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DansDeals Forum => Trip Reports => Topic started by: dpk4588 on May 16, 2018, 01:24:29 PM

Title: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: dpk4588 on May 16, 2018, 01:24:29 PM
Planning

I was talking to some friends fielding suggestions for my post tax-season vacation (Iím an accountant, but please donít ask me accounting questions) and one suggested Charleston, SC and said that a mutual friend of our had been there last year and loved it. My first step was to go to the Charleston Master Thread (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=51006.0) to see what there was. After checking out that thread, I was quite worried, but after talking to my friend whoíd been there, and being reassured there would be plenty to do, I figured Iíd be alright. Since the Charleston Master thread was such a dud, I checked out TripAdvisor to see what there was to do. When it comes to ďthings to doĒ TripAdvisor can sometimes be a major fail. When Iím looking for things to do, having the top 7 ďthings to doĒ being different types of tours is not exactly helpful. Also having a bridge at in the top 10 did not leave me feeling very satisfied. Iím honestly not sure whoís doing the rankings when Fort Sumter (the location of the start of the Civil War) is number 26. Anyway, after googling ďthings to do in CharlestonĒ and talking to my friend I came up with a list of some good things to do.

While Iím not someone who needs to eat out while Iím on vacation, I do like to have the option, (for those of you thinking ďoh, just buy from POM, theyíre amazing,Ē Iím sure they are but if Iím not eating out at a restaurant, I donít see a reason to overpay for my food). I was told there were two Kosher food options in Charleston. One semi-normal, and one that seems beyond strange, but apparently is legit. For some reason, (unknown by me) the College of Charleston has a Kosher cafe, its vegetarian, but to be honest it wasnít as bad as I thought it might be. The other option is just plain strange. There is a non-Kosher seafood restaurant called Hymanís (http://www.hymanseafood.com/), which is owned by a Jew but is not even remotely Kosher, BUT, due to the ownerís connection to Chabad, he has meals which are prepared by the local Chabad, and heated up and served like airline meals. I went there twice and both times were much better than I expected. Heads up for anyone might be going there, Iíd advise calling ahead and seeing what they have (they donít always have the complete menu) and Iíd suggest having them heat it up before you arrive. The first time I went, I waited almost 40 minutes for it to be ready.

One of the reasons I picked Charleston, in addition to my friendís recommendation, was that they had reasonably priced direct JetBlue flights, and I had $175 in travel bank credit from this (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=82895.msg1792571#msg1792571) which would be expiring in August, so I figured this would be a good time to use it. The flight cost $169 (I put $5 on my Sapphire Reserve to get the travel protection) and used almost all my credit from that delay.

Once I had my flights booked it was time to look at hotels. I took a look at all the major brands, SPG only has an airport hotel, so it was out, I looked at Marriott, and the only two ďgood optionsĒ where all the way on the west side of the city, far from pretty much everything Iíd be doing, I looked at Hilton and found the DoubleTree in the Historic District, but at 240k for my 4 night stay, I said no thank you. Finally I settled on the Hyatt House in the Historic District which was 12k/night (48k for the whole stay). When deciding between the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House (which are literally attached, and share a check-in desk) I decided on the Hyatt House because it looked like Iíd have more space (not that I needed it), but for the same price, why not?

Now that my travel arrangements were set, it was time to actually plan out the trip. As those of you who have read my other TRs, may (or may not) remember, I generally plan things out down to the minute, and things always go at least a little bit wrong. Well, I was leaving on April 29th, and as of April 18th, (the actual end of tax season this year) I had nothing planned, so it was time to get to work. I worked on my plan (often while at work, now that I had time to breathe) and as I got closer, things started to take shape, and my trip started to look like a trip. Before I knew it, April 28th was upon me and I had to pack and get to sleep because I had a 713a, flight out of JFK.

FYI, for those of you curious, the rest of the TR is written, it just needs to be proofed, and should be posted shortly.
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: dpk4588 on May 16, 2018, 01:41:08 PM
Sunday - April 29, 2018
I have never flown out of JFK on a Sunday morning, but I know my parents got royally screwed once when flying to SFO on a Sunday morning, I had dropped them off at 7a, for a 9a flight and they somehow still missed the flight, so I wasnít taking any chances. While my flight wasnít until 713a, I decided I wanted to leave my house (~15 minutes from JFK) by 6. Since I woke up at 5 and was ready to leave by 530a, I saw no reason to sit at home and ordered a Lyft and got to JFK around 6. I made it through security (thank God for TSA-Pre Check) in about 5 minutes, and I was off to the Airspace lounge. While itís tiny, and has basically nothing to offer, it was better than sitting at the crowded gate, and I was able to use the $10 free credit for some water I could take with me. Just as I left the lounge about 2 minutes before we were supposed to board, I got a notification that we were being delayed 30 minutes. While I might have been able to go back to the lounge since Iíd just left, I figured sitting at the gate wouldnít kill me.

