I've got 2 things to say before I start:
1) Sometimes when you've been living in the South long enough, y'all just starts coming out of you. Even for this Jersey girl. But especially when you're in Charleston.
To be correct, it's pronounced 'Chaaaarlston.'
2) And I'm sorry for not writing lately. I've semi-hated myself for it, but sometimes when you get back from a really great vacay you need some time to reflect. And sometimes you're just suuuuuper busy with upcoming events and you simply don't have the time. But I do apologize. Profusely.
Now this was not my first time in Chaaaaarlston (I won't do that every time). My parents took us back in the day. I'm certain I was forced to see all historically relevant artifacts in Charleston to please my Civil-War loving history buff of a father. I'm also certain I was a total brat-face about it since I was a teenager back then. Ew.
As I got older (and sort of wiser) I spent my time in Charleston with girlfriends going to bachelorette parties and with Mr. Fo for various vacations. It's only 3 hours from Charlotte, so it's basically a hop, skip and a jump. Especially when I can sleep in the car because Mr. Fo doesn't allow me to drive long distances.
But it's been awhile, and I forgot how much I love the darn place.
Even in the brutal, ghastly heat that is July, I love it.
So let me tell you about it, okay? (All photos from my new iPhone 5 which by the way is only a superior phone compared to my iPhone 4 because it's not cracked in 400 places. It's essentially the same phone, so don't be fooled.)
Charleston is known for fabulous food, especially that of the Southern variety. They also excel in items "from the sea." Let's just say I had about 75 plates of shrimp and grits while I was there. Including these amazeballs "Shrimp and Grit Fritters" pictured below. I mean, who was the genius that decided to make this classic dish into a fried ball of goodness. I want to kiss them.
These fine fritters came from the Gin Joint, a new-ish hot-spot that specializes in delicious cocktails. I'm talking pages and pages of creative, fresh cocktails. Man it was good. Cheap it was not. But good? Yes.
Coincidentally my friend (and min-tri-training partner) Amy was in Charleston with some of her friends so we met up with them at Fleet Landing. Fleet Landing is a restaurant with good food and ever better views. It has a dock that goes out into the water, which is where we sat. I drank wine, ate shrimp and grits (duh), laughed and watched the fireworks. It was July 4th, after all and good times were had by all.
So if you are at all familiar with Charleston you may heard of a little place called Husk. It was voted best Southern restaurant by Bon Appetit magazine or something small like that. Hardly a big deal. Clearly this was my Charleston goal: EAT AT HUSK. Well, I only sort of accomplished this goal. A few words of advice. If you want a good reservation time at Husk, you'll need to make it like 2 months in advance because a few weeks ahead was definitely not enough. We were scheduled to eat at 9:15 on Sunday, which also happened to be our last night of vacay. One other note, don't schedule drinks with super fun blogger friends before hand (more on that later). You won't feel like eating at Husk, you'll just feel like continuing the night of fun.
You need to be serious about your dinner when you eat there. Like really focused on the food. And I was feeling more like this:
Yup, that was me at Husk. I'm pretty sure I was winking? We ended up hanging at the bar (which is a separate building from the main restaurant) and drinking freaking fantastic cocktails and eating wonderfully amazing appetizers.The smoked chicken wings were excellent and the Dragon Punch was the best cocktail I had all week. One other note: Don't go to Husk and only talk to the waitress in a Game of Thrones accent. It doesn't go over well (but it is simply hilarious). So that's my Husk experience. One day, my friend, I will EAT AT HUSK. For reals. And I'll be serious about it. And there will be no Game of Thrones accent to speak of!
We had a blast meeting up with Jess from Party Box Design and her hubby, who are lucky enough to live in the area! Ohhhhh how we laughed. And wore our sunglasses at night. And we totally owned it. We didn't look stupid at all.
One of our other favorite places was a little unexpected. It's the Kickin' Chicken. Y'all.
We ate 3 meals here in 6 days. You could say we became obsessed. I would say I'm embarrassed because I basically ate fried chicken from a local chain restaurant in a seafood town, but that would be a lie. These people KNOW their chicken! Mr. Fo and I popped in here to pick up a quick lunch to take to the beach one day and fell in love with their non-greasy breading on the chicken, friendly staff and extra spicy bloody marys. If they put one in Charlotte I would be beyond pumped. And probably beyond fat.
Speaking of the beach, we spent some time in the surf and sand and it was glorious. I got my tan on (responsibly, wearing sunscreen) which was beyond necessary as I looked see-through I was so pale. Gross.
