Sunday, March 7, 2010

Do the Charleston like it's 1928

After a rejuvenating night of rest at the exquisitely appointed Charleston Riverfront La Quinta Inn and Suites, we decided it was time to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. Since we slept in after our night of non-stop travel, the threat of missing our noon check-out time was chomping at our heels. We found a few options for brunch and eventually settled on the restaurant with the best name - Poogan's Porch.
We drove through Charleston's historic center, and parked within ambling distance of the restaurant, with the intention of taking a circuitous tourists stroll back to the car. The restaurant was a little more formal than we had expected (everyone was in their Saturday finest), but this was quickly underplayed by the presence of paper tablecloths. The south is full of mixed messages. Breakfast was scrumptious, and generously portioned. Biscuits worthy of Red Lobster were served with a rare concoction called "Honey Butter," and we realized that it's hard to find a restaurant that doesn't serve fried green tomatoes. Hannah and I ordered some pecan-banana pancakes that were the size of hubcaps, and Kim got an omelette stuffed with crab cakes. Sarah feasted on fried-green tomatoes eggs benedict (I mean it, they're everywhere). We asked for separate checks, and the waiter continued a popular theme of assuming Sarah and I were a couple by presenting us with a joint bill. It's easy to recognize true love.
We then moved on to the main drag of King Street, and quickly realized that Charleston is super bougie. The old money, confederate capital is jam packed with high end shops, which worked out to our advatage when we found an Apple store with exactly the adapter we needed for the car. While surfing the radio was indeed a contstantly surprising treat, we had all maxed out on David Guetta and Akon's "Sexy Chitch."
The stretch of outdoor mall spat us out at a park that was playing host to a wine festival.We were drawn in by the sight of some dazzlingly balletic and inappropriately dressed fencers. As we watched the spectacle more closely, we were approached by what must have been one of Charleston's premier talent agents, and were pushed into a photo-op with the performers. "These photos are going on Facebook, they'll be all over the internet!" he yelled as he snapped photo after photo, making it sound like out names would be in lights on BROOAADWAAAY!! It turns out that the fencing was part of a promotion for the Charleston Ballet's production of "Zorro." When we said we were from Philadelphia and went to Penn, Zorro's adversary mentioned that his friend Erica worked in the "animal department," and asked if we knew her (we don't).
The walk back to the car was confusing and indirect, but the scenery more than made up for it. We piled in, plugged our destination into the GPS, and hit the road once more.

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