What was supposed to be a 30 minute delay turned out to only be about 15-20 minutes, and shortly we were in the air. It had been almost 2 years since I last flew economy on JetBlue and I forgot how small those screens are. The flight was less than 2 hours so it wasnít a big deal, having been up since 5a, I was half asleep anyway and before I knew it we were making our descent into CHS.

I followed the directs to the RideShare pickup area and was soon on my way into the city. The airport is actually shared by commercial planes, the USAF and Boeing which has a factory where they build 787s. I was able to see Singapore and JAL 787s in addition to 2 plane which had not yet been painted, which was pretty cool.

I went to the Hyatt House hoping to check-in early, especially since theyíd emailed me telling me I was able to check-in online, but when i got there they told me they didnít have a room ready for me, so I dropped off my stuff and headed out to start on the dayís adventure!

First stop Aiken-Rhett House (https://www.historiccharleston.org/house-museums/aiken-rhett-house/). This is one of two historical houses which the Historic Charleston Foundation (https://www.historiccharleston.org/) owns and operates as museums. They offer a combo ticket with the other house the Nathaniel Russell House (https://www.historiccharleston.org/house-museums/nathaniel-russell-house/), which Iíd be visiting later in the day. The combo ticket costs $18. The house has an audio tour, which takes you through the house, and through the kitchen and laundry house (which was often separated for fear that a kitchen fire might spread to the rest of the house and burn it all down, apparently in cases where there were fires, having the kitchen separated didnít really help. The tour also included a look at the stable and of course the main house. Since its initial construction, there were a number major renovations. There were also a number of rooms which were closed off by different occupants of the house so there are varying levels of wear and tear so to speak. One thing I found interesting about this house, which I saw on many of the old houses in Charleston was the ďPiazza,Ē which is a porch which extends the length of the house and will often have multiple entrances to the house. Itís always interesting to take a look into the way the affluent lived in the times before and after the Civil War. Since you also get to see the kitchen house, above which many of the slaves lived  you also get to see how they lived, which creates a strong contrast to the lives of their owners.

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Aiken-Rhett House-Magnolia Way

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Aiken-Rhett House-Main Staircase

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Aiken-Rhett House-Ballrooms

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Aiken-Rhett House-Main House - Joggling Board

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Aiken-Rhett House-Main House - Piazza - Door & Triple Window

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Aiken-Rhett House-Main House - Bedroom - Sleigh Bed

On my way from the Aiken-Rhett House to the Nathaniel Russell House, I passed the Charleston City Market and decided to walk through. There was nothing sold there that Iíd think about buying in a million years, but it was cool to see how the vendors had their little shops set up, and what they were selling. After walking through the market (and back to the street I was walking down to begin with) I resumed my trip to the Nathaniel Russell House.

I got to the Nathaniel Russell House just before 1p, but the 1p tour was full so I had to wait for the 130p tour. The tour lasted about 20 minutes and went through  the house with the guide explaining the purpose of each room, and pointing out some interesting artifacts, as well as providing historical background on Nathaniel Russell. The most famous part of the house is the cantilevered spiral staircase. What makes this staircase impressive is that it has no external support, the way itís built, each lower step can support the steps above. They even have a section under the steps from the first to the second floor where you can see how itís built. Another interesting, but minor feature that was pointed out was that Nathaniel Russell had his initials ďNRĒ put into the fencing on the balcony in front of the house, keeping the the house connected to his name forever, or until someone removed the balcony fencing, which canít be done due to historical preservation laws.

When it comes to historical homes, there are two ways the museums can display them. They can chose to restore them to how they looked at a given period, or they can chose to preserve them as they are so that as much as possible is original. While the Aiken-Rhett House went the way of preservation, the Nathaniel Russell House went the way of restoration. Itís interesting to see how things should have looked versus how they look after years of use and or neglect.

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Nathaniel Russell House-Initials

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Nathaniel Russell House-Cantilevered Spiral Staircase

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Nathaniel Russell House-Cantilevered Spiral Staircase - Step Inside

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Nathaniel Russell House-Painting of Charleston

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Nathaniel Russell House-Entertainment Room - Molding

Once I was done with the tour I ordered an Uber to take me to the HL Hunley submarine (https://www.hunley.org/), which was the first submarine to ever successfully complete its mission of sinking an enemy ship. Unfortunately due to the condition and the fact that itís still being studied by scientists, its submerged in a chemical solution to prevent decay. The Hunley was a Civil War sub which was hired by the Confederates (according to what the tour guide said) it wasnít officially Confederate sub, the sub and crew were hired as pirates to sink the USS Housatonic. While I was upset that I wouldnít be able to board the sub, especially since there are pictures online that led me to believe that it was part of the tour, it was still a cool informative tour. The only problem with the Hunley is that itís 15-20 minutes north of downtown, and there isnít much else around there, so I had to wait a while for my Lyft back to the hotel. You may notice during this TR that sometimes I used Uber and other times I used Lyft, whenever I was going somewhere I just checked how much it would be with both of them and went with the cheaper option. At no point was there a significant difference in expected pickup time, but there was sometimes a significant difference in price.

