Carolina Road Trip Days #2-4
Carolina Road Trip Day 7 & 8

Carolina Road Trip Days 5 & 6

June 16th:  Heading to Charleston, SC!  Before leaving Asheville, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Hot Shot Cafe, a local favorite.  The drive to Charleston only took 4 hours and immediately, we knew we were going to like this city.  We were able to catch the last 30 minutes of the weekly Charleston Farmers Market at Marion Square.  Strolling down King Street, Charleston's famous road lined with high-end boutiques stores and eateries, we enjoyed perusing, window shopping, and tasting the free samples of Italian ice.  We stayed at the Andrew Pinckney Inn, an elegant yet casual inn with West Indies decor, right in the historic district of the city. 

We were in walking distance of all the famous sites of Charleston and while our room didn't have a view of anything but another part of a roof, it made up for it in character, charm, lemonade that Matt would routinely drink, location, comfort, and complimentary breakfasts on the roofside terrace.  That evening, we wandered the City Market, admiring all the handmade sweetgrass baskets and learning how they were made.  East Bay Street led us to Waterfront Park where there were children were running through the fountains and a pier overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  We sat on a bench for a long while admiring the view, breathing the fresh air, and relaxing.  It was gorgeous.  One thing we greatly enjoyed about this trip was that we were able to have a perfect blend of mountains and water. I find my soul craves both at different times.  Maybe it's because I reminense about family vacations that took us to both the mountains and the water.  This time in my life, I found my soul craving the water.  It was soothing to me, it calmed my heart, and I longed to be near it and be graced with its beauty. 

June 17th: 
We started the day off bright and early, catching a 9:30 a.m. ferry to Ft. Sumter, the place the Civil War began on April 12, 1861.  We saw original cannons and the 32 star American flag that the Union army raised upon landing at the island.  The flag was only to be taken down by the Confederate Army once the war started.  However, the Union finally won it back, and we learned that instead of choosing to attend a special victory ceremony at Ft. Sumter on Good Friday, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln decided to go to the Ford Theatre where he was assassinated.  We saw dolphins on our way back to Charleston and were grateful for the breeze of the ferry as the temperature got into the 90s.  After grabbing a bite to eat, we drove out to Middleton Place, a plantation dating back to 1741.  It was a sobering reminder of a painful part of U.S. history, of slavery.  You could also understand that after over a hundred years of building an economy on slave labor, why the South deemed it detrimental to the economy if slavery was abolished:  everything about the plantation and its self sufficiency was dependent upon the slaves.  The plantation had stable yards that had rooms for a weaver, cooper, blacksmith, carpenter and potter. Rice fields and ponds were all along the back of the property, along with a huge garden.  This garden had the largest oak tree, now a Constitution tree.

Arthur Middleton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, is buried on the property. We had a lovely dinner at Hank's, voted the best seafood restaurant in Charleston for the last several years.  I had the curried shrimp and asked for the recipe, as well as for the recipe for the peanut butter pie with chocolate gnache and the bourbon pecan pie.  I'm still hopefully awaiting a reply from the chef! 

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