Monday, March 11, 2013

Charleston, SC -Part 1- Lodge Alley District

Mike and I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina for a few days back in December, actually during the week before Christmas. We had some points left over from our yearly allotment in our vacation club that couldn't be "rolled over" and saved for the next year, so rather than letting them expire, he decided we would use them for a mini-vacation for just the two of us. I love it that he likes to plan things like that. :)

And I especially love that he likes to take me to explore places that are rich in heritage and history! And I must say, this trip did not disappoint!

We stayed at the Lodge Alley Inn, located on... wait for it... Lodge Alley. Lodge Alley is one of the oldest streets in Charleston and it is located within the most ancient confines of the town's old walls, in an area where the French Huguenots once lived and worked. It was a thruway for merchants working at the docks on East Bay Street during the 1750's.

Oh my goodness... the history I learned of this little district! It was enough to cast me into bouts of delirious euphoria. I am not. even. kidding.

Lodge Alley is home to one of the oldest Masonic Lodges in the country, dating back to 1773. This marks Charleston's distinction as one of the cradles of Freemasonry in America.

Lodge Alley is also the place where Charlestonians openly defied the British government in the early days before the Revolutionary War. It was here that the Sons of Liberty led public meetings protesting the British Stamp Act and the Tea Tax. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

The Lodge Alley Inn, where we stayed, obviously derives its name from the adjoining ten-foot alley. It is comprised of several 18th century warehouse buildings which have been restored and converted into an inn, all while preserving their history, allowing many of the rooms to retain their original 18th century pine flooring and brick walls. 
the reception area with beautiful pine floors, exquisite wood detailing and period furniture

This is the parlor, where in the afternoons, they provide guests with delicious, warm chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the adjoining restaurant.
our room
just beautiful
Don't you just love the beautiful wood floors and the old brick wall?
We did. Until about 20 minutes of being in that beautiful room. Apparently something in this room triggered an allergic reaction in me. It even bothered Mike to some degree, and he doesn't have allergies like I do. We suspect it was probably something in that old brick wall. Anyway...
We made our way down to the front desk to request a room change, if there was anything available. The desk clerk was so nice and helpful. He told us he didn't have another room open for the complete length of our stay, but if we were flexible he could put us in one room that was unoccupied for the night and then we'd have to move out of that room and into another the next day. Sounds like a lot of trouble, I know, but we were happy to make the changes. And the staff was so helpful. We didn't even have to be there to do the moving the next day. They told us to have our bags packed and waiting by the door when we left that morning and they would move everything into our new room.

our new room (for one night)
This room had the same wood floors and details, just not the brick wall.
This room was very similar to our previous room, only larger because this one was a double (obviously).
So we stayed in this room our first night, and the next day we were moved into another room.
And our room for the rest of our stay

All the fireplaces had gas logs in them. Cozy!
And those windows behind the sofa... they are the old fashioned kind. Instead of raising up, they open out, kind of like French doors. I know that not everyone is as easily excited over little details like this, but I am very much fascinated with older houses and buildings.
one of the small alley passageways between the buildings on Lodge Alley
Once Mike told me he had booked a stay at this place, I had to read about the history of it. Many claim this place is haunted. I assume that's because the buildings date back to the 18th century. Something about really old places makes the ghost hunters think there are ghosts hanging out, haunting the place. Well, the only haunting we experienced was the haunts of noisy people. You see, our bedroom windows faced that alleyway in the picture above.  There was a bar in one of those buildings, and more on the main alley out front, so we were "haunted" by noisy, drunken people leaving the bars at 2 a.m. Then, at 6 a.m. all the businesses came to life. Apparently they use these little side alleys for delivery trucks, and trash pick-up trucks. And I am not kidding, every morning at 6 a.m. a man walked down that alley pulling some sort of cart. And if you can tell by the picture, that is a cobblestone street. So you can just imagine what that sounded like.

This was such a charming place, and I loved that it is located within walking distance of most of the main attractions of this district -- the City Market, Rainbow Row, the High Battery, and so much more. There was so much to see and do and experience, there is no way to tell about all of it here in this one post. This story will have to be continued.

1 comment:

  1. very pretty. Glad you guys had a great time. :)


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