After a two-day visit to charming Charleston, one of the most fascinating historic cities in the country, we are back on Hilton Head.

Charleston definitely merited a longer stay than the 36 hours we devoted to it.  I was much more taken with Charleston than I was with Savannah two years ago.  As one of the Charleston carriage guides said, “Savannah is like a beautiful woman with a dirty face.”  Granted, our visit to Savannah in 2010 was hampered by the excessive heat, which made all of us predisposed towards hating it.  Although the architecture in Savannah is also lovely, to my mind Charleston has a lot more to offer, including French Huguenots, over 130 places of worship if you’re so inclined, great food (shout out to Coast, a restaurant on John Street, where we had the best meal of our vacation so far),

horse-drawn carriage rides,


pastel-colored houses,


really expensive pastel-colored houses,


quaint pastel-colored houses with lovely wrought iron work,


wildly inappropriate earrings for six-year olds that Papas allow their daughters to buy, and


Fort Sumter, the site of the first shots of the Civil War.


According to the National Park Service ranger, Abraham Lincoln could have been at the fort attending a ceremony on the fateful day of April 14, 1965 had he not declined the invitation in order to go to Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. instead.  The ranger recounted this anecdote with more than a little smirk on her face.  She’s apparently still smarting from the outcome of the Civil War.

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