Thursday, September 29, 2016


SEPTEMBER 21, 2016

Today has been an odd day.

I don't really understand the way time works in this town.  Steve had to leave early for work, and so I slept in a bit longer than I had intended. I got ready to go and was out the door before ten, but things were either not open yet, or had just opened. I expect that from restaurants, but not from shops. In fact, when I found an open store and walked in, two different workers said "Wow, you're out early!" Ok, then.  Charleston is a town of late risers.  I can dig that, I guess! 

Oh, and a little off topic, but here's a weird thing that happened to me TWICE while I was out this morning.  I got asked twice where I was from.  I told them Alabama, of course, and both people said "Oh, that means your a Roll Tide, right?"  Now, I'm used to being asked which football team I root for, because being from Alabama means you love football, I guess, but that's a weird way to put that isn't it?  Am I "A Roll Tide?"  Is that a thing?  I told them I wasn't really a football fan, but if I had to choose, then yes, I suppose so.  That's not really accurate, but it was easier than trying to explain the intricacies of the football culture in my state. They were satisfied and so I left it at that.  Weirdness.

Since I had designated this my shopping and wondering around day, I decided to head on to the Charleston Market, which I'd heard really good things about. I found it and was about to go in when I got sidetracked by a big steeple off in the distance.  I just followed the streets until I found St. Phillips which was a church established in 1690! I'm  uncomfortable going into a church as a tourist, so I just looked around outside and wondered through the cemetery. I love old cemeteries, and this one was interesting.  You couldn't read most of the headstones and a lot of the other headstones had fallen over and broken, so they used the pieces as paving stones. It was nice and quiet there. While I was there, I got a text from my sister asking if I was anywhere around the riots.  I had no idea what she was talking about, and immediately got nervous, because I had no idea what might have started once I left my hotel.  Apparently she had thought we were in Charlotte, so lucky for me (at least) I was safe from getting teargassed for another day.  I should probablt watch the news while I'm on vacation for these reasons.  Good grief.

Eventually I left the graveyard and made it to the Market.  I have to say, I was kind of disappointed. I thought it was supposed to be all local artists and city specific type stuff for sale, and there was some of that there, but a lot of it was just your run of the mill flea market stuff. I had thought about buying one of the sweet grass baskets, but good Lord, they are expensive! I know they must take a fair amount of skill to make, but goodness.  I did manage to find a city cookbook and a Haunted Charleston book to add to my collection, but that was all.

Before I left the market area, I stopped into the Confederacy Museum. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was pretty good.  It was very small, but there was a lot to see.  It looked like someone's attic, but with cards on everything that told you what it was!

I left there and continued walking around. I thought that there would be more independent shops, and there were a few, but most of what I found were nationwide chains stores that we have back home. There were a couple of cute boutiques, and I found a Lush and bought a couple of good smelling soap things, but that was it. I did get accosted by some of those people handing out lotion samples, and they say "oh, I want to give you another one, please come inside to get it, and like a dummy I went in. I told the lady I didn't have time to get the whole spiel and I bolted. When I left, I ended up going the wrong way just to get away from them, and instead of turning around, I wound up walking around a complete city block just to avoid passing them again. :)  I'm not even sorry.

I decided to go back to the hotel and cool off for a while. Seriously, I think Charleston must be right above hell, because the heat rising from there is the only excuse I can find for the weather! I felt gross and sweaty, but I didn't get much of a chance to do anything about it, because Steve texted me almost the second I sat down.  He'd gotten off of work early and was having lunch across the street, so I went and joined him.

After lunch, we came back to the hotel and he fell asleep. I was going to take a nap, too, but I decided to take a bath with one of my new bath bombs (I love Lush, y'all) instead and so I spent the next 45 minutes relaxing in glittery blue water that smelled like grapefruits. :)

Once I got out and regrouped, I went out again for a bit to look around in a different part of town I hadn't explored yet. I didn't find a lot, mainly just restaurants, so I came back to the hotel to chill until Steve was done doing the work he had to bring back to the hotel with him.

Once he was done, he said we needed to go do something, but he wasn't in the mood to walk around downtown, so we decided to drive out to a shopping center near where he's been going to work so we could look around. On our way out of the parking garage, we noticed that a Black Lives Matter protest had sprung up in front of our hotel. Great timing on our part! We went shopping and then came back for dinner. We ate at a place called Virginia's on King, which isn't far from our hotel. It was so good. I had cheese grits good enough to make me slap a nun. I didn't, of course, but I could have. :) By the time we got back, the protest was over, so we had no trouble getting back inside.

