Sunday, December 30, 2018
Continuing our road trip from Texas to Florida via West Virginia, we made it to South Carolina. Only 1 state left for me, and 2 for Jeremy!
The boys enjoyed swinging at a rest stop.
Then we headed for Charleston. My back was in serious pain from sitting too long, so I mostly napped off and on, waking to see a couple of interesting sights, but the camera mostly stayed in the case.
On arrival, we checked into the lovely Ansonborough Inn. Definitely a big step up from some of the hotels we have been staying in. The walls were adorned with oil paintings – dogs and forest themes, and the place exuded Southern colonial charm. Apparently, the neighborhood was won in a poker game a few hundred years ago.
After dropping our bags in the room, we rushed out to catch the tail end of daylight hours, spotting a nice looking church shortly after leaving the hotel.
The streets made Jeremy and me think of Boston, but with an architecture better suited to a warmer climate.
The cobblestone reminded the boys more of Europe.
As we approached the waterfront, things were both beautiful and a little creepy.
The fog rolled in and added to the atmosphere.
Heading back up into the streets, the music made us think of the New Orleans section of Disneyland. Quite fun.
The Custom House was one of my favorite buildings, and again, made the kids think of Europe.
Monday, December 31, 2018
After a very restful night sleep, we woke a little later than normal, had a nice breakfast at the hotel, then headed out for some sightseeing. We had a little morning mist, but still no rain.
Our first stop was the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon Museum. We were originally thinking about visiting the Old Slave Market Museum, but given that we were traveling with kids, we decided to check the suitability of the displays first. Reviews indicated that it was really interesting if you enjoy reading lots of text, but otherwise was a little lackluster. Our translation was that we could probably take the kids, but that they would likely be bored. On the other hand, the Old Exchange Museum has a guided tour of the dungeon every thirty minutes and is fairly kid friendly. Our kids loved the guided tour! The rest of the museum was interesting, dealing mostly with the Revolutionary War, but also giving some context to how slavery fit into the Charleston society. Much more appropriate for kids: some poignant details, but not overly graphic.
After visiting the museum, we wandered back towards the water.
Then we headed up towards the market, stopping at some gardens and other sights on the way. The market was quite fun. Lots of local crafts, a little food, and more.
The St. Michael’s Cathedral and Cemetery was quite nice.
It was a fairly pleasant stroll and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Charleston. All-in-all, this was a city I would love to spend more time in.
Getting back on the road, we decided to continue our trend of trying southern chain restaurants, and decided to stop at the Waffle House. They seem to have them everywhere. I really wanted to try grits, but for whatever reason, they did not appear to be on the menu. So I got the cheesesteak hash brown bowl. While they were making our food, we saw a sign on the wall that seemed to indicate that hash browns and grits were interchangeable. Sigh. I still haven’t been able to try real Southern grits. At least I have tried the Southern sweet tea.
When we stopped for gas, the boys were thrilled with our neighbors.
By early afternoon, we made it to Georgia. All 50 states for me! Woo hoo!
Savannah wasn’t too far from the border. I had heard some really good things about Savannah, so I was super excited about this stop, but then I read our (bad) guide book. It made it sound incredibly boring – fortunately, this info was wrong. We stopped at the visitor center to get suggestions on what we should do and they marked out a walking path for us. The boys found handfuls of acorns in the parking lot and collected several handfuls and were fairly creative in their use of them. Deer, I mean boy, droppings were a favorite. When do boys lose their delight in this topic?
Savannah is really about the atmosphere. The historic center is a grid that is a mile by a mile, and is interspersed with nice squares that are filled with gardens and monuments. The boys were delighted with the squirrels that happily ate their acorns. I guess feeding them their natural food is better than feeding them people food.
When we came across St. John’s Church, we had to take a picture of John.
And when we came to an obelisk, we needed to get a picture for Jeremy. He has made the kids walk incredibly long distances to visit obelisks…
Before arriving, we had debated staying here vs. Jacksonville, Florida, but given the lackluster description of the city in the guidebook, we opted for Florida. In retrospect, this is a city I could have spent much more time in, particularly in a centrally located hotel.
So beautiful. It reminded us a bit of a warmer climate Boston Back Bay.
Once we reached St. John the Baptist Cathedral, we were quite amazed.
It was really quite nice, both inside and out. On entering, James said it reminded him of a modern European cathedral.
The kids were getting quite tired, so we headed back to the car and started towards Florida. The sunset just before the border was amazing! Even better than our Oklahoma sunset!
I’m not sure I have ever seen clouds quite so beautiful.
On to Florida!
Keep reading our travel blog for more travel ideas in the American South/Southeast:
Here are some more blog posts from this particular road trip: