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.

SCIWAY states:

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)

She does….

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.

Charleston Strong

charlestonjune2016 076

My visit was after the memorials held to honor the victims .  Here is a link to the Charleston Strong tribute.

http://www.postandcourier.com/20160618/160619418/charleston-strong-a-rallying-cry-in-a-time-of-mourning

Random photos from my trip

charlestonjune2016 182charlestonjune2016 167charlestonjune2016 165charlestonjune2016 155charlestonjune2016 152charlestonjune2016 142charlestonjune2016 134charlestonjune2016 118charlestonjune2016 112charlestonjune2016 110charlestonjune2016 097charlestonjune2016 078charlestonjune2016 069charlestonjune2016 068charlestonjune2016 065charlestonjune2016 064charlestonjune2016 062charlestonjune2016 053charlestonjune2016 049charlestonjune2016 048charlestonjune2016 045charlestonjune2016 044charlestonjune2016 043charlestonjune2016 040charlestonjune2016 039charlestonjune2016 038charlestonjune2016 030charlestonjune2016 025charlestonjune2016 023charlestonjune2016 014charlestonjune2016 012charlestonjune2016 011charlestonjune2016 007

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.

charlestonjune2016 285

 

Useful links:

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!

 

 

 

My favorite months in Italy are May & September.  If you have an opportunity to visit any other month of year, I recommend you seize the moment.  The moment for me came in November.  My agenda was to revisit Rome and an overnight trip to Assisi.  I only had eight nights.  That’s rather short for me.  I generally always stay two weeks in Europe.  I decide eight will have to do and I shall be utterly grateful for them all.

I have visited a lot of the usual tourist attractions so for this trip, I decided let’s try to visit some places off the radar plus whatever I happen to stumble upon while roaming.  I did not think this fellow would be one of them.  We gazed at each other a long long time.  Love at first sight.

IMG_0814

My Buddy

IMG_0146

Let’s see what is going on in Rome & Assisi

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Never really planned on a hot summer Florida trip.  Originally I was supposed to be on an Alaska cruise with my dear friend Brenda.  She had to cancel so with that I needed to use the airline ticket that I had purchased to Vancouver.  Where to go?  Since I hope to one day move to Florida, I thought why not go during the hottest month, see how it is, can you handle it ?  South Beach is always a fun place so a plan was put in motion.  I get a wonderful email alert that airfare from Baltimore is going on sale for $97 round-trip.  I call my mom and ask if she would like to come for a week.  I booked us at the Posh Hostel and it’s coed.  Mom says that’s okay by her, my friend Kelly says I can come too so she gets booked than my friends Vivian & Marnie decide they can come four nights during the stay.  My friend Pat lives in South Beach so that’s another one added to our little summer soiree.  Hostel link:  http://www.poshsouthbeach.com/    It says open to any free spirited traveler.  Well that’s me!  Think I am going to fit in here nicely.  Oh, I am also going to visit Key West.  I have never been but my sisters and quite a few friends love it tremendously so it is about time for me to investigate what all the fuss is about.

Miami2015 050

my Mom

Miami2015 061

Pat

Miami2015 162

Vivian

Miami2015 160

me and Marnie

Kelly the cheap date

Kelly the cheap date

Did I mention it is Tarzan hot in South Beach?  It is. No matter we will sweat and have fun, if we can’t get the fun part going we still will indeed sweat!

The Posh Hostel has a free shuttle. (later I will do a review)  I came in on the day that the shuttle only comes every two hours and wouldn’t you know it I arrive about 15 minutes after it has left!  Okay should I get taxi or suck it up?   I decide to wait.  I had cowboy boots on and I truly wanted to take them off and throw them.   Those buggers didn’t touch my feet the rest of the trip.  What was I thinking?

Read the rest of this entry »

this was on my old blog….needs to be on my new one:)  Leaving snowy Maryland while I’m California dreaming:)

san diego 049

that’s me in there ready to land

san diego 010

ewww ewww and more ewww

san diego 034 san diego 055 san diego 056 san diego 065 san diego 066 san diego 067 san diego 068 san diego 072 san diego 073

Read the rest of this entry »

I’m home now after a delightful trip to Spain.  My stay included Madrid, Malaga & Cordoba.  I did a day trip to Ronda.  Next time, I will base all my stay in Malaga.  Awesome people, places and food!!!  There’s lots to see and do there.  Even with a week’s stay I have many more items still on my list.  My report is under construction.  I am going to be very busy the next few weeks but will get to this project as soon as I can.   Here’s a sneak preview.  I’ve got lots more to add.  I miss Spain.

