a fort, bikes, and the beach – day 3

We began day three with another trip to the breakfast buffet, and then, much to Danny’s delight (and confusion), we went to Diggity Doughnuts for a treat.  Sort of like a second breakfast, I guess.  I had my reasons, though: Diggity is only open Thursday – Sunday (at least at the time of writing), and Friday and Saturday were a little busy, so it was our last chance!  Who knows the next time we’ll be in Charleston on those specific days!  I had the pumpkin cheesecake doughnut, and Danny had the thin mint (both vegan, in case you’re wondering).

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After breakfast round two, we headed to the Fort Sumter visitor center and boarded the 11am ferry to the actual fort.  It was another beautiful day in Charleston…blue skies, temperatures in the high 50’s/low 60’s…my ideal December day.

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^^ In the visitor center, with the most massive American flag I’ve ever seen. ^^

We really enjoyed our time out on Fort Sumter.  A ranger from the National Park Service gave us an informative history of the fort on the ferry ride over, and once back at the visitor center, we spent a while checking out all of the exhibits and learning more about the Civil War and Charleston’s place in it.  No doubt, I learned about the Civil War growing up in school, but I think that visiting places where it actually happened, where battles were fought and lives were lost, really brought it to life.  Growing up (primarily) in Colorado, my exposure to such sites has been limited, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to do some exploring now.

We had a late lunch at ???? (it’s been a while), and headed back to the hotel to ride bikes.  I’d read about the bikes on the hotel’s website, and was really hoping we’d get a chance to take them for a spin.  We had some trouble finding the path at first, but eventually did and really enjoyed our wooded ride that at one point even led to an overlook of the harbor.

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After our bike ride, we decided to hit up the beach…at last!  We went to the Isle of Palms, which was pretty near our hotel (20 minutes by car) and I think this was my first time at the Atlantic Ocean.  It was love at first sight…

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And, because it was our first time at the beach together in a while, things got a little cheesy.  Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B: Danny wanted to ask someone to take a picture of us walking on the beach and holding hands but I was too embarrassed so he set up the camera on his shoe, put on the self-timer, and off we ran walked.  It actually turned out pretty good…if not a bit off-kilter!

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And, only one sunset pic today because on day four things got a little bit out of hand in regards to the sunrise/sunset, so save up your tolerance for those for the next post.

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Because I just couldn’t get enough of the beach at sunset, we kept driving until we found a little stretch of beach with a parking lot nearby (not as easy to find as you might think!).  There signs warning of danger and large fines associated with entering the ocean here, so we stayed on land and enjoyed the last few minutes before the sun went down.

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For dinner we stopped by a Thai place I’d read about when researching good vegan places to eat in the area, but once we realized that our meal would cost almost as much as my plane ticket to get to Charleston, we decided to go back to the Mexican place from day one whose name still escapes me.  It got the job done.

Day 3 was a good mix of history and fun.  I’m really glad we saw Fort Sumter, even if it isn’t the most exciting historical place I’ve been to, it’s an important part of Charleston and Civil War history.  And the bike ride and the beach were definitely highlights.  Every time we ride bikes together, it’s so much fun.  From Anchorage to Boise to Chicago, and now Charleston, it’s been a great way to see a city while allowing us to cover so much more ground than we could have on our feet.  And the beach, well, for us land-locked Colorado folk, it’s always a big deal.  As soon as we walked down the boardwalk and set foot in the sand, I wished we had made a point of going the two days we’d already been in Charleston, but we made the most of the time we did have and can’t wait to be at beach when it’s warm enough to get in the water!

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