It has been far, far too long since we went on a vacation. Thus, a few weeks ago, we decided to simply book tickets and head to a mutually-agreed upon locale that would offer military history interest for the Mr. and flowers and nature for the Mrs. Charleston, South Carolina it was!
We stayed in nearby Mount Pleasant which was only a short drive from historic downtown (and frankly, much easier to navigate when driving).
Our visit to Fort Sumter was surprisingly interesting. I say surprisingly as I went along with my husband thinking I had the general knowledge of what occurred here and it’s place in history. As is the case with many historical sites one visits, there was much more to be learned.
The first impression I had was how bare the fort was. After so many years of destruction and reconstruction, there are only brick walls and a small number of cannon. On one level it’s very much what you expect.
This Rodman cannon is massive. You could easily place a basketball into the firing end. The size of the entire body is mind boggling that it could even be manipulated, turned or maneuvered. I can’t fathom what it was like to fire.
These brick passages offer some of the only shade against the relentless sun and heat.
The views of the expansive Charleston Harbor and open ocean contrast with just how dug in the soldiers must have felt, making their final stand in such a small piece of land.
This illustration caught my eye depicting what the harbor might have looked like on the outside as well as the interesting viewpoint of how the siege may have been watched from Charleston.
Historic Downtown & Rainbow Row
We decided to try to fit in some walking around historic downtown Charleston in an afternoon. This was a weather-based and traffic-based decision as it was evident this day was the coolest day of our vacation and competition for parking would only get worse into the weekend.
For me, the real beauty of the historic homes were the doors, gates, gardens and details. The homes were gorgeous and obviously well-cared for, given their age. But the details made the house. Diligent attention had been paid to each shrub, gate, light and entry way. Just beautiful.
Naturally one can’t go to downtown Charleston and not see Rainbow Row. The trees, being Spring and all, hid parts of these lovely ladies. But their colors were true to every photo I’ve ever seen of them.
The streets were quite narrow, and there was no room to stand back further to get a wider view. (Note to self: Buy a wider lens!). But it was really a pleasant scene with carriages coming and going, the sound of an ice cream truck tinkering along and these serene rainbow homes.
White Point Garden
It was at this point in the day that this fair blogger had been in the full-on sun of Ft. Sumter half off the day, and had been walking in the hot rays in downtown after parking in a public deck. Shade was required. White Point Garden was the last on the day’s list as it was just a few blocks south of Rainbow Row. And the park was just perfect with the strong sea breeze coming off the harbor.
While we strolled around, we found historic statues and old cannon positioned outward toward the water. It was really such a perfect spot to end the day. Birds roosted overhead and chattered happily and it gave us the welcome shady respite needed to make the return trek back to the car.
Up next: Day 2…