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Trip Report Charleston SC, with a little sea island Georgia, too.

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Our too short trip to the South was wonderful. Thanks to all, especially Suewoo and TravelNatty for their suggestions.

We drove to Jekyll Island and stayed 2 nights. Stayed at the Hampton Inn. A really nice property. The bed was delicious, room had a fridge and micro, lots and lots of bathroom counter space. There was no good eating to report on the island. We didn't eat at the Jekyll Club, but checked out the Sunday Brunch which looked very nice.

Next time there we will rent bikes and see more of the island. We tried to do the Segway tour (recommended by a family we met in the elevator), but seems Easter Sunday is not a Segway kind of day.

We attended one of the island churches on Easter. Really, really friendly people, made us feel like locals. We took the island tram tour, which included tours of two "cottages"; vacation homes of the Rich and Famous. It amazed me that they resided on the Island from January-March. I guess that is a good time to be away from the Northeast, but April was so glorius. The new convention center on the island is set to open soon and it looks hospitable. The public beach is just beautiful with plenty of parking.

Now, on to Charleston.

But first, a fabulous stop in Savannah. Yes, we stood in line waiting for Ms. Wilkes Boarding House. The people in line were from all over, and we had a great time trading travel stories. After an hour, we and 8 of our newest best friends were seated at a round table, set family style. Now, I am a Southern girl at heart, and this meal was so so so much of a trip down memory lane for me. All kinds of veggies: cabbage, okra, blackeyed peas, squash, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples. Also beef stew and very very good fried chicken. And afterwards, banana pudding and peach cobbler!! Of course, you take your own dishes to the kitchen after. I cannot breathe, but am in heaven.

We try to walk off the meal at Forsythe Park, enjoying the bright sunshine. Have a lovely little rose made from seagrass from a local picture-taker. I think we will return to Savannah!

We got to Charleston late afternoon and checked into The King Charles Inn. Good reviews and free parking guided us here. There is a delightful little patio with pool, and a meeting place with bar, which seemd to be well inhabited. The location was good as we walked everywhere in the historic district. We used the breakfast buffet once, just OK. That night was No Dinner For Us, still working off the lunch.

Next morning went to the Fort Sumter tour. Well presented and a part of American History that came alive for us. Charleston harbour is lovely.

Lunch at Fleets Landing was better than expected. I had a fabulous Planters Punch and She Crab soup. (My only she crab during the trip so nothing to compare it with, but it sure tasted good). This was a Tuesday at noon-ish, and it was packed.

Our afternoon was spent enjoying the spring House and Garden tour: Homes of the Revolutionary War. I was expecting a more structured tour, but it was self-guided. However, at each stop, docents were there to explain the history, architecture and little historical tidbits of each home and garden. It is exceptionally evident that the people of Charleston are proud to share the history of their city.

Dinner Tuesday was at SNOB. I had really looked forward to this dinner most of all. They honored our reservation immediately and the room was very inviting and comfortable. Service was great. I had a canneloni bean soup, which was kind of boring, DH had spring onion soup, which was pleasant. I had the "small portion" of shrimp and grits, It was very good, with a spicy bite, but not a small portion to my thinking. DH had a steak which he did not enjoy.

Next morning, we headed out to the plantations. We had two on the agenda: Magnolia and Middleton. Well, we only made it thru Magnolia. This is an expensive day, as each thing you want to see (slave houses, main house, nature tram) is separately priced. But the grounds are lovely, and it was an enjoyable day with perfect weather.

Well, the Dinner of the Trip was this evening at Magnolia's. This is an intimate little venue. The service was outstanding and our reservation again was honored immediately. We started with Pan Seared Sea Scallops
sweet corn hoe cakes, caramelized apple and smoked bacon cream sauce, sautéed spinach, balsamic syrup....OMG it was heavenly. DH had seafood special which left him speechles, and I had a small plate of
Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast
macaroni & cheese, collard greens, peach jezebel sauce. Outstanding. We leave in heavenly bliss.

Our final day was spent walking the streets, peeking into lovely gardens, seeing the Slave Market (I bought a woven basket Christmas tree ornament: couldn't afford a real basket. These are true works of art). Then on to the Gullah Tour with Alphonso Brown. Check it out, something very unique. He is a national treasure!

Dinner that night was at High Cotton. Absolutely lovely space, great service, soft jazz in the background. Our meal was very nice, but not memorable. DH had petit filet with grilled shrimp, which was quite good, but kind of boring. For some reason, I thought I would have a vegetarian dish, homemade pasta with veggies. Not very tasty; I was disappointed.

Oh, yes, we did have lunch at Jestines Kitchen. Good, another Southern type place. Good meatloaf, good mac and cheese.

In summary: this is a lovely place to visit. I am not sure what tourist season is, but the streets were crowded, with bus tours everywhere. Service was unfailingly friendly and the locals are so proud of their city.

You should go....

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