Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas in Charleston

Well not quite but they had a parade of boats last night and we had met some people on the dock so we had an impromptu Christmas party.  We sat on a boat that was registered in Iqualuit of all places (they are from Montreal, never been to Iqualuit, a tax dodge) and drank wine and honked their air horn at the boats with gorgeous displays.  We ended up on our boat, we fed a single handed rocket scientist, and then the other boat joined us for Christmas cake, shortbread and rum balls.  The fellow from Montreal kept saying he loved my balls. It was great to have a celebration with interesting new friends. 

We had a whirlwind trip around Charleston and the weather was absolutely beautiful  This is one of the first things we saw and I thought it was such a great idea. Then we indulged in some good southern cooking, I had ribs with collard greens and Barry had shrimp and grits and we each ate half of each place, both were delicious.  That evening we went out to a musical history of the City of Charleston.  It was very well done with the music from before the American Revolutionthe Civil War and some spirituals which the African Americans sang to give messages about the Underground Railroad.  I really loved their rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot and ending with a super piano duet of Gershin's Rhapsody in Blue.  
                                          A 13 inch Civil War mortar, huge. 

Yesterday we borrowed some bicycles and cycled through the South of Broad area of Charleston.  There are beautiful homes with outstanding wrought iron work, we were told that some of it dates way back, if the work was good if the house fell apart, people would take the iron work and put it on a new home. We visited the free exhibit about Fort Sumter. It had an excellent display about the conditions leading up to South Carolina being the first state to secede from the U.S.  The first shots of the Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter.  Charleston was blockaded and was under fire from Union positions on small islands in the harbor and ships.  It was bombarded for over 500 days, at the end people were starving and the city was in ruins. One church was rebuilt from the bricks of the former building on the same space.  Charleston has had every disaster hit it, the great fire, an earthquake, the bombardment during the civil war and Hurriicane Hugo in 1989, one of the worst to hit the east coast. It is quite the city!!
Check out the wrought iron balconies! The side porches on the pink building wer built that way to catch the ocean breezes. Someone decided to liven up the town by painting her house in the pastel colours popular in the Caribbean islands and it caught on. 
                            What a beauty, I think it's some kind of a roadster. 

                             Aren't the Christmas decorations on this tree great!