Bob cracks a smile
15.05.2010 - 16.05.2010 89 °F
Room 256, Doubletree, Charleston, 3pm 16/5/10
Well last night we were chewin' on ribs n' chikun' when Bob said "think I've lost a fillin' ". Possibly more like a fragment of a tooth. The receptionists at the hotel could not have been more helpful and got contact details for a local dentist. As he is not in pain, we'll wait until Monday. The insurance company's medical assistance people in Chicago have also been excellent and offered to find a dentist should we have problems.
So, fingers crossed, he'll be able to see someone early tomorrow. We have a long drive to Birmingham, Alabama planned, on the way to Nashville TN. But we do not have to make it that far tomorrow should our departure be delayed.
Another set back we heard about when we arrived in Savannah was that Nashville had been badly flooded in early May and many places will be closed for months due to flood damage. We have decided to go ahead and visit anyway and see how we get on. It seems our hotel there has not been directly affected though the Gran' Ol' Oprey and its hotel will be closed for many months.
Back to Charmin' Charleston:-
Yesterday morning we had a walking tour with a guy called Ed Grimball (who looked as you'd expect him to look with a name like that), along with people from Canada, Texas, Alabama and Charleston. Charleston? Yes, a young couple who were brought up here but have only just settled back here.
The tour was splendid and the style more traditional than the one we had in Savannah. (We have never done so much walking on one of these trips! John does not need to go off on one of his early morning walks at the moment).
After refreshments (sweet ice tea, gosh is it sweet! Apparently it's a criminal offence to ask for unsweet tea here!), then a rest back in the room, we called down to the Valet to retrieve our car from the garage. This for a drive out to an old plantation house on the Ashley River. The place being Drayton Hall. Quite a lot of urban sprawl before we got there, then woods and open fields where the rice plantations would have been. Yes, rice, along with indigo, were the main plantation crops in the 18th Century. Making vast fortunes for plantation owners, made on the backs of the "enslaved people" as our guide, Rosemary, kept calling them. Cotton and tobacco came in later in the 19th Century. On this estate the family also found phosphates and made huge sums mining that too.
Rosemary, a school ma'am, was scattily annoying in the way she treated us like school kids. Waving her spoon at us. I was going to have a guessing competition as to what the spoon was,. But it's a rice spoon. One spoonful is one serving though Rosemary usefully informed us that her husband comes from Texas and he has two big spoonfuls in the morning with milk and sugar. A silver rice spoon is a traditional wedding gift.
Back to Charleston for dinner and the teeth crakin' chikun'.
A few more thoughts on Charleston. "The friendly city" it's known as and that is true. Everyone, without fail, is friendly, hospitable and polite. It's hot and humid now so goodness knows what it's like in July and August.
The food is all fried and high in fat (Arthur is in heaven) and so this is the heart-attack capital of the US.
There is immense rivalry between Savannah and Charleston and they are both still very important ports. Savannah being 4th largest in the US and Charleston 5th.
The shops are more Bond Street that Southern Belle, there being so much money in town. We have never seen so many quality shops in the centre of an American town. Mostly they are like donuts these days. An empty centre with everything round the edge in malls etc.
This morning we had a gentle stroll after breakfast then waited to get on a "steamer" trip of the Charleston Bay/Harbour. Back to find King Street pedestrianised for the day and all the smart people out with their expensive hairdos and clothes. For some reason there is a cop car and cops at every intersection closing the street off.
We're about to get the car out again for a late-afternoon drive out of town to a place called Monck's Corner the well know spelling mistake.