Monday, December 2, 2013

Visiting Fort Sumter & the Charleston Tea Plantation

Waiting to board the boat to Fort Sumter

Our time in Charleston, S.C., included one morning trip and one afternoon trip. Neither took more than a couple of hours, and both were well worth the time.

In the morning we visited the Charleston Tea Plantation, a short drive outside of the city. This is the only tea plantation inside North America, which surprised me. I had assumed that tea was just as much of a southern crop as tobacco or cotton.

We took a trolley tour around the plantation, learned how it was gathered in season and had all the samples we could drink in the gift shop. I particularly liked the iced peach tea.

Special machinery to harvest tea

That afternoon we visited Fort Sumter, just off Charleston's shore. Bonus: As we waited on the boat, we saw dolphins in the water! I didn't even know dolphins lived off South Carolina.

But back to Fort Sumter. Paul particularly wanted to visit since this is where the Civil War began. While I found it interesting, I also found it extremely cold. The city was going through a cold spell, and Edith and I were bundled up. Being on an island didn't help things.

After a quick orientation and look around (and even if you aren't interested in the history of the site, it is very scenic), Edith and I spent the remainder of the time in a small, warm museum and talking to the cashier in the gift shop. But even the shop had a great view, so not all was lost.

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