A Colonial Christmas

This past holiday season, Mr. Batch and I were fortunate enough to visit the cities where the colonies of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina were established. What a treat to get to see Savannah, Charleston and New Bern decorated for the holidays!

We flew in to Savannah, Georgia and within a couple hours of landing, took a fantastic walking tour through many of its garden squares, neighborhoods and parks:

All that walking merited a stop at Leopold’s Ice Cream, famous for inventing the “Tutti Fruitti” ice cream flavor:

Afterward, a walk by the riverfront to see the Georgia Queen Riverboat, and then our night concluded with a sunset dinner at the rooftop restaurant of our Historic District Homewood Suites hotel (which we liked and would recommend):

The next day, we leisurely strolled among the beautiful squares and streets of Savannah, until it was time to get in line for lunch at the famed Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. We met some wonderful people in line, with whom I’m still pen-pal-corresponding! Fun! The wait is MOST DEFINITELY worth it for this delicious family-style Southern fare, served by gracious folk including Mrs. Wilkes’ granddaughter! All of us talked about canceling dinner plans, as we departed! 🙂

To waddle-off some of those calories, we toured the Owens-Thomas House afterward:

And then crossed the river to the Westin Hotel, to see their Gingerbread Village:

Before departing the next day, we were treated to these scenes right outside our hotel room window. The Port of Savannah is a major U.S. seaport. We loved our time in Savannah, and can see ourselves returning!

En route to Charleston, SC we stopped in Beaufort, SC. How could we NOT stop at the Kazoo Museum, which Mr. Batch found with his handy-dandy app for Roadside America.

Buzzing from the fun of that stop (get it? buzzing??? hahaha) … we continued our journey through the scenic town of Beaufort, SC:

Our final stop before getting to Charleston was to tour Middleton Place Plantation, an old rice plantation known for its 65-acres of landscaped gardens:

Finally …. dinner! I had done considerable research to find highly recommended, though moderately-priced, restaurants serving some of Charleston’s regional specialties: low-country fare and seafood. First on our list was The Glass Onion which specializes in scrumptious low-country cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients, served with easy, make-yourself-at-home charm:

We had Hilton Honors points to use-up, so we got checked into our next Homewood Suites (which was fine — no issues — we just didn’t like it as well as the one in Savannah) and then took a walk through town to work-off some of those calories. In the middle of Marion Square,  we got to walk underneath this massive Christmas tree of lights:

 

The next day, we took a Historic Walking Tour of Charleston. If viewing this post on a laptop or PC, hover over all of the images throughout the blog to reveal their captions:

Dinner that night was at Coast Bar & Grill — local seafood, simply prepared, and very well-done:

 

Before departing town, we visited one of the forts that has protected Charleston through its history. Our tour guide suggested we visit Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island, rather than the chilly 60-min roundtrip boat-ride to Ft. Sumter (not to mention that Ft. Moultrie has a $3 entry fee vs $22 for each roundtrip boat ride to Ft. Sumter), and we’re glad we took his advice. Interesting history of the many wars this fort has endured … and changing technology employed:

Our trip wouldn’t be complete without one last stop to see the pineapple fountain in Waterfront Park:

 

Next stop: Wilmington, NC where I grew up and my parents still live. From my previous post, you’ll see what a great time we had visiting them and getting to see my brother who was also in-town.

While there, we kids decided to play tourist for a day, and make our way to Beaufort, NC (how many people can say they visited Beaufort, SC and Beaufort, NC within a few days of each other?) … en route to New Bern … with a final destination of Kinston, NC so we could eat at Chef and the Farmer Restaurant (more on that below).

Our first stop was for lunch at The Spouter Inn in charming Beaufort, NC. Afterward, the app for Roadside America delivered again, with its suggestion to stop at a huge statue of Blackbeard right outside of Beaufort, NC:

Our next stop was New Bern, NC to visit the pharmacy where Pepsi-Cola was born:

On to Kinston, NC. After a quick stop at the model Confederate Iron-Clad, (I had no idea they had that technology back in the Civil War?!?!?), we stopped for drinks and a few oysters at the Boiler Room:

This is the second of Vivian Howard’s restaurants in Kinston, NC. My Mom turned me on to the PBS series “A Chef’s Life” which documents the stresses and joys of Chef Vivian Howard opening a fine-dining restaurant, Chef and the Farmer Restaurant in Eastern NC — all while rediscovering and finding new appreciation for the traditions and culture of the region. I was thrilled to make the pilgrimage for dinner:

A couple of days later, Mr. Batch and I returned to the Winter Wonderland of Raaaaah-chester, NY. Our hearts were full from such a wonderful trip!

We love Winter and the snow, so we’ve had a lot of fun playing in it since we’ve returned!

Happy New Year from us to you all!!!  ❤️

 

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