Boone Hall Plantation

Friday, February 11, 2011

While we were waiting for Gavin to wake up from his nap this afternoon, Dave and Michael went out to pick up some sandwiches for lunch. They ended up getting them from a place on King Street called Groucho's.

Honestly, I would've expected more for the price. The sandwiches were each around $8, and they were REALLY simple sandwiches--some lunch meat, lettuce, tomato, and condiments between some regular ol' sandwich bread. After we all ate, we said we couldn't complain--there was nothing *wrong* with the sandwiches, but they weren't anything special either. I think we were all kind of "meh" about them. Definitely wouldn't go back there again unless there was no other place to go.

Shortly after we were finished eating, G woke up and we got ready and headed out. We drove to Boone Hall Plantation, which took us about 20 minutes or so to get to from our hotel in the Historic District. The ride took us over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, which has become a famous landmark in Charleston.

Our admission into Boone Hall Plantation cost us $17.95/person (thankfully, we didn't have to pay anything for the babes). Normally, it includes quite a few tours, exhibits, presentations, etc. but because we were there in the winter, some of them weren't available to us. Still, it was a nice, sunny afternoon so we appreciated the opportunity to walk around outside.

When you drive onto the plantation and toward the plantation house (where the parking is located, too), you drive down "The Avenue of Oaks," which is apparently world famous and the longest row of oaks there is. It was quite pretty and I can only imagine it would be more so in the spring/summer months.

G immediately took to the horses. He saw them when we pulled up, and was OBSESSED with them the rest of the time we were at the plantation. He kept saying (in his little baby way) "HORSES!" over and over and over again, even as we tried to tour other areas of the plantation. It was too cute, but he sure was persistent! :)

We wandered across the Avenue of Oaks to look around the row of slave homes. These are the original brick structures that uses to house slaves back in the day. They are some of just a few slave homes that are still standing, simply because they are made of brick. Most slave homes were made of wood, which obviously deteriorated over time.

There were eight homes on the "street," and each of them contained different exhibits about slave life, their customs, their culture, their history, etc.

I'm about to post some pics of us near the slave homes, and we're smiling... I feel the need to post a disclaimer that we did not take where we were standing lightly. I know I can speak for all of us when I say that we were actually deeply affected by the slave homes. It was chilling to stand inside of them and know that enslaved people used to live there. Honestly, we were all still talking about it tonight. It was a strange feeling.

After we were done learning about the lives of the slaves on the plantation, we walked around a bit more, killing time before the start of the next house tour.

When it was getting close to time for the tour, we walked up toward the house...

While we were waiting, we walked around the side of the house and found this cool looking live oak tree:

Then we looped back around to the front porch for the start of the tour. We didn't take any photos inside the house (they don't allow you to), but it was a really interesting tour. Our guide was dressed for the part, and he was really knowledgeable about the plantation and the history of that era. He also told us about all of the movies and television shows that have been filmed on the plantation--it was surprising, as some of them have absolutely nothing to do with plantations (Like Army Wives. I have no idea what Army Wives uses Boone Plantation for!).

The tour ended on the back patio.

(Nora slept through the tour!)

By the time we wrapped things up, it was after 5:00, and we needed to head back toward downtown Charleston so that we could go grab dinner somewhere and get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour.

Once back at the hotel, we settled on Jestine's Kitchen, and walked down there. It was about 3/4 of a mile from here. It was a little stressful, as there was a wait for a table when we arrived. The place is really small, so we had to wait out on the street, even though it was pretty cold out. Thankfully, the wait wasn't TOO long, but when they finally wanted to seat us, one of the guys who works there was a pretty big jerk about our strollers.

Let me just say that I know strollers are a pain in the ass for servers, and they don't want to get tripped up by them or have the strollers get in the way. HOWEVER, we weren't trying to keep the strollers at our table or anything--all we wanted to do was get to our table where we could get settled, then break down the strollers and get them out of the way. Again, I understand the inconvenience they pose to the people working in the restaurant, but I thought we were being reasonable about them, and the guy could've been more friendly about it.

That was just the start of it, really--we never felt 100% comfortable there. I wouldn't exactly call the place "family friendly," even though it is completely casual in atmosphere.

When we all got our food, I think we were all mostly disappointed. Again, nothing was TERRIBLE, but Lynsay and I both had some kind of fried chicken that was overdone--they had clearly fried it for too long, which made the chicken itself pretty dry, and the breading pretty gross. Also, I ordered green beans as one of my sides, and they were underwhelming. THEY WERE CLEARLY OUT OF A CAN. I'm not even kidding. Perfectly uniform in size, mushy and with no flavor. Ick. Michael and Dave had meatloaf and pork chops, respectively, and I think they were both fairly happy with their meals. Certainly nothing to write home about! I just don't get what the fuss is about, but maybe we missed something. In short, we do not recommend.

By the time we were done with our meals, Nora was really fussy (poor overtired girl!), so we packed up and hit the sidewalks back to the hotel. Once ready for bed, Nora went down really easily tonight--we've had the TV on and have been moving about the room and she hasn't been bothered by it at all. I hope she gets some good sleep tonight... Lord knows she needs it!


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