Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 2- Folly Beach and Charleston

It was another hot, sunny day in Charleston, perfect for beaching.

Temperatures were still in the mid-eighties when we arrived at Folly Beach at 9:30am. The beach was gorgeous and the water warm…bath tub warm. According to the signs it was 83 degrees. At that temperature, even I joined our group for a dip.

Unfortunately, none of us read the pamphlet handed to us when we paid our $7.00 admission. Included in the information were the meanings of the different flag colours displayed at the life guard stations.

As my husband and I floated lazily in the water, he informed me that there had been a shark attack in South Carolina the week before. Scanning the horizon, my mind skittered over all the shark attack shows featured during last week’s shark week on the Discovery Channel.

Suddenly, my spouse yelled out. Without sympathy, I whack him with my water-noodle until I realize he’s not joking. Soon, three others from our party are also yelling and running for shore. They had all been stung by jelly fish.

Sitting on the beach, I read the pamphlet that informed us a purple flag means “unpleasant stinging marine animals present”. Hmmmmm.

Fortunately, the pain from this particular type of jelly fish sting lasts between ten minutes and an hour and is not overly dangerous. Lifeguards keep bottles of vinegar to pour onto the sting.

Deciding to forego the water, we took long walks down the beach. As the tide advanced, hundreds of jelly fish in all sizes were left stranded to die on shore. Rather sad but I wasn’t going to pick them up with my bare hands to throw them back.

As the temperature rose, we returned to Charleston, stopping at Quiznos Subs to use our half price Groupon purchases.

In Charleston, we visited the two historical homes that were included in our Charleston museum pass. Both the Joseph Manigault House and the Heyward-Washington House were interesting. The guides were well informed with both the house’s past inhabitants, history, prominent past guests, furniture and architectural features. The gardens, especially the Heyward-Washington gardens were a joy to meander through.

The houses are about a twenty minute walk from each other but because of the heat, we took the cars. Still, on the short walk from the car to the house we enjoyed peeking through intricate ironwork fences at shady private gardens.

Tip: If you can, walk as much as possible because there is so much to please the eye with the hidden gardens and gorgeous architecture in this area.

The kids decided to stay in and have a pizza that evening while us adults went out for seafood. We first decided to try going to an area called Shem Creek which we were told had a lot of seafood restaurants. It certainly did but it didn’t have the atmosphere we were looking for. We wanted to be able to walk around and soak up the Charleston ambiance after supper but Shem Creek was mostly a busy area with nothing but restaurants by the water.

We drove back into old Charleston. Charleston really seems to come alive at night. After a bit of exploring, we finally decided on the Noisy Oyster. This restaurant was just ok. Because it was later in the evening, there were only a few filled tables but still the service was really slow and the food average. We did thoroughly enjoy the collards which had a tantalizing smoky flavour but the huge seafood pot of crab legs, oysters, clams, potatoes, corn and over-done shrimp was disappointing.

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