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HL Hunley-Stern

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HL Hunley-Midship

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HL Hunley-Image From Raising of the Sub

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HL Hunley-Informational Poster

I took my Lyft back to the hotel, and at this point was able to actually check-in. I got up to my room, relaxed for a little while and called Hymanís to see if I needed to order the Glatt meals in advance. They told me no, and around 7p I took a short Lyft to Hymanís. Since it was just me, they asked if Iíd be willing to eat at the bar and I had no problem with that. When I got to the bar, I was informed that of the 5 entrees they offer, they only had the chicken and brisket available. Since I often find it hard to get good brisket I opted for the chicken. When I ordered it, he warned me that it would be 30-45 minutes and that next time I should order in advance. Oh well. There was a funny guy at the bar who may have been a little drunk since heíd apparently been drinking since 8a because it was his birthday. He basically made friends with everyone at the bar, which was nice because when Iím on vacation, itís often depressing eating alone, so it didnít feel like I was eating alone, that was once my food finally arrived. Since two sets of people had come to the bar, ordered, and received their food before mine arrived, my new friend got a little suspicious and being the nice, friendly, slightly drunk person he was, he offered me some of his. I then got to explain why my food was taking so long and why I couldnít have his delicious looking shrimp. None of my new friends seemed to have a problem with me being Jewish which was good, especially since I had heard that there was some anti-semitism in Charleston. Thankfully that wasnít the case here and we all had fun. In terms of the food itself, it was 2 breaded chicken breasts in some kind of sauce with orzo and vegetables. It was surprisingly good. Following my fun dinner, I decided to walk back to the hotel since it was nice out, the walk took me a little less than 20 minutes. End of day one.

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Hyatt House Historic District-Living Room

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Hyatt House Historic District-Kitchen

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Hyatt House Historic District-Bedroom

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Hymanís Seafood-Dinner
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: dpk4588 on May 16, 2018, 01:51:32 PM
Monday - April 30, 2018
Monday was my military day, and it began with Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began. While that phrase was used several times, itís somewhat deceiving. Fort Sumter was under Union (or at the time Federal I guess) control and they were fired upon my Confederate soldiers from Fort Moultrie, so you could just as easily say that Fort Moultrie was where the Civil War began because that was the origin of the shots. Either way, it is a location of great historical importance. Because of that original battle and one later in the war, only about a third of the fort is still there, and there were additions made later in history. The fort, which part of the national parks system, is free, but the only way to get there is to take a $22 ferry from either Liberty Sq in downtown Charleston, or from Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant. Since I was on the first tour of the day I got to watch the flag raising ceremony, which mostly consisted of a ranger talk about the history of the fort, most of which was covered by the recording played on the ~30 minute ferry ride. They actually have a red line on the flagpole which shows how high the fort actually stood originally. My only real complaint about the trip was that they donít give you enough time at the fort. Unlike Alcatraz, where you can take any ferry back once youíre on the island, here you have to take a specifically timed ferry (it seems they only have one ferry at a time from each location). So we got there around 10a, and had to leave on an 11:05a ferry. I think if I had skipped the flag ceremony I would have been able to see everything I wanted to, but unfortunately, I missed some things. Nothing major, I just only got to take  quick look at some things Iíd like to have gotten a better look at. The ferry ride was nothing special either way, other than that you get a nice view of the USS Yorktown from the water side.

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Fort Sumter-Casemates & Cannon

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Fort Sumter-Corner of Fort Sumter

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Fort Sumter-Parade Ground Cannons

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Fort Sumter-Remains of Wall

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Fort Sumter-Mortar Stuck in the Wall

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Fort Sumter-Cannons

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Fort Sumter-Flag Raising

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Fort Sumter-Flagpole Dedication to Major Anderson

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Fort Sumter-Mountain Howitzer

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Fort Sumter-Powder Magazine from Battery

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Fort Sumter Museum-Model of Fort Sumter As of April 1861 (All Levels)

Following Fort Sumter, in continuing with the military theme of the day, I headed over to Patriots Point, the location of the USS Yorktown, the USS Laffey, and the USS Clamagore. They also have an exhibit on Vietnam which unfortunately I didnít get a chance to see. Just because it was the closest to the entrance, I started with the USS Laffey which is an Allen M. Sumner-class Destroyer which fought in WWII. It gained its fame and its nickname ďThe Ship That Would Not Die" from its 4/16/1945 battle with roughly 50 Japanese planes, most of which were Kamikaze attacks. The ship was hit by 6 Kamikaze planes and 4 bombs, and still didnít sink, and with a little help from some Navy Wildcats, and later Corsairs, they were able to fight off the attack and survive. On the ship, they have a History Channel produced documentary, in which they recreated the attack using CGI. It was pretty cool and well done.

