Charleston, South Carolina — Day two

View from formal garden at Middleton Plantation

The forecast was for rain, not as intense as last night, but intermittent showers all day.  What to do?  Well, breakfast first at Poogan’s Porch, the oldest restaurant in Charleston. To make it even better, Poogan was a rescued dog. I went for well-made grits and, a splurge, a biscuit. It was well worth the splurge.

Leaving the restaurant, the ground was wet, a shower had passed over. Hoping luck would hold, the next destination was Middleton Place, a plantation known for its gardens. It sprinkled while I drove, but as I pulled into the parking lot the sun magically appeared.

The setting is beautiful, the gardens well laid out, but the house wasn’t all that interesting. The best story about the Middleton family is that they were all into politics. One member of the family signed the Declaration of Independence, one was a governor of South Carolina, another signed the Ordinance of Secession.  First, they built the United States, then they wanted to tear it apart.  The property was looted and burned to the ground by Northern troops toward the end of the Civil War.

On the property are livestock and many exhibits about daily life of the slaves who ran the plantation.  The crafts displays and explanations were interesting. The information about the buying and selling of human beings was chilling. In Eliza’s cabin the furnishings told as much as any explanation.

The rain held off, so back into Charleston for a harbor cruise.  Amazingly, the sun came out fully and I got sunburnt sitting on the upper deck. The boat passed by Fort Sumpter, where the Civil War began and gave us a water view of the Battery.

Last stop was a quick drive to the Citadel, the military academy. Lots of cadets out and about, exercising, playing sports and doing drills. The buildings look like a fortress.

This evening, dinner at High Cotton a well known local restaurant known for southern cuisine.