June 15, 2017

Our Weekend in Charleston Part III

Hi friends and welcome to the third and final blog entry for our weekend in Charleston! I honestly can't believe that this 2+ day getaway has required 3 whole blog posts, but I'm extremely passionate about photography, and Charleston has got to be one the most photogenic cities I've ever visited. There were so many trees, historical buildings, dinner dates, and even residential doorways that deserved my Canon's attention. So I figured that the best strategy was to sift through the hundreds of photos, choose my favourites (which was so hard because my favourites seemed to be never ending), and divide the photos into different blog entries so that you guys wouldn't be scrolling and scrolling for hours on end. See? There's always a method to my madness.

After our lovely afternoon spent at the beautiful Magnolia Plantation & Gardens (Click here if you missed the previous blog post!), we headed back to our Airbnb house on James Island to get freshened up for our EVENING PHOTOSHOOT!
That's right! Leah Judway Photography, also known as, our favourite photographer ever, moved from our neck-of-the-woods down to Charleston (an excellent career move, right? Actually, make that an excellent life move as well) and was doing a shoot with us that evening!

Before our trip, Jarryd told me about his photoshoot idea (yes, this was ALL him!!) and that he originally was going to make this a surprise for me but then quickly realized that a "surprise photoshoot" wouldn't be the greatest thing in the world to give to his wife. Jarryd knows that a photoshoot is a big deal to me; one reason is because these photos last an entire lifetime and actually longer than a lifetime considering they get passed down to your children. Also, you don't want to wear just ANYTHING for a photoshoot! I can't imagine having on a casual pair of shorts and a tank top with my makeup all mediocrely done and my hair up in a frizzy ponytail (I hate when my hair is up) while Jarryd tells me: SURPRISE! We're actually on our way to a photoshoot! Instead of a happy reaction, he'd receive a tearful and anxious reaction--one that he wasn't hoping for at all. (I don't know, maybe some of you ladies aren't this way; maybe some of you would thrive at the prospect of a surprise photoshoot, but not me. I love and need to be prepared--hello, perfectionist over here!) So because Jarryd is awesome he decided to tell me about it before we left for Charleston so I had my outfit picked out and everything ready to go. Yay!

Jarryd and Leah previously knew each other from church, and she actually did our engagement photos (click here to see--I love them so much!!) back in 2014. So Leah along with her hubs and adorable baby girl took us to dinner before our shoot which was super nice of them. It's one thing to visit Charleston, but it's a whole 'nother thing when you have friends to visit there and show you the ropes like only a Charleston local could! They took us to an amazing restaurant called Taco Boy (there's one in Folly Beach as well). I had a tempura shrimp rice bowl--and despite the cilantro, it was actually so good. (Anyone else agree that cilantro tastes like dish soap? Ya either love it or hate it!)

After dinner we drove to downtown and street-parked along the Battery, it was Sunday evening so YAY for free parking! The Battery is one of my favourite parts of historical Charleston. It's a seawall and promenade lined with tall palmetto trees and the most gorgeous antebellum mansions/houses with a beautiful view of the harbour. They say that they chose to build the mansions here in plain sight so that newcomers on ships would see how wealthy Charleston was. Genius! The Battery also has a park filled with gorgeous oaks and the most romantic gazebo you could ever lay eyes on. This is where we began our photoshoot. Here are some of my favourite photos that Leah took, enjoy:
 😍 😍 😍
That shoot was SO much fun. Photoshoots are honestly one of my favourite things to do, especially when they're with Jarryd. It also helps when you have a photographer who gives ample direction to those of us being photographed who are a bit clueless as to where their hands should be positioned and the degree of head-tilt that's most flattering.
After an exhausting modeling session (LOL), Jarryd and I decided to treat ourselves to dessert at Carmella's. Doesn't this mini Cannoli Cake look to-die-for?! It certainly tasted that way. 
We then finished up the night at a rooftop bar/restaurant, one which I won't disclose the name because the service was less-than-satisfying. Long story short, Jarryd and I both ordered drinks, they brought us water (thank goodness), but it took them 30 minutes to return to our table to notify us that the beer I wanted was out of stock. I then gave them my second choice aaaaaaaand nobody ever came back to give us our drinks. In conclusion, Jarryd and I sat and enjoyed the lovely atmosphere of a rooftop bar for probably over an hour and a half for absolutely zero charge--because water is free. The great atmosphere, the lovely night breeze, and the zero-money-spent totally made up for it.
As SEVERAL bloggers, friends, locals, and strangers suggested, we HAD to go to Hominy Grill for brunch. No questions asked. We enjoyed it so much we even bought their recipe book!
For the first time ever I ordered a mimosa (champagne and orange juice) at breakfast. It was delicious, believe me, I loved it...but I think I love having coffee MORE first thing in the morning. It felt almost strange drinking a depressant at breakfast rather than a stimulant. But don't get me wrong, I'd totally do it again, especially with a bunch of girlfriends.
I ordered a southern classic: "The Charleston Nasty Biscuit: with fried chicken, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy". It was good, but I have to admit, the shrimp and mushroom grits--which I caught Jarryd photographing in the background (muah ha haaa)--tasted even better to me. (Don't you just hate when the person you go out to eat with orders a better dish than you?) Seriously, GO HERE.