Mr. Fo and the guys played this game called Spikeball that I'd heard a lot about. Basically you bounce a small ball on a net? Mr. Fo is obsessed. I think it's average.
We took a trip to Sullivan's Island where we ate lunch at Poe's Tavern and took a walk on the beautiful beach. (Can anyone else not think of Edgar Allen Poe without thinking of the show The Following now? I miss you Kevin Bacon.)
Not only is the beach a 20 minute jaunt from Charleston, you get to go over this amazing bridge. Maybe I should have been a bridgemaker. Cue the laughing.
In Charleston I ran or walked every morning. There's just so much to see! Plus, when you have this on your view, how bad could your run be?
Mr. Fo and I did get lost one day trying to find our car near the Battery. Despite the fact we had no food or water in a stifling heat, and I felt like I might die at any moment, the scenery was sublime. I love all the cobblestone streets and beautiful homes.
We were able to find some shade under these stunning trees!
And don't worry, we finally found our car. Obv.
While we spent a few days in Charleston for vacay, we did have an actual purpose to be there. Mr. Fo's cousin was getting married. Bride and groom's name? Nate & Kate. I love the rhyming.
The wedding was especially fun because my little love Brookie got to go :) Look at her pretty dress!
She totes rocked it like a pro in church. Sitting in the pew like a champ!
The reception was at a really cool venue, the South Carolina Aquarium. We were able to look at all the exhibits which was such a treat. Nate and Kate had a lot of fun touches at their wedding and as per usual, I was the weirdo taking photos of everything on my phone to put on my blog. Cool points!
I LOVED their guest book idea. Guests could write notes and put in wine bottles labeled for their anniversary years.
The escort cards were sitting in sand, and they were placed in photo booth strip frames.
Little did I know the frames would come in handy because there was the always popular photo booth. I got a pic with Brookie and Drew. Brooke loved her first time in the photo booth!
The grooms cake was adorable. It was a bow tie that matched the groomsmen bow ties perfectly!
The cake was more of a donut tower. The donuts were gorge and had amazing flavor combos like chocolate potato chip!
One of the best parts of the night was the father-daughter dance which brought me to tears. Literally. It was the sweetest thing! You see, Kate is a ballerina. Like a real ballerina. Like for reals. She and her dad had this beautiful dance to the song Cinderella by Steven Curtis Champan. If this song doesn't move you, you are made of stone.
I also throughly appreciated their wedding favors. While Kate is a ballerina, Nate is a pediatric dentist. Their favors were the perfect combination - Ballerina Cookies (which I had never seen before!) and a toothbrush. I can't handle the cuteness and cleverness. Can you?
We were so happy for Nate & Kate and our trip to Charleston was simply wonderful.
See happiness below :)
Other items of note to conclude this semi-rambling post...what can I say, I have a lot of missed blogging days to make up for!
1) I'm way behind the eight ball here, but after an unexplained reading hiatus, I'm reading the Paris Wife and super loving it. Pretty certain sh*t is about the hit the fan soon here with Ernest.
2) If you don't have a King of Pops in your town, you are missing out. King of Pops is a popsicle cart that makes amazingly fresh popsicles. Think flavors like Blood Orange, Mojito and Banana Puddin' with Nilla Wafers, just to name a few. And they cater! They may be making an appearance at some of my upcoming events!
3) My mini-tri training is going pretty well...I've got a good handle on the swimming, but I've got to put it all together soon. It's officially a month away. Eek!
4) TV is so dull in the summertime. It's a good time to catch up on those shows you've been meaning to watch. Mr. Fo and I have successfully watched all 5 Seasons of Breaking Bad just in time for the final season premiere this August. We're pretty proud of this accomplishment. The show is badass and so are we for watching it so rapidly. (Or maybe we are losers. Whatev)
Speaking of shows, you may have heard of a little show called Homeland? Well it's amazing, first of all, and second of all, they film the entire thing in Charlotte. I've been disappointed that I haven't run into Claire Danes or Sgt. Brody yet, but I did get to watch them film a bit the other day. I ran into a friend who was working on the show and he told us to come to the set, which I did - of course in sweaty workout clothes. (Side Note: Why do cool things ONLY happen when you are wearing sweaty workout clothes?) Anywho, it was fun and we got a close up of Mandy Patinkin as Saul. Here I am acting completely cool and non-stalkerish at the set.
As they say in Hollywood, that's a wrap!