Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Up and At 'Em in Charleston

Once again, a good sleep-in!  Such a comfortable bed!

I realized how late it was - 8:30 AM - and jumped out of bed and pulled on some running clothes.  I really wanted to get a run in this morning, my first since the half marathon in Columbia SC.  I already knew where I was going to run:  Along Church Street, down Bay Street to the bottom of the peninsula, then back up Meeting Street.  Lots of beautiful historic homes and buildings along this route.  I saw it all from the horse-drawn carriage yesterday but wanted to see it up close and personal...and on foot.

So I tucked my room key and a five dollar bill into the little pocket in my shorts and got out the door.  65 degrees, cloudy, and humid but there was a stiff breeze which kept things comfortable.

What a perfect running city!!  I saw a number of runners yesterday, and was eager for my turn. 

I ran down Church Street to Broad Street then turned east toward Bay Street, the old Custom House anchoring the intersection at the Battery.  Then down the Battery, running directly into the stiff wind.  At the bottom of Bay Street there's a very pretty park, lined with old cannon and I ran along the edge of this park, then turned north and ran right through the center of the park to get onto Meeting Street.

I slowed down a little bit along Meeting Street to take a closer look at some of the Charleston single-houses that line this street.  Single room wide, with all rooms in the house facing a veranda that runs the length of the house, oriented to catch the prevailing breeze.  A 'privacy door' faces the street and when the door is open, the master of the house is accepting guests.  The privacy door gains access to the first floor veranda where the actual front door is located, facing the drive. 

I'm intrigued by the lifestyle that these home evoke.  Our carriage tour guide the day before had directed our attention to some of the addresses along here - addresses with half numbers.  He told us that the dwellings that bear these addresses - much smaller than their neighbors - were originally what are referred to as "dependency" homes...slave dwellings or kitchens or stables.   It's so interesting that these structures still exist and are now independent properties.

Back up Meeting Street to Market Street to King Street, then up King Street to - you guessed it - Starbucks.  Why else would I tuck a $5 bill into my pocket??  A hot latte in hand, I walked the 1/4 mile back to the Church Street Inn, where I made breakfast and then enjoyed it and my latte while planning the rest of my day.   

The "itchy, burning eyes" culprit:
Serious pollen, visible in a puddle and coating the edges.

What were those "rest of the day" plans?  To get cleaned up after my run and head back out, camera in hand, to retrace my running steps earlier in the morning.  I couldn't run with a camera but really wanted to capture what I saw.

"Pastel Row," overlooking the bay

Pretty antique home on Tradd Street

Home exhibiting the earthquake bolts installed
in many homes after the major earthquake in
the 1880's.

Fine example of the Charleston Single-house

Street with original "ballast stone" paving.  Ships from England
came over mostly empty, but laden with ballast stone, which
was replaced with full loads of goods to return to England.
Charleston used these ballast stone to pave their roads.

Original Custom House, or Exchange Building
St. Philips Church on Church Street


  1. You are an inspiration. Charleston is my favorite place to visit, the food-history-beaches-outdoor activities. Enjoy your stay...

  2. Thank you for going back out with the camera. I love the pictures of the old building. And I never knew they used balast stones for the streets.

    Now I really want to go and visit.