Friday, August 22, 2014

Charleston Trip - Day 2

On Day 2 of our Charleston trip, Jim and I were hoping to see more of the downtown area of Charleston and some of the historical landmarks in the city itself.  Because we didn't really know where we were going, and because there was supposed to be more rain that day, we decided to take a trolley tour.  We figured we would be covered from the weather that way, and we would have a guide showing us the sites.  I found a trolley service, the Lowcountry Loop Trolley, that was supposed to be a hop-on, hop-off trolley, and it was only $5 per person.  We thought that meant that we could hop off to spend time at things that interested us and catch another trolley on the route when it came by or just ride along for the whole route and see things from the trolley if the weather was bad.
 However, the trolley wasn't what we were expecting.  Instead of a guided tour through the city, it was more of a shuttle.  You could get on, tell the guide where you wanted to go, and she would drive you there.  She told some information as we rode along, but the "tour" was not really intended to be a tour.  We found out later that there is a free trolley service that runs from the Charleston Visitor Center that has routes through the city and stops at the landmarks.  I don't think it is a guided tour, but it would have been more of what we wanted.
We got on with one other couple who were wanting to tour a plantation.  We spent the first hour of our "tour" riding along with them to the plantation, dropping them off, and then heading back to pick up another passenger from his hotel.  It was not very historical.  Our guide did take us out to Folly Beach and drove us through the Isle of Palms.  We saw some beautiful beach houses and a little of the ocean.  We took a trolley selfie.
 We stopped at the Mount Pleasant Visitor Center for the driver's break.  There, we saw a pretty view of the bridge back to the city.
 We also saw some of the Charleston sweet grass baskets.  There were women sitting and weaving these baskets in many of the places we went.  They were beautiful (and expensive!).
 We went back to the trolley to find out that our guide had gotten sick and had called another driver to come get us.  He arrived a few minutes later and drove us back to the Visitor Center.  At that point, we gave up on the trolley tour and decided to eat lunch before we left to return to my parents' house.  We walked several blocks to the restaurant and saw several old churches and buildings along our way.
 We ate lunch at Toast, a restaurant suggested by one of Jim's former students.  Jim got the Deluxe French Toast.  It was a big loaf of French Toast, stuffed with peaches and covered with peach syrup.
 I got the Crab Cake Sammie.  I had hoped to try a crab cake while we were in Charleston, so I tried one on a sandwich.  It was good!
 Since our trolley tour was a failure, we ventured on our own to one last stop, Rainbow Row.  We made it there (with just a few wrong turns).
 We drove past Rainbow Row, and I hopped out at the end to take a few pictures.
 We drove down a little further, parked, and got out to see the water along the Battery.
In spite of the rain, we really did have a nice time on our trip.  It was good to get away, just the two of us, and it was fun to experience a new place together.

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