"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

February 28, 2013

Feb. 27 – Charleston Churches

Ashley Marina

Charleston is known as the Holy City because it was one of the few places in the original 13 colonies that practiced religious tolerance. From the beginning, the city was a melting pot for people of all faiths, especially those who had been persecuted elsewhere because of their religious beliefs. Along with religious freedom came a skyline of some of the oldest and most beautiful houses of worship in the country. Here are just a few of the wonderful churches that are in Charleston.

The Circular Congregational Church, the present building is the third structure to be built on this site, and was constructed circa 1892. In spite of its name, the plan of the church is more complex than circular; shaped like a cloverleaf with three semi-circular parts and one rectangular.
Bethel Methodist Church was the only Methodist Charleston Historic Church, which remained open during the Civil War, and it survived the earthquake of 1886 intact. Although there have been interior alterations, the exterior has been well preserved.
St. Philip's Episcopal Church, a National Historic Landmark, houses the oldest congregation in South Carolina and was the first Anglican Church established south of Virginia. This church is the third building to house the congregation; the first church was built in 1681. This building was completed in 1838. 
First Baptist Church,often referred to as the "Mother Church of Southern Baptists," is the oldest Baptist Church in the South, dedicated in 1822.
This picture was taken from the Internet...I liked it! It shows the Unitarian Church (1787) and St. John's Lutheran Church (1817)

February 25, 2013

Feb. 24 – Sticky Bun Sunday

Ashley Marina (Charleston)

Sticky Bun Sunday is a tradition at Wild Flour Pastry that started about three years ago. They make over 200 each Sunday and usually run out before their 1:00 closing time. The Sunday morning line at WildFlour Pastry can stretch out the door and down Spring Street, but this morning we were lucky and only had to wait behind four or five other hungy patrons before we were able to get our hands on these wonderful Sunday morning treats. Sticky buns are a delightfully gooey (because it’s loaded with butter) sweet roll coated with cinnamon-sugar and topped with loads of pecans. It’s served warm, with an optional thick blob of creamy white icing on top. These hefty sweet rolls are over four inches wide…plenty for two to share and are a real bargain at $3 each. This may become a new Sunday tradition for us too!

WildFlour Patry
The wonderful sticky bun! 
It was a beautiful day with a wonderful moonrise over Charleston 

February 23, 2013

Feb. 22 - Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

We're in a wet weather pattern. We get a few days of sunshine and then another front moves through with a few days of rain. We get out and do as much as we can when the weather permits. I love riding my bike around town, so I get out and explore when the weather is nice. We save running errands in the car for rainy days, so we have an excuse to get off the boat. I rode my bike to the library on Thursday and checked out about half a dozen movies...I'm ready for the rain that is predicted for the weekend.

We had to move Pearlzday to Thursday since we knew Friday was going to be a soggy day...you have to have priorities you know! George and Maryann, on Old Spice, joined us and we all had a great time.

Little grocery store on Broad Street
This car drove up to the store while we were there.
Carriage tours of Charleston 
Tulip Trees are blooming all over town
The little barber shop on Broad Street where Stan had his hair cut 
Fun at Pearlz - Stan, Susie, Maryann, Pam, George and Don

February 20, 2013

Feb. 19 – Charleston Trivia

Ashley Marina

Another cold front moved through the area today…more clouds, rain and a lot of wind. I really have nothing to report on today, so I thought I’d share a little Charleston history.There is so much history in this city and so many wonderful things to learn...here’syour history lesson for the day.

Charleston Single House is a style of architecture in Charleston dating back to the 1720s. Settlers first saw these single house designs in Bermuda and Barbados and adapted them for use in Charleston. The houses were designed to capture as much breeze as possible on the hot and humid summer days. These houses are usually one-room-wide and the narrow end of the house faces the street. Two-story verandas (called"piazzas" in Charleston) stretch down the long side and provided ample outdoor living space and needed cross-ventilation to help cool air circulate through the house. The piazzas also help to shade the windows of the house from the afternoon sun, keeping temperatures inside more livable.

