Sep 9, 2017

Anniversary Trip to Charleston, Part I

Bill and I had a great anniversary trip to Charleston!

Before we left, we exchanged gifts.  The traditional anniversary gift for the first anniversary is paper, so I secretly found his college and master's diplomas and framed them!  He loved them.  He gave me a gift certificate for a prenatal massage, which I am so excited about.  It's booked for Sept 23 which was their first opening.

We left early Saturday morning and arrived to the Holy City (nicknamed this because of their numerous churches) around 8:30.  I have to say, the first thing we noticed when we left the airport was the oppressive heat and humidity.  We were not prepared for it to be sooooo hot.  The "feels like" temp was near 100 each day that we were there.

We took a Lyft to our where we would be staying for the weekend, Ansonborough Inn.  We were there really early (check in was at 4, I believe!) but we were able to check into our room early.  They let us partake in the free breakfast and when our room was ready (about 15 min later), they came and got us!

The trip was likely also our "babymoon," though we may end up going somewhere a little later this year, so when we booked the trip, we decided to splurge on a nice suite and boy was it worth it!  The room was absolutely huge and came with a fireplace.  Our bed was a king 4-post bed and came with lots of comfy pillows.  There were beautiful oil paintings hung all around the walls which were old-fashioned brick and wood.  There were oil paintings not just in our room, but all throughout the inn.  My favorites were the ones of dogs. The hotel was great and I highly recommend staying there.

Not my pic, but from the Inn's website

Loved this lamp

Comfiest robe ever and check out those slippers LOL

When we got to our room, we found a bottle of champagne that the hotel gave us for our anniversary with two flutes!  We stuck it in the fridge for Bill to drink later but since I couldn't help him drink any, we actually ended up giving it back to them at the end of the trip and they gave us a mug instead.

We took a tiny nap and then headed to the farmer's market.  They had all sorts of good stuff. We ended up buying presents for Bill's brother and my grandma.  I also bought some honey from a local beekeeper.  I tried all 3 of their varieties and my favorite was the wetlands honey, made from bees at "an undisclosed swamp location."

Headng out!  Ignore my heinous sunglasses.  I lost my prescription ones so I've been using these clip-ons
Next up it was time for lunch.  We stopped at a cute Cuban restaurant and Bill got a Cuban sandwich. I didn't think I was hungry, so I didn't order anything but then ended up heating half of his sandwich. After lunch, we walked along King Street, popping in and out of the shops along the way.  My favorite shops were Ro Sham Beaux and a gem/mineral shop where I bought a piece of selenite for my rock collection.  It started pouring while we were shopping and we got stuck in a store for awhile.  It was an absolute downpour.

May be hard to see, but it was pouring
Once the rain let up, we were ready for a little nosh so we stopped at Juanita's Greenberg's Nacho Royale.  We ordered the chips and dip trio which was salsa, queso and guac.  It was the best queso I have ever had in my entire life.  YUM.  I also got a virgin margarita which tasted like ice cream and Bill had a beer.

That evening, we shopped the Night Markets.  The weather was MUCH more pleasant in the evenings and we loved how the city has a different vibe to it at night. Lots of buildings have neat lighting including some gas lamps.  It was fun and romantic strolling through Charleston in the evening.

We had dinner at Poogan's Smokehouse and it was delish.  I got the ham hock boiled peanuts as an appetizer and couldn't get over how good they were!  I love hot boiled peanuts and these were the best I have ever had.  Bill ordered a "2 meat platter," which came with ribs and pork belly.  I helped him eat those.  I ordered the smoked tomato bisque and baby kale salad, both of which weren't every good, but the peanuts and his meat made up for everything!


We spend the rest of the evening meandering through the pretty streets before turning in for the night.

On Sunday morning, we slept in until the last minute.  Breakfast ended at 10:00, so we dashed down there at 9:45, haha!

We have both been craving crab legs recently, so we had lunch at the Charleston Crab House. We shared the "Market Street Steampot," which had snow crab, Alaskan king crab, shrimp, a lobster tail, corn and potatoes.  It wasn't the best crab we've ever had, but it did the job!  We used to get unlimited crab legs at a seafood buffet place here in DC that has sadly closed and nothing ever quite compares.

Lunch was our first sighting of "love bugs," which are these weird gross black bugs that apparently descend on the city for a few days at the end of the summer every year.  They are nicknamed that because they are always mating.  It's very rare to see them unattached to each other.  For the rest of our trip, they were everywhere.  They don't bite, so they were more annoying than anything.

Plech. Photo credit here

As soon as we finished lunch, we booked it over to the departure point for a cruise tour to Fort Sumter.  We tried to order an Uber but it never came, so we walked and it was a little hard for me in the heat, but we made it!

We quickly looked through the museum at the national monument center and then boarded the boat.  The view from the boat showed us many of the cool spots around the harbor -- we saw beautiful old houses, John's Island, Castle Pinckney and more.  We tried to stand outside on the bow of the boat, but the love bugs were in full swarm and it was just too gross so we headed back to our air conditioned seats inside.

Fort Sumter was a really cool experience.  It's where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. All of the structures are original, with the "battery" in the middle being added later.  The bricks were all made by slaves; it's hard to describe how I felt standing among a vast structure built solely by slaves. The entire island was rich with history.  All of the artillery are authentic relics from the Civil War. If you like history, I suggest going on this tour.  It was, however, extremely hot and there was little to no shade.  I was wilting rapidly.  I kept having to sit down because I felt like I was going to pass out.  Bill had a great time reading all of the plaques.  I mostly sat on benches and watched him enjoy the fort.

We were the last cruise of the day, so they lowered the flag

Once we were back on the mainland, we cooled off at Saffron Bakery. I was too hot to try any of their treats, but they had some really yummy looking sweets including red velvet cookies.  We tried to go to Hominy Grill but was closed on Sundays, so we tried to go to Virginia's and it was also closed.  We ended up eating dinner at a bar & grill called John Kings.  Bill loved his burger.  I got a hot dog and it was so-so.

After dinner, we made our way to the Old City Jail Tour.  This is something we had been looking forward to to week.  The Old Jail is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in the South, if not the United States.  Once we were there waiting for the tour to start, I got a bit nervous!  As the tour began, we learned about the history of the jail and the land the jail was built on.  One thing I loved about Charleston is that it is a very old city.  In the early 1800s (I think, maybe earlier), the land was used as a paupers cemetery, which means that they just dumped the bodies of slaves and other people who couldn't afford proper burials into mass graves.  Our guide, Andy, told us that there were literally unknown thousands of bodies underneath where we were standing.  He also showed us where the gallows of the jail stood outside and where prisoners of war were "housed" in the yard during the Civil War.  The inside of the jail was very spooky.  Andy told us historical and creepy tales in each room we went into, ending in a pitch-dark room where a brutal murder took place.  At one point, Bill blew on my neck but said he didn't do it and I was super creeped out.  Overall,  it wasn't as bone-chillingly scary as I anticipated, but it was definitely creepy and I recommend this tour.  We booked it through Bulldog Tours.

Waiting for the tour to begin

What the cells would have looked like -- 11 people went into these.  This corner is where a ghost was supposedly seen the week before. 

The old morgue

We finished the evening by walking home and stopping for ice cream.

Up next: the second half of our trip!

1 comment:

  1. This looks like such a great trip! I've never been to Chaerleston - or had/heard of hot boiled peanuts.


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