Whiskey, ghosts and other stuff in Charleston, SC

Whiskey, ghosts and other stuff in Charleston, SC

#Charleston #SouthCarolina is a great city for a weekend break. Packed with #history, #culture and great #foodanddrink, it has something for everyone. I explored some of the city sites, got freaked out on a ghost tour and ate some amazing food. I would definitely come back!


The second iteration of my Weekend Warrior traveling experiment took me to Charleston, South Carolina!

Note: I weekend-swapped my Canon 5D Mark ii for my friend’s Sony NEX-6 in an attempt to test out a more travel-friendly camera. My thoughts on that camera is another story.

As per usual, I didn’t know what to expect, having never been to either of the Carolinas. I’d read that Charleston is one of the most traveled tourist destinations in multiple travel articles and decided to give it a shot! Chris (my consistent travel-buddy now) and I decided to stay true to form and wing the entire trip, not planning anything until we arrived.

I’m happy to say, the entire trip was fantastic.

Well, almost the entire trip. More on that later.

  All of the historic buildings really gave the place an amazing atmosphere  

Friday Night

We arrived rather late Friday night and decided that the safest bet was to partake in the local nightlife. So, we made our way to King Street, the downtown area of Charleston. The night essentially started and ended at Proof, a neat little cocktail bar. It was rather small, but had made up for its lack of size with its abundance of character. They gave pretty hefty pours and made a damn good Old-Fashioned too. So, you know, obvious brownie points.

  Finishing Friday with a hefty pour of Balvenie (I didn’t know what that was at the time)  

Saturday started off with a ridiculously good brunch

The Early Bird Diner. Does that sound like somewhere two young, strapping, humble 26 year old men would want to eat? Sounds like it would be the lobby of a nursing home, right? Wrong. It’s a tiny, packed diner that displays local art on the wall and serves some of the best chicken & waffles I’ve ever experienced.

  Get. These. Now.  
  some of the best chicken & waffles I’ve ever experienced.  

After brushing projectile waffle-shavings off my face and the nearby walls, we passed the time wandering around the Charleston marketplace, buying some exotic meats from The Charleston House of Jerky (Python and Mako Shark, to be precise). Chewing on our snacks, we spotted a photogenic looking back alley nestled between two buildings. Its name was Philadelphia Alley. As we found out later, it was a well-known dueling site and one of the most “haunted” places in Charleston.

USCH
  
Philadephia Alley
Thanks House of Jerky!
Crossed these two exotic meats off my bucket list, thanks to the House of Jerky!

After realizing we spent too much time exploring, we hustled to the harbor and were off to Fort Sumter. The fort sits on an island in the middle of the Charleston Harbor (requiring a cheap ferry ride), and was the site of the first shots fired in the Civil War.  

Fort Sumter
  
Panorama of the Fort
from  $19.5

Tour of Fort Sumter, Charleston

 Fort Sumter Ferry, South Carolina, USA
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As interesting as the fort was, the real gem of the excursion, and the trip, was meeting my two new favorite people and adopted grandparents, Jude and Sandy. They were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, to which I gifted them my python jerky.  

  the real gem of the excursion, and the trip, was meeting my two new favorite people   
Python jerky present

  We conversed about how much we liked Charleston, puzzled over where in the hell their home in the town Supply is (North Carolina), and hungrily chattered about how much we craved oysters. Our now-expanded group decided to take a stroll to a well-reviwed seafood restaurant, Pearlz. We spent a majority of the evening stuffing our faces with oysters rockefeller, crab dip, and calamari.  

  Oysters rockefeller and an oyster shooter  
  Chris, Katrina and I with our newly adopted grandparents  

After following Judy and Sandy around (and semi-rudely interrupting their anniversary dinner to tell them which rooftop bar we would be occupying), we ended the night with, you guessed it, more whiskey! We didn’t make any new adventures and set up shop at Proof again. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, Right?

Sunday started with, you guessed it, another great brunch

This time, our adopted grandparents suggested we make a reservation at Angel Oak Restaurant. We lucked out with an early reservation and chowed down on beignets and various forms of eggs benidict.

  Benedict family portrait. My breakfast drink order is, “All of them.”  

  McLeod Plantation was next on the improvised itinerary, and it did not disappoint. We followed a tour led by a woman of Gullah/Geechee heritage, and she told of the history of the plantation as well as how the Gullah/Geechee customs survived, even throughout the terrible hardships of slavery.  

McLeod Plantation Big House

  Of course, we randomly saw our adopted grandparents, Jude and Sandy, at the plantation. After briefly chatting and wishing them a pleasant rest of the day, we took off for the infamous Angel Oak tree. If you’re not familiar, it’s a massive, live oak tree that’s been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It really is monumental and something photos can’t come close to doing justice.  

  It really is monumental  
The Angel Oak
Me checking out the Angel Oak

  Post-Angel Oak, we wanted to see the Patriot Point Naval Museum, but arrived 10 minutes too late to actually step aboard the aircraft carrier. We did get treated to a great view of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge though!  

Patriot Point Naval Museum
  
The Arthur Ravenal Jr. Bridge
Bridge Web

Once the sun had set, ghost tours with Bulldog Tours were in order. I didn’t take any photos of the actual tours because, well, I forgot. We did the Graveyard Tour and the Jail Tour, and both were informative and creepy (I wasn’t scared, I swear).  

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Ghost & Graveyard Tour of Charleston

 Charleston, SC, USA
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We capped off the night with a walk to the infamous Hall's Chophouse. Our server, Josh, was great company, staying past his shift and chatting with us about Steph Curry, golf, and useless rooftop swimming pools. Then I was served the best steak I’ve had in recent memory and a little part of me died. It died because I couldn’t be eating that steak (with collard greens) forever.  

  I was served the best steak I’ve had in recent memory  
  Not pictured: collard greens, rapidly expanding wasitline  

We called it a night after that dinner, seeing how nothing we did after could top it. As I was slipping into a meat-based coma of bliss, I couldn’t imagine how the trip could have gone any better. Little did I know, I jinxed our ride home.

  I couldn’t imagine how the trip could have gone any better  

Our plane decided it was going to have total engine failure

You heard that correctly. Total engine failure. Those are the words the pilot relayed to us, not 5 minutes before our 6:50 AM flight was set to depart. So, without going into too many details, we were stuck in the Charleston airport until a replacement plane could arrive from Boston at 1 PM.

  What that 7-hour period allowed for, besides work-based stress, was reflection on how truly fulfilling the past three days had been. Time had seemingly stopped, as I spent long hours with great new friends I’d met over the most random of circumstances. As the plane finally took off, I truly was thankful for everything that had happened, the delay included. I can’t wait for the next adventure!  

   

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