Sunday, January 15, 2012

Charleston, SC - A Girls Weekend

My best friend and I went on a girls only weekend to Charleston, South Carolina this weekend. Actually, I'm still in South Carolina at her house writing this post while she and her boyfriend cook us some paella for dinner. Yum!

Saturday morning we got up and went to breakfast before making the 3 hour drive to Charleston from Greenville. When we got to Charleston, we checked into the Hampton Inn - Historic Center and set out to the Visitor's Center to get information on the walking tours that they offer. We bought a $6.00 guide book for a self-guided tour of the amazing homes around Peninsular Charleston.

Earlier in the week I posted a question to my Facebook friends asking for places to eat in Charleston. Everyone who responsed said that we had to eat at Hyman's Seafood. Because we'd had a later breakfast
, and attempts at making reservations for dinner failed, we decided to eat a late lunch/early dinner. When we came upon Hyman's we realized that there was not much of a wait, so we put our name on the list. It was a great decision. We ordered a local brew to accompany our shrimp and crab dip, S's she-crab soup, and the fried shrimp po boy that we split. The bread the po boy came on was wonderfully fresh and soft. After lunch was over, we exited through the gift shop where S came upon some salt scrubs which she enjoys. She went over to the jars to open one and smell the Magnolia scent and an employee came up behind her saying, "NO, NO, NO, NO. We don't open things here." It was very off-putting and left us both with a bad taste in our mouth after enjoying such a great meal.

After our unfortunate encounter in the gift shop we headed down to the Historic Charleston Market. This was the place that S wanted to make sure we saw. It was great in a super chaotic, ultra-touristy way. We walked through all four buildings of vendor stalls and didn't buy a thing. We did both try on this cute ear warmer thing that buttons behind your head, under your hair, but S didn't like it because there was a good sized knitted flower on top of it. It was cute on the right person, but neither of us were the right person! Once we finished that we started the walking tour. It was very intersting and informed us of some very neat historical facts. It was nice. Six dollars well spent!

We wandered down to the Battery (I think) and started our way back to the hotel because it was getting quite cool at this time. Once we got back to the Hampton Inn we warmed up and recharged! In our research for this trip, S found this neat little restaurant/market called Caviar and Bananas. We ordered a cheese plate with local honeycomb and fig jam alongside strawberries, grapes, and orange slices. We bought a bottle of The Stump Jump Shiraz. We sat at the window, watched people walk by, and savored our wine and cheese. Once we finished our vin et fromage we headed down to Kaminsky's on Market St for dessert and more wine.

We had a bit of a wait there as it is a small place, but because we were a party of 2, we got in ahead of the party of 5 that was in line when we got there. We each started off with a glass of wine. S enjoyed a very nice Malbec and I had a Coppola Shiraz. Both were quite tasty. I don't quite know how to explain the dessert options that we had to choose from, but it was a very, very difficult decision to make. In fact, I had to order a second glass of wine before I could decide. Ultimately I had a brownie a la mode. S was enjoying toasted almond martinis so she elected to have a slice of almond cheesecake. Hers was really good and mine was just, really, just meh. But, the conversation was amazing and the drinks were good, too. We each had another drink and then decided to head on back to the hotel.

This morning we got up and went to Hominy for breakfast. We walked the mile from our hotel to the restaurant along a path that took us through the side streets where it's pretty obvious that tourists don't usually go. We did, however, walk by a firehouse where there were two firemen cleaning the floor. Cute firemen. After a 45 minute wait at Hominy we got in and ordered some really good coffee along with a bloody Mary for S, a mimosa and a poinsettia for myself. All drinks and food were very yummy. After brunch we walked around and did more of our tour. The houses in Charleston are absolutely gorgeous. We ended up in this lovely little book shop called Blue Bicycle Books. This, my friends, is where I bought an ah-mazing gift for my love. He hasn't received his gift yet, but I don't mind telling you it came from a bookstore, because really, in a million years he would never, ever guess what the title is. I only hope that it'll make him smile and let him escape from his worries for a moment.

We finished our day with a trip out to Folly Beach. It was a beautiful day to spend some time on the beach thinking about how small we really are. Actually, I was thinking about how much I would have enjoyed being there with D, but I focused on taking some photos and enjoying my last moments of vacation with my best friend. As I finish this post, she is setting the table, her boyfriend is out picking up his employee to join us for dinner, and I'm wishing I'd brought my computer along with me so that I could post our photos.

I'll try to get them up a little later in the week, but for right now, I hope the recap of our trip will do a few things for you, namely: remind you that it is very important to take the time to be with those you love and care for and also that you can never have too much wine in a weekend with your best friend. I sign off as I go for a refill of my glass.


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