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Charleston and Savannah

by bill - 2000-08-04 ( life / travel / charleston )

Charleston, SCWe drove ... and drove ... and drove - 10 hours or so- from Nashville until finally reaching Charleston, South Carolina. Along the way, westopped in Asheville, North Carolina at the Biltmore Estate because Tara had forgotten toget postcards when we were there a couple years ago. That's one of her things. Shebuys postcards from places we visit. Doesn't mail them to anyone, just buys them forherself and later puts them in a scrapbook. Weird, huh? Kidding! It makessense, actually. The postcards are guaranteed good photos of things we saw when we werethere, plus there's a little description on the back. It beats lugging our own cameraaround and hoping to get a good photo or two.

That's something else I used to do: carry my video cameraeverywhere and then never use it. I prefer to sightsee through my own eyes, not thecamera lens. And it's not as if anyone other than Tara or myself ever wants to seethe video later. I've gotten to where I bring the video camera along, but just keepit in the car trunk in case I really need it. Vacation videos havereplaced slide shows as the most dreaded thing your travelling friends and relatives putyou through! Well, that and stories such as this one!

Upon our arrival in Charleston, our first stop was dinner on MarketStreet at a place called Papillon. Good food. The next day, we got on the city trolley,bought a couple of all-day passes, and trollied and walked all over town. I guessour first trolley stop was Battery Park at the end of Charleston's peninsula. Fromthere you can walk along the perimeter wall and look across the bay to Fort Sumter, wherethe Civil War started.

Along Market Street, Tara bought several lithographs. I bought at-shirt, as usual. Typical stuff.

That night, Tara bought us tickets to a "ghost walk" inwhich the tour guide - a fairly scary guy himself who claimed to live with two ghosts- told ghost stories as he led the group of us all over town, through cemeteries and "haunted" alleyways. The guy was definitely very entertaining. Veryanimated. But, in the end, I think most of the group were left with a feelingof: "That's it? No actual ghosts? Nothing actuallyterrifying?" I guess the scariest part was how he ended the tour nowhere nearwhere we started; leaving us clueless tourists wondering how to get back, in the dark, notknowing our way around. We made it back alive, though.

Not to end the story on any sort of sour note, though, I would justlike to say that Charleston is definitely a worthwhile stop on any itinerary. There's just so much history and charm to the place.

Savannah, GA

Savannah was nice, too. For whatever reason, though, I didn't findit as enchanting as Charleston. Tara thinks that's just because we were worn outfrom walking all over Charleston. But still, Savannah's definitely a nice place tovisit, though we could've done without all the travel guide and brochure references tothat overrated movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

We visited or drove by each and every town square for which Savannah isfamous, including Chippewa Square in which Tom Hanks was filmed telling the story of ForrestGump. On the edge of another square, we visited the former home of famous localwriter, Flannery O'Connor.

That night we had a nice dinner along River Street at a place calledExchange Tavern. They gave us a window seat where we could watch the ships come andgo through the harbor. Every time a ship passed by, the bartender in the adjoiningbar rang his bell and shouted out something or other. It was funny the first time hedid this. We were sitting at the bar awaiting our table when, as it just sohappened, the hostess almost simultaneously called our name off the waiting list. Iwas settling the bar tab and getting up to follow her to our table, leaving Tara to wonderwhy I was getting up all of a sudden. She hadn't heard our name called and hadthought I was, for some inexplicable reason, getting up in response to the bartenderringing his bell.

After dinner we spent some time strolling along River Street, shoppingfor mementos.

And that's about it. All in all, a nice relaxing four-dayweekend.


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