“I Can’t Believe She Stretched That into Three Posts,” (Or Charleston Vacation Part 3)

Check out the previous two Charleston Vacation posts here and here.

Ok!  I’m sure you’ve read those and we’re all caught up, right?!

Great.  Picking up where I left off:

For those not familiar with Rainbow Row — or Charleston, for that matter — it is a row of fourteen historical, attached houses dating from 1740, all painted in various pastel shades.  It has the distinction of being the longest, intact row of Georgian rowhouses in the U.S, but mostly I just think it’s pretty.

…And really hard to capture in photography.  Typically, when you see pics of Rainbow Row, it appears as if it is on the water or at the very least there is nothing across from the street from it.  Quite the contrary, it is one street over from the water and all of its blocks are lined with trees so it’s hard to get a good vantage point to capture the whole row in one frame.

Here are a few shots of sections of the Row.

Sooo lovely.

After Rainbow Row, we headed north to the Dock Street Theatre.  (Did I mention this was all on foot?  We are New Yorkers, after all.)

For actors like Josh and me, the Dock Street Theatre is a very special place as it was the FIRST theatre in America.

Granted, it has been rebuilt in places due to fires and the like, but still — that’s pretty cool stuff in our book.

Fortunately, we got there right before they locked their doors for the day (just before 5:00), so they let us come in and check it out.  (However, only the balcony is open to tourists.  If you want to get a close-up, you have to check out a show there — which I highly recommend. Charleston Stage Company is their resident, professional theatre company and they offer a variety of stage productions throughout the year.  Here’s their website).

After having more than a few nerdy moments, Josh and I headed towards King Street for shopping shopping shopping.  Josh was pumped.  Not really.  (Though he was a really good sport, and I even think he enjoyed himself the majority of the time.)

King Street has a lot of the typical chains you’d find in a shopping mall, e.g., J. Crew, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, but it also has a lot of great boutiques and local one-of-a-kind places, too.  A few stores were even pic-worthy, like this store that specialized in honey.

They backlit their honey, which I think is one of the best merchandising ideas ever.  Anything with a warm amber glow is like eye candy to me.  Or eye-honey.  Hm…

Along our King Street stroll, we also came across the Oops! Catalog Clothing store (I think it’s a chain but I’m not sure?).  They carry items from catalogs that have been discontinued or are slightly irregular (maybe overstock, too?).  We didn’t buy anything, but the prices were actually pretty darn good.  So I took a picture of their sign…  Just to say that I did.

Ah, and of course here’s a Robot Candy Company sign.  We took a picture of it simply so Josh could Instagram it.  (This reason motivated 97% of the pictures we took.)

But yeah, it’s a pretty cool sign… I get it.

Then we went into the most fantastic Urban Outfitters ever.  It wasn’t so much the merchandise that appealed to us (but I do happen to like UO for that reason) — after all, we seem to have a UO on every corner in NYC.  However, this one was in a fancy was-it-once-a-hotel-or-an-old-movie-house-or-perhaps-a-palace? kind of building.  I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I would have liked as both of our phones were dying, but I did manage to get a few.

I love old buildings. So. Hard.

After our Urban excursion (that didn’t rhyme nearly as we’ll as I wanted), we continued along King Street to Cupcake, a place I had visited on my last visit to Charleston.  As could be expected from its name, they sell cupcakes there.  Yep.  And so delicious.  (And as of this writing, they are the only cupcake-only bakery in Charleston.)

After our dessert, we decided it was time for dinner (when you’re on vacation, you can eat backwards — it’s a fact).  We headed to Hyman’s Seafood, a restaurant   beloved by many and oft considered a Charleston institution.

And yeah, it was goooood.  Josh had the fish and chips (boring, but he said they were good), and I had the Carolina Delight, which was basically shrimp and grits, except the grits were made into a cake.  Josh had meal envy as my choice was far superior.  Sorry, Josh.

After dinner, we had reservations with a ghost tour, so we headed back towards the market to meet up with our tour guide.

 

Pause. 

Now, when Josh and I went on our honeymoon to New Orleans, we went on a ghost tour, and as I mentioned here, it was the highlight of our trip (only rivaled by our trip to Preservation Hall).  Note the words “ghost tour.”  Not ghost hunt.  However, our Charleston tour guide was dead-set (pun only half intended) on us seeing some ectoplasmic, orbic something.  Which I could care less about.

The NOLA ghost tour was more of a historical walking tour with the occasional “Oh, here’s an interesting local legend/tale/bit of folklore/whatever.”  And because the stories concerned places that we walked by all of the time, and because our tour guide wasn’t trying to fight with our skeptical side, it was so interesting and enjoyable.

However, our Charleston ghost tour began with a “Who here doesn’t believe in ghosts?”  This was basically the beginning of the end.  And honestly, I don’t not believe in ghosts.  I say I’m from Atlanta, but I grew up in Mobile, Alabama, one of the oldest cities in the nation.  My high school was established in the early 1800’s.  My middle school was a freaking Civil War hospital before it became a school.  Needless to say, I’m not a skeptic.  However, even this guy had me rolling my eyes.

The tour was only supposed to be an hour and a half, but the first half hour was wasted (in my opinion) on basically fighting with skeptics.  It wasn’t until halfway through the tour that words like “history” and even “Charleston” came up.  He showed us two alleyways (that are known to be haunted), the oldest graveyard in Charleston, and the dungeon (in the provost building).  Obviously, the latter was the coolest part, but merely because… it was a dungeon.  Aaand some undeniably spooky stuff happened while we were in there, but not because of anything the ghost tour guide said or did.

As I reread this, I guess I don’t sound very nice.  It’s just that we expected one thing, but got something very different.  And the tour guide wasn’t an awful person; in fact, when he wasn’t obsessed with trying to win over the skeptics, he was pretty cool.

All in all, it was a bit of a letdown.

But we did get to go into a reeeally old dungeon. (Or at least, old by American standards.). So that was one redeeming thing about the experience.

And that was Thursday.

The rest of the weekend was a bit more wedding involved, i.e., mani/pedis, bridesmaids’ stuff, wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and then of course the wedding itself.  (It was fabulous and beautiful and picture worthy… and I got no pictures.  Bad blogger — BAD!)

(Oh… except this pic of use after the ceremony:)

In keeping with the tradition of breaking our traditions, instead of rising at 5:00 and hitting the road, we slept until we woke up and hit the road at a leisurely 11:00.

Along the way, we found the best thing ever.

Like, for real.

And why there aren’t more of these is beyond me…

We found a dog run in North Carolina RIGHT. OFF. THE. HIGHWAY.  And we went to that dog run.  And our dogs ran.  Appropriately, I didn’t think to take any pictures of the fabulous wedding, but oh, how I took pictures at the dog run.  Get ready.

This might be my new favorite picture of Margeaux:

That smile could lower the deficit, I’m sure of it.

And here’s Josh in all of his white boy glory:

Oh, how I love my white boy.

We didn’t get back to Brooklyn until about 1:00 a.m., and OF COURSE we circled for a parking spot for a good 30 minutes.  This was not the highlight of our vacation.

And then we went back to work the next day.  Sigh.

 

In short:

Charleston Road Trip 2012 = Major Success

Motel 6 = Exactly as adequate as expected.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Josh Donahue and Courtney Foster-Donahue = The Road Trip Champs.  We are the best.  Do not accept imitations.

Check out my previous Charleston Vacation 2012 posts:  Part One and Part Two

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