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Charleston or, Alice Has a New Job

I left my job of seven years two weeks ago, and have been footloose and fancy free ever since. Haha, jk, I have a new job! But as it is a job that takes its employees to Charleston, South Carolina for a team meeting, I remain relatively footloose.

Here I am footloose as I dangle them in the water

A fair amount of the trip consisted of bonding, as my team members and I are spread out across the country. We stayed on the Isle of Palms, about 25 miles from downtown Charleston, and right next to the ocean. By right next, I mean it took appx 60 seconds to walk to the ocean. 




Where there were jellyfish! Jellyfish that I thought were dead, but then someone told me that nay, they were SUNNING THEMSELVES. However, I have just googled this, and it turns out that's a load of crap because jellyfish evaporate in the sun because they are 98% water.

Aside from amazing memories like hot tubbing  next to the ocean at night and being able to see All the Stars (note: no one can actually see all the stars, but you know what I mean), I also went to downtown Charleston on the last 2 days. The first day, I had nought but an hour! One hour! Before all the museums closed. So I chose the Charleston Museum, as it apparently has the oldest collection in America.

And they put chamber pots in their restrooms like fun people!


It's a canjo!

After inquiring of the Charleston tourism center what, if anything, is open after 5, he directed me down King Street, where I found Blue Bicycle Books! Where I had this conversation with the person on duty:

me to bookstore guy: "So are you one of the thriving independent bookstores in Charleston?"
"We are THE thriving independent bookstore in Charleston."
"Ooooooh."

I bought Still Life With Woodpecker, 100% because that's the book Drew Barrymore's character reads every morning at the Hawaiian cafe she goes to in 50 First Dates, and I love the hell out of that movie.

That night the dudes in our company put their impressive cooking skillz on display and dumped a giant pile of seafood on the kitchen table.

It was awesome.

The next day I went to two house museums and then cut myself off from all museumy things, because I am attempting to get better at self care and I was v. tired and would not in fact have fully enjoyed said museums. I did enjoy going to a cafe and drinking coffee/reading a David Sedaris book. But before that, the two house museums.

The first was the Joseph Manigault House, built in 1803 and constructed in the Federalist style. Joseph Manigault had a very nice face and also owned a lot of slaves. The tour guide (whose name was Samantha) really emphasized everything that would've been built/taken care of by enslaved people, as well as how awful their living conditions were, which I very very much appreciated. We also discussed how on trend the Manigault's mint green paint choice was.

Gorgeous Manigault House

They had a ticket deal where if you bought 2 house tours, you saved like $6, so yeah, like I'm not gonna take them up on that. The other house was the Heyward-Washington House, which I only photographed the "necessary" (outhouse) and spinnet of, but because my photo of the necessary sucks, here is the spinnet:

I got to get closer to it than normal because I was the only one on the tour.
Also the tour guide and I bonded over Tim Burton.

Oh! On my walk to the Heyward-Washington House (built in 1772 in the Georgian style and hosted Revolutionary War meetings), I stopped in at an old old church that had awesome box pews, so look!:

boxes!
So old. Mmm.

After both house tours, I wandered around Charleston, stopped to take a selfie with a British soldier mannequin


and wound up at the Second Presbyterian Church's (1809) graveyard.


I don't want my interest in graveyards to be seen as morbid or goth or whatever, although think what you want to. I like them for a number of reasons, which include liking the past, feeling linked to people throughout time, and experiencing one of the only places where our culture allows us to be somber/sad. If I were sitting in a graveyard crying, people would leave me the hell alone and not feel that awkward about it. Of course I'm crying, I'm in a graveyard. I'm not saying I did this -- the only exclamations I made were apologies to dead people as I probably walked over them in my quest to read a tombstone -- but the fact remains I could have.

This was my second trip to Charleston. My first was excellent but involved much more pouting over walking up museum steps.

There were a lot. I was tired.

I would for sure go back again. I feel I've spent a fair amount of time there and barely grazed what it has to offer. I turned down going into at least 3 museums that I just randomly passed by. It's an old old city that's done a great job preserving its old things in a muggy climate, and it has kickass restaurants.

Also, having a new job is the best and they've given me time to go to BEA and sometimes life does a splendid 180 on you, and all you have to do is put in the work to make it happen. #wisewords #goodthingsalicehassaid

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