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Patriots Point-USS Laffey

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USS Laffey-Small Arms Locker

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USS Laffey-Bow Guns

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USS Laffey-Crew Berthing

After the USS Laffey, I moved on to the USS Clamagore. A Balao-class sub, was almost exactly the same as the USS Pampanito which I saw in San Francisco. The only real difference was that the USS Clamagore was converted to a GUPPY III and therefore had a 15 hull extension. Thereís apparently talk of it being sunk and turned into an artificial reef, but other articles I read said, itís not happening, so Iím not sure what the fate of the USS Clamagore will be.

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USS Clamagore-From Pier

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USS Clamagore-Aft Torpedo Bay

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USS Clamagore-Captains Quarters

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USS Clamagore-Yoemanís Office

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USS Clamagore-Sonar Room

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USS Clamagore-Control Room

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USS Clamagore-Maneuvering Room

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USS Clamagore-Aft Torpedo Bay

Once I was done on the USS Clamagore I moved onto the big ship. The USS Yorktown an Essex-class aircraft carrier which saw a lot of action in the Pacific during WWII and again when she was recommissioned in Vietnam. Interestingly, she was laid day on December 1st, 1941 only 6 days before the attack on Pearl Harbor which led to the US entering WWII. One thing I found great about the ship was that they divided it up into 5 separate self-guided tours, all of which start from the hangar deck (the middle level of the ship) so you can chose to do one or all of the tours. The other benefit is that if you want to take a break, you can break between tours and not have to figure out what part of the tour you were up to. The brochure details whats on each of the 5 tours so you can decide what you want to see, and since all tours start and end on the hangar deck, itís easy to go from one tour to the next.

In addition to the planes and other regular aspects of ship life which the tours cover, the Yorktown also has The National Medal of Honor Museum, which was small but kinda interesting, and a B-25 Bomber used in The Doolittle Raid. I ended up doing 3 of the tours and spent about 2.5 hours on the Yorktown. I was gonna stop by the Vietnam Experience, but looked at the time, and realized I probably wouldnít have time to do it properly. Overall I enjoyed Patriots Point. The USS Yorktown being my third aircraft carrier since last august, I wasnít sure what to expect. Last August I went to the USS Midway in San Diego, which was amazing, and to the USS Hornet in San Francisco, which was kind of a dud. Iíd say the USS Yorktown was somewhere in the middle, but definitely closer to the Midway than the Hornet.

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USS Yorktown-B-25 Furtle Turtle

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USS Yorktown-Torpedo Elevator & MK 44 Torpedo

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USS Yorktown-Torpedo Workshop

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USS Yorktown-Dental Clinic

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USS Yorktown-VF-1 - High Hatters - Ready Room

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USS Yorktown-Air Group Nine Kills

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USS Yorktown-A-7E Corsair III

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USS Yorktown-S-3B Viking Folding Wing

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USS Yorktown-F-14A Tomcat

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USS Yorktown-FA-18A Hornet

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USS Yorktown-Medals of Honor

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USS Yorktown-F4U Corsair
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USS Yorktown-Marine Detachment

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USS Yorktown - Engine Room-Main Control

I then ordered an Uber, and it said it would take almost 15 minutes to get ot me, which made me a little worried, because add the time it would take me to get downtown, and the fact that I was supposed to get to my next activity by 4:50, meant Iíd be cutting it a little close. Fortunately I made it with about a minute to spare, and after going to the wrong carriage company I ended up at Old South Carriage Company (https://www.oldsouthcarriage.com/) for my 1-hour Historic District tour. The way the city tourism bureau has it set up is interesting. Each carriage ride goes by a tourism bureau booth where theyíre randomly assigned a route, presumably so they donít have too many carriages in the same area at the same time, since they do disrupt traffic. The tour was good with the exception of when Jake (the horse) dropped a deuce, and sitting in the front row, that was quite unpleasant.  The tour talked about different important buildings and architectural common themes. I enjoyed the tour, for two main reasons, including the knowledge and personality of the tour guide, and the leisure of having a tour where I wasnít on my feet.

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Old South Carriage - Historic District-Jake Turning Through Charleston City Market

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Old South Carriage - Historic District-Stucco Over Brick

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Old South Carriage - Historic District-The Mills House

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Old South Carriage - Historic District-Harp Design In Fence

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Old South Carriage - Historic District-Hibernian Hall - Fence

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Old South Carriage - Historic District-Jake

From there I walked about 10 minutes to the Kosher Cafe at College of Charleston, Martyís Place. I honestly have no idea why the College of Charleston has a Kosher cafe, but I guess since its vegetarian, itís not that hard to get a hechsher. Either way, I went, picked up chili mac with cornbread. It didnít appear that there was any fake meat to the chili, just the other ingredients in chili. It wasnít nearly as bad as I expected it to be. I was pretty exhausted from having been on my feet all day so rather than eating in the cafe, I took my food to go and ate it at my hotel. While I could have walked, about 20 mins, since I was exhausted, I just ordered an Uber and ate at the hotel.

