Entries in RVing Year1 (35)

Monday
Jul312006

Summer RV Trip - Part 2 (Charleston)

To beat the heat, Tom and i left our Bus for historic Charleston by 9 Sunday morning.

charleston.jpgWalking tours are real popular here but clearly this was not the right weather to do that - so we ate breakfast on Meeting Street then asked the hostess for a tour recommendation. Palmetto Carriage Tours - “it’s the best” she said.  Getting cozy in a horse drawn carriage in this heat sounded pretty sweaty to me, but it was already 10:30 a.m. so checking out alternatives made no sense. Palmetto it was!  How could we complain - atleast it was sunny and we were eager to see these old homes and buildings.

I love old architecture.  Before we moved to NC, Tom and i owned an 85 year old home in Peoria, IL.  Yes, we use to play in Peoria.  We loved that house.  It had a huge center hall staircase that was fun to decorate at Christmas.  Original lead glass windows with thick wood casings. Picture rail crown molding.  Most of the woodwork was mahogany.  A 3-season sleeping porch was on the 2nd floor with painted bead board walls and ceilings and big sliding windows on all 3 sides.  We made it a TV room and loved spending time up there in the fall — but sitting in that room during a thunderstorm was really cool.  The home still had the original hot water heat system so each room had radiators with covers.  Our heating bills were as high as our house payment in the winter (yikes) but it was always an even temperature and that kind of heat creates little dust.  I miss that house some days.  A ton of character.

So this was a real treat to see these old homes in Charleston.summer trip tom  stables.jpg  Here’s Tom - at the stables.  We are waiting for the next carriage.  I have lots of photo ops like this -  either Tom or i standing at attention - lol.  We even have a few of us together. That almost never happens but places like this other  couples offer to play photographer and we return the favor.

 

summer trip palmetto carriage.jpgHere is a pic of another carriage tour - just like the one we took.  See how cozy we were.  Anyway - do you recognize this home - it is The Calhoun Mansion.  What a fabulous place.  It was built in 1876 for 200K and fell into disrepair over the years.  It was condemned in 1972 - can you  imagine they nearly tore this place down.  But someone bought it and spent the next 25 years and 5M renovating it.  We took the inside tour. $15/each and lasts about 30 min. You don’t see the top floor that is the current owner’s living quarters.  They prohibit taking interior pictures - but you can see some of the things we saw via the above link.  I loved the garden — i could still smell some of the Jasmine that was no longer blooming. I can just imagine how fragrant this place must be when it’s in full bloom. Anyone can tour the gardens for free.

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Most of the larger homes have 3 levels with porches (called piazzas) that face the Charleston harbour to get the best airflow and these front doors do not enter the home - but rather the bottom porch.

My blog bandwidth stats this month will probably take a beating - i made the pictures the largest and best quality i could. summer trip charleston porches face the harbour.jpg

I mean how can i limit the quality.  The homes are just exquisite.  It’s like a postcard everywhere you turn.  We took all the photos on this post except for the first one (which you probably guessed) -  i copied that from a tour website.   

This pink home is one of my favorites. I found many other pictures of it via google - so i’m not alone.  I was surprised there were not any ceiling fans on these porches.  I wonder if there is an ordinance prohibiting them - maybe to preserve the homes authenticity. I don’t know - just a guess.

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After the carriage tour - we walked around the Market Street shops, down Meeting Street and then thru an old church graveyard where some famous men are buried - including Edward Rutledge - one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Never heard of him before -  i’m no future Jeopardy contestant that’s for sure.   But i do appreciate folks that know this kind of stuff.  I clearly did not pay close attention to history in school - but it fascinates me today.

 

Good Lord it was hot — but we did walk quite a distance and made our way to the harbour.  summer trip tom  fountain.jpg

Here is Tom cooling off playing in the fountain.  By the time we got here - i was beat - we both were.  But Tom went to get the car and i cooled down in the hotel behind this picture. What a wimp.

