I want a new tradition which is to go to sleep in a new place for my birthday. I have been time to time in other places but it was never really a tradition it just happened to work out way. I decided my tradition would start with Charleston.
Charleston you sure are PRETTY! Shockingly pretty actually. Houses are so big you can never get the whole photo with your camera. Block after block, street after street some just take your breath away!
Here is a brief account of my thoroughly enjoyable stay and inexpensive digs that fit the bill perfectly.
I am a budget traveler so if it isn’t cheap, I can’t go so with that I do my research which led me here. Since I traveled to Charleston for my birthday I decided on a private room as a treat instead of my usual dorm. I was on the 2nd floor, the Dylan room and the front porch was just outside my window. Perfect morning coffee spot! (bring your own if you are up before breakfast being served)
Charleston has free buses and free trolleys. There is also a $3 dollar bus from the airport to the Visitor’s Center in town. From there I jumped on the free 213 bus and made by way to NotSoHostel and was dropped off a couple of blocks away. I used free buses and Uber whichever worked out better during my stay. Charleston has some very good public transportation as well as a horse & buggy to get you through town. (poo poo bag attached to horse) This explains why the streets are pretty clean even on the horse routes.
I went on two outstanding walking tours with “Free Tours by Foot.” I had used them on a recent trip to New Orleans. Scott was my guide both tours and he is outstanding, has a passion for history and a love of Charleston that shines brightly. (and a witty sense of humor) I did the Historical Walking tour as well as the Civil War. Did you know that many of the brick houses standing today still have the fingerprint indention’s of the slaves who made the bricks by hand? I put my fingers right where their fingers were and it was a haunting feeling to say the least. Charleston had two types of slavery. There is the gang system (brutal and used throughout slave states) and there is also task slavery considered a bit less brutal. After a task was completed, the slaves’ time was their own. This was usually reserved for low country rice plantations.
It has been suggested that the task system allowed far more freedom to the slave. To some degree this is true – tasking could be better than unrelenting gang labor. There was time to tend a garden and raise crops for either home use or sale. But life was never easy. Sam Polite, a freed slave explained what slavery was like.
Every slave have task to do, sometime one task, sometime two, and sometime three. You have for work till task through. When cotton done make, you have other task. Have to cut cord of marsh grass maybe. Task of marsh been eight feet long and four feet high. Then, sometime you have to roll cord of mud in cowpen. Woman have to rake leaf from wood into cowpen …. If slave don’t do task, they get licking with lash on naked back.
Another freed slave, Prince Smith, explained that on Wadmalaw Island
There was three kinds of day’s work on the plantation. One is the whole task, meaning a whole hand, or a person in his prime. He was given two task for his day’s work. A task carried from twenty-four to twenty-five rows, which was thirty-five feet long and twenty-five feet wide. The three-fourth hand was given one whole task, which consists of twelve rows. All the young chillun was included in this group. Us half-hand was the old slaves who did a half task for their day’s work. When it was time to pick cotton, the three-fourth hand had to pick thirty pound and the half-hand twenty for their day’s work. Those who attended to the gin only include the three-fourth hand.
So sad…. I can’t wrap my mind around it but one thing Scott the tour guide said that rings so very true, you need to see and enjoy all the beauty of Charleston but the flip side of this place in history needs to be addressed and thought about as well, I agree.
There are many many stately homes & plantations you can visit here. With such a short trip, I was only able to visit one house. The Nathaniel Russell House. Here is a bit of information on the stately home. It was GORGEOUS inside and also had beautiful gardens that you are free to roam. Next time, I am coming with a book, finding a bench and having a good read pretending I live here. In the fall, I will be coming for a week. I found so much more that needs to be explored and I intend on doing just that with the added benefit that instead of 100 degrees it might be 70! Lord did I sweat, let me count the ways!
Remember Bubba from Forrest Gump?
Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.
Said in the voice of Jaqen H’ghar, “Does a girl eat shrimp”?
(for you Game of Thrones people)
Every church I passed by that had graveyards, I would duck into explore for a bit and Charleston had many old hauntingly beautiful ones. There are many ghost walks in Charleston and some of them are through these cemeteries. I didn’t see or feel any but I did announce to anyone listening, you go about your business and I’ll go about mine. :)
I walked miles and miles, ate everything , met loads of nice people, road in a horse & buggy and learned lots of new things. What more could a girl want? Well one thing, 80 degrees or less. That could be very good.
My visit was after the memorials held to honor the victims . Here is a link to the Charleston Strong tribute.
Random photos from my trip
OH and btw being a Maryland girl I consider myself to be a crab con·nois·seur ! We are crab fanatics! The She-Crab soup was GREAT! Next time, I plan to explore all things crab as well. *I might bring my own can of Old Bay* We shall see.
https://www.historiccharleston.org/russell.aspx Nathaniel Russell House
http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/charleston-sc-tours/ Free Tours by Foot
http://notsohostel.com/ NotSo Hostel
It’s an older place but who cares that just brings on the ole Southern charm!