Charleston! (Part Two)


On Friday we had the complimentary breakfast at Embassy Suites Historic Charleston. They offer a full hot breakfast bar, including omelets. I took the opportunity to have a healthy breakfast of Raisin Bran with walnuts and skim milk. (They had chopped walnuts for the oatmeal and since I know walnuts are good for cholesterol, I sprinkled them on my cold cereal. I will be eating my Raisin Bran this way from now on. I loved it!)

After breakfast we drove to Magnolia Plantation. If you do all the tours they offer, you will spend the whole day there (six hours). So we decided on the house tour, the nature boat tour and walking through some of the gardens on our own. I think Anita's favorite thing was the Biblical Garden. She loves gardens and knows the names of almost everything she sees. I, on the other hand, was once teased by a good friend about describing food in such intricate detail while describing the flowers at Buschart Gardens, in Victoria, B.C., as "pink ones" and "red ones" and "yellow ones." LOL.

Although I have grown in my appreciation and knowledge of florals and foliage, I'm still no expert and I never will be. Gardens do not draw me the way history does. I wanted to learn all about the people who lived on Magnolia Plantation. So my favorite part of the day was the house tour. It made me want to buy a book and read all about the Draytons. This is the front porch. Below is the view from the porch and the front of the house.

After touring the house we boarded a pontoon boat and took a relaxing nature ride through the marsh. We saw many alligators, snake birds (Anhinga), and other birds. We took way too many pictures of alligators. So I will not attempt to share every bump in the water I have recorded. But here a few pictures we took while cruising the river marsh...

After our boat tour, we walked through some gardens, saw the family tomb and took pictures at the scenic bridge. It was over ninety degrees and the guys were ready to wrap up the touring. So ...

We headed back to the hotel and strolled the outdoor market next door. After that, Mark and Anita did a little shopping on King Street. But John and I headed for the a/c of our room to relax before dinner.

Saturday night's dinner reservation was at Peninsula Grill, which was one of the restaurants recommended to us by more than one friend. I checked out the menu online and was dying to try the Lobster and Corn Chowder.

Oh, my. This soup was to die for. We all ordered it and finished every last drop. To say it was a hit would be an understatement. Our server, Billy, assured us we would love it and he was absolutely correct. It's topped with basil butter, which you stir into the soup before eating. I'm going to have to try to recreate this. I've made corn chowder before, so I actually think I may be able to come close. But the atmosphere I certainly cannot recreate. Once again, we had excellent service and a beautiful setting.

I ordered the Grilled Peach Glazed Jumbo Shrimp, served with Hoppin' John (rice with black eyed peas), green onion horseradish hush puppies (delicious!) and brandied peach butter. I asked for more brandied peach butter on the side. It was so good!

Anita and I both had the shrimp. Mark had Red Snapper. And John had an oh-so-succulent filet.

The chef's specialty dessert is the coconut cake and after seeing and reading about it online, I knew I was having dessert this night no matter how full I was at the end of the meal. It was large enough to share between four people. But we had ice cream as well. Here are a few more pictures to finish off this fabulous second day in Charleston...

Mark and Anita so generously treated us to this dinner for my May birthday and we continued the celebration of their wedding anniversary. To my amazement, I did not gain weight on this trip! I think it's because we walked so much every day. I also put myself on the wagon for the drive home, ate a very light dinner and worked out for 50 minutes on my semi-recumbent bike last night.

Sunday in Charleston will be Part Three.


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