by Lisa Rosen on April 18, 2011

Lee and I went for a little get-away last week.  Delaney was on her class trip (Outward Bound; another story for another day), so we headed for the Lowcountry.

Note:  we chose Charleston for the following reasons:  it’s within reasonable driving distance, it’s warmer than home, and it’s a good foodie town.  We’re easy.

It was kind of magical, for a couple of reasons.  For starters, this whole idea of getting away without kids is totally new to us.  We didn’t travel without our kids when they were small; I think the first time we went away together overnight was when Delaney was six, and that was only one night (for my first marathon).  We were gone less than 24 hours, and I spent a big chunk of that running.  It wasn’t exactly a romantic tryst.  So this trip to Charleston–a history buff’s paradise–was a real treat.  Lee loves to sit in a coffee shop with internet and a computer, and I love to tour historic homes.  It was perfect.

Secondly, the weather was spectacular, and Charleston smells divine in the spring.  Confederate jasmine and pittosporum were blooming all over town.  It was sort of spectacular–and warm.  Warm is really, really important.

So.  Our assessment:  Charleston is great if you love history, or architecture, or pretty places, or gardens, or good food, or just wandering around finding interesting little nooks and crannies.

The most interesting thing, though, was my iPhone.  I was giddy.  Gleeful.  Charleston was totally the reason I got the thing to begin with.

I love the app store.

Before we went, I searched for Charleston apps, and downloaded a bunch.  My favorite was a haunted walking tour (but there were lots of different kinds of walking tours; I just happened to like that one the best).  It was user-friendly enough that even I could figure it out.  In a nutshell, I went to the designated starting point (which happened to be Philadelphia Alley), put on my earbuds and pressed play.  I listened to a little explanation of the haunting in this little alley that used to be a designated dueling spot while I wandered over the cobbles smelling the flowers and peering into the shadows.  Delightfully spooky.  When the tale ended, I tucked the earbuds into my pocket and followed the walking instructions to the next spot.

It was super-easy, highly entertaining, and much more customizable (in my opinion) than the haunted tour we went on one evening with a guide and a small group.  And at $1.99, it was a bargain compared to the $32 we spent on the guide.

I also made good use of a Charleston-for-foodies app, and a South-Carolina-heritage-trail app that has info about all the surrounding plantations, among other things.  And of course, I used the trusty Starbucks-locator app, but that goes without saying–I use it everywhere.

Travel, I’ve decided, is the perfect application for this amazing technology.  I love my iPhone!


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