Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tours in Charleston, SC

We took two tours today. The first was of the Bigelow tea growers. Their place is called "Charleston Tea Plantation". You probably heard of Bigelow tea, but perhaps not Charleston Tea Plantation. It is the only place in North American that grows and processes and packs the tea all in one place. Because the area is so hot and humid, it is the perfect place to grow the tea. We toured the factory where it goes from picking the tea leaves you see in one of the photos on the right, to processing and packing them. We learned that green tea takes very little processing, then Oolong tea that we normally get in a Chinese restaurant, takes the next amount of processing and finally, black tea, takes the most. However, the most is about 18 hours. So it goes from picking to processing that quickly for the longest procesing tea.

From there, we went to Historic downtown Charleston. We signed up for a small bus tour of the downtown area and for a harbor cruise. We didn't have time today for the cruise, so we will take that tomorrow. We had to chose between a bus tour or a buggy tour, but after we saw the people packed on the buggy like sardines, we decided to take the bus tour. We saw some beautiful historic homes. As tour guides go, they can either make or break a tour and this guy kind of broke it for us. He drove the bus and talked at the same time, so he wasn't very enthusiastic and quite monotone and sometimes hard to understand. I watched people around us and they were also making comments about him. But, we just concentrated on the sights and tuned him in and out as needed.

Sometime between the tea tour and the bus tour, Mike got a headache. It apparently got worse and by the end of the tour, he couldn't stand the pain anymore. We had planned to go to this ribs restaurant that is supposedly the best ribs around, called "Sticky Fingers." We did go, but he couldn't eat. So I ate a little bit and then boxed up the rest to take back home. As soon as we got back to the MH, he took some Advil and went to bed. He slept for several hours and woke up feeling much better.

Tomorrow we will go on the harbor cruise. I am really looking forward to that. I love matter how big or small the boat is or how short the ride is!

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