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Dinner from Martyís Place - Chili Cheese with Cornbread
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: dpk4588 on May 16, 2018, 02:02:13 PM
Tuesday - May 1, 2018
I began my day by taking an uber downtown to Rainbow Row (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Row). Rainbow Row is a series of pastel colored connected houses. There are a number of possible theories as to why they houses are painted those colors but the real reason is unknown. Thereís nothing to do there, itís just something cool to see.

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Rainbow Row

From there I went to the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon (http://www.oldexchange.org/). The Old Exchange served a number of purposes over time, including customs house, a market, a meetinghouse (for both public meetings and private functions) and the provost dungeon was as you can imagine, a prison. The provost was at one point also used to store gun powder. The Old Exchange was also the location where South Carolina ratified the US Constitution. The museum has some small exhibits on the first and second floors and there is a guided tour of the dungeon in which they talked about the history of the building and specifically the dungeon. The tour was about 30 minutes and was informative and interesting.

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Old Exchange & Provost-Provost Dungeon - Old Sea Wall

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Old Exchange & Provost-Provost Dungeon - (Sign)

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Old Exchange & Provost-33 Star Fort Sumter Flag

After the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon I walked (about 3 minutes) to the Old Slave Mart (http://www.oldslavemartmuseum.com/). At one point before the Civil War (Iím not exactly sure when) public selling of slaves in the streets was banned because apparently it caused traffic and looked bad. After the ban, people still wanting to buy and sell slaves opened up private marketplaces for slaves. The old slave mart which was at the time called Ryanís Mart (created by Thomas Ryan) was the largest of approximately 40 such slave marts in a 4 block radius. The museum consists of printed information placards about the slave trade and specifically the slave marts of the area. The second floor had more information about the lives of the slaves and had a talk from one of the docents about one particular slave trade, in which one trader was selling over 230 slaves who were all related.

While there is a movement throughout the US to remove any historical traces of slavery, I found that movement doesnít seem to have reached Charleston. The people of Charleston donít seem proud of their slavery history, but donít seem to be ashamed of it. Although I thought the same of New Orleans, but shortly after my trip there in December 2016, they removed the famous statue of Robert E Lee, so you never know. What I did find frustrating about this museum was that they didnít allow pictures, and the only reason I can think of is that they donít want the history of slave trading spread. If thereís another reason, please let me know.

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Old Slave Mart-Main Entrance

After the Old Slave Mart I walked over Martyís Place for an early lunch. I got a ďLoaded Baked PotatoĒ with scallions, broccoli, red pepper, and shredded cheddar with a side of fries. I didnít realize until after I started eating it that my side of fries was repetitive, but oh well. Again, it wasnít bad, and when Iím in a place with limited Kosher options, Iíll take what I can get.

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Lunch @ Martyís-Baked Potato Explosion

Once I finished lunch, I had about an hour until my 1:15p tour of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) and I decided to stop by King Street Cookies for a little dessert. I bought three cookies, ďThe RabbiĒ which was dark chocolate with mint M&Ms, ďMushis midnight peppermintĒ which was dark chocolate with peppermint M&Ms, and Red Velvet. While I only planned on eating one, they were so good I couldnít stop eating until Iíd eaten all three.

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King Street Cookies-The Rabbi

Before I knew it, it was time to get to the shul for my 1:15p tour. KKBE (https://www.kkbe.org/) is the oldest shul in the US which has been continually in use. While the congregation started Orthodox (since there really was no Reform or Conservative) they claim to be the birthplace of the Reform movement. The current building isnít the original, the original building was destroyed in the great Charleston fire of 1838. The other major damage to the sanctuary was the 1886 earthquake which took down the balconies, which were never replaced, since at that time it was a Reform shul which did not have separate seating for men & women. The shul also has a massive organ (the third owned by the shul). Visually itís a beautiful sanctuary, with stained glass windows and an ornate ceiling. In addition to the beautiful sanctuary, the tour includes a small museum with some information on the history of Jews in Charleston and some artifacts.

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KKBE-Ballroom Mural #1

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KKBE-Ballroom Mural #2

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KKBE-Plaque Over Entrance to Sanctuary

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KKBE-Sanctuary

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KKBE-Sanctuary - Aron

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KKBE-Sanctuary - Organ

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KKBE-Sanctuary - Above Aron

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KKBE-Yom Kippur Machzor

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KKBE-Yads

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KKBE-Reformed Society of Israelites - History & Constitution

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KKBE-Isaac Harby Siddur

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KKBE-Shema Over Main Entrance

Next on the agenda was the Confederate Museum (https://www.confederatemuseumcharlestonsc.com/) which is located above the entrance to Charleston City Market. While the museum is pretty small in terms of physical size, it is full of Confederate Civil War artifacts. The artifacts included flags, uniforms, Confederate money, weapons, letters, newspaper articles, and a number of artifacts from UCV (United Confederate Veterans) reunions. Unfortunately, this was yet another museum which did not allow pictures. I just donít get it, and my experience with places not allowing pictures did not end here. While the museum was filled with artifacts, there was no semblance of order to anything. It was all just there, wherever they could fit it.

