Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"My" Bridge

Mid-morning we drove over the Ashley River into Charleston, then crossed the Cooper River on my favorite bridge (more about that later) to this island. Are you puzzled over the fact that it's named Isle of Palms?

We drove past many ocean front homes in that distinct style where the house sits high on pilings to allow storm surges to 'hopefully' not rise up into the house itself. There are many unique elevations so each of these gorgeous home has its own personality.

After refreshing our memories of the Isle of Palms we crossed to Sullivan's Island at Breach Inlet. There are large signs forbidding swimming or even wading because the strong rip tides here have taken many lives. They don't have to threaten me with fines; I stayed clear of the water. Can you see the round house at the end of the far spit? Doesn't it look like a wedding cake...white, with three round tiers!

The pelicans had no fear of the surf here though and we watched them for some time. My favorite pelican sightings...Galveston Island, TX; LaJolla, CA; Garrison, ND; and now Sullivan's Island, SC! I love pelicans!

We circled back around to have lunch at Sticky Fingers on Isle of Palms which is Rich's favorite restaurant here. He got to come to Charleston two of the six times I attended that conference.

You know I prefer a BBQ place where you pick your own sauces.

This was Rich's Ribs Combo with four different styles of ribs. Thankfully, he shared bites of two of them because they were meaty, very tender, and so flavorful! My lunch was not what I had hoped.

Returning to Charleston we again drove over the Cooper River on my favorite bridge, the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge. Construction on this 2 1/2 mile cable-stayed suspension bridge began in 2001; my first conference visit to Charleston was in October 2001; and the bridge opened in June 2005. Since I had the privilege and joy of watching its progress on an annual basis, I kinda consider it to be "my" bridge! Isn't she magnificent? **sigh**

We parked downtown and began walking through Charleston's Historic City market. It only took a couple of minutes to realize that it had been completely renovated since I was here last...and it was in desperate need of renovation. This evening I learned that the eighteen month project was completed near the end of June in 2011. This is the main entrance on Meeting Street but you can also enter the market in several other locations along its four block length. Notice the sweetgrass basket vendors on either side of the entrance. Some of those baskets are intricately designed and require many hours of painstaking weaving to make; all of those baskets are works of art.

This is a long, side view of a section of the Historic City Market. The first buildings in the market date back to 1804!

And another section showing how each one is somewhat unique in design.

At our RV Park I had picked up a brochure for this store, which has only been here for about three years.

How cool is this? Did you know that Moon Pies come in Banana and Orange flavors in addition to Chocolate and Vanilla? They also carry lots of nostalgic games and candy and collectibles; a fun-to-browse store.

There are many beautiful churches in Charleston but these two caught my camera's eye today. Both are Anglican churches and are situated only a couple of blocks apart.

St Michael's Church was built between 1752 and 1761 on the site where the small, original 1680s St Philip's Church stood before the population outgrew it.

Since by 1727 the town had grown too large for the original small church, St Philip's Church was built to accommodate the increased population. I think it was the similarities in the design of the steeples that brought these particular churches to my attention as we drove through several blocks of the city center.

There will be more to share about our return to this historic and beautiful city over the next few days!

Lovin' Life ~~ Exploring Charleston Anew

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