Sat. May 20, 2017:
I woke up at 7:30am because the headache I had in the middle of the night was still going. I had been mostly asleep when it first hit and I couldn’t make myself get up and take an Advil, I had assumed I could sleep it off. We stopped in for the breakfast buffet. I did not have high hopes and was pleasantly surprised to find warm cinnamon buns. The other options left much to be desired: the choice between low-fat yogurt and a too-big container of greek yogurt? As we walked back to the town I sipped my terrible hotel coffee, made all the worse by the hot weather. Bad hot coffee is that much worse when it is 30+ outside, and it was still morning!!
We started out our day at the Charleston Museum, the first and oldest American museum. We saw some Civil War stuff, giant rounds of ammunition and skeletons and taxidermied animals. At the museum we also confirmed that South Carolina water tastes swampy and smells of beets. It was not just the water in our hotel room. The museum was fairly small and we finished with enough time to go to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Along the way we passed through the town square where they were having a farmer’s market. I got a Charleston Tea Plantation tea mixed with lemonade and some teabags as souvenirs for my family.
What we did not anticipate was that the Chick-Fil-A was in a campus dorm building in the College of South Carolina campus. And it was closed for renovations to boot. No worries, we found another one a few blocks away! We got there only to discover that it was in the College student centre- which was closed on weekends during the summer season.
We decided to just stop somewhere on the way to the ferry, we still had plenty of time (even with the sunscreen application pitstop). We had seen a Chipotle earlier but before we got to it we found a Five Guy’s because burgers > burritos. The guy at Five Guys ended up giving me a free drink- no complaints here. The jalapenos were so good but towards the end it was getting too spicy and making me cry. It was the perfect amount of food.
We got to the ferry just in time and it was a short 30 minute ride over to Fort Sumter. We had been on a previous trip to Gettysburg and now we were getting to see where it all began. We were given an hour to wander around the fort and the island, with the option of listening to the ranger talk about the fort. He was so fake and overly energetic we had to get out of earshot. Later on as we looked down, a kid shouted at him to calm down. In the museum section (aka hiding-from-the-sun-and-basking-in-the-cool-air-building) a kid was counting the stars on the Civil War US flag and he was so concerned, he was yelling for his mom because it only had 33 stars and as soon as she started paying attention to him he lost interest and moved on.
In the walls of the forts there were birds’ nests. There were also shells still lodged in the walls. We watched pelicans swoop into the water- all the while trying to avoid really annoying know-it-alls boring their companions with all their talking. For the ferry ride back we went to the lowest deck, we had had enough of the sun and needed shelter. Sipping my white wine and eating mini Charleston Chews, Brent sipping his beer, our peace was soon ruined by annoying nerds talking about the stupidest bro-things. I was too tired to care or to move. Thankfully the ferry ride back was short.
We took a roundabout way to walk back to the hotel following the shoreline. We gawked at some more gorgeous houses. The heat and sun started getting to me. I was tired and covered in sunscreen and the air was so thick and muggy. I was drenched in sweat. Along the way we saw a lizard and a pretty song bird, they distracted me from my tired state for all but a few seconds. We stopped at a Rite Aid on the medical campus to get some beers and Gatorades for the trip. I was so dehydrated I got a pomegranate-blueberry green iced tea to tide me over for the rest of the walk and an old fashioned cream soda for once I was back in the hotel.
Once we got back I made a beeline for the shower. I was covered in a terrible mix of sunscreen and sweat. The caramel M&Ms we had gotten at Walgreens hit the spot to hold me over until dinner. We drove to Bowen’s Island Restaurant for dinner. The place did not take reservations and we had to line-up. We were there 17 minutes after open and there were a good 25-30 people in front of us. Thankfully the line moved quickly as you placed your order and then sat a table waiting and there were plenty of tables. The choice was easy and we barely had to debate: seafood platter of fried fish, fried shrimps and crab-cake that came with fries and hushpuppies. We also ordered a side of fried oysters because that was what they were known for. The crab-cake was unbelievable, easily the best one I had ever had. Second place went to the fried oysters. The shrimp and fish were tied for a close third. We had no idea what hushpuppies were, turns out it was just fried balls of cornbread and they were surprisingly good (given my dislike of cornbread). Even at the restaurant the water tasted like beets.
The restaurant did not have any specialty drinks (they did have specialty beers though, so not fair) do I opted for a whisky sour, I saw that they had Maker’s Mark. After dinner we walked down to the dock to look out onto the water, the sun was just starting to dip to the horizon. I was mad that all I had was my phone camera, it was so pretty. We also stopped to look at an enormous pile of discarded oyster shells- literally hundreds of thousands of them.
We stopped at the McDonald’s next door to our hotel for dessert. I had tried to order the Twix McFlurry but the guy said he did not have enough topping left and it was being discontinued. To make up for it he put extra Oreo bits in mine.
During the day I had noticed people riding around on the streets in golf carts and initially I had found it unsettling but then I realized is it really that much different than riding a Vespa scooter? By the time we got back I was exhausted. My feet hurt so bad, I had a blood-filled unpopped blister on each heel. We spent the rest of the evening watching TV, which was periodically interrupted by barks from the dog next door. I went to sleep dreaming of a warm cinnamon bun for breakfast.