Our drive into charleston was lush and beautiful; dense trees, swampy riverbanks and an occasional train peaking through the forest. Everything seemed to slow down as we rolled into the charming and historic city which was a nice counterpoint to our previous days in hilton head. We stayed at the 160-year old, mills house which was in the heart of downtown charleston, perfect for sight seeing and walking around.
(clockwise from top left: historic home behind a huge cypress tree / me on a grand staircase / beautiful row houses and the state flag / one of the many carriage tours on the streets of downtown charleston)
Over the 2 1/2 days in town, we ate our way through the city; enjoying a bounty of fresh seafood and low country specialties like grits, fried green tomatoes, oysters on the half shell, crab cakes and pimiento cheese. Amen street, FIG and hominy grill were some of my favorite spots and epitomized dining in the south. The food was so fresh, flavorful and lip-smacking good that I over-ate nearly every meal we had.
Monday we drove our snazzy rental car to isle of palms beach for a day in the sand. We collected sea shells and had a few tasty cocktails on the rooftop deck at a place overlooking the beach and lounged away. On our way back to the city, we drove through the streets, admiring the beach-front homes and fantasized about renting one with a big group of friends at a future date. It was honestly the most relaxing time with the best company.
(the bridge on your way to the isles of palms beach / ryan and I overlooking the beach / a rusty old boat anchor / ryan having a pina colada / coronas break / cruiser bikes on the edge of the beach)
Tuesday morning we went on a walking adventure through charleston and found some stunning historic homes along the way. We made our way to the nathaniel russell house for a tour of the 200 year old home and the grounds of the property. They did not allow for photos to be taken but it was awesome to see how people lived during the american revolution and learn about life in the 17th century.
We thought our trip was wrapping up after our morning strolling the streets of charleston but we were wrong... a flight cancellation kept us in town for an extra night. While it was not the most ideal situation (as we were ready to get home and see our boy rocco), we made the best of it by grabbing dinner + a movie before a night at the marriott close to the airport.
(bloody mary at amen street / outside FIG restaurant before dinner / me against a wall of ivy / ryan in our killer rental car / the stunning st. michael's church / ryan and I in the lobby of our hotel / ryan outside of the nathaniel russell house)
This trip was a whirl-win, especially after our weekend in san francisco just a week prior but it was filled with memories that I will take with me forever. Having a busy and exciting weekend with friends in hilton head followed by a relaxing time in charleston was like a pendulum of a vacation that then settled back into normalcy once we arrived in denver. I loved every minute but truly, there is no place like home.