May 25, 2023 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOB! We took our time to get going this morning and left around 11:30. We made our way to downtown Charleston by crossing the Memorial Bridge over the Ashley River.
We could see the Harborage at Ashley Marina where we stayed in our boat and our friends wintered here in their boat for a few years.
We took Market St. to the City Market. We found parking easily nearby and walked the short distance to the entrance of the Market.
It was a busy place bustling with activity and lots of people. In 1788, Charles Pinckney ceded the land to the city of Charleston for use as a public market and stipulated that the land must remain in use as a public market for perpetuity. The Market was completed in 1807. In 1841, the current Market was erected after the original was destroyed by fire. It is one of the oldest in the country and stretches for 4 city blocks.
The Market is known for its sweetgrass items which are crafted by the 50 local basket artisans. They were originally made to winnow rice on the plantations.
We took a slow walk through the Market taking in all the sights and sounds. They sell everything and anything that is handmade. Our walk back took us along Market Street which parallels the Market and contains many different kinds of shops and cafes. One area was called the French Quarter and the store was called Palmettoville which caught our eye for obvious reasons. We went in and took a look around before snapping a picture here.
Across the street from the Market is the United States Custom House.
Many people were taking advantage of the horse drawn carriage tours. This beautiful horse and driver were on their way to pick up their riders.
Bob called this little cutie “Sunflower” for obvious reasons. She was sitting outside one of the shops we passed. She didn’t mind having her picture taken at all.
We also noticed the old Riviera Theater with its neon sign lit up.
Across the street was the Target Store. We didn’t notice it at first because the name was high up on the building and we didn’t recognize the building without seeing the red bullseye logo. It was well disguised.
We peeked into the Charleston Place hotel on our way back to the parking garage to see its beautiful open-air courtyard.
Inside the lobby of the hotel was a gorgeous chandelier and these beautiful artificial flowers were “growing” all over. They were huge and quite unique.
From the City Market, we drove down Bay St. where we saw the bar our friends had taken us to—Pearlz Oyster Bar.
On Bay St., we drove past Rainbow Row–a series of 13 brightly-colored houses. They were painted these rainbow colors when they were restored in the 1930’s and 40’s. The homes are prime examples of the architecture that Charleston is recognized for.
From there, we drove down E. Battery St. along The Battery and the waterfront. The Battery is a landmark defensive seawall and promenade famous for its antebellum homes.
There was a civil-war coastal defense artillery battle at this site in the Charleston Harbor. We passed the Confederate Defenders of Charleston monument.
We headed back to the campground around 2:30 before going to an early dinner at Gilligans just down the road.
We sat outside in the covered porch area. Bob enjoyed his “cheap gin” with olives (private joke) and some raw oysters before dinner.
I had a crab cake sandwich and he had the delicious seafood gumbo (his favorite).
We returned to the campground to walk Auggie and watch a movie. I think Bob’s birthday was everything he wanted it to be. We have one more day in Charleston before we move on. There is a storm coming this way, so we’ll see what the weather holds for tomorrow.