by Monica Conrady
my husband, Ray, joined the vessel Integrity, a ship taking relief
supplies from east coast ports to Haiti, I arranged to join him for his final
This meant flying to Charleston, South Carolina, then making
my way to nearby Georgetown where the ship was docked. I was delighted to
be going to Charleston a place long on my travel wish list. My visit
would be short and sweet only one full day and the August weather
would be hot
and humid, but I went anyway.
It was after 7PM when I arrived at the Kings Courtyard Inn,
a delightful place in the heart of Charlestons historic district. After
partaking of a welcome glass of sherry in the lounge, I retired
to my comfy room with its huge fourposter bed, so high off the ground it came with a little stepping stool. It gave real meaning to the phrase to climb
A little named Poogan became the restaurant's greeter from his spot on the front porch.
Next morning, I awoke refreshed and ready to make the most of
my day in town. After a generous continental breakfast served in the Inns
lovely courtyard, I made my way to the Charleston Visitor Center. Normally
I walk everywhere when Im
visiting a new city but this time I decided a tour was in order. A horse-drawn carriage or even a pedicab would have been nice, but in this heat, air-conditioning won out over romance and I opted for a minibus tour.
The 90-minute Doin the Charleston was my tour
of choice. We meandered through the leafy streets of historic Charleston,
past gracious old homes with wraparound porches, hidden gardens and unexpected
courtyards while our guide, Marvin Katzen, a dapper gentleman, kept us informed
We passed the Old Marine Hospital, original home of the Jenkins
Orphanage, established for African-American street children, which operated
from 1895 to 1939, and is now a National Historic Landmark. To raise funds,
the Jenkins Orphanage
Band was formed, and eventually its young members, wearing discarded Citadel uniforms, performed all over the United States and even toured England.
We then made our way to the White Point Gardens on the waterfront,
also known as The Battery, where we disembarked and climbed onto the seawall
for a panoramic view of the harbor and the grand mansions that faced it.
That evening, I joined my fellow guests for a wine and cheese
gathering in the lounge, after which I walked the couple of blocks to Queen
Street and Poogans Porch, my restaurant of choice.
Poogans Porch was originally a family home, built in 1891.
When it became a restaurant in 1976, one former resident stayed on
a little dog named Poogan. For him, the porch at 72 Queen Street was home.
For years hed been a neighborhood fixture, much loved by every family
on the block. He then became the restaurants greeter from his spot on
the front porch. Hes long gone but his spirit lives
For dinner I chose real lowcountry fare she-crab soup
(laced with dry sherry) followed by fried green tomatoes with pecan encrusted
goat cheese and peach chutney. Yummy.
After a farewell-to-me sherry in the lounge, I retired to my
four-poster bed for another perfect nights sleep, and the next morning
departed for Georgetown to meet my sweetheart.
One thing I know for sure. Spend just one day in Charleston
and youll not rest until you return.
author, viewing where Poogan is Remembered
Ginny KIbler photo
A Lovely Courtyard for a Quiet Rendezvous
Charming Inns photo
King's Courtyard Inn a Perfect Hideaway
Charming Inns photo