Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday, January 26th My Birthday!!!
We got to our campsite today and got settled in. We are staying right outside of Charleston and decided to take the bus in to downtown to go out to dinner for my birthday. This ended up being more of a challenge then we thought.  We decided to dress up some since we figured we would go to a nice place for dinner, which meant I was in heels and Jared in dress shoes. Then we had about a mile and a half hike to the bus stop from the park we are staying in. We didn't really think this would be to much of a problem until we got on the main roads and there weren't any sidewalks anywhere. I had to keep walking on the soft dirt when cars were coming by which was quite of ten. So my heels kept sinking in the ground and my loose ankles kept rolling. But we finally made it to the bus stop, waited for about half an hour since it was running late, and got on the bus. After that we were smooth sailing. We ended up finding a cute little place to eat Virginia's on King.  We each had an excellent meal (scallops and pasta for Jared, crabcakes for me) and we were super excited to find out that Wednesday night at Virginia's on King is half price wine bottle night. After dinner we headed down King St. further to a sports bar that happened to be decked out with Steelers gear. We hung out and had a few beers there and then caught a cab home.

Thursday, January 27th
We got up nice an early to catch the 9am shuttle in to downtown Charleston. It dropped us off at the Visitor's Center where we decided to purchase a Charleston Heritage Passport, which is a 2 day pass that got us in to the Gibbes Museum of Art, Nathaniel Russell House, Edmondston-Alston House, Drayton Hall, Middleton Place, Aiken-Rhett House, Joseph Manigault House, Heyward-Washington House, and The Charleston Museum. Today we did all the houses, the Gibbes Museum of Art and The Charleston Museum, which are all located in downtown Charleston. Basically all the houses were once owned by wealthy rice plantation owners who would spend their winters in their town houses instead of out on the plantation. Some of the houses are currently being preserved which means that they haven't been fully restored to what they once looked like. Some of the houses have been restored to look how they once look with furniture throughout and paint on the walls. This is a good link for a description of all the sites we saw today Each tour of the houses talks a great deal about the architecture of the house and the period in which they were built. They were all pretty interesting to be in. Unfortunately most of the houses do not let you take pictures inside them, but we do have a few inside shots (including the one that Jared got yelled at of the sprial staircase). We finished up all of our tours to late to catch the shuttle back to the campground so we took a bus home. Unlike the stop to head in to the city that was over a mile away the route actually turns around at the campground so we got dropped off right at the front gate.

Friday, January 28th
Today we decided to drive out to the two plantations on our passport, which were not located in downtown Charleston. It took us about a half hour to drive out to them so it wasn't to bad. Our first stop was the Middleton Place. Unfortunately the House Museum tour was closed for renovations, but the grounds of the plantation were gorgeous. We took some nice shots walking around. We decided to take a carriage ride which took us around most of the 110 acre grounds. Then we did some walking around all the stables with the animals in them and checked out the blacksmith, carpenter, weaver, and potter shops. They are all located in the stableyard where the slaves used to work and people currently work in today to make different items to sell in their store. We chatted with the potter for a while who told us about most of the animals and how they ended up on the plantation. They do make a small amount of rice still on the land used by the foundation, I believe the said that there is 6,500 more acres that are part of Middleton Place but not used by the foundation.

After we left Middleton Place we headed down the road to Drayton Hall. Drayton Hall does not have to much going on with the land, but we were able to tour the house. This is a house that is being preserved instead of restored. So basically every room was empty but all the paint on the walls and whatever woodwork that is left in the rooms is being preserved so that hopefully they remain on the walls for a long time. It was one of the most ornate houses inside with all the wood work around the mantles and the trim work around the rooms. Unlike the other houses they let you take pictures inside and Jared took a bunch. One room had a really cool door jam that had marks to measure the height of the children who lived there. We did do some walking around the grounds afterwards, but one of the owners after the civil war had everything removed from the grounds that would show that slaves used to be there. So there weren't any outside buildings.  While at Drayton Hall we actually decided to joind Friends of Drayton Hall and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was $35 and actually gets us in to a lot of other cool sites throughout the US for free or at a discount. We also got a pretty cool sterling silver spoon for joining. I think it will definitely pay for itself after we go to only two more places.

This link has some information about the two plantations

Saturday, January 29th
Today we decided to stay at James Island County Park and check out some of the cool stuff you can do here. It is a huge park with some reallly cool stuff, such as: a dog park, playground, splash zone, climbing wall, fishing, kayaking and tons of walking/biking trails. Since it is still kind of cold according to people down here (it got up to like 62 today) most of the stuff wasn't open. We think that this place would definitely be a great place to visit again and for any of you campers it seems like a fun place to go and take your kids.

We biked out to Harris Teeter this morning to get some groceries. For those of you that don't know Jared loves Harris Teeter. They have one near my parents shore place and he always loves to go. It is mostly because of the free samples they have throughout the store. Anyway it was like a mile to get out there so we had a nice two mile bike ride. Then we came back had some lunch and cleaned up in the RV some. After that we took Nash on a nice long walk. We went through a couple of the different walking paths and he had a great time. By the time we were done with that we got some laundry started and it was time to get dinner together. We had shish kabobs, they were delecious. After dinner and putting away our laundry Jared built a fire and we had some smores for dessert.

Tomorrow we are switching campgrounds from this one to a KOA on the otherside of Charleston. This is because we are going to an Oyster festival at the Boone Hall plantation which is pretty close to the KOA. I will try to post tomorrow night about the Oyster festival. We are only spending one night at that KOA and then we haven't actually decided where we are heading to on Monday, so we will see.
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jenn wampler on

happy belated birthday jen!

i love charleston, and i'm so glad you guys are taking advantage of all the history there. Drayton Hall is such a gorgeous palladian home, i was excited to see you made it there!

happy travels :)

Kristine Morris, Drayton Hall on

Hi Jen,
I enjoyed reading about your trip to Charleston - it's great that you were able to experience so much of what our wonderful city has to offer, including historic sites like Drayton Hall. I just wanted to address the observation that you made about walking the grounds of Drayton Hall and the lack of outbuildings: "one of the owners after the Civil War had everything removed from the grounds that would show that slaves used to be there." Actually, most of those buildings are long gone not because of removal by previous owners, but because of the effects of time. It's also possible that some were removed during the phosphate mining era (1865 - 1900) - again, not for the purpose of removing signs of slavery, but for practical considerations to allow for the large equipment that was needed. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions. In the meantime, thank you so much for becoming a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation! We hope you'll take full advantage of your membership by visiting more National Trust historic sites across the country.
With best wishes,
Kristine Morris
Drayton Hall
Charleston, SC

Danny on

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