Friday, September 5, 2014


After lunch on Sunday, we headed back up to Calhoun St., then turned east, following it all the way to the shore. What sits there? Why, this does!

The wonderful Charleston Aquarium.

First stop? Madagascar...

complete with lemurs!

Next stop, the giant two story fish tank. "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie..."

That's a Moray!

They also have a big open air terrace where you can get up close and personal with local fowl, and even pet some stingrays.

Somebody had way too much fun in the gift shop.

When done there we were fortunate enough to catch a trolley right outside the front door, and in a timely manner, as it was time for our afternoon siesta!

Later that evening we headed out to a darling Italian place we had spotted during our nighttime wanderings in the residential area -- a most inviting little trattoria called Fulton Five -- only to discover it was closed on Sundays! Luckily, we had a backup plan, down in the old market area.

Dinner included French Onion Soup, which we scarfed down before remembering to take a photo...

Salade Nicoise with crusted ahi tuna...

and scallops over some kind of yummy potato goodness, topped by a truffled vinaigrette. Mmmmm! Then, of course, there was another evening stroll, with another stop for ice cream.

On our last morning, knowing our flight schedule nixed any chance for lunch, we passed up our inn's continental breakfast and opted for a hearty brunch at their sister restaurant Kitchen 208, just a couple of doors down. After which we had just enough time to make one last dash to the old market, to purchase a couple of souvenirs we'd been trying to talk ourselves out of all weekend, then it was off to the airport!

Now, I'm sure that any of you readers who have actually been to Charleston have made a mental list of at least a half dozen places that we really, really should have gone to, and didn't. All the more reason to go back, right? And, you've got to admit, we did manage to cram a whole lotta fun into those two short days, did we not?

Thursday, September 4, 2014


After another lovely, leisurely breakfast in the courtyard, we decided to take Outdoor Woman's advice and "pony up" for one of the carriage rides that you can catch down near the old market.

The carriages can hold as many as sixteen people each, and are very well regulated, so there is no chance of being gouged. The best part is that the drivers are fountains of knowledge. They have to pass a rigorous history test every three years, in order to keep their jobs.

We got to see so much wonderful stuff, it would have been impossible to cover it all on foot. And we enjoyed it all in shaded comfort!

It cost fifty bucks for the two of us, but it was worth every penny!

One restaurant we wanted to try, but were unable to, is Husk, on Queen St. Their focus is on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and Outdoor Woman gave it rave reviews.

Unfortunately, one must make reservations well in advance. Maybe next time.

Another we hoped to try was Hyman's Seafood, but every time we walked past the line was out the door and down the block.  So, imagine our surprise when we finished our carriage ride and started trudging down Meeting St. in search of grub, then suddenly realized "Whoa! That was Hymans we just passed. And there was no line. At all!" As if that weren't enough, our little map of the city had a coupon for a free appetizer there!

So, remember those peanuts we saw in all the market stalls the day before? Well, this is what they do with them. They boil them and serve them as a slimy little appetizer.

Lex and I both agreed that they must be an acquired taste (as in they sucked. so. bad!) These hushpuppies, on the other hand, were dee-lightful.

And that free appetizer I mentioned earlier? Well, when I read the description it made me a bit nauseous.  Fried green tomatoes, over grits, with cheddar cheese, and parmesan alfredo sauce? I don't think so! But, then again, it was free. So we tried one bite each. And then another. And another. Fortunately, we reigned ourselves in before we were too full to enjoy our fried oysters and shrimp po'boy.

Guess what? When we came out of Hymans, the line was again out the door and down the block. It was a miracle!

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


After our little rest, and a few nibbles from our inn's nightly cheese party, we were ready to head out again.

Our destination? Gaulart & Maliclet, also known as Fast & French, on Broad Street...

where we shared their lovely roast chicken special, seated at the communal counter, and I enjoyed a very tasty dry rose' from the south of France.

Afterwards we headed towards the old City Market, taking the scenic route along the Battery, and stopping for some gelato along the way.

The old market stretches for four city blocks, and is a combination of indoor, permanent stalls and open-air temporary stalls that get packed up each day. Originally a place for locals to buy meat and produce and socialize, it is now mostly a place to buy souvenirs. Fortunately for us, they have a night market on weekends involving some of the temporary stalls.

We wound up our day wandering around the residential area across from our hotel, peeking through gates to catch glimpses of piazzas and graveyards. In the end, we decided we really should have signed up for one of those "ghost tours" they advertise.

Total steps clocked on our fitbits that day? Over 20,000 each!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


View From Our Balcony
We arrived in Charleston, S.C. around 9:00PM Friday evening, so it was nearly 10 by the time we collected our luggage and took a taxi to the Kings Courtyard Inn. I was originally planning to stay at Elliot House, which got rave reviews from Outdoor Woman, and would be perfect for John and I. But, as with many old inns and B&B's, their rooms all had just one bed. Was I ever tickled to find this one, which had several spacious rooms with two doubles, where continental breakfast and an evening wine & cheese affair were included, all for less than the other inns we had looked into!

Breakfast In the Courtyard, With Seated Service
Best of all, it was located smack dab in the middle of King Street -- block after block of great shopping and eating!

A Shop With All Things Honey Related

First stop on Saturday was a wonderful farmers' market in Marion Square park, complete with pony rides and musical entertainment. This is where we discovered that all the weather reports, which had promised highs in the 80's throughout our visit, were big fat lies. It jumped up into the mid-90s that day, with what must have been 100% humidity. By the time we completed the market, we were both dripping wet.

Something I'm not used to seeing at our markets -- peanuts. Almost every stall had peanuts! We were to discover why at lunch the next day.

Needing a place with a nice restroom, where we could remove a bit of the "dew" from our bodies, and a frosty glass of iced tea, we stopped into King Street Cookies, just across from the park. Yum!

You'll never guess what else was right across from the park at 143 Calhoun St., in the basement of this red brick building.

One of the best stores ev-vah, that's what! Welcome to Artist & Craftsman Supply, an employee-owned company.

By the time we left there we were gettin' pretty hungry, and since we'd already walked all the way up King St. to Calhoun, we figured we might as well head west to Hominy Grill, the one place we really wanted to go that was kinda off the beaten path.

We weren't quite brave enough to try the sandwich they are famous for -- known as "The Big Nasty" -- but the shrimp and grits were to die for!

After lunch we thought we'd catch one of the free trolleys that runs around the downtown area. You won't believe who was at the bus stop waiting with us. A bunch of Texas Aggies! Apparently A&M had just played S.C., and they had come up for the game. Unfortunately, we waited and waited, but the trolley never came, so we started the trudge back to our hotel. This time we decided to take Meeting Street south, which runs parallel to King. My daughter has a thing for old houses, and when we came across the Joseph Manigault House -- Charleston's Huguenot House, and one of the few historic houses that is open for guided tours -- we just couldn't pass it up, now could we?

By the time we finally made it back to our hotel we could not wait to strip out of our dripping wet clothes and collapse on our beds for a well-deserved nap!

To Be Continued...