It was just three days, but we soaked up the lowcountry history and culture and fabulous cuisine—not to mention the sleeping in and late evenings out. (It's such a shock, one's first vacation with kids, to be confined to the hotel room by eight o'clock!) We walked the city by day, then took a late afternoon siesta before going to dinner around eight!
It wasn't exceptionally hot (just regular hot!), but very humid. We opened our hotel room curtains the first morning (after arriving after dark the night before) to see a torrential downpour. Fortunately it stopped by the time we finished breakfast, but the air was so wet, my camera lens fogged up constantly!
Charleston is called the "Holy City" for the huge number of churches on this small peninsula. We walked through many of the church yards and cemeteries, and went inside a few that were open for visitors.
I hadn't realized what a "foodie" city Charleston is (though a restaurant-biz neighbor of ours did tell us he'd been down there for the Food & Wine Festival and recommended his favorite restaurant, High Cotton). Our favorite restaurant was the one practically next door to our hotel. Our flight from Charlotte on to Charleston was cancelled, so we ended up getting in five hours later than expected, and going to dinner at 10 p.m. our first night in town. We went to 39 Rue de Jean (fittingly located at 39 John St.) a fabulous French bistro. I had the duck confit, and it was amazing. The downside was that it made the subsequent great restaurants we enjoyed for the rest of the trip slightly less amazing.
Anyway, our second full day, we went out to Fort Sumter, which was Matt's must-do item of the trip. I'd been out there before (reminisce: MCC Revelations Choir Tour 1996!) but I appreciated the history and on-site museum a little more the second time around!
Our final day in Charleston we devoted to a few historic home tours: the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House. There are several great historic homes to tour in Charleston, and I haven't really discovered a favorite (in 1992, my family made sure to visit Calhoun Mansion, since some of "Scarlett," the TV miniseries sequel to "Gone With the Wind," was filmed there :) The plantations are great too, though we did not rent a car on this trip and just stayed in the downtown area the whole time.
We sure missed our girls, of course (smiling wistfully at any small child we saw around Charleston or in the airports!) and were so glad to go pick them up that next day. They were glad to see us too and eagerly wore their souvenirs the next day to school—the dresses we bought for them in the old market, each embroidered with a palmetto, symbol of South Carolina!