|Epitome of Bliss: Tunnel of Trees, Fountain, Biking, Hot Summer Day|
Charleston, South Carolina | Population: 130,000
Charleston was the first place I visited on this trip that had oppressively hot and humid weather. I had expected hot hot hot weather in Norfolk, Virginia or Greenville, North Carolina, but I missed it. Instead, those cities had beautiful 80 degree days. Charleston was instant-sweat hot. I loved it.
With the advice of our Couchsurfing Hosts, we parked the car in the free-unrestricted parking area along Murray Boulevard and headed off on bike. This was perfect. I love the ability to walk around and look at things up close while also having the opportunity to bike around, enjoying the breeze and seeing more of the city than possible solely on foot.
Martin loves history - especially military history. So, we had to splurge and buy a ferry ticket to visit Fort Sumter.
The ferry took about 30 minutes to get out to the old fort; then we got to explore for about an hour before boarding the ferry again.
Along the way, the ferry gave the history of the significance of the fort in the civil war, and when we arrived, a couple of park rangers provided some more information. This was super helpful for me since I didn't remember many of the historic facts.
Martin was in heaven. The park ranger said it was easy to explore the fort in an hour, but Martin could have spent all day there a not been bored.
While we were visiting the fort, a thunderstorm rolled in. It was a spectacular sight to see the storm develop over the water.
It got really, really, really windy. Martin almost got blown over the edge of the fort by a gust of wind! It rained pretty hard for about 10 minutes and then stopped just as it was time to board the ferry again.
When we returned to our bikes, I discovered that my back tire was flat! Fortunately, a bike shop was within walking distance. I filled up my tire with air and bought a new tube just in case it went flat again, which it did just as we got back to the car. :)
I cooked most of our meals at our Couchsurfing Host's house, but we did enjoy one meal at Egan & Son's
. Martin's cousin-in-law told us that this place had the best fish and chips outside of the UK. Since I had never had fish and chips before, we had to go.
I thought it was good, but it was way too much greasy food for me. I would have been happy with a poached fish over a huge kale salad. I did enjoy dousing the greasy plate with a whole mess of malt vinegar. Any meal that allows me to eat a ton of vinegar wins in my book.
Martin got the Shrimp Po'Boy. This was a delicious sandwich, but again, I thought deep frying the shrimp was a bit much.
On our last day in Charleston, we drove to Folly Beach County Park
for a picnic lunch. It was hot and sunny. The beach was nearly empty, so we seized the opportunity for a quick dip to cool off. The waves were big enough for surfing and the kind that are fun to play in. This kind of spontaneous beach adventure was the first of soon to be many such adventures. I'm not the strongest swimmer, but with every beach stop, I'm getting better!
It was a perfect ending to our time in Charleston.
Labels: Biking, Charleston, Civil War, Folly Beach, Fort Sumter, History, South Carolina