Subject: Re: Charleston
My mom and dad have a time share deal where they can stay in the Lodge Alley Inn when there are open spots. I don't know if it has been converted completely to timeshares yet, but they told me it was absolutely wonderful. Of course, it helps be just a few blocks from the center of town -- away from all the noise, with everything within walking distance.

The tour to Fort Sumter is quite interesting and I enjoyed it, even though we got caught by a horrid thunderstorm when the ferry was bringing us back. The Civil War is a vital part of Charleston's history and Fort Sumter is where it all began. If you have a good guide, then you can really learn a lot of interesting things about the fort and its role in guarding the harbor.

I don't think it took us a full day to do the tour, though you do need to be prepared to spend several hours. Between riding the ferry there and back, and really exploring the fort, it can take a healthy chunk out of the day.

There is also the carrier USS Yorktown on Mount Pleasant where the ferries for Fort Sumter depart. I think that there are tours that you can take of it; you may want to check all that out at the Visitor's Center.

If you're willing to drive out of the city and explore the plantations, there are several plantations within 45 minutes of Charleston. Middleton Place was quite impressive -- just the expanse and variety of its gardens. I didn't take the tour of the home -- those tours always bored the heck out of me. April is a wonderful time to be in the area, because the gardens are blooming and the sweltering heat and humidity hasn't cranked up to 150% yet.

Carry water! You'll sweat it all out, I promise.

Mandy Huffman