Thursday, August 30, 2007

Marc & Ape's Tour of the Historical South '07 Baby!!

Oh my gosh, my summer was filled with the most blessings!! Since graduating from college and working full-time, year-round, I haven't been able to jam-pack my summers full of adventures like I once could. Now that I teach college part-time, I have more time to spend with my family and friends, especially my girlfriends that are now at home with their babies. Unfortunately, Marc wasn't able to join me in all of my summer adventures since he's the odd one who works full-time, all year-round. Haha! The times he was able to spend with me on his days off and during his vacation week were of course the most memorable times of my summer. Over the next couple of weeks I will be adding posts here and there of these summer experiences. I'm starting off, though, with the most wonderful one of them all; my vacation with my baby to Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; Tybee Island, GA; and Stone Mountain, GA... A very-much needed 9-day break for the both of us!

First Stop on our Journey: North Charleston, SC

We stayed with The Rowlett Family (Taylor, Beth, & Kaela), our good friends from our time in Louisville, for a couple of days and had the Charleston "local" experience. They live in North Charleston, which is about 30 minutes from the historic district of Charleston, so we got to see a different view of the city. Taylor was in Marc's med school class and is now doing his radiology residency at the Medical College of Charleston (lucky ducks!!). Since we saw them last in May 2005, they have been blessed with an adorable baby daughter, Kaela Elizabeth. She has the cutest head of red heair you will ever see! Marc and I just loved her and could not stop talking about her the whole rest of our trip. She must really bring so much joy to their lives, because she did to ours in just the 2 short days we spent with her. While with them, we hung out at their house enjoying Beth's yummy cookin', went to church where we found that Sear sucker's (spelling??) and Birkenstocks were the typical fashion for the Charleston male church-goer, and went to the beach at Isle of Palms. We had a wonderful time catching up with them and sharing stories from our different residency experiences.




2nd stop: Charleston

We continued on our journey for about 30 more minutes before driving up Meeting Street in the heart of the Downtown Historic District to find that our hotel was the fanciest, schmanciest thang we had ever seen! It was called the Mills House (http://www.millshouse.com). We booked it for the cheapest on Hotwire so were kind of afraid of what we were getting ourselves into. Umm, all of our fears were gone as soon as we saw this place. We really know how to travel! We know all the in's and out's to finding a great deal if you ever need some tips! :) Anyway, it was straight out of a movie (actually that new reality show, "Army Wives" was being filmed there that week, so that was pretty exciting!). Supposedly General Robert E.Lee still haunts it today seaching for his room, specifically his bed and writing desk! It has also been heard that this particular room is on the third floor, where we stayed! Spooky! The Mills House was just about a 5 minute walk from the waterfront and the Charleston Harbor & the famous landmark, the Battery, is located... an absolutely breakthaking street of antibellum mansions that stood during the war. These families had a direct view of Fort Sumter (where the Civil War began) from their front porches (http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/ South_Carolina/Charleston-864816/ Things_To_Do-Charleston-The_Battery-BR-1.html).

Rainbow Row is another street where we spent much time gazing at the beautiful homes. This is a row of connected homes that are the prettiest, brightest colors ever! Okay, and what is the first official thing we do in Charleston? We go to a timeshare talk just to get all the free stuff! We had experienced a 4-hour miserable "talk" in Branson before where they try their best to pressure you into buying this timeshare that will be your best investment ever for just $269 a month. Well, of course we would love to look into that someday, but not right now when we even refuse to make payments on a car! Thank you. Anyway, we said this time we would be strong and tell them up front we were only there for the free goods. Oh, you would be so proud of us! We were in and out after about 30 minutes with our free tickets to all these fun tourist attractions in hand, including a $25 gift certificate to one of many Charleston restaurants!! Among our touristy experiences: We took a boat tour to Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861. It felt so surreal to be there where that turning point in our history took place! It was really fascinating. We also toured a plantation called Drayton Hall. It is one of the only three houses on the Ashley River that survived the Civil War (http://draytonhall.org/). We also took a carriage ride with Old South Tours Company which was probably our favorite memory from our vacation. Our guide told us the most stories and she definitely had me hanging onto her every word. We also made frequent visits to the Old Slave Market to roam through the little booths displaying artwork, t-shirts & other souvenirs, and of course, the famous authentic Charleston sweetgrass basket. Throughout the city you will see African women AND men sitting around weaving these amazing baskets as their way to survive. I would have loved to have bought one but the average price for a basket was $150, all the way up to one I saw with a price tag of $850!!! Besides trying to take in all these sights we definitely don't see everyday, we also visited several beaches, ate at yummy restaurants, rested, and even met up with more old friends.

By the way, Charleston is a wonderful vacation for couples like us cuz there is history and war stuff for the boys, and the beach, shopping, and pretty photo ops for us girlies!! Check out just a FEW of our 1,000 or so pictures:


Meeting up with Kris & Courtney Winders at Sticky Fingers...
Marc went to high school with Kris. We always have the best time with them!



