you know, i love my town…

so, an old friend of mine whom i hadn’t seen in years was in town for the Christmas holiday. we caught up a little on Christmas Eve day, but decided to get together for lunch yesterday (Thursday).

and you know what? i fell in love with Charleston all over again.

first, we went to lunch at Fleet Landing. i have to say, i highly recommend this restaurant. good food, fabulous view, and even the folks holding up the bar were friendly. parking is a bit of a pain, but that’s downtown Charleston in general. i’m looking forward to going back in warmer weather when the outside seating is being used.

after our late lunch, we made our way over to the South Carolina Aquarium. while there is no end of criticism of the Aquarium (and much of it valid), i personally think it’s a fantastic addition to our city – though this was only the second time i’ve visited. while it may not have as much hard science on display as some would like, i think the best use of the public portion of any aquarium, zoo or even botanical garden is to engage the public’s interest in it’s subject matter. with its well laid-out exhibits, cheerful staff and large number of “hands-on” displays, i think the Aquarium does a fantastic job. don’t miss the Amazon exhibit, by the way.

after leaving the Aquarium, we took a spin over the wonderful new Ravenel Bridge. what other reason to be driving a convertible, right? though it’s tough not to miss the old Grace and Pearman Bridges (frightening though they could be at times), the new bridge is probably the best thing to happen to Charleston in recent years. not only is the greater volume of vehicular traffic the bridge can handle a relief at busy times of the day, the creation of a pedestrian and bicycle corridor across the Cooper River is long overdue and very welcome. not just an attraction for tourists, it’s a boon to locals who like to exercise or simply prefer to travel under their own steam instead of driving.

then, with no particular place to go and no schedule to keep, we parked on the Battery down by White Point Gardens and took a ramble through the city; down East Bay Street to Vendue Range and Waterfront Park (where we were oddly pleased to see the Grace and Pearman intact on the brass models of the city). wandering back up Vendue Range, we continued on down East Bay to Market Street, where we stopped in at Market Street Sweets (free samples!). after this all-important stop, we followed Market Street down to Meeting Street (boy, was there a line out front of Hyman’s Seafood!), and from there to Calhoun Street. following Calhoun as it paralelled Marion Square, we turned back down King Street until we reached Charleston Place. cutting through the shops on our way back to Meeting, we stopped in the lobby to admire the Christmas train display. back on Meeting, we passed the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Four Corners of Law on our way back to White Point Gardens. returning to the car, we drove down East Bay to Broad Street, past Colonial Lake and towards home.

all in all, a thoroughly enjoyable day. though no small part of the pleasure came from the company, i have to say that my town is certainly one of the greatest there is.

some more links:

City Website

Cooper River Bridge Run

restoration gallery of the 1970 Spitfire Mk3 we were enjoying (thanks for the loan, Dad!)

Charleston Battery Soccer Team

John C. Calhoun (a memorial to whom is in Marion Square)

Stede Bonnet (was hung in and buried near White Point Gardens)

and finally, the first (and so far only) of Geoff‘s “Charleston Geezer” series (can’t wait for more)

quote:

“I’m going back to Charleston, back where I belong.” – Rhett Butler, Gone With the Wind

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3 Responses to “you know, i love my town…”

  1. Joan Says:

    It’s true – visitors make you look at it all with fresh eyes. We are very fortunate.

  2. Jardini Says:

    I think i should stop by SC aquarium and check it out.

  3. j Says:

    That sounds like a lot of fun! Maybe we should that together some time.

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