Project Hotel Key – Aiken, South Carolina

Hotel Aiken

After our last bout with South Carolina, I felt certain that the entire state had a vendetta against touring musical revues with funny costumes and catchy songs. What a lovely change of view to arrive in Aiken, one of the most adorable and accommodating towns we’ve seen so far! Perhaps South Carolina doesn’t hate us so much after all.

Our hotel was wonderful. We stayed in the historic Hotel Aiken, a large hotel right in the center of the rather large downtown shopping and dining area. We stayed in their annex, a motel-style lodging with doors to the outside across a parking lot from the rest of the hotel. These rooms may have looked motel-quality from the outside, but we lucked out stepping in. Casey and I actually had hardwood floors! How often do you see gorgeous hardwood in a hotel room? I’ve been in MANY hotels on this tour, and this is the first time I’ve seen it. I must say, I’m impressed with the rooms. Very impressed.

Inside the hotel, they have two diverse nightspots, a tiki bar and a wine lounge, with live music every night. Our first night, we caught karaoke at the tiki bar. Lena and I had been dying for some karaoke since we first left on tour in January, so this little dive bar got us our fix just the way we like it. Well…nearly. There were many talented singers in the crowd, which is always a plus. It’s also a plus when the whole bar goes crazy over you and your friends’ performances, which happened. However, it is not exactly a plus when an undesirable man is a little too complimentary about your performance. Now, I realize I should be flattered when someone takes a shine to me. I also realize that any compliment can be received as a good compliment. However, lines have to be drawn somewhere. I draw that line at 30, and this man was at least 15 years beyond that. I also draw a line at straight and married. This man, old enough to be my father, is married and a father himself – with twins!

Naturally, I declined this panther’s repeated offers to buy me a drink and found last-minute reasons to flee to the other side of the bar whenever he made his way over to my spot. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find middle-aged men that attractive at this point in my life, especially when they are looking at me like I’m a bucket of chicken wings. After about thirty minutes of thwarting his advances, he finally got drunk enough to either get the picture or forget his identity. Either way, I was safe and it was time to leave with one more bar experience to mark off my list.

The next two days, we had a lot of time to walk around the town before our shows. I took the opportunity to snap a few photos of the gorgeous surroundings.

A top-hat wearing horse? Yes, please!

I think this one escaped from a Dr. Seuss book.

A light at the end of the tunnel, lined with palm trees.

I feel more youthful just LOOKING at this fountain.

I’ve always wanted my name in lights. Preferably off-center and sandwiched between greek drama masks. Also…not my name. I’ll take it though.

The world’s smallest Washington Monument! …or a ten-year-old time capsule.

“Every time you don’t tip, a child grows a mullet.” Best tip jar ever!

Aiken is an adorable town – one I’m adding to my list of favorites. I would not mind returning there a few more times in my life.

Thanks for reading, friends. Sorry for the long delay. Expect an influx of entries tomorrow!

QUESTION: What’s your favorite small walking town in America?

  1. Savannah ! !

    • Savannah is another favorite of mine. I went there two years in a row for All State Chorus back in high school. I have many fond memories of that city. I need to make a return trip soon!

    • Deb
    • March 30th, 2010

    New York City…the neighborhoods can be like small cities

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