As charming as a Southern Belle.

Charleston Market

We timed our morning arrival so as to avoid the tourists that clogged up the space later in the day, when I returned to not purchase a sweetgrass basket.  We delighted in listening to the stories of the basketweavers in the market. In particular, I had decided on one basket during the morning visit (when the market was quiet), and was quoted a price of X by the artist, one with a certificate from the city attesting to the artist’s authenticity. When Tony and I returned later in the day to purchase said basket, with the market overflowing with tourists, the vendor quoted a price of X+125USD. Hmmm. I appreciate the handiwork and history that goes into the baskets, but was entirely turned off by the upcharge, so a sale was not made.

Lots of wandering followed, past Spanish Moss-covered cemeteries and the Huguenot Church and America’s First Theater, too. Respecting that most of the beautiful homes we wandered past were private residences I took care to be discreet when snapping. Others treated the homes as their personal Instagram background, completely oblivious to others. If I ran the NSA, my first target would be Instagram. Or maybe Twitter.

We discovered a disturbing trend when attempting to make lunch reservations at one of Charleston’s upper end establishments: a non-refundable deposit! Apparently this is the rage across much of America now (and in some tourist-infested cities internationally); too many people make multiple reservations and then either cancel at the last minute, or don’t cancel at all, and restaurants have to “hope” they can fill the table or otherwise account for the loss. Truly abhorrent behavior on the part of these uncivilized cretans.

This written, there is absolutely no way I am giving any restaurant a non-refundable deposit. We love food; and we love to eat well, but no. Just, no. Luckily we were able to snag a table at another upper-end restaurant, where we enjoyed Boiled Peanut Hummus and Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon to begin.

I repeat, Candied Bacon.

Around the table for lunch was Lowcountry Bouillabaisse; Shellfish and Grits; and Spicy Shrimp and Sausage over Grits. No words. The staff? They could slay the disgruntled Viennese in a heartbeat with their friendliness.

Afterwards, a much-needed stroll along the Battery Wharf. Oh. My. Goodness. Those homes! I snapped my three favorite, any of which I could so totally move into.

In the adjacent park, a Confederate statue. We were all surprised that the Woke Brigade hadn’t torn it down.

By this time the low tide was calling…