Back in Charleston

The folks at the South Carolina Department of Transportation are not the trusting types. During a recent road trip, we found this…

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…at each South Carolina rest stop.

My husband and I just finished what we’re calling our “Southern Tour”: a two week trip down the I-95 corridor through North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  We started in Chapel Hill, Winston Salem and Cornelius, North Carolina but you won’t be hearing anything about them this time around, because I’ve already done Chapel Hill and Winston Salem, and Cornelius was nothing but a modern exburb of Charlotte.

That brought us to Charleston.  We did Drayton Hall  — in the Charleston suburbs — on our way, then stopped for a late lunch at a place called the Bear-E-Patch Cafe in West Ashley.  I’m mentioning it because it was one of our favorites on the trip.  I had my breakfast (despite it being 2:20) with eggs and grits and Mr. HT had salad and grits.  Grits swimming in butter and/or cream at every meal was a theme during our trip.  Our arteries harden as we ate, but we’ll die happy.

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Our Charleston hotel, the Indigo Inn, was easy to spot, being big, boxy and very, very blue. I’d chosen it because it was (1) in the middle of the historic district and we could park our car (and rare in Charleston, parking at the hotel was free and plentiful) and walk everywhere; (2) reasonably priced for an expensive city; and (3) very old.  The inn had started life in 1850 as an indigo warehouse, indigo having been a major cash crop in early Charleston.

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Its indigo blue exterior was the only sign left of its beginnings.  Inside, its space had been transformed into a traditional, low-country themed hotel.  Our room held a four poster bed and wicker furniture, and came with free wifi and all the modern conveniences. Our only complaint was about the bathroom.  The large sink area was fine. The problem came with the shower/toilet, which was housed in a separate room that was tinier than tiny.  Not a problem for tiny me, but Mr. HT had to step into the shower to close the door.

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There was a tiny lobby, where breakfast was laid out in the morning and wine and cheese found in the afternoons.  The three stories of rooms surrounded an open courtyard with tables. That’s where everyone settled in with their breakfasts and their wine.  I don’t know where everyone would eat if were to rain.

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Fortunately for us, the weather was gorgeous while we were there.  The hotel was a couple of blocks north of the old market, so the first night, we wandered through the market and got carry out from one of its several food booths.  Then we took it back to the hotel and ate it in the courtyard, with the free, hotel-provided wine.  Don’t remember what the wine was, other than red (a merlot, I think), but it was the perfect end to the day after a long drive.



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10 Responses to Back in Charleston

  1. Too funny! Come to think of it, I don’t think we stopped at any rest areas in South Carolina. I will have to check out the Indigo Inn next time we are in Charleston. We ended up staying outside of the historic district in order to find something affordable, but it would have been nice. Camille

    • We’ve always stayed outside the historic district in Charleston too, because of the cost. But this time, we were off season and mid-week, so we decided to bite the bullet and stay mid-town. It really was pretty reasonable, and the location couldn’t be beat. I’d definitely recommend it.

  2. We don’t have grits in the UK, I wonder why they have never crossed the Atlantic? Same thing with Hershey Bars.

    • I can understand the no grits — grits aren’t even easily available in any part of the US outside of the south — but I can’t believe that you don’t have Hershey Bars. They’re a mega company. Like McDonalds. I’d think that they’d be everywhere in the world.

      • No Hershey bars in the UK.
        Our big chocolate company is Cadbury and it is interesting that Hershey have an agreement to make and sell Cadbury products in the USA.
        I tried a Hershey bar when I was in America – I think the chocolate tastes rather different to what we like in the UK.
        We’ve got McDonalds but thankfully we have got rid of Ronald!

      • We’re always inundated with Cadbury commercials around Easter, for Cadbury cream eggs. Yes, chocolate tastes different around the world. Much less sweet in Europe and Asia than in the States, I think. Lucky you, to be rid of Ronald.

  3. Kathie Shattuck says:

    Who would have thought South Carolina would need so much security at their rest stops? Glad it was not indicative of the rest of your tour! Northern breakfast foods leave much to be desired compared to southern specialties. Biscuits and Gravy! Shrimp and Grits! I am hungry.

    • We had biscuits with ever meal too. We bought a large bag of grits and brought them home, so have been having them regularly. And we find that this company sells their wares online, so will be buying more. Yes, the south has everyone else beat as far as breakfast foods go.

  4. nerdtrips says:

    I think it’s funny that you referred to your husband as Mr. HT. Charleston is great!

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