Friday, July 18, 2014

The Holy City~ Day One

Juston and I just rolled back into Kentucky late last night after a whirlwind and much too brief trip to my very favorite place, Charleston, South Carolina. The trip was an early birthday present for me.  
We obviously can't leave on my birthday since Caroline and I share one :) We dropped Caroline off with my sister Monday late morning (more on her adventures while we were gone later) and hit the road around 1:30. At first, I admit I was feeling pretty anxious about leaving Caroline for a few days and going out of town. I knew she'd be well taken care of and very entertained, but it was still my first time really leaving her, but she did great and I have to say, we really needed the trip.
 
After one stop for gas, and one stop for dinner in North Carolina, we got to Charleston around 11:00 p.m.  We ate at Stone Mountain Lodge just outside of downtown Asheville on the way to town and it was wonderful if you're ever passing through. Most of what we were doing once we got to Charleston I had picked out before we left, but where we were staying was still part of my birthday surprise. Since we weren't due to check into our downtown Charleston hotel until Tuesday, we crashed in North Charleston Monday night. I went out like a light after a long day of traveling. Juston and I both got up pretty early for not having a baby alarm clock ringing, so I squeezed in a workout in the hotel gym and then we packed it up and drove the last few miles into the most beautiful city on this planet (at least in my opinion).
 
Day one went a little something like this...
 
Strolled through the city market


Hit A.W. Shucks for an early appetizer brunch


Got a parking ticket for outlasting our meter...
 
Found my favorite fountain in town

 
Magnolias for some fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits, a stop in the Gordon Wheeler art gallery and The Beer Exchange for a refill on the old growler and off we went to check-in to what I just figured was the downtown Marriott.
 
 
But the biggest and best surprise, staying at The Palmer House right on East Bay overlooking The Battery.
 
Every time we've come to Charleston, we always talk about how grand and amazing it must be to live in those old homes overlooking Charleston Harbor and Ft. Sumter. We can daydream that way because I know we'll never have to worry about the foundation repairs, painting, leaking roofs, etc. that likely accompany these grand old beauties. To be able to stay in one though, and enjoy the fruits of labor that the owners put in was truly a wonderful treat.
 
Upon checking into the hotel, we were taken straight up to our room where chocolate-dipped strawberries and pink champagne were waiting, along with a birthday gift of a carriage ride. Juston certainly outdid himself on this birthday, I have to say.

Juston had to do a couple hours worth of work as soon as we got settled into our room, so I hung out on the piazza for a bit before deciding to take a stroll in search of some window box inspiration for ours at home.

I ended up just up from Waterfront Park hanging out watching the water and was luck enough to witness a pretty amazing dolphin show. There were about 15 or so dolphins swimming around looking for dinner and I snapped away while they did.  It was really a treat. I'm pretty sure I got up close and personal with a few manatees as well, but there was a storm rolling in and I didn't have time to try and get much of a closer look. Anyone happen to know what this is? There were two of them and they were really close!


 
Dinner that night was one of our favorites, Hank's Seafood. They have the best friend chicken I've ever eaten! I know, I went to a seafood place in Charleston and got fried chicken, but if you ever try it, you'll understand. We finished up with some dark chocolate bread pudding, which was divine, then walked around downtown a bit more before heading back to the house for some piazza-sitting.



That's my favorite part about Charleston, I believe. We go there and eat the most incredible food, but typically, I've lost weight by the time we get home because we walk so much and SWEAT so much that is all balances out :)  I'll post out day two later. Trying not to picture overload all at once.









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