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South Carolina and Georgia

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Last week Anthony and I took a trip down south. To make a perfect vacation the combination must include equal parts relaxation and exploring. It would be hard for me to go on a vacation and not go to a historic site or museum. What could be more fun then saying that you saw the oldest house in Georgia? Or the place where the signers of the Declaration of Independence were held captive during the British invasion? I also believe there is a time for relaxing, but with that I also get to say that I’ve swam in the ocean in two new states! (I now have 13 states left to visit to reach my goal of seeing all 50). I prepped for this trip by reading a few tour books, and bringing them along with me. I also read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I received awesome tips from Jackie, Dave, Courtney, Kevin, and Leslie.

Charleston – We spent the first part of our time there at Middleton Place. It was everything I dreamed it would be. And then there were kittens! So it was so much more. The next day and a half was spent walking from place to place. We saw literally everything there is to see in Charleston from the Dock St Theater (first in North America), to the Old Slave Mart, to the Four Corners of Law, to Rainbow Row. We also took a tour of the Nathaniel Russel house and the Dungeon of the Exchange building. The tour guides at both places impressed me immensely. Even the teenager at the Dungeon, Ben, was impressive. With most of my sites checked off the list, I was surprised that we found time to go shopping on King St where I bought two pairs of shorts and a few new small travel bags at Quicksilver. We ate delicious food at the Tattooed Moose (my duck club is “said to be the best sandwich ever made”), Jestine’s Kitchen, Pearlz Oyster Bar and Husk! Husk was really good, and the service was amazing everywhere we went. At Husk for appetizers we ate chicken skins, which came with honey and hot sauce, and pimento cheese with fried green tomatoes. For dinner I had trout! I never order fish at dinner, but it was incredible. When in rome!

We also spent an afternoon in Folly’s Beach. It was a short drive from the city, and everything I didn’t realize I was missing about home. The bro that ran the lot we parked in was just like any typical Orange County guy. The beach was heaven. It was warm out but not too hot, the water was warmer than any water outside of Hawaii I have ever felt. The pier was in view, it wasn’t crowded, it was glorious. It was almost too hard to leave until I realized that we could stick around and have a snack at Taco Boy. We ate on the patio and had margaritas, chips and guacamole and queso. Heaven! If I didn’t think about it too hard I would have thought I was back home.

Savannah – I was most looking forward to Savannah after everything I read. We drove in with a plan, and timed it out perfectly to arrive at Mrs Wilkes Boarding House at 10am. With 15 people already ahead of us, I knew this was worth the wait. We made friends with the people in line (the people in the South really are everything that I read about), and before we knew it we were being ushered into the dining room. On the table lay 23 glorious bowls of food. The best fried chicken I think to ever exist, plus pulled pork, beef stew, mashed potatoes, collard greens, mac and cheese, squash, okra, baked beans, yams on and on and on. There is also a big glass of sweet tea ready and you pass the bowls around and dig in. We sat with a couple from Florida. The man, 83 years old, sleeps in the same bed he was born in. He is a 5th generation Floridian and proud of it. He wore his cowboy hat and told us the best way to eat collard greens. The other group at our table was three generations of women from Wisconsin. The granddaughter was clearly embarrassed by her grandmother. It was fun! And just when you think you can’t eat another bite, the dessert comes. Blueberry pie and banana  pudding!  After that we walked around a few squares, went into the Mercer Williams house. I loved every second of it. His collection is incredible, and the tour guide was brilliant. I found a store, Custard Boutique to buy two pairs of colored jeans and a ring at! I’m seriously in love with this place, I wish it were in DC. Though that might be dangerous. I feel like I have to go back at the same time next year because there were tons of perfect summer dresses to wear to weddings! Then we checked into our carriage house, which was behind a huge mansion. It was such an awesome place to stay at, it was practically the size of our apartment. We spent the rest of the time in Savannah traversing the squares, walking around River Street, visiting historic houses – including the Owens-Thomas house that had another great tour guide (I’m started to get really excited about my graduate program after seeing how great all these people are). We drove out to Bonaventure Cemetary, and also went to Tybee Island to go to Fort Pulaski to a Cannon Firing demonstration, see the Tybee light house and lay on the beach. The food in Savannah was incredible. It started out with Mrs Wilkes and ended at The Olde Pink House….which I think was definitely one of the top 5 restaurants I have ever been to. Our waiter was perfection. Seriously the best waiter on the planet. We had a bottle of Chateau Montelena, shared the shrimp and grits appetizer, the she crab soup and I had the 16oz NY Strip Steak. The waiter was really impressed with my ordering skills. I don’t think many girls go in there and order everything I did. The steak was amazing, but what was even better was the twice baked potato it came with. Delectable.

If you ever have the chance you must visit these two amazing cities and surrounding areas. I’m so glad that Anthony and I spent our vacation time here. Life is going to get really busy in a few months, so it was nice to take time to spend together. I posted a ton pictures on Facebook so I’ll just put one here.

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