Okay, when someone more knowledgeable than you about the South says, “June, July and August are not most ideal months to be visiting Dixie,” they speak the truth.
It was already 85 degrees at 8:30 Wednesday morning when we left the motel for our city tour of Charleston, South Carolina. I wised-up this time, though; booking our ride with Grey Line whose busses are air conditioned.
We had another very informed driver/narrator but she, like all native Charlestonians, still have a hard time accepting the fact that the South lost the Civil War. In fact, they insist on calling that conflict “The war between the states” or..in some extreme cases, “The war of Northern aggression.” Our lady driver bristled a bit when I asked her about it. “The term Civil War is a misnomer,” she explained. The South did not instigate a rebellion. Thirteen southern states in 1860-61 simply chose to secede from the Union and go their own way, like the thirteen colonies did when they seceded from Britain.” “Uhhh, okay..I didn’t mean to p**s you off,” I said. “Oh, no..I enjoy setting the record straight,’ she replied. You can take the Rebel out of the fight but you can’t take the fight out of the Rebel.
After our hour and a half ride around town (which we all agreed wasn’t as impressive as Savannah) we climbed aboard a big boat for a tour of the Charleston Harbor that included close encounters with the beautiful new Cooper River bridge
and, of course, the place where the Civil wa…ooops, war between the states, began: Fort Sumter.
We had hoped to visit more of historic Charleston like the old market and a few churches but it was just too hot to be out walkin’ around so we departed for Myrtle Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s only about a hundred miles but heavy traffic and lots of lights kept our pace slow which gave us plenty of time to find a hotel through our discount room rate coupon books which we picked up at the welcome center . Something with an ocean view would be nice. But each place we called was either full..too expensive or wouldn’t honor our coupons.
As we got closer to Myrtle Beach we began to realize that we should have done a lot more research. This is not the quaint community of 30 thousand people with lots of golf courses we had pictured. Well, it is..but it’s also one big amusement park with giant water parks, roller coasters and go-cart tracks that attract waves of sun and fun seeking tourists in big SUV’s packed with kids.
The traffic might be compared to Manhattan during rush hour. We finally found a place to stay off the beaten path and, after a delicious dinner at a fantastic seafood restaurant last night, we decided to leave this congested corner of the Carolinas and head for Charlotte early to check out the new NASCAR museum and then point Big Red toward home.
I forgot to get Linda a card for our 26th anniversary..so I’m guessing it’s going to be cool enough in the car that I might not need to run the air conditioning.
Happy Anniversary, honey!