Memories of South Carolina

So I have several more posts in me about our road trip, but those must be posted now from the comfort of home.

Once I returned, I ended up working six days straight and the vacation must have done me good because I wasn’t breathing fire and irritable by the end of that stretch.

Today my husband and I will be taking our daughter to Girl Scout camp at Camp Wood Haven, in a rental/loaner car (a 2017 Nissan Sentra) since our Altima started idling super low on Friday and the next appointment the dealer has is Tuesday.

I also discovered that my iPhone takes high res photos which has made the storage on my web site jump from 50% full to 75% full in a week. So that means I will have to take the time to shrink some of my photos.

So I will take a moment to reminisce about South Carolina.

Summerville, South Carolina

We arrived in Summerville, South Carolina, Thursday night. We discovered the town had a sculpture garden so we decided to check it out.

We quickly discovered that Summerville is the birthplace of Southern Sweet Tea. And the following day we learned that a French guy had gotten a grant to cultivate tea in Summerville around the turn of the (20th) century. He not only became successful but according to the tour guide, he won for the best tea in the world (an Earl Grey variety) at the World Fair.

The Day We Went Backwards

It was someone’s 16th birthday (not mine) and we had planned to head to Magnolia Plantation for a volkssport walk and then North Carolina to the bird sanctuary and another volkssport walk at Fort Bragg the following morning.

But since we had the recommendation to go see the Angel Oak, a tree more than 500 years old, we went backwards. And also found the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only commercial tea operation in North America.

So the tea plantation was a 40 minute tour around fields that all looked the same. It was really a fun time, with lots of tea to drink.

Turns out the tea plantation was started with cuttings from the Summerville tea operation after it had been neglected for 50 years. Lipton needed an American presence in case relations with China went bad during the Cold War.

It’s no longer a Lipton property. One man owns it and employs four people to run the plantation, six tour guides, and the gift shop staff.

The Tea Harvester

According to the staff, the only reason tea harvesting can be profitable in the United States is because of their tea harvester, which is cobbled together from pieces of other farm equipment and painted green to look like a John Deere.

The girls at the Angel Oak

Our last stop of the day was at Magnolia Plantation, where we got to see up close how slavery worked and almost stepped on an alligator.

The South Carolina swamps look like something out of a Jim Henson movie.

Day… I don’t even know… Savannah to Charleston

I think it’s Thursday. I’m not sure. I’m drinking another bad cup of coffee, but decaf, as it is almost 9:30 p.m. Today was a fun day, we didn’t get that much exercise but the heat is still near 100 degrees. And I have yet to get a sunburn.

It took me about twenty minutes to figure out how to use the single serve Keurig. Hey, it’s been a long day… Because of all the crazy food we ate today, the teens opted for snacks instead of a meal so we stopped at Target (beer and wine. Sigh. Can you imagine beer and wine at Target in Pennsylvania. Gayle wouldn’t split a six pack.) The teens decided on cereal and milk. One got Cocoa pebbles, the other got Honeycomb. That got me craving Life so I got Market Pantry Cinnamon Oat Bites.

In my confusion, I forgot to get myself dinner. (We have a microwave we could have gotten frozen dinners.) But the milk is in the kids’ room. Yes, the kids have their own room. That’s a story for later in this post. So, right now I’m eating a half a box of cereal dry with an alligator slim jim.

But let me start with the beginning of the day…

If I can remember.

After our excursion to Waffle House, we headed to the University of Georgia’s aquarium. I will post more about that later, because even though it was small, it was very well put together and I got lots of photos and video.

Then we went to the Tybee Island lighthouse and climbed 178 stairs. The grounds of the lighthouse were amazing. It had three tenders at one point. And there were some fortifications to explore, but I will break those into another post too.

I want this to be about the journey.

After lunch at Chicken Lickin’, we took the scenic route up to Charleston and stopped at the Carolina Cider Company. Soda, pastry, CIDER in apple, peach, cherry and blueberry. Various fruit butters, I bought sweet potato butter and a bottle of pecan syrup. And the alligator stick. And a butterscotch root beer.

I booked the room via Hotel Tonight again. The deals near Charleston were no where near as cheap as all of our other destinations. So I splurged and picked the “solid” hotel instead of the “basic” one. So we are in a Wyndham Garden hotel tonight. Except I couldn’t request 2 beds, so we ended up with two rooms with king beds. But so far, we have been way under budget with hotel rooms so… you win some, you lose some.

At first I planned on dividing us by family. My daughter didn’t like that idea. So we let the kids have the second room.

We went to Azalea Park and learned driving through town that Summerville is the home of the first tea plantation and where Southern style sweet tea was born.

And the evening was spent at the hotel swimming and eating breakfast cereal.