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Confederate Museum-Front


Following the Confederate Museum, I went back to my hotel for a little while to relax before my 4p tour of the Charleston Distilling Co. (https://www.charlestondistilling.com/). With the Distilling Co being just a few blocks from my hotel, I left the hotel shortly before 4p. The tour took us around the distillery (which was pretty small) and explained the process of distilling the different types of liquor they make. They make vodka, gin, bourbon, & rye. After the tour, there is a tasting where you can have either a cocktail or a flight where you try all their products.

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Charleston Distilling Co-After my Flight

The tour took about an hour and I went back to my hotel. Around 6:30p I called Hymanís to find out what from the Kosher menu they had in stock, was told that they had the chicken, meatballs, and the brisket. I had already had the chicken and still had the same reservations about the brisket so I went for the meatballs. I ordered ahead and told them Iíd be there around 7p. When I got there and as soon as they went to check on the food it was ready, so it was perfect timing. The food was good, although the guy on the phone had said it was a meatball sandwich, it was just sweet meatballs in sauce with the same sides of rice and vegetables as Sunday night. There was no excitement at the bar like there was on Sunday, so I ate relatively quickly and walked back to the hotel for the night. I was chatting with the kitchen manager who was a nice guy, he was telling me about the owner and how he apparently keeps Kosher, which makes his owning a non-Kosher restaurant even more strange.

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Hyman's Seafood-Tuesday Night's Meatballs With Sides of Rice & Vegetables
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: dpk4588 on May 16, 2018, 02:12:32 PM
Wednesday - May 2, 2018
Wednesday was my day of leaving the downtown area. I planned on renting a car and driving out to a few plantations. I checked the downtown rental agencies, which were Enterprise, Budget, & Avis. Avis had the cheapest rate ~$38 for the day. I walked about 5 minutes to the rental office, and within 5 minutes I was on my way out of town. Since the semester had ended the Cafe was closing on Wednesday and I knew I wasnít gonna be able to go to Hymanís on Wednesday and Thursday nights, so on my way out of town I stopped at a Publix to pick up some simple food (PB&J) and was back on my way to Middleton Place. One very cool thing about the drive was that since the area is so old and hasnít been developed there are tons of old trees on the sides of the road which kinda formed a tunnel, which was cool to drive through.

Middleton Place (https://www.middletonplace.org/) is a plantation which was built in the 1730s which makes it older than the USA. It's still owned by descendants of the original owners who were both rich (they owned ~20 plantations) and politically important.  While I had been on a plantation outside of New Orleans, the plantations here are different in that theyíre not just the main plantation house here, the plantations now still include most of the land originally part of the plantation and the property was just massive. One of the things about Middleton Place that makes it famous is the gardens. The grounds contains the oldest landscaped gardens in the US, which is interesting. In addition to the gardens there are tons of massive oak trees all over the property. There were originally three main buildings, only one of which still stands today, the other two having been burned down by Union troops near the end of the Civil War.

There are a number of walking tours on the ground and I also did the tour of the main house. Unfortunately, in keeping my theme of no photography allowed, there were no pictures allowed in the house. In this case I kind of understand it. All the items in the house are owned by the Middleton family (and their descendants) and they donít want their stuff being photographed, my guess is because if pictures are available to see, then thereís no reason to come see them in person. There were a lot of interesting artifacts in the house including an original copy of the articles of articles of secession which were given to all who signed them (Arthur Middleton was a signor).  After the house tour I walked the grounds some more and saw that they still raise animals on the property, so while they may not grow rice, it is still somewhat of a functioning plantation.

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Middleton Place-Reflecting Pool Fountains

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Middleton Place-Inner Gardens


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Middleton Place-Butterfly Lakes

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Middleton Place-Ruins of Main House and North Flanker

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Middleton Place-Peacock

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Middleton Place-Carriage Horses

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Middleton Place-Family Crest

After spending a few hours at Middleton Place, I went back towards town to the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (http://www.magnoliaplantation.com). Magnolia was similar to Middleton Place in that it was in operation before the Civil War, but where it differed was that the owner at the time (I canít remember his name), believed so much in the Confederate cause that he converted his money to Confederate bonds and when the war was worth almost nothing. His new found poverty caused him to have to sell off 75% of his plantation, and to open the gardens to tourists to make money. Again with this house tour, there was no photography allowed. What a shame.

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Magnolia Plantation & Gardens-Peacock

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Magnolia Plantation & Gardens-Gardens

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Magnolia Plantation & Gardens-Main House

In addition to the house tour, Magnolia also has nature tours by tram and by boat, I opted for the boat tour. It was nice to relax on the water, which used to be rice paddies, and to hear about the different animals which now inhabit the area. What I found interesting was the number of alligators which we saw. When I was in New Orleans I went on a swamp tour and only saw a few alligators, and on this tour I saw more than a few in addition to a variety of different birds. The tour was enjoyable. I spent some more time walking around the grounds and gardens before leaving. Iíd say Magnolia was definitely larger than the plantation I went to in New Orleans but much smaller than Middleton Place.

