Friday, November 9, 2012

Historic Homes & Holiday Lights

Do you think you could ever get tired of seeing photos of this bridge? I didn't think so...giggle! We drove over it this morning just because I love it, then we turned around on the Mt Pleasant side and drove back over to the city. Obviously I messed with the color a bit on these...just to keep it interesting for you!

Our first stop today was to tour this house which was built in 1808. I perhaps should mention a bit more often that not every experience is over-the-moon fabulous and this day...well, you'll see. The tour of this house was led by a woman from New Jersey who happened to be very loud; paused and laughed long at her own bad jokes; was uninformed about the house; talked about things totally unrelated to the house or Charleston; and made up lots of historical information. Then there was the house...the tour was limited to very few rooms on only two floors, much of the renovation involved faux painting of what used to be intricately carved moldings, none of the furniture or artwork was authentic to the house. The worst historical house tour ever.

When we bought those tour tickets we also bought tickets to tour another house across town. We drove down cobblestone streets while discussing whether or not to even bother going to the other house. Man, is that some bumpy riding!

There was no parking near the pier I wanted to visit again so we decided to go ahead and see about the other historic home...the Aiken-Rhett home which was built in 1820. We are so glad that we went there. This was quite an experience, in a very good way. This home has not been restored and is in quite a state of disrepair which was wonderful because you could see layers of wallpaper and paint; outlines where art or furniture had been placed; furniture that had stuffing spilling out; additions and renovations of several periods, slave quarters as they were left; outdoor privys; and on and on in a home that was formerly so grand and is now shyly embarrassed about her current condition. Now this is history.

Walking out the back servants' door to the back yard, the two identical small structures with green doors and shutters in opposite corners at the rear of the property were both privys. They were much fancier than the ones at the homes of various family and friends when I was a child.

Looking toward the house, which is the larger yellow structure in the center, from the backyard you see the stable on the right and the laundry and kitchens on the left. The second floor of both structures was slave quarters. We were allowed to go upstairs in the laundry/kitchen building. It was fascinating to me to see exactly how buildings like these disintegrate. I certainly have a new-found respect for those folks who renovate a home that has sat idle for years. Interior photos are not allowed; I do wish I could share this home with you.

Next we drove back to the center of the city and started walking to the restaurant for a very late lunch. On the way, I remembered this hotel from an earlier visit and took Rich in to see this. What a contrast to what we had seen over the past few hours. This is the grand staircase and chandelier in the Charleston Place Hotel...jaw-dropping gorgeous!

Continuing on we went to the city location of Sticky Fingers. It's in a cool old building with lots of exposed brick, wood floors, and stamped tin ceilings.

Having tasted Rich's ribs at the other location a couple of days ago, I decided to order ribs which is not something I ever choose. I also selected deep-fried corn-on-the-cob since I had never heard of that and rarely meet anything fried that I don't love. Rich had ordered the rib combo again and had four styles of thick, meaty, rounded, tender ribs. I got these overcooked, thin-boned, dry, meatless ribs and mushy corn. The ribs were so bad that I decided to complain and another four ribs were promptly brought out...just like the ones I had the first time. When I complained again the manager came, agreed after seeing those ribs that they were unacceptable and asked if I would let him personally make ribs for me. Those ribs were somewhat better even though I had long before finished my fries so had no sides. But even they were a weird cut with one end knobby with fat and gristle. Rich sat there completely flummoxed because he always gets these perfectly prepared, meaty, delicious ribs at both of these locations. Certainly not the end of the world, millions of people would love to have my problems, but still that was really weird since we had both ordered essentially the same thing!

We came back to the RV until about 6:30 then drove to James Island for the opening night of the Charleston Country Parks and Recreation fabulous 23rd Annual Holiday Festival of Lights. Timing is everything I tell ya!

There will be more about this later because it is much too early for photos of Christmas light displays but look at's a light display of  "my" bridge!

This one is for my friend, Amy, whose husband is a real rocket scientist.

This is the crescent moon and palmetto which symbolize South Carolina.

This light display honors the famous Rainbow Row of homes on Charleston's East Bay Street.

Lovin' Life ~~ In Charleston

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