June 5, 2017

Our Weekend in Charleston: Part I

When my boss announced to me that my workplace was actually going to CLOSED for Memorial Day, I immediately texted Jarryd, I have Memorial Day weekend off--let's go to Charleston!! 😍  It's so rare that both Jarryd and I get the same holidays off so we figured that this was our only opportunity to make the most of this time!

Over a year ago we invested in Southwest Airlines credit cards, and have been racking up flying-points just with our normal spending (groceries, gas, bills, Starbucks...ect). Having all of these Southwest points, along with a Companion Pass (I get to fly for free with Jarryd!) was probably the only reason we even entertained the idea of flying anywhere for the weekend, because otherwise we'd have had to pull the money from our own pockets and that just wasn't going to happen. (We're definitely not rich over here.)

And why Charleston, South Carolina you ask? Well, to be honest I had two cities at the top of my "long weekend" travel bucket list, (one stored mentally inside my head): Boston and Charleston. But I was wanting to getaway to somewhere that felt different from Maryland. In regards to the colonial states, Maryland is right in the middle of them, but I feel it still has that same New England/Northern mentality that also encompasses Boston. I feared that it wouldn't feel any different from Maryland, which would actually negate the whole purpose of "getting away". Long story short, I was--and still am--a bit tired of the fast-paced lifestyle of the northern east coast. I was in desperate need of some southern hospitality, relaxation, (and palm trees) in my life....

I'm not sure the moment when I realized I just HAD to see Charleston, I think it was when I was browsing Instagram and noticed all the colourful houses (I'm talkin' Barbie-pink), rooftop patios, gorgeous flowery window boxes, and stone streets lined with tall palmetto trees. Also, let's be honest; the fact that Nicholas Sparks has filmed two FANTASTIC movies here also had a key role in driving these desires of mine. (Which ones you ask? Dear John, and The Notebook.)
After a super smooth and uneventful flight--which is always something to be thankful for, our first stop was the rental car service. For $32 a day we got to drive a bright RED 2017 Chevy Cruze car around. It was absolutely beautiful, and most importantly it provided us with GLORIOUS blasting air conditioning. There's nothing better than stepping into an air conditioned cold car after a long sweaty walk around outside, right?!
If we could do it all over again would we still rent a car? Absolutely, yes! I know the thought of driving around a car you're unfamiliar with in a city you're just as unfamiliar with, but Charleston is different. It's so small, and the parking is easy to come by and CHEAP. Two of the parkades we used only costed us $1.00 per half hour, that's $2.00 an hour. SO inexpensive compared to what I'm used to.
Plus, renting a car gives you so much freedom and you're not constrained by waiting on Ubers or Taxis, or buses. 
After our flight we were STARVING so we typed in Poogan's Porch into the GPS that I brought from home and were on our way! A week before our trip, Jarryd and I researched and wrote down all the restaurants in Charleston that we wanted to try. Several bloggers raved about Poogan's Porch so we just KNEW we had to go there. We would definitely recommend doing your research before landing in the foodie's paradise that South Carolina is, just because there are eateries and dishes here that you DO NOT want to miss. But at the same time, we also recommend walking around and just seeing what kind of restaurants you happen to stumble upon and spontaneously deciding to just "give it a go" (as they say in the UK). Jarryd and I lived our weekend both planned and spontaneously and wouldn't have done it any other way! Best of both worlds, y'all!

