We’re getting ready to wrap up our stay here in Charleston and head out tomorrow, which we’re both pretty excited for. Funny, because when we pulled into the marina after two days at sea, I said how happy I was to be tied to a dock again. Now, almost a week later, we both have that traveling itch again and can’t wait to get on the move again. It seems our max stay at any given place is only a few days. Even though we’re ready to be on our way, our stay in Charleston was beyond awesome. Let’s just say we loved it so much that we’re adding it to the list of one of the places we may consider relocating to after this trip is over.
Since we were running about a week ahead of schedule, the original marina we had booked months ago couldn’t fit us in, so getting the spot we had was sort of a happy accident. We had a great view of downtown and enjoyed a few nights sitting on the boat watching all of the freighters and even a few cruise ships make their way up and down the channel.
The College of Charleston sailing school would head out each night on these tiny sunfish boats that would come right out of the dock next to us. The currents here are pretty strong which was something new to us, since we never had to factor in currents back home in the Bay. I’m not sure how these little boats were able to maneuver with no motors. I thought for sure #10 below was going to crash into the bulkhead, but they were able to tack at the last minute. These twenty somethings are much better sailors than we are, that’s for sure.
We even saw dolphins come in from the ocean and right into the marina. It was crazy. You’d just be sitting outside and hear a big splash and sure enough it was a dolphin or two right next to the boat. A diver here at the marina said he was working on a boat the other day and saw a 7ft shark while he was underwater. I think I would have soiled my wetsuit if I saw that.
Downtown Charleston is a really neat place with a good mix of historic and trendy, all with a touch of Southern charm. A few people we talked to compared it to a much bigger version of downtown Annapolis, which I think is a fair comparison. We spent a full day exploring the city, starting on King Street so we could duck into the Apple store and get a replacement battery for our Mac. It had been struggling to hold a charge and we wanted to get it fixed so it wouldn’t die on us in the Bahamas. We stopped to ask someone where it was but didn’t really need to… all we had to do is look for the crowd of hipsters in their skinny jeans and blazers hanging out on the sidewalk furiously typing on their ginormous iPhone 6 plus. Found it!
While we waited for our appointment at Apple, we wandered down the street and happened to stumble upon Boones Bar, which is the only Raven’s bar in Charleston. What are the odds??
We sat, had what I consider to be the best beer I’ve ever tasted – a Kentucky Pumpkin Bourbon – snacked on fried zucchini and chatted it up with the bartender, who after hearing our story, thought we were the coolest people he’d ever met. Funny, because sometimes we forget how neat our story is until we actually hear it out loud. It doesn’t seem so outlandish to us now because, we’re actually doing it. We’ve been living on the boat for so long now, it just seems normal. The only thing that’s changed is the scenery.
After we picked up our laptop from Apple, we headed further up King Street and discovered a little slice of heaven at Juanita Greenberg’s, which is a pretty odd name for a taco joint. They describe themselves as THE best Mexican place in Charleston, and I will wholeheartedly agree with them. Best part is that you got two tacos and a PBR for $6. If we went to college here instead of York, I think we’d be making this place our second home. The tacos were the best I’ve ever had, including the authentic street tacos from the food trucks that hang out in the laundromat parking lots. I know, I’ve been making some bold food statements lately, but man oh man, the South knows how to cook!
We decided it would be best to walk a bit at that point, and headed south towards Battery Park, where we sat on a porch swing and had a great view of our marina across the river. We even spotted our boat, thanks to the bright orange headsail.
From there we headed back north through the French Quarter, where we ogled at the historic mansions that were set along the cobblestoned side streets lined with palm trees. We stopped in at Magnoila’s and had their famous fried chicken platter and (of course) shrimp & grits. Ah-mazing. By then, it was almost time to meet up with our friends, Zane and Karen, for dinner at Prohibition, a neat little speakeasy resturaunt back up on King Street. Oh Charleston, your temptations made our wallets a little smaller and our waistlines a little larger. Time to get back out to sea and on our way.
At Prohibition, they had this huge map on the wall with the caption “The World Is Yours”. Indeed it is.
While we were sorta close, we rented a car and made the six hour drive west to Columbus, GA to see the girls at their new home. This will probably be the last time we see them, and wanted to give them one last scratch for old times sake. Here’s a head scratcher for ya – we have a MD driver’s license, with a DE address, renting a car in SC with FL tags to drive to GA. Hmmm.
The girls are doing great. So great, in fact that they barely even registered us when we drove up to the house, as they were too busy chasing the kids to even really notice us pull up. I grabbed the phone to take a video of their reaction to seeing us again, but got such a lukewarm reception that I figured that it probably wasn’t YouTube worthy. You know what though? We’re happy that they’ve adjusted to their new home so well that they were having too much fun to notice us. After it registered who we were, they ran up and gave us kisses and started tunneling in between our legs waiting for a good scratch just like old times. After we had dinner, we settled down to watch Frozen (I think we were the last people on earth who haven’t seen that movie yet), and Yingling went over to what I’m assuming is her new favorite spot at the foot of the couch to cuddle by one of the kids. It nearly melted my heart. They’ve found their forever home. Love them.
Tonight we had Zane and Karen over to the boat for dinner. They’ve made our time in Charleston so much fun, it’s part of the reason why it’s now at the top of our list of places we’d consider moving to.
You may have noticed some changes on the blog, like a Where Are We tab that shows our GPS location and will allow you all to track us where ever we go. That’s all Zane’s IT wizardry there. That guy can work through code like Motzart composing a piano concerto. And he’s a professional photographer too. A true Renaissance man indeed. Check him out here.
Next stop is just a few miles south in Rockville, SC, where we’ll stop for a day to repair a seal on our engine. It’s leaking gear oil pretty bad and we want to take care of it sooner rather than later. To get to it, we’ll have to basically shift the entire engine forward, a job that I’m sure will take the better part of a day. All this to replace a $3 seal. Oh the joys of living on a boat!