Sunday, November 27, 2011

Charleston, SC

Charleston was one of the prettiest southern towns I've seen. It truly shows the elegance of a time gone by with its old, southern style homes. And then there is the Port of Savannah, which even today, is still the 4th busiest port in the U.S. but early in its history, it was a critical factor in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. It will take me several blogs to share all that I explored in Charleston.

But I will start with the Oyster Roast at the Elks Lodge.

We arrived just in time to attend the annual oyster roast. Here are the bags of fresh oysters, ready to be steamed for the roast.


Here they are getting ready to put the steaming baskets in the steamer.


And here we are helping ourselves to our first basket of steamed oysters. They have this down pat. Notice the holes in the tables? There is a trash can underneath for your oyster shells (oyster shells are always recycled). You get your bucket, find an empty spot along the table and start shucking those oysters.


I had only had fried oysters before this, and I think I like these.


Max even had his share. Between the three of us, Max, Tom and myself, we finished off 3 buckets of oysters. Sounds like a lot, but I watched many there finish off 3 buckets all by themselves. They also had fish stew and hotdogs (which I was told you had to eat with chili). We had lots of fun and felt like we really got to participate in a 'local' activity.



The Angel Tree is located just south of town. It is estimated to be 300-400 years old, although legend says it is over 1500 years old. Live Oaks only live to be approximately 500 years old, and this tree can trace its history back to the 1700s. That's me standing underneath. Yes, it really is that large.


We also visited the only tea plantation in America. Notice how far it is to the some of the next closest tea plantation.


This is a tea plant. We got to take a tour of the tea processing plant, although it was on the weekend and it wasn't operating. Did you know the only difference between green tea, oolong tea and regular tea is the amount of time the tea is oxidized? I learned a lot about tea.


This is a tea harvester. The tea plant looks like a hedge and is dormant during the fall and winter. It starts growing in the spring and can be harvested every 10-14 days. The harvester simply goes over the top and cuts off all the new shoots, then the leaves are separated and the leaves are taken in for processing.



The holidays are near and the Festival of Lights was already going. It is 3 miles of displays with over 2 million lights.


I liked Santa on the motorcycle.


And I also liked this church. Needless to say, there were many, many more, but if you want to see them, you just need to go to Charleston.

1 comment:

Brad and Barb said...

We had a wonderful time in Charleston when we were there. Went to the Tea plantation also. We also saw Boone Hall plantation and, of course, tripped out to Ft. Sumter. It's a great part of the country!!