British Adventure Traveler Claire believed that she might enhance her adventure vacation by planning it with the help of someone who lived at her target destination. On previous trips, Claire either cooperated with a local tour company or she hired a local guide upon arrival. For her trip to South Carolina in the United States, she tried something different. Through BritishExpats.com, she made contact with countrymen who live in Charleston, South Carolina.
With their help, she determined to fly over for the final week of Charleston’s Spoleto Festival and one of the expats that she contacted offered to guide her while she vacationed in Charleston. She also suggested that Claire break up her trip, to experience “Chuck town,” (Charleston) on the front and back ends of her holiday by renting a car for a trip upstate to get at a Carolina peach, freshly harvested from the orchard.
The Carolinians consider the Spoleto festival as a kickoff to tourist season, and while many of the events directly connect with the Italian celebration of the same name, the festival means party long and well. For the well-heeled, Spoleto Charleston provides opera, Shakespearian plays, and opulent balls. For Claire, an open-air jazz festival, dirty dancing in the street, and fireworks juiced her interest in American pub-style fun. She booked her flights with Aer Lingus after she learned that she could get a seat on one of their flights mostly occupied by Spoleto-bound revelers. As she hoped, that group adopted her during the flight, welcoming her to join them to experience as many of the Charleston events that she wanted.
Claire got little sleep in the first few days of Spoleto. She enjoyed a sumptuous dinner before a street party every evening, followed by a main event and fireworks. Up early the following day for a grand southern American breakfast with lots of coffee, Claire toured old town Charleston by carriage and she traveled by boat to Fort Sumter in the harbor. Claire power-napped whenever she could to “recharge her batteries,” not wanting to miss anything. During her nap on the boat ride back from Fort Sumter, her sleepy head rocked over onto the shoulder of a British Navy Officer who had also traveled to Charleston on the Aer Lingus flight.
Gallantly, he did not wake her until the boat docked. After treating Claire to coffee, he invited her to join him for a tour of a visiting British warship at the Charleston Navy Base. At lunch aboard the ship with the officers and their wives, Claire mentioned her plan to go get a peach, and they all got into that too! Two days later, they whisked her away in a convoy of four cars as the British Navy Couples drove on a “staff ride” to the King’s Mountain Battlefield in upstate to pay their respects to Major Patrick Ferguson and his men, British casualties in the American Revolutionary War.
But, for Claire, their stop at a peach orchard in York set the stage for the high point of her holiday. There, for the first time in her life, Claire took a big bite into a dead ripe freestone peach. The incredibly sweet juice exploded in her mouth! It splashed onto her cheeks, dribbled down her chin, and onto her dress! Surrounded by cheers and the laughter of her newfound friends, Claire experienced the signature moment in her latest adventure travel.