Tuesday morning we drove to Charleston. We arrived at a decent hour and had some time to do some exploring downtown to see where we might want to go during our stay. After some more Bojangles for dinner, we drove around the historic downtown area to scout out some locations, then turned in for the night.
We started off Wednesday morning with a trip to Drayton Hall, a plantation that has been left in it’s original condition and never been restored (unlike other nearby plantations like Middleton Place). After a tour of the house, we were able to explore the grounds and hear a presentation on Drayton Hall from a slave perspective.
One thing that struck me was hearing about how much more difficult slave life was for women—not only did they have to do all of the manual labor during the day, but they also had to take care of their family afterwards! So imagine harvesting, threshing (pounding the rice with a large mortar and pestle to remove the rice from the hulls), and winnowing the rice (separating the hulls from the rice with a basket) all day in the South Carolina heat, then after completing your task for the day, having to cook for your whole family and clean and/or repair all of the clothes for your whole family. Being where it all would happen definitely gave me a new appreciation for how bad it must have been.
After Drayton Hall, we went out to lunch at a place that was ranked #1 on multiple barbecue websites that I found, which I was very excited about. It was called Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ and I can safely say that it was the best BBQ restaurant I’ve ever been to! I’ve never had dry-rub ribs before this and I think I’m thoroughly on the side of dry ribs instead of wet ribs now. Everyone really enjoyed their food as well—they had classic BBQ sides to go with the meat and we all ate a ton. I’d highly recommend hitting up Fiery Ron’s if you’re ever in the area…
After lunch, we went downtown and explored all over Charleston. We went to the Charleston Museum, which is actually the oldest museum in the United States and has a deceptively large amount of stuff inside! They had exhibits ranging from military uniforms and equipment to animal exhibits to good ol’ fashioned American history.
We also went to the Waterfront Park Pier, Rainbow Row (a street where all of the houses are painted in various bright colors), and The Battery, which used to be a coastal defensive seawall that now has a nice park where you can relax in the shade.
That night, we decided to go to an ice cream shop that we saw every time we drove back to the hotel called Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Cafe. We got there at about 9:30 or 10:00 and there was still a line to the back of the place—we soon learned why as these guys are not playing around with their ice cream. We all ordered sundaes and they gave you a ton of ice cream and topped it off with some real whipped cream (no Reddi-Whip here), nuts, and a cherry on top. It was a great way to end such a nice day in Charleston!