escape to charleston

A few weeks ago I travelled to Charleston, South Carolina, the lucky winner of Andra Watkins‘ Charleston Getaway promotion for the launch of her book, To Live Forever, An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis. (A contest WAY better than my recent Cock Soup giveaway, it goes without saying.)

My one previous visit to South Carolina was a trip to Myrtle Beach, land of the $5.99 All You Can Eat Buffet (it was 1983, I’m sure with inflation it’s up to at least $8.99 today) and the $0.99 Store (again, 1983…I had never experienced one of these before). It was a great destination for a family vacation, but not necessarily the most stimulating of spots. Other than the people watching. The people watching was FANTASTIC. But I digress.

Charleston and Myrtle Beach couldn’t be more different.

To put it simply, I was utterly charmed by Charleston.

First there was the architecture:

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And gardens! I was so impressed with how green a city it was! Big, beautiful, mature trees all around the historic downtown area.

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Then there was the darling boutique hotel we stayed at, the Zero George:

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I can’t believe I failed to take a single shot of the interior. It was a welcoming, well appointed and southern hospitality-filled dream!

No trip to Charleston would be complete without a trip to a historic house museum. Based on our hosts recommendation, we chose the Aiken-Rhett House Museum. Built in 1820, in the typical Charleston double house style, it is the historical house with the most original contents. Photos were not permitted inside, but I was able to capture these outdoor shots:

IMG_2159IMG_2158We walked and walked and walked to take in as much of the city as we could. The historic Charleston City Market was a highlight. Unfortunately I just realized I don’t have a single photo. I guess I’ve got some serious work to do if I ever want to become a travel blogger.

Without fear of being judged creepy or macabre, I requested a visit to an old cemetery. Andra and MTM took us to Magnolia, a cemetery that was dedicated in 1850. Our original plan was to stroll through and then set up picnic there, however morning rain left us worried the skies might dampen our picnic. Instead we took our stroll, captured some photos:

IMG_2195IMG_2196IMG_2191IMG_2190IMG_2192IMG_2194IMG_2188…and then made our way to a lovely brunch on Sullivan’s Island at The Obstinate Daughter. I failed to take any pictures of our brunch. This is not surprising as I didn’t take a single food picture the entire weekend despite so many wonderful and memorable meals. Most notable were our two dinners: Friday night at Lana, with a delicious meal prepared by chef, John Ondo, and Saturday night at Fish, with an exquisite meal prepared by chef, Nico Romo.  I clearly fail miserably as a food blogger. Sigh.

Next it was a short drive down to the beach so I could dip my toes into the bath water-warm Atlantic Ocean. If my flight wasn’t leaving in less than 90 minutes, I swear I would have jumped in for a swim, it was that inviting.

Alas, I had a plane to catch, so I grabbed my hat-twin and we tried hard to pose for a serious photo. Serious wasn’t in the repertoire though, as the wind kept whipping her hair directly into my open (laughing) mouth. MTM captured at least 5 shots on each of our phones, and they pretty much all look like this: both of us trying to contain our laughter long enough to get the picture.

BxhV9SyCQAAG3eLAnd finally, ever the marketer and sales person, I took the opportunity to give the book prime billing along the Sullivan’s Island shore:

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Both Mr. Enthusiasm and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our weekend in Charleston, but most especially the company of our wonderful hosts, Andra and MTM.  Let’s face it, this could have been somewhat disastrous. What if they turned out to be weirdos? Or what if they thought we were weirdos? *Gasp*

I can honestly say that Andra and MTM will always be welcome in my home, and I really look forward to spending time with them again.

Thank you Andra and MTM, and thank you, Charming Charleston for a wonderful trip!

xoxo nancy

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45 thoughts on “escape to charleston

    • It was the perfect escape from home renovation and staging hell. Timing scared me a little; leaving so close to planned listing date, but turned out to be the perfect break at the perfect time.