I leave you with a few more pictures we took that day.  It’s just hard not to include them.  Click on any picture to see a close up. A fabulous city - but  I’d recommend you visit in the Spring or late Fall when it’s much cooler.

To be cont’d.   Next stop,  Middleton Place and our visit to the Yorktown - the aircraft carrier in Charleston Harbour.


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Dock Street Theater
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Calhoun Mansion

Friday
Jul282006

Summer RV Trip - Part 1 (Charleston)

Initially our plan for our summer RV trip was to visit Charleston, SC and then head back down to Santa Rosa Beach, FL - staying at the fabulous Topsail Hill State Park - limit our driving - relax at the beach after touring Charleston.  But i never got into that 50-something beach shape - so i canned that plan.


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Nah - not entirely - actually the hot weather was getting to us and we simply decided some time up North made more sense.  Tom loves to drive and prefers to limit our campground stays to 3-4 nights at most so we were able to make several stops with this new plan.  Charleston, Hilton Head, Lake Hartwell near Clemson, SC and our final stop Lake Toxaway, NC - home of the Outdoor Motorcoach Resorts.  We started on July 1 and returned home July 14, logging 1079 miles in the Bus.  This and the next few posts recap our entire trip. 

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Every trip starts here.  This is our Bus parked at the storage facility just 2 miles from our home.  It is gated, paved, very clean, safe and quiet. 

Though it costs to keep it here, we have no  choice - our neighborhood does not allow RV parking. 

Either Tom or i will go check on the Bus through the week and sometimes i do some cleaning before we head out. It gets a bit dusty between trips.  I crank up the generator —- turn on the A/C, lights, TV, run the central vacuum.  It’s almost like camping, except i cannot put out the slides.  It’s not completely level here and it sits too close to the building to do that.

I got the urge to reorganize stuff before our trip. Specifically under the kitchen sink.  It is a good size area - perfect for storing cases of soda and water plus cleaning supplies - but it was getting a bit messy.  

201966-408741-thumbnail.jpgI found these great rubbermaid totes at Walmart.  They are vinyl and a perfect size to keep cleaning supplies visible and handy.  Visible being the key word.

Good lord turns out i had 3 bottles of windex, 2 bottles of dish washing detergent, 3 cans of Dow Scrubbing Bubbles, 1 can of soft n scrub, 2 cans of comet, etc… it was like a grocery store shelf under there. 201966-409582-thumbnail.jpg 

Hopefully these totes will cure my disorganization tendencies.. we’ll see.  Here’s a pic of them in their new home —- a bit dark, but if you click on on the pic you get the idea of the useable space under there.

 

Moving on… and heading out..
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Here we are —- on Saturday, July 1 - headed down I-40.   Once again large trucks pass us by.  We are going about 65.  I simply don’t understand why trucks with such big loads choose to go so fast.  3 or 4 of these large loads sailed by us in about 5 minutes.

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Colorful landscaping along major interstate is very common in North Carolina.   The dayllies are in full bloom on this day.  The trees set inside the daylilles are Crepe Myrtles which will  take over the color for atleast a month or so in July.

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A nice sunny day - traffic was about normal for a holiday weekend …here we are on I-95 going about 2 mph.  Only 4 hours to go - but this delay adds 45 minutes to our drive time.

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Wow - when you reach Charleston - you see the Cooper Bridge from a distance.  It connects Charleston to Mt. Pleasant and was just opened in July of 2005. 

We had a brief flashback of our  trip across the Mackinaw Bridge, but we did not have to cross this in the Bus.  This shot was in our Jeep.  Pretty impressive bridge huh?

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We arrived James Island County Park campground about 5 p.m. Here was our campsite for 3 nights. A  thunderstorm popped up after we setup camp — the rest of the evening and the next 2 days - were miserably hot. Like a sauna. 

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Notice my 4th of July decorating.  Here’s to the Red, White, and Blue. A Williams and Sonoma table cloth ($5 sale bin) and 2 - 50 cent flags.  Big spender - eh? 

To be cont’d  -  Next our tour of historic Charleston and visit to Middleton Place Plantation.