I feel like I'm not doing enough while I'm here! I've been constantly walking and looking at as much as I can, but I'm afraid I'm going to miss something important! I'll have to get creative tomorrow. I have one more day on my own, and then Steve and I are going out to one of the beaches on Friday, if nothing happens. I need to make sure to see as much as I can before we leave on Saturday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


September 20, 2016

Steve's alarm clock went off so early this morning. So very early. I'm convinced that his alarm clock was put together in a sweat shop in hell. 

Since I was up (ahem) I decided to plan my day. I'm not very good at planning things, because I tend to just go along with whatever everyone else is doing, but I was going to be by myself so I had to do something! Armed with Google Maps, some brochures, and a trolley map, I decided that today would be an educational day!  Well, educational-ish. 


I decided to forgo the trolley and walk across town.  First off, Charleston is really heckin' humid.  Like...bad humid. It wasn't even that hot, and it was cloudy, but by the time I was almost to my destination, my face and hair were wet. Yuck.  The walk wasn't even that far, or difficult, but still...bleh.  At any rate, I went on and finally made it to the South Carolina Aquarium!

There were otters there. Otters are my favorite.

You guys know how I love looking at fish things, so don't judge! This was the first time that I've ever been to an aquarium where I wasn't being rushed through, so that was nice. Unfortunately the place was relatively small, so I managed to go all the way through in about an hour. That was fine, though, because that meant I could be on the next ferry out to Fort Sumter.

I only had the most basic idea of what Fort Sumter was all about, so I learned a lot today! We had a 30 minute ride out to the island, and the ferry had a recorded voice telling us about all the things we were seeing. It was kind of surreal, because I swear that same voice does announcements for things at Disney World, only instead of telling you to stand clear of the doors, it was telling us about Indian massacres and war stuff. He was way too cheerful about it.  Oh! There were also dolphins that swam just ahead of the boat, so that was fun!

Ft. Sumpter gonna Sumpt.
I really enjoyed looking around the fort!  I went mostly because it was an important historical place and it felt like I should go see it, but I was surprised how interesting it all was.  We got to spend an hour out there, and I think I touched everything and read all of the signs. I even stood in the powder magazine and inspected the walls made of oyster shells and lime. There was a tour that told more about the place, and I kind of wish that I'd taken it to learn more about the place, but I was too busy looking around on my own.  The sun actually came out while we were there, and it stayed out until we got back. I bet you know what that means! My lily whiteness is now all red and hurty. Eh, whatever, I enjoyed myself.

I was starving by the time I got back, so I found a place called Saffron Deli & Bakery, thinking I'd grab something light and quick, but I was served an alarmingly huge plate of tuna and chicken salad, which was delicious, but way more than I could eat. It was a nice place, though, so I'd totally recommend it.  I didn't have a whole lot of time to do things before I had to head back to the hotel, so my last stop was at The Charleston Museum, which is the country's first museum! How cool is that? I wasn't able to see everything (I wanted to be back before Steve so that he wouldn't have to wait around on me) but I got to see a lot. It was really fascinating. There is an exhibit that covers the area of Charleston from pre-history onward, and it was very cool. I only made it to the Revolutionary War section before I realized I'd have to skip some stuff if I wanted to see the temporary exhibit they had. It was called Killer Fashion and it was, kind of hilariously, an exhibit about clothes and fashion accessories that people make from things they have to kill, or that can kill the people who make the stuff. That may not make much sense, so let me 'splain. There were things like Coral jewelry, because you have to farm the coral which kills it, and ivory, which of course comes from poached elephants. They also had corsets (which can do lots of internal damage) and things dyed with poisonous dyes, which can kill both the wearer and the manufacturer. I think it got a little preachy, though, only because it went so far as to talk about killing silkworms to make cloth, and killing the cochineal beetle to make red dye. Granted, you still have to kill something, but they're bugs for heaven's sake. They aren't exactly endangered.  Anyway, it was still a very good exhibit that I enjoyed looking at! I'm kind of thinking about going back later on so I can see the rest of the regular exhibits, but I'll have to wait and see if I have time.

