Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Charleston, SC - Anniversary Trip August 2013

Dave and I look for any excuse to head out in the RV! We decided to spend a long weekend in Charleston, SC celebrating our 3rd Wedding Anniversary (August 19th).

I wish I could say we headed out bright and early on Friday August 16th but it was actually 8:30 a.m. even though our planned departure time was 7:00 a.m. We had everything ready to go, but not all loaded in Winnie yet. Then we had to hook the car up. It always takes longer to load/hitch up than I think it's going to. We have decided that next time we are going to go ahead and plug the RV in (we have electric hook-up for the RV at home), turn the A/C and frig on, load everything the night before and just sleep in it in the driveway. I'm smiling as I'm writing this, but we're serious. It's the only way we will leave as early as we want to. We're night people, not morning people, lol!

Anyways....at the crack of 8:30 on Friday, we hit the road. The first two things we always do are pray and thank God for a safe trip, then cue up and play 'On The Road Again' by Willie Nelson! It's a great 'traveling' song!

Oh, and this time we prayed about the weather too because everyone had told us it was supposed to rain hard all weekend. That's an area I usually see quick results for when I pray, lol. Really....most of the time whatever weather I pray for when we are going somewhere, I get it. It only rained on us once the whole weekend and it was only for a few minutes. Every other time it rained we were sleeping or inside. it never hindered or changed our plans. Cloudy with no rain on you is perfect because it keeps the temperature a bit cooler.

Even though the drive was about 7 hours, it seemed to go by pretty fast. We arrived at James Island County Park around 3:00 and did our usual.....set up camp quickly, then hopped in the car to go explore! I must say that even though we did not spend a lot of time in the Park, it is a very nice one. Great sites, full hook-ups with the exception of cable. We had site 90.
Splash Zone

For those with kids, there is an awesome splash park and pool. Lots of activities seemed to be offered from making tie-dyed t-shirts, to pancake breakfasts, swimming, kayaking, trails and more. They also offer cottages if you don't have a camper or motorhome. This is the closest RV campground to downtown Charleston and we would highly recommend it!

After setting up and heading back out, we drove to downtown Charleston. We went up and down King Street and Meeting Street to see what was there, then we parked and walked until we found a restaurant for dinner. We ended up at Joe Pasta a little Italian place that seemed to be popular with the locals. We had lasagna and chicken parmesan, salad and wine...oh, and split some Tirimisu. Pretty good....not the absolute best Italian we've ever had, but good.

After dinner we headed out on foot exploring. Lots of cool shops and restaurants. Plus lots of churches. Charleston definitely has more than it's fair share of interesting looking restaurants and bars. I think we liked the look of them so much because of all the interesting, historic architecture with lots of old brick and dark wood. Some of the buildings and homes are just beautiful!

We walked around forever then ended up at a really cool looking restaurant....we, of course, were not hungry since we'd had dinner already, but here's a photo of their casual dining/bar area. Love all the exposed brick and wood beams! The place is called Husk.

We love coming home to Winnie...our cozy home away from home! It rained, but only while we were sleeping (which is a great way to fall asleep, hearing the sound of rain on the roof).

When we got up on Saturday, the skies were blue. Once again, we headed out to explore as much as we could. We headed out to some of the Plantation areas, but the one we went to was more of a winery/vineyard. It is called Irvine House Vineyards. It's a really cool place. It is very laid back and they have live music and some festivals out there. The owners seem very nice and gracious. They are retired but wanted to do something else so they started the vineyard about 10 years ago...so I guess they are actually semi-retired! They also have Firefly Distillery out there which is known for vodka infused ice tea. The wine tasting was quite nice. They have 5 wines that they produce and let you sample while they tell you about it. It's a lovely mom and pop family based business with their adult son and other relatives working with them. They have a garden and a few animals out there, plus a BBQ truck that comes out and sets up. Oh my, their food was delish! What a fun stop!!

Next we headed over to Daniel Island. It's a planned community kind of like Celebration out by Disney or Baldwin Park in Orlando. The homes are new but meant to look older with charm and character, and of course, a front porch! We went here mainly because I'm a fan and long time subscriber to Coastal Living Magazine and they have a home on tour there right now. Here's a link to their site and then some of our photos below. Coastal Living Home Daniel Island

Next we headed back to downtown Charleston but explored some different streets this time. We checked out Market Street with their open air market, plus East Bay Street. We took a carriage tour so we could get some of the local history. It was well worth it; very enjoyable! below are some photos taken while on the tour.
These are 'earthquake bolts' installed after a massive earthquake in August 1886 to try to stabilize some of the damaged buildings.
The Old Exchange Building above is where the Declaration of Independence was read for the citizens of South Carolina.
Houses near the Battery and White Point Gardens

After our tour, we walked back to some of the areas on the tour just to check them out further. I love the architecture here!

For dinner, we stopped at The Charleston Crab House on Market Street. I'm not a true seafood lover, but I do like good crab cakes. The food was delicious! Since we still were encountering clear weather despite the predicted wet forecast, we ate on the rooftop and enjoyed the cool breezes!

After dinner we checked out some more shops and such then called it a day! We slept soundly in Winnie with rain on our rooftop again. Very peaceful.

On Sunday we slept in a bit and actually got to hear most of the message by our new pastor, Dayne Massey, while we were getting ready. Looking forward to good things for FBC!

Once we finally got out and about on Sunday, we headed over to Folly Beach. it's one of several unique beaches in the area. We loved the vibe. There were lots of cool, interesting shops and cafes. It didn't seem to have a lot of huge, tacky touristy shops...seemed more like a local's vibe. Small little shops and everyone walking to the beach. We stopped for a little while and walked on the beach and enjoyed the cool water on our feet.

Onward to another Plantation. This one was the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Very beautiful! Not over the top extravagance like some places, yet impressive while still somehow cozy and welcoming. There is a lot of history there so we loved the tour through the house. It kind of made Dave and I want a historic home...we loved the old hardwood floors, creaks and all! We loved the deep front porch and balcony and all of the wood trim, door casings and thick crown molding and baseboards you cannot duplicate today. You can still have that today but it just doesn't have the same charm and character as the older homes. Maybe the charm and character comes from knowing the house has 'history' and 'stories to tell' if the walls could talk!
The small blue mark on the photo above is me (Misi). Look how massive this Oak tree is!

After touring the home and a bit of the gardens, we headed onward for more exploring.

We drove out to Kiawah Island just to see what's there. It is largely gated, but they do have public beach areas. They had a cute downtown village, again, kind of like Celebration or Baldwin Park. It's called Freshfields Village. We ended up eating dinner at King Street Grille and it was very tasty!
To top off the day, we headed back to downtown Charleston and did a ghost tour. It was fun and interesting! There's a whole different vibe walking through the cobblestone streets at night (especially through overgrown, dimly lit graveyards) with gas lanterns flickering from the historic porches and balconies.

It was definitely a full day arriving back at Winnie around midnight.

We took our time getting up and about on Monday (our actual anniversary) and as I am typing this, we are packed up in our happy 'home on wheels' and are Florida bound.....for now. ;o)

Another trip and is just around the corner though! Bring on the fun and adventure!

We thank God for the opportunity to be able to travel and discover more of His beautiful creations that were put here for our enjoyment!

Until Next Time......Blessings!
Misi and Dave

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