Charleston with Christa

Last year Christa and I went to Key West and had a wonderfully, relaxing time.  This year we decided on Charleston, South Carolina.  We had driven through Charleston back in 2010 when we took our very first trip together, which was a road trip!  We didn’t get to see anything downtown though, and so this was a perfect destination for us.  Beautiful scenery, lots of history, tours, and of course, awesome southern food.

I took the first photo of the trip while I had a layover at the Atlanta airport.

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Christa picked me up in Raleigh, North Carolina and we drove down to Charleston.  We started our historical tours the next day with the Aiken-Rhett house.  A very informative self-guided tour.

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and then the Nathaniel Russell House.

IMG_1973Both tours were worth the time.  I just wish I could have taken pictures inside the houses!  While we were in town we toured two other houses, the Edmondston-Alston house,

IMG_2034and the Calhoun Mansion, which we regretted as it wasn’t so much a historical tour as it was a house jammed with stuff a really rich person collected.  The house was huge and gorgeous, and the grounds were really beautiful too.

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IMG_2017There was also a cat, which made my day.

IMG_2008I had one of my best meals at Dixie Supply Bakery & Cafe.  (A restaurant that was on Dinners, Drive-ins, and Dives!)

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Shrimp and Grits – YUM!

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The best dessert from Toast!

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We actually had dinner at Toast one night, went back the next night to grab dessert to take back to our hotel,

IMAG0813and then got up early on our last day to have breakfast there.

IMAG0818We spent some time walking around downtown peeking into gardens and I took lots of pictures of the beautiful houses.

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I didn’t take a picture of this awesome red door the first time I saw it and Christa was nice enough to walk around and try to find it another night.  She spotted it and the owners were actually standing in it!  We waited around, I took pictures of the gate next door until they went inside, then I was able to get a pic.

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We went down to Kiawah island one day and even though it was cloudy and we got rained on, it was still a beautiful day.

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Our very favorite tour happened on our last day.  We toured Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.  We started with the “Slavery to Freedom” tour.  Our tour guide was wonderful and very informative.  There are four of the original 1850s slave quarters still onsite at Magnolia.

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We also went on a tram tour to see the grounds and wildlife.

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We took a tour of the house,

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and also walked the gardens.

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At the end of our afternoon I found another cat.  Sylvester.

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Neither one of us was ready to leave Charleston.  There was so much we didn’t see and do while we were there.  It’s a place we think we would like to go back to one day, and we joked about retiring to the area.  It was 80 degrees while we toured the plantation!  A far cry from the cold that awaited me back in Minnesota.

It was a wonderful trip full of fun, laughter, history, beautiful weather, and good food.  I am so grateful for this friendship, for my friend.  There are not enough words to explain my respect and admiration for Christa.  She has been the best friend to me in the few years I’ve known her.  I am lucky, so lucky.

I can’t wait to see where we end up in 2014!

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