Have a Cuppa?

Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Sunday, April 3, 2011

This morning we drove to North Charleston and went to Church in a very small, but very friendly church.  We couldn't believe how welcome we felt there.  No priest was available, but we had a celebration led by Brother Ed, an Irish Christian Brother from upstate New York.  He greeted us well and we visited a bit about my school years in Butte.

We headed then for the Charleston Tea Plantation which is about twenty-five miles south of where we were.  Enroute we stopped at a small cafe for lunch.  The All American Cafe it was named and had high reviews.  Lynnie opted for the onion rings and I for the Old Fashioned Breakfast.  Not a simple meal, for sure.  Sausage, biscuits and gravy, two eggs, over easy and to top it off two plate-sized pancakes.  Holy Cow!, I said when I saw it.  Without undue effort and no encouragement, I polished off the whole meal, save a couple of bites of the pancakes to appease my conscience.  Ahhhh, gooood stuff!

We arrived at the Plantation just in time for a video tour.  This was something new for us.  As you entered the factory, you encountered a 36 inch big screen tv on the wall.  The spiel on this "station" lasted about five minutes.  As you moved through the factory observation way, you found two more tvs which completed the "tour".  We learned more about tea than I could have imagined.  I'll go into it when I see each of you when we return.  Essentially Black, Oolong and Green Tea all come from the same plant.  The length of time each is roasted determines the type.  Green, of course, is not roasted at all.  Tea is grown here, the only farm in North America.  It requires sufficient moisture, temperatures in the hundred degree range and high humidity.  All of these are found here.  Normally tea is grown on sidehills or mountains.  This is all flat, a former potato farm.  'Nuff said.  I took a few photos, one of a One Off tea harvester, invented here and two videos.  The first shows the area near the factory and the second is a few seconds of the road back from the plantation.  Most interesting to us was the way the trees reach across the highway and overlap each other.  Much like driving in a tunnel.  We're back in the Spanish Moss country again and it's very mystifying.  

We took the Trolley Tour to get an idea of the layout of the place.  John, our driver, ended his presentation with a statement that he says fits the way of life in Charleston:  We start the day slowly, he said, then we taper off...  Sounds good to me.  Works for us most every day.  Why not try it tomorrow?  

Oh, I also loaded a couple of photos I took earlier.  One at a cafe and two at Dreher Island State Park in central South Carolina.  What do you think??
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