I recently returned from a journey to the South, with a capital "S." In five days, I ate 4 biscuits, devoured 6 pieces of fried chicken, saw a Civil War reenactment, rode on a swamp boat, almost tried to smuggle an alligator head into my carry-on, and discovered the wonder that is Crackerbarrel.
Here is the beautiful Claire, my hostess with the most-est. Notice how Charleston just suits her...
Charleston is not only one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, it's also supposed to be one of the most haunted. The porch ceiling in the picture above is painted "Haint" or haunt blue. The idea is that the spirits pass right over your house because they'll think it's part of the sky...sneaky.
We went on a great historic carriage tour of the city. So much fun.
The route you take on the tour is dictated by bingo balls- that way no one road becomes overly congested.
So, here is Claire- the perfect example of Charleston grace & class...
And here I am, looking like a pirate. "Arrrr." I don't think I got the class memo. However, in my defense, Charleston is known not only for its ghosts. It also has a long history of duels and piracy.
For our first lunch, Claire took me took to Poogan's Porch which is amazing...and you guessed it- haunted! Apparently, one of it's former inhabitants, a spinster lady named Zoe haunts the restaurant. The place has actually been voted the 3rd Most Haunted Place in the U.S. You can check out the whole story here
To be on the ghost's side- I'd probably haunt this place too. It was delicious!
Time for some antiquing.
And then a ride across the river to see the view.
All was calm and carefree and then-
The mosquitoes came! Run to the car!
Claire and I have been doing "Fish Face" pictures for almost 2 decades now. We know how to rock it.
Post mosquito-attack, we decided to stay in the car, so we made a stop at Sonic. It was my first time, therefore we had to try the cheesy tots.
The next morning Claire took me to this awesome diner at the Marina. We actually first met in a diner back in California. Our moms became fast friends while working on an school art project when we were in the 3rd grade. They planned a get together for us at Bobbi's diner. Claire wore her rainbow framed glasses and I wore my "Where's Waldo" tee-shirt. Magic :)
Some more walking around Charleston. I can't even tell you how incredible this city is. This church above is being restored to its original color, pink.
How pretty is she? Seriously- seriously!
I toned down my inner pirate for our walking tour, but only a little.
Next day, we went to Cypress Gardens. It was very cool! I don't have pictures of it, but there is also a swamparium (like an aquarium, but with swamp creatures). I kind of freaked out when we walked in there. There was some pretty creepy crawly stuff, stuff with eyeballs, and teeth. On a non-slithery side note, a scene from The Notebook was filmed here. The scene with the swans :)
Here is Claire on our boat trip. Look out for gators!
Next stop, Boone Hall Plantation. Another place where part of The Notebook was filmed. We went to see a Civil War Reenactment, which you can read more about in my post "The Time I...went to a Civil War Reenactment"
After the plantation and the reenactment, we were pooped. Claire asked me what I wanted and I said more biscuits. She took me to the most magical place I have ever been...
The Cracker Barrel!!! I got chicken n' dumplins' and I kid you not, I dream about them. I dream about the biscuits and the mac n' cheese and the front lobby that looks like a general store and the pecan roll that I bought and ate later that night. Claire asked me if I could ever see myself living in Charleston and I said that I didn't know, but that I could definitely see myself living in a Cracker Barrel.
On my last day, we made our way down to the outdoor market, where I saw these alligator heads. Post swamparium, I wasn't sure that I wanted to see any more alligators, particularly their teeth, but these guys don't seem too menacing.
I bought several of these sweet grass baskets which Charleston is famous for.
I had the most incredible time in this amazing city with the fantastic Miss Claire, who I miss, almost as much as the Cracker Barrel ;)