week planned before we left I noticed that there is an ongoing battle between those that love Charleston more than Savanna while the other camp is touting Savannah as supreme.   Just for the record, we loved Charleston more, but still enjoyed Savannah very much.   But our vote is clearly Charleston, if forced to choose one or the other.  Fortunately we got to enjoy both of them.    However, we spent over three days in Charleston and only two night and one full day in Savannah. 

One thing that made that difference clear was the City Tour we took in each City.  I have already written more about the great one we took in Charleston here. http://bonsblogbydesign.blogspot.com/2013/05/doin-charleston.html

Savannah did not have a great tour guide to begin with but...you've heard the song..."Rainy Night in Georgia" haven't you? We had two of them.  Which meant the morning we toured was chilly, wet and rainy.  That in itself would have been OK but the bus was an open air bus...so how could that be good?  You are smarter than we were.  It wasn't.

In our own defense they didn't really mention the open air part to us when we signed up for the tour.  We were quite surprised when we got to the bus.  But at that little moment the weather had taken a rest so we hopped on feeling optimistic.  Well, let's just say the weather in the south is unpredictable.

The drawback with a closed in bus would have had been fogged up windows  that would have been  wet on the outside, preventing getting any good photos.  The drawback to the intermittent wetness was well....being wet!  But we did get some good photos.  So even though the tour was not great, it did give us a little history of the city and showed us the lay out for points of interest and that was perhaps most important.  We were fortunate that it did clear up later in the day and we got some pretty outstanding pictures then. 

Another funny thing that happened was we thought it was Saturday and it turned out to be Sunday.  Yikes!  We are old, aren't we?  We'll blame it on vacation brain though.  We were all ready to go to church the next morning and then head on to Virginia but...hmmm.  It was already Sunday and we were on our way to the City Tour @ 10:00 and had already missed church.  Bummer.  We love visiting other wards too but we just simply blew it.  I like casual, but that was a little too laid back even for me. Course correction..discuss what day it actually is every morning before getting dressed.

So tomorrow....some highlights from  the Magnolia Plantation, then on to Boone Hall and then finally The Lovely Savannah!


Sister Susie Says said...

Hi, busy Lady!
How time does fly! Over a month! I really think time is going faster!!

I know when I'm hungry, it doesn't matter where I eat! Ha! We ladies at church go to Denny's. It's in the "round robin" list of restaurants!

Speaking of Jim's refueling, I refuel more than I go, go, go! LOL!

I wish Florida had an off-season! We do have the rain, heat, but no snow. Rainy days are the best days to go to the theme parks! It's great to see the fog rise after the rain has cooled off all the roads and land!

Sounds like southern cooking! Everything deep fried! Meat, Vegetables, and even fried ice cream!

Isn't it amazing how you never forget the hymns you learned as a youth!

"The Green, Green Grass of Home!"

I really like the tours that you can sit and watch! Just like week I went with my Sunday School group on a boat ride on the inland waterway of New Smyrna Beach. The homes were beautiful (many up for sale.) We saw many dolphins with their babies near the boat wake!

I can hardly wait for your coming highlights! Susan