Charleston – Take 2

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Day 2 is in the books! Charleston did not disappoint by any means on our second day here. We slept in super late (because hello… no toddler + no schedule = parents sleeping in well past an acceptable time). Once we were ready to go (around noon, my friends… NOON), we headed out to Palmetto Carriage Works for our horse-drawn carriage tour of Charleston. We’d definitely recommend this company over others because all their drivers must pass tests in order to become tour guides. Ours was fantastic and gave us so much history of the city as well as a few laughs along the way.

charleston travel

I like their sense of humor, too.

charleston travel

You check in about 30 minutes before your time (and DEF buy your ticket online because you save a couple of bucks and don’t have to wait in the heat). Then, they organize you into groups that work for the carriage, and you’re off at your scheduled time (ish – ours left about 10 minutes after the time, but this barn is worth waiting in, trust me). Here’s a picture of our little bench we waited on:

charleston travel

charleston travel

Look at these cute little muffins! Gah! I want seven, please.

charleston travel

Our tour was unbelievably interesting – our driver was the best. He even threw in jokes about his ex-wife. Our two horse buddies you see were named Yogi and Boo-Boo. I knew we were off to a good start by the names alone.

Charleston has their tourism down, let me say. To find their route [and no – there isn’t a set one for each tour], the drivers head to a centralized station where an – no lie – old Bingo machine chooses which route that driver will take at that moment. Only a certain number of carriages are allowed out at a time, so each one can’t take the same route. It was pretty cool to see actually! Their sanitation system is on-point, too, but I won’t go into those details.

charleston travel

The pictures speak for themselves, so… sorry-not-sorry for the tons of pictures of these gorgeous homes in this gorgeous city!

charleston travel

History nerd here again: these pineapple pieces you see [sometimes aren’t even pineapples but are actually some fancy, funky acorn] are meant as a symbol of welcome and joy. Back in the day, sailors would return from their exotic destinations with baskets of exotic fruits for their wives. The wives would then spear a pineapple out on the fence posts as a sign of good tidings and welcoming of guests to their homes. Jon and I both remarked that it’s an interesting [and big God moment] that I have my pineapple moments that are very mixed in emotion while these are so obviously a positive piece of history. I love, love, love their symbolism.

charleston travel

THE. FREAKING. FLOWERS.

I can’t even.

charleston travel

charleston travel

THIS HOUSE!!! Y’all… it’s been on the market for around 9 years. Listed at a mere $19.5 million if you’re in the market. It’s so small though – only 17,000 square feet. A place for peasants, indeed. It’s known as the Sword House because of the swords inlaid into the gate of the home.

charleston travel

charleston travel

One super cool thing about these homes [besides being preserved SO beautifully] were their outdoor ceilings. I don’t know if you can tell, but they are painted Haint Blue. This is because of an old Western African superstition that a spirit would come and suck your soul out at night while you slept. These spirits fear the water, however, so folks would paint their ceilings blue to keep them away. Nearby, at the freaky jail/insane asylum/workhouse, people kept seeing flickering lights and hearing scary sounds at night. They decided to paint their doors this same Haint Blue to keep bad spirits out. We’re thinking of touring the jail tomorrow, so we’ll see how scary that turns out to be. Super interesting history, though!

charleston travel

This is the market square. So, the super history nerd in me was super intrigued. Our Uber driver the previous night said this place was the Slave Market. I hated it instantly for obvious reasons. However, our tour guide told us it was actually the Slave’s Market. As in the place where slaves went to purchase goods for their masters’ homes. Not where they were sold. It made me feel slightly better that it’s still standing [and is actually a fantastic market to shop in btw]. This first building was actually the butcher’s market [you can kind of make out the heads of cattle inlaid into the building’s architecture]. They’d slaughter the cattle in the arch beneath the building and sell it above that.

Another interesting fact: Charleston “eagles” would perch above the building and eat the scraps the butchers would throw out [and therefore help with sanitation]. You’d be fined $500 [back in the day, clearly a large sum] if you hurt the birds in any way. Oh and… btw… these “eagles” were actually turkey vultures.

charleston travel

So, as you might have seen in my 284 pics before this one of beautiful homes, most houses are long, rectangular homes with an open porch [called a piazza] on the sides. Their front doors actually open into the piazza and not straight into the home. This is because back in the day, folks would purposefully build their homes to get the most breeze. They’d even sleep on the piazza. If this front door was open, it meant guests were welcome into the home. If the door was closed, that was a subtle way of saying, “Get lost.”

charleston travel

charleston travel

You can barely see it in this picture [I’ll take a photography class at some point], but this little building was actually where all the work was done that the home needed (i.e. the ugly parts of cooking like slaughtering something, cleaning gross things – hello, chamber pots, and even keeping the horses cleaned, watered, and fed).

charleston travel

charleston travel

These. Freaking. Stairs.

How do they even do this with the plants?! I can’t even keep my eyebrows groomed this well…

charleston travel

After our beautiful carriage ride, we were famished so we went to a great place right near the Red Barn of the Palmetto Carriage Co. Henry’s Bar + Restaurant was FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! The service was quick, the beer was cold, and the food was soooo good. I had the Fried Green Tomato [ohh yes] BLT with fries.

henry's charleston

Jon Boy had his favorite food ever, the Shrimp Po’Boy. It was delicious.

henry's charleston

I didn’t snap a picture of these bad boys yesterday, so I had to throw them in here. Charleston Rice Beads are a huge thing! They can be colored [like mine below] or they also come in sterling silver or plated gold. All of them are beautiful, but I wanted to start my collection off with these colored lovelies. It’s actually a necklace that can become a wrap bracelet as well. We got mine at Candy Shop Vintage right near our hotel, but you can find them anywhere. I’d suggest starting at the market. Gold Creations is another fantastic jewelry store that will ship to your home [located in the market, too].

charleston rice beads

Heading out to dinner… blurry but full of love.

{Yes, mushy… get over it.}

charleston travel

For dinner, we knew we wanted to get into Husk. Jon’s brother and his wife actually visited Charleston just last week and told us we HAD to go here. They were so right! We got there at 5:15 to put our name on the list [they do take reservations, but I’d have had to make them a month ago – seriously]. If we wanted to sit inside, we’d have to wait until 8:45, but they sat us immediately on the patio. It was a little hot, but the food and drinks were delicious. I mean, just look at how beautiful!

husk charleston

whipped ricotta + fig + honey

husk charleston

the BEST oysters you’ll ever eat in your life

husk charleston

homemade *freaking amazing* rolls + a fancy cocktail with tequila + sauvignon blanc

husk charleston

*pardon me while I swoon*

husk charleston

We are loving our time together! This guy makes everything fun.

XOXO

charleston travel

Whew! We are so pooped. We actually got our dinner to-go and ate the rest while watching Harry Potter in our hotel room with some screw-top cabernet. It. Was. Perfect.

Cheers to another great day!

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