Consider yourself warned that much like all of my Charleston posts, there will be a TON of pictures in this one! This last weekend, we headed back to the Lowcountry for the Cooper River Bridge run, for which Juston and I both were completely unprepared. I hadn't run more than three miles since I was about four months pregnant with Carter and boy could I tell! I honestly had a moment last week where I was so frustrated with myself and lack of training that I called Juston and told him I didn't even want to go. He's the one who signed us up back in November, then he decides to take a job across the state and move in January, leaving me with basically no way to train and prepare myself. He had no excuse to be so ill-prepared; he has every evening to himself all week long, he just didn't train.
Anyway, I decided I'd just walk the darn thing, I wasn't passing up a trip to my favorite place on Earth. We rolled into town on Friday afternoon after leaving early that morning. Can I just tell you what a DREAM it is to travel without kids in the car?! I feel bad saying that, but the stress level is cut in half traveling with just the two of us. My parents and my sister and her family kept Caroline and Carter for us so that we could go.
Our first stop in town after picking up our race packets was to hit Leon's Oyster Shop on King St. We have a way of always going to our favorite places when we're in Charleston and not trying many new spots, so this trip, we decided to branch out a bit as we'd never been to Leon's before. How cute is this place? It used to be Leon's Garage, then the new owners kept the Leon's part and just converted it into a great restaurant.
The interior is really industrial and rustic and just neat. Juston got chargrilled oysters and I tried the wedge salad pictured below which was even better than it looks! We'll definitely go back here. Oh, and the hush puppies were pretty killer as well.
After eating, we did a bit of walking around, my very favorite thing to do in town and Charleston was just showing off ;) Everything was in bloom all around town from Rhododendrons and azaleas to wisteria and confederate jasmine (which was just beginning to bloom).
We were staying with some friends of ours out on Daniel Island, so for dinner that evening, we headed to another new place, The Granery in Mt. Pleasant. This is the first place in Charleston that I have to say, I don't have any desire to go back. We tried a few different appetizers and none were really great in my opinion. We ordered Bone Marrow (which I couldn't even look at, let alone try), truffle fries and pork belly. You could tell the ingredients were quality, I just didn't care for any of it.
Saturday morning, we rolled out bright and early and for some dumb reason, I decided we'd try to run the race, even though I knew I was SO undertrained. I still manage to weight train a few times a week, so I thought, "maybe"? So wrong. We ran the first two miles, including that incline onramp up onto the bridge, then walked the next two-ish miles before running the last two. We had to stop a couple times for Juston. First he had a rock in his shoe, so he thought, it was really a giant hole in his sock, which he stopped to take off later. It was very humbling. The last time I did the bridge run, I killed it. I ran the whole thing and after crossing the finish line, even considered signing up for a half marathon. It's just frustrating to feel like I regressed so much, but that reality.
I mentioned our tendency to visit the same restaurants every time we're in town? Well, I couldn't pass us Magnolias fried green tomatoes after that race. We changed in the car and hobbled to Bay street fro the most fabulous brunch. We also split a crab cake sandwich after the fried green tomatoes.
After brunch, Juston actually walked back to the car to nap...so I struck out to walk some of my favorite streets and snap some pictures. My first stop was the Battery but I saw some pretty things along the way.
The pink house is The Palmer Home, which up until recently was a B&B. We stayed here when we came for my 30th birthday. It's currently undergoing some renovations after selling a few months ago. I'm so glad we stayed there when we could. It was the most glorious day; 78 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Perfect walking around weather.
Juston finally made his way out of the car after almost two hours and we managed to snag a slice of coconut cake from Peninsula Grill. This has been on my Charleston food bucket list for a few years, but this was my first time trying it!
It's not the best cake I've ever had, not even top five probably, but it's very well done for what it is. I didn't find it to be too rich, which I've heard some people say. It was really good, but I don't think it was $15 a slice good. I'd eat it again, but probably won't go out of my way to get it like I do other things in town.
After walking around for a bit longer, we headed across the bridge (by car this time) and found a lunch spot on Shem Creek. I was determined to sit outside by the water on such a perfect day. We set out to hit Red's Icehouse, but that place was PACKED with post-race drinkers, so we just went next door to RB's. We got to sit right on the water and watch the boaters, kayakers and paddleboarders while listening to the live music from Red's without all the annoying drunkards underfoot, so it was the best of all worlds.
I got She Crab soup, one of my Lowcountry favorites and Juston got mussels and more oysters. Dinner meant heading back to Shem Creek with our friends, but this time we chose Vickery's. It was a bit too cool to sit outside once the sun had set. We all ordered a fried green tomato tower and split it, then I had crab cakes again. Can you tell I love crab? I'd definitely go back to Vickery's. It wasn't the best food ever, but the food was really good as was the atmosphere and view.
Sunday morning was probably what I'd looked forward to the most about the entire trip. We'd remembered to call earlier in the week and get reservations for the Sunday Gospel Brunch at my favorite spot in town for food, Hall's Chophouse. This gospel brunch was another Charleston food bucket list item for me. I'd heard so many great things in the past about this brunch and built it up in my head that I was afraid it might disappoint me. I'm happy to say that it most certainly did not disappoint. The music was divine, the food was out of this world and it was even better than I could have hoped. It'll be tough to choose between Hall's for dinner or brunch next time we go. I didn't snap a picture, but I got the crab cake eggs benedict and it was Heavenly.
Our last stop after brunch and before heading out of town was picking up those cupcakes up there from Cupcake Down South on King. Caroline requested those before we left and I didn't want to disappoint.
It was another great trip, but I just can't escape the fact that I want to be raising my babies and living in the Lowcountry every time we're there. I can't really explain it, but after the first time we visited almost ten years ago, I just get so sad every time we leave. Unfortunately, Juston's new job is moving us further away from the Lowcountry, not closer to it. But maybe one day.