Ummmm.... What is going on with Kris' mouth? We were laughing the loudest watching his little performance, as you all would imagine coming from me. :)


Visiting Sullivan's Island, home of one of the several famous Charleston lighthouses! Like all the beaches there, there were beautiful homes sitting right on the beach! You don't see this at any 'ole beach... Loved them!




Eating at Poe's Tavern at Sullivan's Island, where Southern Living Magazine told us to go! Yummm, we ate us some fish tacos and a crabcake sandwich!



Find my baby sitting on the porch waiting for me to stop taking pictures and embarrassing him!



About to embark on our carriage ride through downtown Charleston




King Street... the popular shopping area... I just bought a simple black dress from the GAP, something I so cannot get in Nashville. :)



Other Random Sites

Below is the restaurant where Reese Witherspoon had her rehearsal dinner before she married what's-his-face. It's kinda sad!! Our guide shared this random tidbit of information with us while on our carriage ride.




This restaurant is from the scene in "The Notebook" where Noah sees Allie with her fiancee as he was riding on a bus through Charleston.


Marc recognized this famous basketball coach strolling his doggie through the Charleston Harbor... I can't remember for the life of me right now what this man's name was!! Marc was the most excited though.



You will notice that none of the front porches of houses directly face the street. They have these "privacy" doors on the side. Back in the day, when the families were ready for entertaining they would keep this door open. This is so interesting, but if they weren't ready for company the door would be shut and the ladies would be sitting on these porches in just those big white slips they wore under there dresses. Thank you. People just knew that they were not to dare peek at these porches if the door was shut because the families wanted privacy. I'm in awe at the respect people seemed to have had for each other back them.



I love this one... While our boat was leaving the dock to go to Fort Sumter, I got all these school kids a wavin'! I was all waving wildly at them and telling them bye and they were getting the most excited. I think Marc was the most embarrassed though.





Our many Old Slave Market visits


An African man hard at work weaving his baskets




Charleston Harbor






The Food

Yummy Italian gelato/ice cream shop that we visited several times... My fave was Tirimisu!




Eating at the famous Bubba Gump's Shrimp...
whenever you need anything, just flip the chart to read this...


Marc trying some shrimp & grits for the first time (umm, didn't love them!!)

Eatin' at Hyman's Seafood... another place highly recommended by Southern Living Magazine




Fort Sumter








The Fort Sumter flag



Drayton Hall




Below is the Ashley River, which is situated behind Drayton Hall







This was interesting.... Below is a wall in the closet of a child's bedroom where the parents would measure & record the children's heights throughout the years... You can still clearly see the names!




The Beautiful Rainbow Row






The Famous Pineapple Fountain at Charleston Harbor






Our hotel, The Mills House







Above and below, the scary banquet room named after General Robert E. Lee... supposedly this room is haunted!! We meandered around this area and freaked ourselves out.


Our room & hallway... the stories say that General Lee's ghost roams here today!



The pool was on a roof overlooking Meeting Street







The Battery


Look at my baby finding me a house to live in someday! Haha!!





I enlarged this pic below and have it framed and ready to display somewhere in my house...
Any ideas?



Our last day in Charleston.... Folly Beach! The home of another famous lighthouse... but we had to walk 2 miles to get to this one!!




Drivin' through the streets of the historic district one more time.
Goodbye, Charleston!! We love you!!


5 comments:

Tamara said...

Great pics!!!! Sounds (and looks) like you guys had the BEST time!!!

April Kay said...

hey girl!! yeah, we did have the best time ever! sorry about all my long posts. :) oh, i luv you for being my most loyal blog reader! hee hee!

Blessed said...

Looks like so much fun!!!! I love all the MANY pictures. I counted and you have over 100 from your trips. CRAZY!!!! How'd you download that many without it taking forever? Did it let you do more than 5 at a time? Tell me more!

Love ya

Journey said...

I as well am amazed over the barrage of pictures- you get the record- most pics on a blog entry- that I've EVER seen! Loved it, though. You have made me want to go to Charleston. Now. Can't wait to go.
I'm so glad you guys had such a great trip! Sounds like a nice break from Marc's working so hard, the baby trials, and just life in general- those breaks are always nice and well needed!
Thank-you for taking pictures of the leaves in TN for me- I expect a post with as many pics as the South Carolina ones full of fall leaves- thank you. I started my job this week- working at a hospital on a floor that is turning into a Neurology floor but is still Med-Surg for now and a little longer. It's a pretty big unit and seems to remind me of Baptist- oh no, but I think it will be okay. I'm glad to be back at the hospital.
I love you guys! Keep posting!

Beth

Anonymous said...

Need to find a vacation spot? Check this out for a Branson vacation!

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