Grandpa was scheduled on a flight back to Michigan on Saturday, and Nicolas had Thursday and Friday off, so we planned our tour of Charleston for Thursday. Nicolas and Casey came out to the refuge on Wednesday afternoon to stay with us for the next couple of nights, and we got an early start on Thursday morning.
We thought that a carriage tour would be fun,
and would alleviate some of the walking for Grandpa, so when we arrived downtown we signed up for a 12:45 tour. That would give us time to wander through the City Market, and get a quick lunch at Subway before our tour.
We also had time to wander through a few of the shops on Market Street. Nicolas even got Grandpa and Tom to pose for a picture!
At the appointed time, we checked in for our tour (this wasn’t actually the company we went with, but they had a pretty stable and it was right across the street from where we were waiting).
I didn’t think there would be many people downtown on a Thursday afternoon, but it was pretty busy and there were lots of carriages lining up for their assigned routes.
Within a few minutes, our ride arrived and we loaded up, along with the rest of the passengers – we had a full carriage of 16.
Every carriage in town had to go to a checkpoint to receive their route assignment (kindof like air traffic control for carriages). The city does this to keep the carriages spread out and ease traffic congestion in the city. We got route 3 . . . not that that meant much to us.
Our tour took us past many interesting historical sites in Charleston, as we travelled from the commercial district to the residential district.
The gunpowder storage building from the Civil War,
the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist,
a corner store,
and lots of interesting gates and doorways.
Then there were the homes . . . so many beautiful historic homes!
We spent much of our time south of Broad St., which is apparently the ridiculously expensive section of town . . . amazing that these old homes are priced in the MILLIONS!
We had hoped that our tour would take us through Battery Park, but it stopped just short of reaching the park, and turned back towards the stable.
After unloading, we took a quick picture with Carson,
although he kindof got left out of the picture, so I took one more of him by himself, as well as the next horse waiting to go out on a tour.
We had parked in the direction of Battery Park, so we decided to go ahead and walk down there so Grandpa could see the Harbor and the cannons in the park, and then Nicolas would go back to get the car and pick us up at the park.
We passed by some more interesting sights, including cemeteries,
and the French Huguenot Church. It was open for visitors, so we stopped in to take a look at the oldest Huguenot Church in North America.
It was very beautiful!
We saw old cobblestone streets (Nicolas says those are brutal to drive on!), and beautiful fall flowers.
We reached Battery Park just as Grandpa was running out of steam!
He took a seat on a bench in the shade while Tom and I walked along the seawall and Nicolas headed back to get the car.
Tom and I watched several cargo ships make their way from the Cooper River out through Charleston Harbor and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Tour ships, too.
As Tom and I were taking pictures on the seawall,
a couple of police officers walked by and stopped to talk for a few minutes. They were pretty funny, and took my camera right out of Tom’s hands so they could take a picture of the two of us!
We talked for a while, and they gave us a couple of suggestions for dinner . . . and we were glad we listened – they didn’t steer us wrong!
We walked back across to the park to see if Dad wanted to come over to the seawall for a look,
and we finally convinced him to move off the bench.
We watched a few carriage tours go by . . . apparently we needed to get Tour 1 to see Battery Park, although they only passed by the corner of the park.
Nicolas showed up then, and we drove up to the restaurant for an early dinner. There were lines painted on the sidewalk around the corner of the restaurant, indicating where the line was to start . . . so we were pretty glad we were there for an early dinner. We didn’t have to wait at all! The service was really quick, and the food was delicious! Definitely a good choice!
From there, we headed back to the RV for a relaxing evening inside, away from the mosquitos that were really beginning to swarm . . . we need cooler temperatures!
On Friday, Tom and Nicolas washed the RV while I did laundry and made a batch of apple cider doughnuts for Nick.
It was badly in need of a wash, and it looks so much better now!
For dinner, we decided to try the Lone Star BBQ in Santee. It’s an interesting little place on the state park road, right across from St. Ann’s Church.
There are several connected buildings that are a collection of old stores from around the area. They are very old and quaint!
The walls inside are covered with shelves, all of them lined with old merchandise that was in the various stores when the buildings were moved to this site.
The restaurant is only open Thursday – Sunday, and it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of southern specialties . . . fried chicken, pulled pork, beans, black-eyed peas, etc.. The main entre on Fridays is BBQ ribs. They were excellent, and so was the pulled pork and fried chicken. Everything was really good, and we definitely left there full! It was a pretty good deal at $12.95/person, which included iced tea or lemonade (and the lemonade was really good, too – it tasted like county fair lemonade!)
They also have live music – local performers who do this gig in order to raise a little money to allow them to perform at local nursing homes during the week. Really nice guys, and we enjoyed their music!
We couldn’t stay too long, since Nicolas had to get back home after dinner. He started back on days on Saturday, so he had to get up early in the morning.
He said good-bye to Grandpa, since he’d be leaving for Michigan in the morning. I think they were both glad to have this extended visit . . . it was nice for them to spend time together, and for Grandpa to see where Nicolas is living and working.