Day 140 (10/18/14): Charleston, SC | Wadmalaw Island, SC
Remember how much I like tea? Well, we discovered America’s only tea garden! On Wadmalaw Island, SC, is the Charleston Tea Plantation, which is also North America’s only commercialized tea plantation where tea is grown and manufactured. I was delighted that we were able to tour the Tea Factory and sample each of the teas. Not only were we able to taste delicious hot and iced teas to our heart’s content, we also learned about the tea making process.
I used to think that different types of tea came from different types of plants. But, come to find out, black, oolong, green and white teas all come from the same tea plant. What creates the many varieties of tea is the oxidization of the tea leaves. Oxidization is the time they are exposed to air on the withering bed. Black tea is exposed the longest at 50 minutes, oolong tea is exposed for 15 minutes, green tea isn’t exposed to air at all (0 minutes), and white tea is made from the white flower (also called the blossom or bud) of the tea plant. Also, tea plants are naturally insect and disease resistant.
While we had our fill of tea, we still hadn’t had our fill of South Carolina barbecue. We knew exactly where to go to satisfy our BBQ cravings and headed back to the Swig & Swine. We had the same items as last time but also tried their pork rinds with blue cheese crumbles and a Tabasco honey drizzled over them. As my first time trying pork rinds, I’m sure no other future pork rinds will live up to these ones. This was a perfect finale meal for our last day in Charleston!
Day 141 (10/19/14): Charleston, SC | Savannah, GA
After thoroughly explored Charleston, SC, we were ready to continue our journey. Next up was Savannah, GA. For the state of Georgia, we had already visited Atlanta but were looking forward to seeing the coast. Once we reached Savannah, we dropped the trailer off at the campground and immediately drove to the downtown. Like Charleston, there were no high rise buildings. Also similar to Charleston, Savannah has live oak trees lining the streets. I’ve decided that my favorite aspect of the South are the oak trees with Spanish moss. They add so much charm!
The one attribute that really differentiates Savannah from Charleston are the squares of Savannah, which give immense personality to the city. Downtown Savannah is laid out as a grid around 22 squares of green space that break up the buildings with their individual park-like settings. As one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States, the downtown historic district is actually determined by the location of the landscaped squares.
Each square is slightly different with features including park benches, paved walkways, lamp posts, fountains and statues. Another charming characteristic of Savannah are the many horse-drawn carriages sauntering through the streets. Between the historic squares and the clacking of horseshoes, you’re transported back in time, forgetting that you’re in a downtown.
Downtown Savannah had a cornucopia of shopping and dining options. For example, the four-block open-air marketplace at City Market alone had numerous cafes and shops as well as art galleries. With pedestrian streets and cobble-stone walkways, the outdoor shopping center had definite character.
Another open-air market in the area was the River Street Marketplace, which sits on the Savannah River bordering the downtown. With people strolling everywhere, Savannah seemed like a lively, walkable city. There are also several major highways near Savannah, making it quite accessible. While we enjoyed the Charleston area, downtown Savannah seemed to offer more than downtown Charleston.