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!