Unfortunately, our flight back to Maryland was heading out that afternoon so we had two options in mind of how to spend our remaining hours in Charleston. Check out Folly Beach because we heard they have great restaurants and shops down there AND its the BEACH, or...explore The Battery some more. Our fantastic waiter at Hominy Grill convinced us not to go to Folly Beach, simply because it was Memorial Day and everyone and their mother would be at the beach and/or heading to the beach; we all figured that with a flight to catch, it'd be less risky traffic-wise if we stuck to downtown Charleston. Even though I'm a total beach-nut and even to this day I can't believe I DIDN'T go to the beach during our trip to South Carolina, I'm glad we chose to do the Battery. Opportunities to see the ocean are plenty (at least where we live in Maryland right now), but the one and only Battery in Charleston is a little harder to come across.

I got a little jealous seeing the cruise boats along the pier. My family and I have been on alot of cruises and I have extraordinary memories of those days. As always I find myself falling into that typical pit of "I wish I would've savoured those days more, I regret taking it all for granted, blah blah blah". But with some mental-pep-talk I quickly coax myself out of that pit and realize: hey, one day I'm gonna look back at THIS trip to Charleston and wish I'd have savoured it more. (It's been a few weeks and I'm already missing it.)

Here is that stunning gazebo I was talking about. Ugh. But honestly, it wouldn't look nearly as amazing if those oaks weren't there, right?!
This is the Calhoun Mansion. They do tours, which would have been awesome to explore but we didn't have the time, nor the reservation. But judging from photos on the internet it looks incredible inside!

Walking along the residential streets of Charleston was super enjoyable. It's incredibly quiet, and there's a photo opportunity at every corner. If you're up for it, they offer guide-lead walking tours, and horse-drawn carriage rides! Although, I just watched a video online of a runaway horse that took its passengers for a wild ride through Charleston. LOL--but don't let that stop you from going on one of your own! 😂
I quickly snapped this photo of St. Michaels Episcopal Church from our moving car, with my iPhone. Not bad, right?! My philosophy was that because Charleston is also known as the "Holy City" because of the many church steeples dotting its skyline, so I had to get at least one photo of one of these beauties!
Our final meal in Charleston, was spent in tears. Jokes. It was actually spent in sweet relief because it was SO hot and humid outside and the second we stepped into this restaurant we were blasted with the coldest air conditioning we could have ever asked for. Heaven sent, I tell ya! The beautiful restaurant you see in the photo above is called 5Church. This restaurant used to be an actual church, and the bathrooms used to be the attached stables! And the white writing on the ceiling was painted by an artist who painted the entire book of "The Art of War". Wow.
Yes, our server was awesome and gave us a detailed verbal tour of the fascinating restaurant and every painting on the wall. Also, can we just appreciate how every single person we met who actually LIVES in Charleston LOVES living there? I'm not even kidding. This truly speaks volumes about the city. It makes me wish I lived somewhere that I absolutely LOVED with all my heart like so many of those people do. Maybe one day! 💜
This happens probably once a year, where my body actually craves healthy food. So I miraculously decided to order a SALAD for my entree, which is so not me you guys. The salad was amazing though.

So, that was our weekend in Charleston. One of our favourite "vacations" ever and one with so many memories. I'm so happy I decided to blog all about it, to savour and enjoy the memories just a little longer, so that I can look back on this in 50 years, and so that I can inspire you guys to go see it for yourselves! Trust me, YOU'LL LOVE IT.

There are so many more places to see, things to do, and restaurants to eat at in Charleston that we didn't get a chance to experience. But trust me, the next time I go there, which I will, I know exactly what I'm going to do/see/eat. Hee hee. (I do think though that despite the little amount of time we had there, that we actually got alot accomplished all the while going to bed relatively early!)

Restaurants recommended to us that you should ALSO see:

Fat Hen
Poogan's Porch (check ✓)
SNOB - Slightly North of Broad
Charleston Grill (we walked by it a couple times and it looks SO fancy inside--ugh, one day!)
Hominy Grill (check ✓)
Butcher & Bee
5Church (check ✓)

As for things to do, I'd absolutely LOVE to explore Cypress Gardens and take a boat ride through the swamp where The Patriot was filmed, and The Notebook (remember the scene we're Noah and Allie are on a canoe in the water surrounded by swans?! So beautiful! 😭). We couldn't have gone here anyway since they were and still are closed due to flood damage.

Another place I need to visit is Boone Hall Plantation, also where the Notebook was filmed. What can I say, I have a thing for movie filming locations--why do you think I love New York City so much?
I obviously need to go to the beach there--Folly Beach, or Sullivans Island would do just fine.
Anyway, thank you guys so much for following along on this blog series and if you actually read through everything, I commend you! (I promise, I'm actually a good writer, but these days finding the time to put my full effort into writing a perfectly written, 100% entertaining, and flawlessly edited blog post is far and few between.) Let me know what you thought and PLEASE let me know if you've ever been to Charleston and what your fave spots were OR if you're going to Charleston for the very first time! If you are, I'm super jealous. 😍

1 comment:

  1. You are too cute. I love the photo of you and Jarryd laughing. Adorbs