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Magnolia Plantation & Gardens - Boat Tour-Anhinga

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Magnolia Plantation & Gardens - Boat Tour-Great Blue Heron

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Magnolia Plantation & Gardens - Boat Tour-Great Blue Heron

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Magnolia Plantation & Gardens - Boat Tour-Alligator

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Magnolia Plantation & Gardens - Boat Tour-Alligator

I drove back to town, got some gas a block from the rental agency (which was actually the cheapest price I saw on gas in the area), returned the car, and walked back to the hotel. Since I hadnít really eaten anything all day (other than two little boxes of cereal), so when I got back to the hotel I made myself a late lunch/early dinner. Around 6pm I took an Uber to the Charleston Riverdogs (http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t233), a Class A minor league affiliate of the Yankees. I had heard that Bill Murray was a part owner of the team and as a Charleston resident, he apparently frequently attends games. I was told he sits right behind the plate a few rows up so when I got to the box office and saw that there were seats in that area, I grabbed them.

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Charleston Riverdogs-View From Behind the Plate

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Charleston Riverdogs-Warmups

Throughout the game I kept looking around to try and see Billy Murray but he was nowhere to be found. I was chatting with the guy behind me who is a season ticket holder, and he said that Murray is usually there early in the game and if he wasnít there yet, he probably wasnít coming. Oh well. Sitting behind me on the other side were some scouts from the Yankees, which was cool, and I was chatting with them too. The Riverdogs starter was on fire, he pitched 5 innings of 2 hit, no run ball with 5k and no walks. Other than the defense, which included a total of 5 errors between the two teams, the game was good and the Riverdogs won 4-0. During the 7th inning on my way back from the menís room, I ran (almost literally) into Billy Murray! I said hi and that it was nice to meet him, but he just kept walking so I didnít get a picture. Iím sure youíre all thinking, POIDH. Thinking that everyone I know would be skeptical, after the game I ran over to his section (which was actually right near the home dugout) and got a picture with him! Super cool. Great way to end the night.

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Charleston Riverdogs-Bill Murray

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Charleston Riverdogs-Me & Bill Murray
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: dpk4588 on May 16, 2018, 02:17:00 PM
Thursday - May 3, 2018
My final day in Charleston was scheduled to be lighter than the other days. I was scheduled to start with a pirate tour. They do have an option to book online, but I generally donít like to book online unless I have to or Iím worried things might sell out. I hadnít booked and when I looked Thursday morning, it didnít give me the option to book online, it said to call to book. I tried calling, but got no response, so I figured Iíd just show up and pay for the tour there. The tour began at the powder magazine which was where gunpowder was stored. I got there and I found out that apparently the tours arenít operated by the people who run the powder magazine, the tour just begins there. I also found out that apparently they donít always have tours, so when the people from the powder magazine unsuccessfully tried to contact the tour operators, it looked like I wasnít going on a pirate tour. The people from the powder magazine were kind enough to let me explore the exhibits they had (which would have been included in my pirate tour) for free.

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Powder Magazine-Three Pound Shot

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Powder Magazine-Daniel Cannonís English Flintlock Pistol

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Powder Magazine-18th Century Muskets

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Powder Magazine-Clay Pipes

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Powder Magazine-Outside

Honestly, I was kind of surprised it took this long into my trip for something to go wrong, so I guess I should be thankful for that. From the powder magazine I walked to the Edmondston-Alston House (http://www.edmondstonalston.com/) which I had purchased admission to as part of a combo ticket at Middleton Place. Another historic home, similar to the houses I visited on Sunday, except that in this case the owner of the house still lived on the third floor, and that I wasnít allowed to take pictures. Since this house was downtown, this house was used for entertainment purposes, so the house was more focused on that. Unlike the other historic houses I saw in Charleston, there was nothing special about this house.

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Edmondston-Alston House-Piazza Window

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Edmondston-Alston House-Second Floor Piazza

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Edmondston-Alston House-Outside View of Piazza

After the Edmondston-Alston House I walked along the water to Waterfront Park, home of the famous Pineapple Fountain. Iím not sure why its there, but its a popular attraction, so I figured Iíd take a look. That spot did give me some nice views of Patriots Point and of Fort Sumter.

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Waterfront Park-Pineapple Fountain

From there I picked up an Uber to my final destination, The Charleston Museum (http://charlestonmuseum.org). It is supposedly Americaís first museum, founded in 1773, it covers the history of Charleston from the Native Americans through the post Civil War period. I spent about 2 hours going through the museum, but to be honest I was exhausted, and didnít go through it as closely as I would have if Iíd done it earlier in the week. It was a history museum with lots of artifacts and some videos, but nothing too exciting. The end of the museum has 2 exhibits, one on silver, which had some interesting pieces of silver, and another on historic textiles, which was as boring as it sounds.

