South Carolina, North Carolina and Delaware

Well I have done it again – its been over two weeks since I posted.  This lifestyle is just to busy for me – need to slow down and smell the roses along the way.  It has been a wonderful two weeks – filled with many activities, friends, great food and just plain fun. 

Our week in Charleston was just great – this is a wonderful city to explore and see many beautiful homes.  We went to the visitor center and obtained tickets for a carriage ride.  We took the Old South Carriage tour and it was very enjoyable.  We had only one other couple so it was great as you did not need to compete for questions or answers.  We went thru the old streets and down to the battery as she explained the homes to us.  What a great tour – well worth the money.  After the tour we stopped for lunch at the South End Brewery.  Very good food.  We then walked down to the waterfront and walked the length of Concord Street in the Waterfront Park.  Walking gives you better views of the homes.  I bought a book that explains all the old homes, you can walk the city and still be able to get the history – I just love looking at the details of each.  The thing most interesting to us was the hurricane bolts on the old houses.  They were put on after a hurricane  to straighten the homes by tightening the bolts.  Really cool.  We enjoyed that day greatly.

Another day we drove down to Charleston and parked in the battery for free and walked around.  We then hopped on the bus (you buy a daily pass and you can hop on and off) and rode it up to the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon.  This building was completed in 1771 as the Royal Exchange and Custom house.  George Washington was entertained here in 1791.  In the cellar the British used this as their provost prison.  This is one of the last buildings built with British money.  It is also where South Carolina declared its independence from England.  It was a very interesting building and highly recommend it.   We then went for lunch at Crazy Crab.  I must say all the food we ate in Charleston was great.  Guess it is true that southerns can cook – my mother-in-law was a wonderful cook.  We then walked around and saw where the slaves were actually sold – more old buildings – churches – grave yards – and then Slave Market.  This is where the slaves came to sell goods – no slaves were sold here – they sold fish, meat, and  vegetables.  Today it is filled with artisans and importers selling selling everything under the sun.   I really enjoyed watching them makes their baskets – gosh are they beautiful – very expensive though.   We then jumped on the bus and toured the whole town – found all the shopping.  So much to do here – we will be back.

Another day we went to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.  This plantation has been the home of the Drayton family for over three centuries.  The plantation has about 500 acres of beautiful gardens and grounds.  We took the house, nature tram tour, and the nature boat tour.  I would recommend taking just the house and grounds tours.  The grounds are just beautiful – plus so peaceful walking around.  At times I felt Tim and I were the only people around.  The house has 10 rooms opened and they explain it all to you.  The house is no longer lived in but was until 1970.  On the tours we got to see alligators, turles, egrets and herons.  We also had a chicken sandwich which was out of the world.  Usually at tourist attractions the food is not to good but we were very pleased.  We bought tickets to do the Audubon Swamp Garden but run out of time.  That sounded very interesting.  All in all a great day.  We seems to enjoy ourselves in everything that we do.  Such a great life.

One day we rode out to the Isle of Palms – enjoyed looking at the big beautiful homes right on the water.  We also did Sullivan Island.  We found the old Fort Moultrie and toured that.  This is a self-guided tour of a fort that was built in 1776 and was active  until 1947.  It was quite interesting.  While walking around we met 2 Coast Guard couples, retired, staying at the same campground as us.  What a small world.

While in Charleston we met alot of really nice folks – sat outside and talked, drank, and just had fun.  This was a wonderful stop and we will be back.

On April 23rd we left Charleston and headed to Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet.  We were very lucky to get a site – they were full – but we did and were we ever happy.  We set up camp, ate lunch and then called Lucille and Vinny.  We went over to their house – what a nice home they have – brand new and everything fits just so.  We sat and talked, drank, then had dinner.  Very good meal and great company.  We then went for alittle ride so see what the town looks like.  Back to their house for coffee and desert and then home for a good nights sleep.  It is so nice to see old friends again.

On Tuesday we showed them our home and then we went to Brookgreen Gardens.  This is an outdoor museum with world-renowned sculptures and beautiful gardens.  It was so interesting with over 1200 sculptures displayed thru out the grounds.  Wish we had more time to explore it all but we will be back.  At nite we all went to a wonderful seafood restaurant in Myrtle Beach.  The food was wonderful – we all enjoyed our meals.

On Wednesday I did not feel well so we stuck close to home.  Late afternoon we went to Atalaya which was the home of Archer and Anna Huntington during the winter months.  This is located in the state park where we were staying.  The home is modeled in the Moorish architecture of the spanish-mediterranean coast.  It is a 200 foot by 200 foot masonry structure build in 1931 by local people whom were hit by the Great Depression.  The house is very unique – consisted of 30 rooms around three sides of the perimeter with open courtyards in the center.  Not my type of home but it sits right on the edge of the ocean.  The state park was just so neat – we also have other friends in the area which we did not have time to visit.  Tom and Theresa we will be back – we are on a time table to reach CT by May 1 but we both love South Carolina best so far.

Thursday am we pulled out and headed for Elizabeth City North Carolina.  We had problems again with our camper – very proud of Tim – he kept his cool this time.  The owner of the company called us the next morning and they will fix it for us while we are in CT.  We arrived at the Elizabeth City Coast Guard Station.  We had a full hookup site facing the ocean for $12 a night.  They have a little beach, 3 neat cottages, exchange, gas station and club.  The weather was warm but the wind was unreal. 

On Saturday morning we left and took Route 17 to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel which is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  We lived in Va Beach in early 1971 thur 1973 and I had no idea where we were.  Everything is grown up – wow.  We took the tunnel and proceeded to Dover Air Force Base Fam Camp in Dover, Delaware.  We have a site with water and electric for $15 a nite.  We did a big grocery run which should last us thru the month of May except needing milk, bread, etc.  We will be here until Tuesday am and then head to Ct for the month of May.  We are really looking forward to seeing the kids – grandkids – our relatives and friends.  It will be a busy month – 3 birthdays – dance recital – first communion etc but we will enjoy each day as it arrives.

As I keep saying we love this life and are very happy that we chose to do this.  Cannot believe we have been on the road for 10 months now and still so much more to see and do.  May God bless you all
and allow you to follow your dreams.