Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Charleston Recap: Days 1-2

We are back from celebrating my 30th birthday in Charleston, and it was a wonderful time. Aside from our hotel {which I'll blog more about tomorrow}, we loved our three days in the Holy City: the weather was absolutely perfect and we couldn't have asked for better. The thing I loved most about Charleston is that it really is a walking city. We logged 15+ miles in three days and I had zero qualms about it. They also have pedicabs, which we did take twice {at night after dinner} and then rented bikes one day. It is very pedestrian-friendly and I loved that! 

\\ FRIDAY, April 7:

This was my actual 30th birthday and the day we were leaving. In true "we have kids" fashion, my babies were both up Thursday night into Friday morning, so Brandon and I were a bit sleepy. But, we rallied and he and Walker woke me up with muffins with '30' candles, Walker sang me "Happy Birthday" {probably the sweetest thing I've heard} and I got to open my gifts: L.L. Bean boots and tickets to see Jimmy Buffett this summer -- I love Jimmy Buffett! 

We had to take Knox to the pediatrician to check on his cough before we left, and of course, he was diagnosed with croup. So far, we are 4/4 of our poor babies getting sick either right before or actually on a trip. Heavy sigh. Thankfully, my in-law's were awesome while we were gone braving the breathing treatments, humidifiers and snot. 

We dropped the boys off at my in-law's and my father-in-law dropped us off at the airport, where we made a beeline for the Admiral's Club for breakfast and a mimosa...or two. We had a direct flight into Charleston, which was so nice. I was able to read a bit of my book on the plane, too!

We landed around 3:30 p.m. Charleston time, hopped an Über and headed to our hotel, Embassy Suites off Meeting Street. 

My earrings and shirt

We were welcomed to our hotel room with some roses and a bottle of champagne, which was a really nice way to kick off our trip. 

...but that was about the nicest thing about our hotel. Here's the thing about that: 

Since Brandon travels so often, we have a lot of hotel points, so it just made sense to use them to book this trip. I'm not so savvy on the logistics of the points system, but basically, this hotel for three nights in the heart of downtown Charleston was equatable to the same thing in Cabo. Soooo, yeah. We knew it wasn't going to be the nicest hotel, but it was free and we knew we would really only be in it to shower, get dressed and sleep. 

The hotel was actually in the old Citadel, which was pretty neat and charming. But, that's where it stopped. It hadn't been updated since about 1995 and all of the King Suites are on the first floor. Our room overlooked Marion Square, which was a great location...but our room was directly across from a bar that blared music until after 2 a.m. each morning; it was so loud that we both purchased ear plugs on the second morning, made our sound machine apps on our phones simultaneous and the highest volume they would go, and you could still hear it. So, we got about four hours of sleep on Friday and then again on Saturday. After some complaining, we were moved to a corner room on the second floor and were really looking forward to sleeping after two nights of not. Well, we woke up at 12:30 a.m. on Monday morning to a loud alarm blaring in our room that proceeded to go off every hour {sometimes twice an hour} until we finally just got up at 6 a.m....after pulling out the couch bed in the living room area, shutting the door to the bedroom, sticking in the ear plugs and blaring the sound machine apps. 

Thankfully, Brandon complained enough that we got all of his points back for the stay. But, we will never be staying at that hotel again and I had to be honest and share all of this with y'all so you wouldn't be stuck in our same situation. 

But, moving on! Thanks to Chesson's recommendation, we had a birthday drink at The Vendue and admired its sweeping views of Charleston. It was absolutely gorgeous! 

My dress and shoes {similar} 

Then, we had dinner at Husk, which was very good! We ordered the Fried Chicken Skins with Pimento Cheese Ranch to start, followed by the Confit Duck Leg {Brandon} and the Grouper {me}. It was such a quintessentially Southern restaurant and we basically had to be rolled out of there! 

\\ SATURDAY, April 8 

Right outside our hotel was the Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square, which is there every Saturday morning. We wandered the stalls admiring all of the fresh produce, jewelry, artwork, local honey and more. 

Then, we walked to The Bicycle Shoppe in downtown Charleston to rent bikes for the day. We both loved doing this because it got us all around to where we wanted to go for about $50/day; had a little basket to hold my purse, camera, etc.; and since Charleston is so bike-friendly, we just chose a lane in the road and rode as we pleased! 

My top, pantsshoes and earrings

We wandered down along King Street, where we ran into Savannah Bee Company, a cute little store with anything and everything related to honey. We even did a little Mead Tasting there, which was really neat! 