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Charleston Museum-Model of HL Hunley

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Charleston Museum-Seal

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Charleston Museum-Cased Dueling Pistols

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Charleston Museum-Cast Plaster Cherubís Head

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Charleston Museum-Horse Trough

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Charleston Museum-Lower Market Brick

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Charleston Museum-Grave Rail of Mary Ann Wooden

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Charleston Museum-Surveyors Compass

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Charleston Museum-Flintlock Pistol

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Charleston Museum-Brass Dragonesque Side Plate

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Charleston Museum-Spanish Reales

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Charleston Museum-Blunderbuss

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Charleston Museum-Tin Stencil for Cotton Bales

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Charleston Museum-Pineapple Teapot

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Charleston Museum-Belt Revolvers

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Charleston Museum-Agricultural Society of South Carolina Medal

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Charleston Museum-Hibernian Society Medal

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Charleston Museum-Palmetto Regiment Medals

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Charleston Museum-Bonnie Blue Flag Sheet Music Printing Plate

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Charleston Museum-Artillery

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Charleston Museum-Confederate Flags

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Charleston Museum-Coffee Grinder

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Charleston Museum-Hot Water Urn

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Charleston Museum-Snuff Boxes


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Charleston Museum-Firefighterís Megaphone


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Charleston Museum-Pocket Watch

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Charleston Museum-Ewer

From the Charleston Museum, I started heading back to the hotel, and made a stop at King Street Cookies for the road. I made it back to the hotel, picked up my stuff and started working on my TR. I took an Uber to the airport, which was by far the quietest airport ever. I went to security, and I was the only passenger. There was nobody else in the TSA-Precheck line or the regular line. I stopped at the King Street Cookies stand in the airport for an ice-cream sandwich. My flight was delayed about an hour because of supposed thunderstorms in NY, but my sources there told me it was nothing, but what the FAA says goes.

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Charleston International Airport-Empty Security Line

Just as a final point, since Jetblue announced the points match in 2016, I took a roundtrip flight to BOS, of which my return flight was delayed. I flew to JFK-LAX, which was delayed almost 4 hours. I flew round trip to CHS and both my flights were delayed 30+ minutes. Is JetBlue usually this bad with delays or was it just me?

Anyway, I enjoyed my time in Charleston, and I hope this TR is both enjoyable and informative for anyone interested in going to Charleston. Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: mercaz1 on May 16, 2018, 04:41:27 PM
very detailed TR
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: ash on May 17, 2018, 01:07:47 AM
nice tr
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: Yikes2179 on May 17, 2018, 01:35:54 AM
nice tr
+1
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: eandd on May 17, 2018, 03:52:32 PM
Thank you for the detailed trip report! Was recently thinking of visiting Charleston, was worried about the heat. How was the weather when you were there? From a history perspective, do you think Charleston more authentic then New Orleans?
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: @Yehuda on May 17, 2018, 05:58:09 PM
Wow, great report! Thanks for taking the time. The detail you go into clearly shows your interest and knowledge of the war, ships, army, historical time. It's always enjoyable to read about something the author is passionate about.
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: dpk4588 on May 22, 2018, 01:46:03 PM
very detailed TR
Thanks.
nice tr
Thanks.
Thank you for the detailed trip report! Was recently thinking of visiting Charleston, was worried about the heat. How was the weather when you were there? From a history perspective, do you think Charleston more authentic then New Orleans?
The weather was in the mid-80s most days, but I've heard it gets really hot. I have friends who went July 4th and it was so hot the they won't take the horses out for the carriage rides. What do you mean "more authentic" in terms of the historical perspectives on Charleston & New Orleans?
Wow, great report! Thanks for taking the time. The detail you go into clearly shows your interest and knowledge of the war, ships, army, historical time. It's always enjoyable to read about something the author is passionate about.
Thanks. Coming from someone's who TRs are famous, that means a lot. Its funny about the historical stuff, because my dad is a history teacher and growing up our vacations were always filled with that kinda stuff and I hated it, but now as an adult, when I can actually understand it, I enjoy it.
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: theyankel on June 18, 2018, 11:33:31 PM

I followed the directs to the RideShare pickup area and was soon on my way into the city. The airport is actually shared by commercial planes, the USAF and Boeing which has a factory where they build 787s. I was able to see Singapore and JAL 787s in addition to 2 plane which had not yet been painted, which was pretty cool.

[/quote]pics??
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: dpk4588 on June 18, 2018, 11:36:15 PM
I followed the directs to the RideShare pickup area and was soon on my way into the city. The airport is actually shared by commercial planes, the USAF and Boeing which has a factory where they build 787s. I was able to see Singapore and JAL 787s in addition to 2 plane which had not yet been painted, which was pretty cool.

pics??
I didn't know to have my camera out, if I'd thought about it, I'd have taken pictures on my way back to the airport.
Title: Re: In the South They Say Y'all - dpk4588's Charleston, SC Adventure
Post by: ludmila on July 06, 2018, 03:38:49 AM
Thank you for a very interesting TR.