Charleston and Savannah

by Bill - 2000-08-03 - in life / travel /


Charleston, SC

We drove . . . and drove . . . and drove — 10 hours or so — from Nashville until finally reaching Charleston, South Carolina. Along the way, we stopped in Asheville, North Carolina at the Biltmore Estate because Tara had forgotten to get postcards when we were there a couple years ago. That's one of her things.  She buys postcards from places we visit.  Doesn't mail them to anyone, just buys them for herself and later puts them in a scrapbook. Weird, huh?  Kidding!  It makes sense, actually. The postcards are guaranteed good photos of things we saw when we were there, plus there's a little description on the back. It beats lugging our own camera around and hoping to get a good photo or two. 

That's something else I used to do:  carry my video camera everywhere and then never use it.  I prefer to sightsee through my own eyes, not the camera lens.  And it's not as if anyone other than Tara or myself ever wants to see the video later.  I've gotten to where I bring the video camera along, but just keep it in the car trunk in case I really need it.   Vacation videos have replaced slide shows as the most dreaded thing your travelling friends and relatives put you through!  Well, that and stories such as this one!

Upon our arrival in Charleston, our first stop was dinner on Market Street at a place called Papillon. Good food. The next day, we got on the city trolley, bought a couple of all-day passes, and trollied and walked all over town.  I guess our first trolley stop was Battery Park at the end of Charleston's peninsula.  From there you can walk along the perimeter wall and look across the bay to Fort Sumter, where the Civil War started.

Along Market Street, Tara bought several lithographs.  I bought a t-shirt, as usual.  Typical stuff.

That night, Tara bought us tickets to a "ghost walk" in which the tour guide — a fairly scary guy himself who claimed to live with two ghosts — told ghost stories as he led the group of us all over town, through cemeteries and "haunted" alleyways.  The guy was definitely very entertaining.  Very animated.  But, in the end, I think most of the group were left with a feeling of:  "That's it?  No actual ghosts?  Nothing actually terrifying?"  I guess the scariest part was how he ended the tour nowhere near where we started; leaving us clueless tourists wondering how to get back, in the dark, not knowing our way around.  We made it back alive, though.

Not to end the story on any sort of sour note, though, I would just like to say that Charleston is definitely a worthwhile stop on any itinerary.   There's just so much history and charm to the place.

Savannah, GA

Savannah was nice, too. For whatever reason, though, I didn't find it as enchanting as Charleston.  Tara thinks that's just because we were worn out from walking all over Charleston.  But still, Savannah's definitely a nice place to visit, though we could've done without all the travel guide and brochure references to that overrated movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

We visited or drove by each and every town square for which Savannah is famous, including Chippewa Square in which Tom Hanks was filmed telling the story of Forrest Gump.  On the edge of another square, we visited the former home of famous local writer, Flannery O'Connor.

That night we had a nice dinner along River Street at a place called Exchange Tavern.  They gave us a window seat where we could watch the ships come and go through the harbor.  Every time a ship passed by, the bartender in the adjoining bar rang his bell and shouted out something or other.  It was funny the first time he did this.  We were sitting at the bar awaiting our table when, as it just so happened, the hostess almost simultaneously called our name off the waiting list.  I was settling the bar tab and getting up to follow her to our table, leaving Tara to wonder why I was getting up all of a sudden.  She hadn't heard our name called and had thought I was, for some inexplicable reason, getting up in response to the bartender ringing his bell.

After dinner we spent some time strolling along River Street, shopping for mementos.

And that's about it.  All in all, a nice relaxing four-day weekend.

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