Charleston: Charm & power outages…

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina (Photo credit: Dougtone)

It has often been said that “all good things must end,” and that’s exactly what happened with my brief foray into wearing shorts and short sleeves in brilliant 70-degree weather that one day in Savannah. Hoping for more of the same weather once we reached Charleston, our hopes were dashed upon the rocks (I love being melodramatic this morning!) when we awoke on Tuesday to be greeted by cold and drizzle. Dedicated and intrepid folks that we are, though, we made the twenty-minute drive from our hotel to the Visitor Center on Meeting Street in Charleston so we could chart our course for the next two days, crappy weather notwithstanding.

The kind lady at the information counter advised us that we should probably do whatever it was we wanted to do now because the forecast for tomorrow was calling for freezing rain. In short, today would be the lesser of the two evils. And so we purchased the combo tour, which included a harbor tour and visit to historic Fort Sumter, followed by a lengthy Gray Line bus tour around the beautiful city of Charleston.

Once both tours were concluded, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Hyman’s Seafood Restaurant. The grouper medley special prepared three ways was outstanding, and there was definitely more than enough to fill us up!

From there, we hopped aboard the free public trolley and rode the mile-long route back to where we were parked at the Visitor Center. Before we realized it, we were back on westbound I-26 heading back to our hotel, wondering what kind of weather actually would be coming in. Sometime in the night, all of the bad stuff they’d been predicting finally arrived.

Looking outside from our hotel room window at the freezing rain. The pines are heavily laden with ice in Summerville, SC.

Wednesday was  freezing rain, causing countless pine trees to snap under the weight, taking out power lines and bringing things in the entire surrounding area to a halt. For a while, before the power left us, I managed to get some editing and revising done on my book The Good Luck Highway. After that, we spent the better part of the day without power. 

When the power did come back on–after several false alarms—we decided to take a drive to see if there was any place to get some dinner. Of course, that was no easy task since all businesses in our area were still without power. Finally, driving back three exits toward Charleston, we managed to find a brightly lit Cracker Barrel, the most popular place in the world!

English: View of the house at Middleton Place,...
English: View of the house at Middleton Place, near Charleston, South Carolina. Now the plantation’s house museum, this structure was originally the south wing, but became the main residence after the original main house was destroyed. The low wall left of the house indicates where the original main house once stood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thursday was better and the storms had moved on out, leaving behind much damage and many areas still struggling to get power back. A morning stroll through the City Market and a humbling visit to the old Slave Mart were the morning’s wanderings. From there, we drove out to Middleton Place, a true southern plantation, and walked the grounds and had a guided tour through the house. We both agreed that on a pleasant spring day, the time there would have been so much more enjoyable. As it was, it was still pretty impressive.

Dinner for our last night in Charleston was at the Shem Creek Bar and Grill, another place that had been recommended by friends and/or family. Located in nearby Mt. Pleasant, the large sprawling restaurant and bar served up all sorts of wonderful seafood dishes. I had the Shem Creek Sauté, a wonderful mix of mussels, clams, and scallops sautéed in olive oil, shallots, and spicy Cajun sausage, then tossed with linguine and topped with fried oysters. A couple of cold Budweisers to go along with it, and the meal was magnificent!

Our long, tiring, fun day over, we found our way back to the hotel, ready to hit the sack since the early morning would arrive all too soon.  After breakfast, we’d pack up, load the car, check out, and point our Malibu west on I-26 for the weekend in Waynesville, North Carolina. But I still missed being able to wear those shorts some more!….CortlandWriter

Official seal of Waynesville, North Carolina
Official seal of Waynesville, North Carolina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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