I know this is ridiculously out of chronological order. But upon arriving in Charleston, one of the first things we did was check out its beautiful and historical downtown district.
Up onto the new and spectacular Ravenel Bridge, which takes you right into downtown.
This is the only hill for miles, so road cyclists ride back and forth up and down over the bridge to practice hills.
So of course you need to start at the Charleston City Market, which is every bit as touristy as you'd expect it to be.
The only difference is that it is actually historically interesting: the original structure was built in 1792.
Does it GET any cuter?
Monkey see, monkey do.
The place where... 1) Tea is sweet and accents are sweeter. 2) Summer starts in April. 3) Macaroni and cheese is a vegetable. 4) Front porches are wide and words are long. 5) Pecan pie is a staple. 6) Y'all is the only proper noun. 7) Chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy. 8) Everything is Darlin'. 9) Someone's heart is always being blessed."
And there you have it.
I am happy to report that I never saw anyone eating these, and only ever saw them at this one store. I don't think they're actually a common Southern snack.
Raw shea butter.
Confusing traffic lights?
Happy man with grits.
Southern architecture: tall ceilings and big wrap around porches, to try to keep the indoors cool.
Our ride while in Charleston.
Looking out to the sea.
Looking down the walk of the Battery. What a great view!
Tell me you wouldn't like to go for a little stroll here? Or even just move in?
Columns are good.
Shutters are good.
But apparently this architect didn't know that there really is such things as too much of a good thing.
You know, just strolling along, and you come across... a cannon?
Yup. That's a cannon.
This lovely park is right at the very end of the Battery, with ocean on three sides.
We took a nice stroll under the shade of the old Oak trees.
Good parents let their children play on cannonballs.
Cute little old house. Don't you just want to drink some lemonade on that porch?
It's hard to see in this photo, but I was quite taken with these stairs. If you look closely, you can see that someone has trained the ivy to cover the risers (vertical step up) of each stair. This was the first time I saw it, but I saw many times while in the South.
That sign is nagging me.
Screened in porches, to save you from the bugs.
Even the security gates are pretty!