Madrid:

Madri

Madri

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Madrid

Malaga:

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Malaga

Read the rest of this entry »

We love castles, we love tiara’s, we love villages with old warm charm, cold beer, wine, music, vineyards and adventures. Germany was going to fit the bill nicely for us girls. We like grumpy people who we make smile. We like happy people who already smile. We got lost, we got found, we danced and were sung to by older German men. We were scolded. (mild infraction regarding touching something on display) We rode boats, horse carriages, cable cars, buses, trains and we made friends. We ate & drank everything! We had one flasher but that’s for later. Now a lot of that above is really a reminder list of what I need to write about for this report. Germany gave it all to us and more. First stop – Rudesheim My first tip – pronounced Ru des hime , at first we thought it was like “shine.” This part of the trip includes three Maryland girls (me, Kelly & Vivian) Ellen from New York and Kathleen from Ireland. We moved around far more than usual on this vacation because there was a lot we wanted to and accomplish. At times it was grueling but I’d do it over again.

GermanyPartone 058 GermanyPartone 168 GermanyPartone 013 GermanyPartone 021 GermanyPartone 061 GermanyPartone 127 GermanyPartone 159 GermanyPartone 162 GermanyPartone 172 GermanyPartone 179

Day One –  after the long plane ride and a train here it was a matter of find the hotel, eat and rest. Day Two – GREAT DAY ! We start our Rudesheim exploration with the Ring & Romantic ticket.  This gets you a chairlift to the Germania monument, cable car to Assmannshausen town and a riverboat tour.  If that’s not enough there is a bonus, a deer sanctuary plus you get to feed them!  Oh and did I tell you the chairlift goes over vineyards?  It does!  Coolest thing ever! You want to get over jetlag? You get this ticket! http://www.ruedesheim.de/en/discover-ruedesheim/cable-car/ Scenes from the day: oh and Ellen laid an egg and Kelly had to run with an omelette !!!

 

 

GermanyPartone 060 GermanyPartone 068 GermanyPartone 069 GermanyPartone 070 GermanyPartone 071 GermanyPartone 078 GermanyPartone 079 GermanyPartone 082 GermanyPartone 084 GermanyPartone 087 GermanyPartone 092 GermanyPartone 099 GermanyPartone 105 GermanyPartone 107 GermanyPartone 109   GermanyPartone 119 GermanyPartone 122 GermanyPartone 124 GermanyPartone 130 GermanyPartone 143 GermanyPartone 145 GermanyPartone 147 GermanyPartone 150 GermanyPartone 151 GermanyPartone 153 GermanyPartone 154 GermanyPartone 157 GermanyPartone 158 GermanyPartone 159 GermanyPartone 160 GermanyPartone 164 GermanyPartone 165 GermanyPartone 167 GermanyPartone 174 GermanyPartone 178 GermanyPartone 182 GermanyPartone 184 GermanyPartone 185 GermanyPartone 186 GermanyPartone 188

Funniest thing ever is when that egg fell out of Ellen’s bag at the restaurant.  I’m going to stick to the story that she laid it though right in that town we nicknamed Assman.  We did indeed run with Kelly’s omelette!  The food came too late at another place and the boat was pulling up and we had to “Runnnnn Forest” with the omelette.  It was delicious.   When I go back to Rudesheim I am going to do this ticket again.  The photos speak for themselves. Our evening leads to merriment! Read the rest of this entry »

Video of my first visit:  Sensational Sicily    http://youtu.be/eaKTIHNEMo0

Uploads from j3dnight: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=UUbVWZFzmE_RftYB9y36rowQ

Hawaii Trip Report 2013 * Aloha :)

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Travel

Oahu, Kauai, & Maui

Oahu segment:

Just what the doctor ordered, Hawaii. But he didn’t order it I did it with miles and after much stress at work which started affecting my health I arrived limping. Not really limping as in leg injury but in mind and spirit. Can you fix me Hawaii? The answer….yes we can and Hawaii does. When you start feeling a bit too warm she gives you a breeze, too dry a rain shower than sun. When you need a sign you get a rainbow.

hawaiidisk22013 224

Read the rest of this entry »

hot, sweaty & happy, Paul McCartney does it like that to you :)  but....we didn't get rain.

hot, sweaty & happy, Paul McCartney does it like that to you:) but….we didn’t get rain.

Friday, July 12, 2013

What was supposed to just one night led to a two-night stay and it started off with a bang, me and my friend Kelly’s first ever chance in life to hear live THE Paul McCartney. It was great to finally see the man. We’ve recently been to Liverpool. How we never got to a concert floored me so it became my mission to make this happen. Well Paul made it happen in Washington DC and I won’t ever try to buy tickets feeling nervous and excited because I messed up so many times trying to get them online it’s a wonder I even got a ticket.

How to describe it?

THE BEST CONCERT I HAVE EVER EVER SEEN!

I have seen Led Zepplin twice. Lots of bands really but this was a one of a kind show and I’m so very thankful to have had this experience. You’re watching a legend. At 71 years old, he is still spitting fire and damn cute!!! Whether he is fluffing his hair or adjusting his pants with the boyish grin I could just scoop him up.

Read the rest of this entry »