Saturday, July 17, 2010

Touring the South Part 3! (Days 10-12)

Day 10 - Thursday, July 8th - Savannah, GA
As I stated before, Savannah was absolutely gorgeous. A wonderful downtown that has been preserved (or restored) and is in wonderful shape. It's a cute town for walking around, lots of history, wonderful stories. I think I said a few times "I think I could live there".

Nevermind that it was 100 degrees on the day that we were there. We'll skip that part.

We took a trolley tour around the historical district, which was informative and a nice way to see the town. The city is split into sort of quadrants with a square (park) in the middle of each area. For lunch we were told time and again to go to Ms. Wilke's Boarding House for her family style meal, and we stood outside for an hour and 15 minutes (remember - we are skipping the part about the heat), and finally sat down to a delicious meal of fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, lima beans, creamed corn, greens, macaroni and cheese, macaroni salad and more that I can't even remember what else. Ohhh it was good. So that was a highlight :)

We went over to the river and took a riverboat cruise, but I'll be honest and say that the Savannah riverfront is... not very exciting. We were pretty exhausted so we rested a while in the AC at the hotel, and then got some ice cream at the marketplace.

Day 11 - Friday, July 9th - Savannah, GA to Charleston, SC
We still had some tickets to go see the Savannah history museum, so we set off for that in the morning. It was nice... small, but nice. I'm sure my mom would also like to point out that I forgot my sandals at the hotel, so we went back for those before heading out of town. It was another hot day (skip that part!!) but we got to Charleston, checked into our hotel (which was crummy and not worth mentioning), and headed to downtown Charleston. It was nice to see Savannah and Charleston back to back to see the similarities and differences. Charleston seems a much more hodge podge city, and so we were glad to take a carriage ride around to get the lay of the land.

The carriage ride was entertaining - our guide did a good job of casually showing us around, but giving good information. Unfortunately, we found that because you're being led by a slow horse, the carriages have to take different routes around town and so you don't really see all of it. BUT, like I said - our guide was good, and our horse, Kevin, had a funny personality. It was good.

We walked around Charleston a bit, down by Battery Park, and it was nice evening for checking out the homes in the area. I was mostly amazed at these OLD, OLD homes surrounded by palm trees!! Something new to me.

Day 12 - Saturday, July 10th - Charleston, SC to Asheville, NC
We woke up, ready to leave Charleston behind, but we didn't travel far - we headed to Boone Hall Plantation, which we really enjoyed. The plantation is hundreds of years old, and supplied most of the brick that was used to build Charleston. In fact, the brick making was such a profitable business for them that they made the slave cabins of the house workers out of brick, and they are still standing! They were built from 1790-1810. That was really amazing, to stand in original slave cabins.

The best part of that visit was the presentation by Joe, about the Gullah culture, the African American culture that sprang up in that area as a result of learning English, and combining African traditions with American ways of life. It was entertaining, fun, and informative.

We drove from Boone Hall all the way to Asheville, NC. We were going to stay somewhere south of there, but decided to just go for it. They call the Charleston area the "low country", and once you get up into the Appalachias, it becomes the "high country". Makes sense, doesn't it? The weather cooled off, and the skies got cloudier, and the green hills were wonderful to see :) We settled down in Asheville for the night.

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