      • I can imagine. You did much more than I did with your home, and I was stressed. I can’t imagine dealing with a deadline in all of that. Sounds like the timing was perfect. 🙂

      • Much more? Ya think??? 🙂 Sorry, don’t mean to make light of your floor redo, but….yeah, we gutted two bathrooms and purged 14 years worth of shit from a sizeable home, so yeah, big job. 🙂

      • No doubt! My small re-do was not anywhere near the scope of your project, so, as stressed as I was (and potty-mouthed at every misstep), I doubt that I could handle a project like yours.

      • I wish I could say this was a one-time thing, but based on the homes we’ve been looking at as options for next place to live, it looks like I’ve got some SERIOUS renovation in my future. Ugh.

  1. that looks awesome!!

    I am beginning to think I need to take a couple of months (at least) off work and do a tour of these places you keep posting about!!

    if only!!

    • Oh my gosh, Sam, I kept saying over and over again, “how did I not know about this place before???” Charleston is so rich in history. The second oldest city in the U.S., if I’m remembering the facts correctly. We never really got out of the historic downtown area (which was perfect for me), but if I do get back there, I’ll make the trek out of the city to tour a plantation. I think Boone Hall is the real-life inspiration for Gone With the Wind’s Tara. How cool, right?

      • wow! that sounds amazing! Historic downtown areas sound perfect for me too!!

        I have only been to one place in the States and that was San Francisco, I really really want to see more!!

      • Whenever you’re ready to book a ticket, let me know. 🙂 Would love to explore these awesome places with you. (Having said that, I’m pretty sure we’d be stuck in the mountains, hiking, 90% of the time.) 🙂

  2. I haven’t made it to Charleston, but it reminds of of Savannah in that southern charm, history, and friendliness. Your photos and words are inspiring!

    (Unfortunately, I HAVE made it to Myrtle Beach. Touristy and …. not inspiring. But we were visiting family, so that was the highlight.)

    • Southern charm, history and friendliness are the perfect words to describe Charleston. In fact, funny you should mention Savannah because I commented that had I known Savannah was so close, I might have tacked on an extra day or two to visit there. With Georgia, my only experience has been Atlanta…so I’d really love to see Savannah, having heard so many great things about it.

      And yep, on Myrtle Beach, couldn’t agree more. 🙂

    • It was my kind of trip: got to stay in the historic downtown, meaning no car necessary, meaning LOTS and LOTS of walking! And I just loved the food and people, too. 🙂

  3. I’m so glad the trip was everything you needed. I’ve lived here so long that it’s hard to appreciate Charleston’s uniqueness. MTM and I loved meeting you and Mr Enthusiasm in person. xo

  4. I love Charleston and WOW, what beautiful pictures!!! You seriously captured the essence of this beautiful place! So happy you had a wonderful time!! xoxoxo

  5. That’s a wonderful photo of you and Andra!! … nor do I think your hats are dorky!
    Loved your picture tour of Charleston and the cemetery. I must be a bit odd, I love old cemeteries!

  6. Awesome photos! I went to Charleston once when I lived in Columbia, SC but Tim and I were young and I think we wasted the overnight in a bar. Silly 20-somethings. I want to go back now!

    • Oh, you should, Kerry! It really is so lovely. I’m looking forward to getting back to that area. There are a couple spots in NC on my list, also Savannah, GA. And heck, if I’m road tripping that direction, I’ll make my way to FL and visit with you, Tint and Nancy Hatch. 🙂

  7. Nancy, add me to that ‘visit’ list! I am close enough to either host you or meet you in one or the other of the cities!

    I knew you would love Charleston, for all the reasons you mentioned. The architecture, the walking, the gardens, the FOOD! Savannah has all those things as well, but it’s own mysterious flavor too. In both cities, cemetery visits are not at all creepy or macabre, they are mandatory. Some of the most beautiful cemeteries in the south are in Charleston and Savannah. I could go on and on…and Boone Hall Plantation is a must next time. We went to a charity oyster fest at Boone Hall for 7 or 8 years in a row, and the plantation is just as charming as you might imagine, and the grounds on the marshes are gorgeous. Ah, I need another visit! 🙂

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