Brunch at Poogan's Porch. I had the "Pulled Pork Benedict": pulled pork with bbq hollandaise over a biscuit with a side of home fries. Jarryd got the shrimp and grits, which is what the South does best. SO GOOD.
Takin' it easy. The only thing that made eating outside bearable was because we were in the shade.
Also, I have a confession. I was pretty miserable when we first got to Charleston. (IM CRAZY, RIGHT?!) To explain, before and after our flight I'd been "live chatting" with the customer service at Groupon trying to get the Groupon we purchased. I had left the printed copy at home and we forgot our login info and blah blah blah, so I'd spent the entire car ride into downtown Charleston, the entire parking experience, and the entire walk to Poogan's Porch staring at my phone trying to get our Groupon. I couldn't put my phone down or else I'd lose the connection with my customer service rep, so I didn't even get a chance to change out of my "wintery" airport clothes. Meaning, I was walking around the streets of Charleston during the hottest point of the day where the sun is the highest in the sky, wearing a long t-shirt and tight black denim jeans. Ick. While waiting for a table at brunch I was finally able to hit the bathroom and peel myself out of my jeans and change into the shorts and tank top I packed in my purse. Nothing felt more amazing, you guys. Oh--and we got our Groupon too! Phew.
These here are Fried Green Tomatoes topped with goat cheese and a peach blueberry chutney. They were amazing. I gotta hand it to Jarryd, I never would have ordered this dish because I'm not fond of tomatoes at all, but this was incredible. My theory though is that anything is good if it comes FRIED, no??
Jarryd and I are funny. We were so excited to finally be in Charleston, so hungry, and so caught up in my Groupon debacle that we didn't take note of the address of where we parked our car. HA. But we quickly realized one of the many reasons why Charleston is amazing--it's such a small city. Plus, downtown is located on a peninsula between the Cooper and Ashley Rivers, so it's literally impossible to get lost here. Whereas, if we were in the middle of New York City where every street corner looks nearly identical, this would be a whole different story. It's also hard to feel super panicky when the scenery here is so darn gorgeous. Just saying.
Whilst on the hunt for our car, we ran into the Charleston City Market--something that was definitely on our to-do list! When I first read about this building on Pinterest I thought it appeared to be so small--what could possibly be so special about a tiny little market? ...
Well once again I learned an important lesson in "things aren't always what they seem". This historic open-air market is four blocks long, in one straight line! We actually ended up walking through this market three different times during the weekend and noticed that they replaced a few of the vendors each time. Here you can find sweetgrass baskets, candles, t-shirts, pineapple decor, paintings, and more! Jarryd and I didn't actually end up buying anything here either, which is surprising. Although there were these gorgeous pineapple bookends that I was eyeing, I felt I'd rather spend the $50 on a delicious dinner out somewhere. (Of course, I have to be interested in one of the most expensive items there.)
Once we found our parking spot, we typed the address into our GPS and drove off to our Airbnb on James Island! Now that our stomachs were full and our eyes for Charleston sights had been teased we thought it was a good time to check in and freshen up (and in my case, unload my purse of my heavy airport clothes).
So, anyone who knows me knows that I am a total hotel girl. I don't care being treated like "a number", I really don't. I love just having the confidence that we're going to be sleeping in an air conditioned room, with a tv, a bathroom with a tub/shower, and a warm continental breakfast in the morning! All those things come with a cost of course. But with this trip, Jarryd convinced me that going with an Airbnb would be a good idea. I have to admit, I wasn't really looking forward to this because we were only paying for a "private room" and not an entire house or an entire apartment. Meaning our only private space to ourselves was our bedroom. Yeah, it sounds kinda weird, but the more we thought about it, the more we realized how little time we'd even be spending at the place. We're gonna be out and about ALL day, so who cares that we only get a little bedroom to ourselves? Plus, $65 a night is an awesome price. Especially since this house was only 10 minutes from downtown Charleston! Location is everything.
This was the living room/entrance at our Airbnb house. Gorgeous right?!
To be honest, the moment we got to our Airbnb we took a nap. Haha. We are definitely not as young as we once were. I must say though that I don't nap, so you know this was 100% Jarryd's idea. I think I may have dozed off for ten minutes at the most. And thank goodness the bed was actually pretty comfortable! I can't even stress to you how worried I was that our bed was going to be hard as rock. I mean, one of the best parts of vacation is being able to sleep in until your hearts desire and how can one sleep in if the bed is no good?
After a quick cat nap and some freshening up, our plans were to drive to the Angel Oak Tree, snap a few photos and then head back to downtown for some more sightseeing and of course, DINNER. We drove to the Angel Oak Tree only to find that it was closed! It was kind of disappointing. After seeing so many photos online I was quite revved up to see the massive 500 year old beauty for myself, but I think I was so excited to get back to downtown that I wasn't actually too sad about the whole thing.
After an amazing dinner at Sticky Fingers BBQ Smokehouse, (I had the half rack of ribs with the most amazing fries in the whole world--I swear they knew I had some kind of a sweettooth and they decided to sprinkle sugar on my fries. They were SO good!), we hit up some more of the downtown Charleston Must-Sees. Such as Waterfront Park! Where you can walk the pier and sit on bench-swings while watching the cargo ships sail by! The view is gorgeous!
And of course, here is where you'll find the Pineapple Fountain! I got so frustrated not being able to get a good photo of it, as practically hundreds of children kept climbing all over it. Haha, oh well, at least they were all having fun.
Can you imagine looking out your window every morning and seeing Palmetto trees?! I love them so much! The Palmetto tree is on South Carolina's state flag. 
The world famous Rainbow Row! A section of colorful Caribbean-esque inspired rowhouses, which is said to be the longest cluster of rowhouses in the US! So pretty! 
Downtown Charleston is just as beautiful at night as it is during the day. Also, I think it's safe to say that South Carolina has thee most gorgeous trees ever! (More tree photos to come!) After dinner we walked back down to Waterfront Park, down to the pier and sat by the water in the cool humid night. Watching and hearing waves at night is always one of my favourite things to do. It brings me back to my childhood Cruise vacations.
So that was Part 1 of our weekend getaway in beautiful Charleston, SC. I hope I was somewhat informative and that you enjoyed it! Stay tuned for an exciting Part II and III! 😘

1 comment:

  1. *Love!!* What a fun adventure! One day we will be spontaneous again :)