We then biked down to Bull Street Gourmet & Market, where we picked up lunch to go for a picnic lunch in Battery Park. We parked our bikes and sat beneath the shade of the gorgeous, old trees eating our lunch and looking out at the water on one side and the beautiful, old, stately homes on the other.  

Our bike ride took us up to Rainbow Row on East Bay Street:

And we just took our bikes in and out of little side streets admiring all of the precious homes. 

We rode our bikes up to Charleston City Market, parked them, and wandered all along the stalls in the market. We grabbed a biscuit trio and a coffee from Callie's Hot Little Biscuit as a yummy afternoon snack. These were so good, but definitely know that you have to walk and eat -- or try hard to find a seat on the curb outside because there is no seating here whatsoever. 

After that, we returned our bikes and went back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. We then walked the short distance to F.I.G., by far our favorite meal of the trip. It was a definite splurge {and be sure to make reservations!}, but it was delicious. We had a bottle of wine to start while we waited to be seated, then shared the sautéed soft shell crab for an appetizer, then I got the sautéed beeliner snapper for my meal and Brandon had the cornflour dusted triggerfish -- and it was so tasty that I liked his better than mine! They brought us out bread pudding and banana ice cream for my birthday dessert, which was also equally amazing. 

After dinner, some friends we met at F.I.G. recommended we go to Zero George for a drink. We had absolutely zero idea what we were in for, but this atmosphere was our absolute favorite part of the trip. It was everything you picture when you imagine Charleston, and y'all, I was so happy in this moment that I got teary-eyed! Ha! I had a glass of rosé, Brandon had some smoked-something-or-other drink, and the sweet waitress brought me a glass of sparkling rosé for my birthday. It was lovely!

My top, pantsshoes and earrings

I'll be back tomorrow for days 3-4, so stay tuned! 

Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 


  1. Such a fun trip!! Other than the crappy hotel. Ugh. Glad you were able to enjoy everything else about charming Charleston!

  2. I just discovered your awesome blog, and I am so excited you have included a recap of your Charleston trip! My husband and I are planning our fifth anniversary trip there in September, so your travel guide is a huge help. Happy belated birthday!!!

  3. You hit SO MANY of the best spots in Charleston while you were here! I love how much of the city you saw, and your hotel location was perfect. I'm sorry that it was so noisy, though. There are some pretty rowdy clubs right in that area :( I'm glad it didn't get you down!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

  4. Other then the crappy hotel looks like you had great weekend! Such pretty pictures!

  5. Oh wow, that hotel experience does not sound like the best! That's surprising too because Embassy Suites are usually pretty decent. Glad y'all had lots of good food & I love that y'all rented bikes for the day! Bikes are such a good way to get around in downtown Charleston.

  6. Literally ob-sessed (minus the hotel part) I think I stayed there for one new years too! SO happy the trip was everything you wanted! Charleston is the BEST!

  7. So sorry about your hotel-ick! Glad you got the points back, I suppose that just means you guys get to go on another trip ;-) I am seriously in love with all of these photos-it just looks picture perfect!

  8. Loved reading along! So glad you guys had the best time minus the hotel but at least you got all the points back!! Love the Vendue rooftop - we went for my bachelorette and I was begging to Derek to go back last year, it was our first stop too!

  9. SO fun! Charleston is one of our favorite little getaways. Sorry your hotel was no bueno!

    xo, McKenzie //

  10. SO fun! Charleston is one of our favorite little getaways. Sorry your hotel was no bueno!

    xo, McKenzie //

  11. What an ordeal with the hotel - that's always hard when you want to sleep and cant!! Aside from that it did look like a fabulous time and a great way to celebrate your 30th!! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  12. Charleston is such a gem! I'm now dying to go back after just reading about your first two days there.

  13. Gosh I'm so sorry about yalls hotel experience but sounds like the food and overall experience made up for it. Husk is one of my favorites!! I have yet to go to F.I.G. but that will be on my list for next time!

  14. Aww poor Knox with the croup. I hope he's feeling better! Makes it so hard to leave them when they're ill! It looks like you had so much fun! What a charming little city! So sorry about your hotel experience. That sounds miserable but it sounds like you made the best of it!

  15. This seriously sounds like the best trip so far (minus the hotel - that super sucks!). All of the food has my mouth watering!!! So glad y'all got to go :)


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