The front doors on the Charleston single house do not open into the house itself, but onto the ground floor piazza. Once on the piazza, there is a true front door into the interior of the house. 

A lot of homes in Charleston and in other places in the south paint the ceilings of the porches blue. There are a lot of theories why this is done; the most common reason I've heard is a blue ceiling is more resistant to spiders, bees, wasps and other annoying insects. In the South Carolina Lowcountry, there's a name for the blue of porch ceilings: haint blue. A haint is a spirit or a ghost, and in Charleston, people also paint the trim on their houses blue to ward off evil spirits. It is believed that the color blue keeps ghost and evil spirits from getting into the house. There is some debate on whether this practice started in South Carolina or in the bayous of southern Louisiana. Some also say blue helps extend daylight as dusk begins to fall. Whether any of these theories are actually true, who really knows, but it does make the ceiling look nice.

 A few examples of Charleston Single Houses

February 19, 2013

Feb. 18 – Charleston, SC

Ashley Marina

It was a beautiful…but cold day here. I spent a little time doing laundry this morning while Stan did a few small projects on the boat. I spent the afternoon playing…this is a wonderful city to ride bikes in and there is so much to see. There are wonderful shops on King Street with almost anything you might want, so I spent a few hours wandering through them and walking through the historic City Market, that is full of vendors selling paintings, pottery, and Charleston's famous sweetgrass baskets.

A little Charleston history for the day: The intersection of Broad and Meeting Street is known as the Four Corners of Law. The Charleston City Hall, built in 1801, (local law)is on the north-east corner; the Charleston County Courthouse, built in 1753 (state law) is located on the northwest corner; the United States Courthouse and Post Office, built in 1886, (federal law) is located on the southwest corner; andSt. Michael's Church, built in 1761 (God’s law), is located on the southwest corner.

Looking down King Street - this picture was taken last fall when we were here. It definitely wasn't short weather today!
One of the vendors selling sweetgrass baskets in the City Market
Charleston City Hall
Looking through one of the windows in City Hall 
St. Michael’s Church is the oldest church edifice in the City of Charleston, standing on the site of the first Anglican Church built south of Virginia. Pam and I walked through it last week...very impressive.

February 18, 2013

Feb. 17 - More Food

Ashley Marina (Charleston)

Since the weather has been a little too chilly or wet to work on outside boat projects or take road trips to the beach, we spend a lot of our time checking out the great restaurants in Charleston (what else can we do?)...and there are a lot of great places. This morning we went to Hall's Chophouse for brunch. Hall's have live music everyday, but on Sundays it's gospel music and we enjoyed it very much. All our meals were wonderful and the service was very attentive. The owners greet you at the door and visit with guests at their tables, making sure every need is taken care of. One day this blog will get back to being a cruising blog, but for now it's just a way to let our family know what we're up to here in Charleston.

Looking downstairs at Crystal...our wonderful entertainment
My shrimp and grits
Pam asked our waiter if the bread pudding was better than hers (hers is awesome)...he decided we should decide for ourselves and brought us a complimentary dessert. Their's is very good too, it tasted like a cinnamon bun with praline ice cream. It was topped with a bourbon creme anglaise sauce. I think I could have made a meal out of this.

February 16, 2013

Feb. 15 - Pearlzday

Ashley Marina (Charleston)

I have a friend that lives in the "real world" that asks me every time we talk if I know what day it is. My response has always been...I didn't go to church today, so it must be Saturday! Now that we're in Charleston and our boat friends like to go to Pearlz on Friday...every day is Saturday except Friday, which is now Pearlzday. Just one of the difficulties of living on a boat! When there's work to be done you do it, when it's time to play you play...it really doesn't matter what day the calendar says it is.

Before going to Pearlz, Pam and I went to The Citadel to watch the retreat parade, held every Friday afternoon. The Citadel is The Military College of South Carolina, a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston, founded in 1842. We then rode our bikes 3 ½ miles to Pearlz, where we met the guys. We are definitely getting our exercise.

Parade of cadets
Fun at Pearlz