Gatlinburg to Charleston, South Carolina

Thursday 23rd March, 2017

We made a quick escape from Gatlinburg and drove through the Smokey Mountains to Charleston.  This driving holiday has been about getting from A to B therefore we have travelled along the freeways or as they are referred to the Interstate.  It’s a major road system with thousands of vehicles and lots of trucks and they all do way more than the speed limit of 70 mph.  Most of the time Geoff felt that if he just didn’t keep his foot down on the accelerator we would get run over. Frequently there would be exit signs for the next turn off, but rather than announcing the next town there would be these 100ft high signs advertising the Gas Stations, Fast Food outlets and the accommodation options.  We tried out one of those Fast Food options today known as Waffle House.  Well it is always good to do something once and then you don’t have to do it again.  You see Waffle House doesn’t actually mean you have a range of waffles to choose from (there was only one with maple syrup) as it is a burger cafe and a tired one at that.  The staff were friendly, continued eating the whole time we were there and were fascinated with the 2 peculiar Australians.  Mind you we had to listen carefully to understand their southern accent.

We arrived into Charleston and stayed at a Holiday Inn for the night as the B & B that I have booked in the historic French Quarter wasn’t available until Friday.

I made contact with a colleague I had met at the Conference in New Orleans, Jay Wallace 111, who holds the same position as myself for the South Carolina Self Storage Association.

We made our way downtown and dined at Magnolia’s.  The restaurant scene in Charleston is impressive and extremely busy. Every restaurant seems to serve dinner over 3 sittings (roughly 4:30 – 6:30pm; 6:30 – 8:30pm; 8:30 to close). Lunch is served all day until dinner starts. The food is outstanding. I dined on “low country” fare – Shellfish over Grits – sautéed shrimp, sea scallops, creamy white grits, lobster butter sauce, fried spinach and it was delicious. Grits are a food made from corn that is ground into a coarse meal and then boiled. Doesn’t sound very appetizing however it has been very popular fare wherever we have been on this holiday.  If done well it is delicious and this was one of those occasions.

My new friend Jay joined us for a glass of wine then took us on an evening walking tour to orientate us with the historic heart of downtown Charleston. When we parted company Geoff and I called into one of the many dessert cafes and had a liquor coffee before catching a taxi back to the hotel.

Highway signage

Highway signage

Highway signage

Highway signage