By the time I was done there, it was time to head back to the hotel. I was so hot and tired by the time I got back, y'all. To give you an example of how hot and humid it had gotten, I sweated so much that the color from my clothes bled off onto my skin.  I'm not talking about brand new clothes, either. I'm talking about things that have been washed a lot before now! Gross! I had to take a bath.  This town will be a two shower a day place, I can already tell.

Steve got back about 10 minutes after I did and he was hungry because apparently the people he's working with out here don't believe in lunch breaks. We looked through Google Maps and found a restaurant called "Coast" which was a seafood place not far from where we are staying. After getting cleaned up, we walked over and had to go down an alley before we found it, but it was a great restaurant. It was housed in an old warehouse, and had super tall ceilings and exposed brick. The food was really delicious, too.  I had kale, on purpose, and it was good.

Now we are back in the room and Steve has fallen asleep, and my sunburn is itchy and my legs hurt, but it was still a really fun day!

Monday, September 26, 2016


September 19, 2016

Have I mentioned that Steve has been traveling a lot lately? Well, Steve has been traveling a lot lately. Since mid August, he's been gone almost every week except for coming home for 16 hours (just long enough to wash his clothes and repack) and he'd head back out again. His new company is cool in the fact that they don't mind if I tag along sometimes, but I haven't wanted to go to any of the places he's been sent thus far.  I mean, I'm sure that Ft. Bliss, in the very armpit of the summer, is lovely and all that, but no thank you. 

This week Steve has been sent to Charleston, South Carolina, which is a place I've been wanting to visit for a very long time! I love historic cities and have heard great things about the place for years!  He was cool with me coming with him, so he got me a plane ticket and we headed off on our adventure!

Ok, full disclosure, today wasn't exactly adventurous. It was a travel day and it started oddly late. We got up, did a few last things around the house, and left for our flight out of Huntsville.  We almost made it through security without incident, but my left ankle set off the full body scan thingie.  No idea why!  So the nice TSA agent started frisking my ankle, which made me giggle, which then made her giggle.  Good times.  Once they decided I wasn't strapped with a weapon, we got to go!  

We flew from Huntsville to Atlanta around noon on a very full plane. I managed to get wedged in between Steve and a large guy who looked like the love child of Grumpy Cat and Meatloaf!  It was a short, uneventful flight, thank goodness, and we were even lucky enough to be relatively close to our departure gate for the next flight when we landed. We had about an hour layover and then got on our flight to Charleston, which was another very quick trip. Even so, we didn't get into Charleston until about 6:00 PM. That meant it was really to late to do anything tonight. Boo! 

We had a small snafu with the car rental agency. They ended up giving us a Nissan Versa, which is not a big car. Steve, on the other hand, is a big guy, so he looks so funny getting in and out of the car! We've named it the Blueberry a la "Psych" and it will be our tiny clown car for the week!

We are staying at the historic Francis Marion hotel which is very lovely. The first thing that happened on the way up the elevator, was a guy who told us that he and his wife whined to the front desk because the rooms were too small, so they were given a two room suite.  Huh.  I wasn't sure if we were supposed to be impressed or what.  I don't know about you, but I tend to do a bit of research before going to a new place, and if I don't like what I see, I change my plans.  But you know what?  You do you, whiny guy. Congratulations, I guess. 

Personally, I liked what we got. The rooms aren't huge, but we don't really need a huge room so it doesn't matter. There are two doors just inside of the room door.  One leads to a really big (for a hotel at least) closet, and the other leads to the smallest bathroom I've ever seen in a hotel.  Like...for those of you who have seen the front bathroom at our house, it could fit comfortably inside that with about 1/3 of the room left over!  I don't mind the small bathroom, but wow.

After we got settled, we decided to go downstairs to the Swamp Fox restaurant and have dinner. It was probably for the best we didn't try and go out anywhere, because a fairly bad thunderstorm blew in around that time.  The food was all very good, and by the time we were done eating, Steve and I were exhausted. It's strange how just sitting around can be so tiring.

I will be on my own during the day for the next three days while Steve is working and I've gotten a lot of good advice about seeing the city, so I'm excited about exploring! Steve and I are staying an extra day to spend a little time together, so that should be fun too!  There is a lot to see and I want to have lots of fun!   

So let's get on with it!