When it comes to time, I often feel like the ignorant child that sets out to dig a hole by the sea all the way to China. I weave in and out of periods in my life where I like to take a step back and examine my life. Usually when I take this self reflection I am shocked to find that half the year has passed. It typically happens at New Years, April- my birth month, and August, when I begin to have a subliminal anxiety attack over summer’s end. This time, I realized all of August- and July, and the 6 months prior, had occurred in a blink. I feel sure you empathize. (I will say here that if you are simply looking for the itinerary of 36 hours in Charleston, SC, scroll on down to the bottom!)
Regarding time, Brad and I recently celebrated our two year anniversary. I was not very happy over summer. I previously assumed I had seasonal affective disorder, but the blues seemed to fall in the brightest time of the year this year. You may have noticed I did not blog much over the previous two months. When I began this blog I dove headfirst into it, reading up on everything I could find until 4 and even 6 AM some nights. I did not ask anyone to do it for me or pay anyone; I did the nitty gritty work and figured it out. My love for writing is deep and I will touch more on this summer at a later time. To curb my long-winded narrative, I will get to the point:
I will not say it was the superfluous hotel room or the time, but I would pinpoint it to spending a significant time in the present moment. Staying in the present builds a happy and fullfilled life. Presence is the excitement of a new city, the aroma and sounds of nature- when your senses tingle with life. The past few weeks, I have been focusing on what truly makes me happy and trying to embrace that. My husband leads me like God and some of my favorite times with him are our vacations. Not the time living large, no, I mean the drives down! We always discuss and chat and get into real conversation, most of which I cry during at some point. We are honest with each other and he humors my deep thought and endless life-analysis.
After celebrating at the Grove Park Inn for our First Anniversary, we planned to check out Old Edwards Inn for year 2. During our return from our last family beach trip, we decided that we needed to make it back to the beach to surf. Brad and I agree that fishing and yoga are times that we connect with the Lord. The quiet times you feel your reality of existence, quiet mind, and a greater meaning. For me, Namaste truly is Amen. I believe I can speak for him when I say that he found that spiritual clarity and ‘small’ in this ethereal world on the waves during our last beach trip. We decided we needed that feeling at least once more before we conceded summer, so we decided to go to Charleston for our second anniversary.
We drove down early Saturday morning and stopped just North of Charleston for lunch. Let me taco-’bout it. The ambiance was great and the tacos were delicious. My favorite part was the homemade chunky guacamole and thick corn chips.
Next, we drove through Folly Beach, that we like to call ‘our town’ since we have vacationed there are least once annually since we met 6 years prior. We drove left and went to the infamous “Washout.” Our app predicted 3-4 foot waves, but they easily averaged 6 feet. It was very windy, as Folly is a barrier island, which produced a violent chop. The washout has pylons and rocks every quarter mile or so to help with erosion. We did our best to steer clear as the waves hitting toward those lines reached 10 feet. Our entry point was just inside the pylons where the waves were calmer so we would surf down, then drag ourselves back through the wind, boards in tow, back to our entry point.
It was the sort of day where you walk in hip-deep, wait for a series of calmer waves, jump on your board, and swim out as far as possible like your life depends on it. Once you get past the breaking point you are good to go. If you floated with the undertow you would be back to town within an hour. There are an inevitable few times a wave will destroy you halfway through the fight to sea. Sometimes the best bet is to throw your board as far as you can over the top of a crested wave about to crash on you- and hope for the best, while other times it’s more logical to simply dive into the wave and brace yourself for the wave to yank your leashed foot. It’s a great workout, really.
We watched the windsurfers whip in and out of the waves. Their kites look like dragons or perhaps, more likely, I have been watching too much Game of Thrones. Special thanks to whomevers’ outdoor shower we borrowed. Finally, we hit our favorite grocery Bert’s for the essentials: eggrolls, rose, beer, and water. The wind was rough so we only laid for a moment. Next, we drove 20 minutes North to Charleston.
Since year 2 is the year of China and Cotton, I got Brad clothing and a briefcase while he obliged me with luxurious hydrocotton towel set for our personal use. Finally, we decided the last gift would be a trip to The Dewberry. Brad has always wanted to stay there and my only requirement is a bathtub. We decided to stay in the suite since it had tub. It was an excellent choice.
If you can, request suite 704. The entire hotel is impeccably designed with Liddell linens, robes, slippers, Stickley furniture, and local coffee. The grasscloth pattern featuring dogwood flowers, local flora, and, of course, Dewberries are detailed throughout the entire hotel.
The suite was a corner room overlooking the Ravenel Bridge on one side and Charleston on the adjacent. The furniture has a Mad Men and mid-century feel with clean, simple lines. When checking in we chose hypoallergenic pillows and we were welcomed with a handwritten note congratulating us on two years and a complimentary bottle of wine.
I spent an hour soaking in the beautiful tub listening to Sinatra while Brad rode one of the complimentary bikes to purchase a new shirt for our date. He forgot his hanging clothes. The concierge suggested we try out their rooftop terrace for aperitifs and Coast as a gluten-free friendly dining option.
We had a charcuterie board and Bourbons on the Terrace of The Dewberry. We were one of just 3 couples on the entire rooftop, which has to be the best kept secret in Charleston at the moment. It was the Terrace’s opening weekend (8/25/17). Only 2 buildings reach above the now-enforced height maximum in Charleston: The Dewberry and another old hotel. The waitresses are dressed in 60’s Mad Men style white dresses with white sneakers. We ate then headed to the ground to walk to Coast.
Coast was an easy stroll 2-3 blocks away. It was tucked in a romantically-lit alley that reminded us of our honeymoon in Paris. There was even a French restaurant at the opposing corner. I had a steak, mashed potatoes, and the best creamed spinach I have ever had at Coast. Brad and I were impressed with the waiter’s knowledge of allergens and his extra time spent looking for the very last Manicotti plate Brad first ordered. It may be my favorite place in Charleston, thus far.
We walked home around 10.
The next morning we got up with the sun as we had left our 10′ window blinds open. We napped again then ordered coffee as we agreed that our next home must have more natural lighting. A card slid under the door advised us of the forecast. We finished some champagne and wine off and literally talked for hours. Upon our departure, we got the concierge’s recommendation for brunch: Gentry Bar for a “Breakfast Club” Dj-ed lunch. We walked across Marion square and down King Street to Gentry Bar. We sat at another windowed corner, watching folks stroll by and the DJ mix 80’s records from “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” to “She Drives Me Crazy.”
The food, once again, was superb. I highly recommend the brunch! We finished walking to King Street. If you are new to Charleston, I would recommend walking until you see the Market 1 block down to the left. You will not miss it. We have both been countless times, so we turned around and walked back to our car and then home.
Brad had a rough week at work. I have been off mentally all summer. God knew we needed this getaway. It is great to sit down with your significant other and just enjoy time pass in a place that is impossible to not be happy. We scheduled 2 hours of bath time, listened to music, and just enjoyed one anothers’ company. Our senses ate up every second of this time and we satisfactorily enjoyed the moment.
We could not help but note that we do not check out like that enough. We do not let ourselves just be us, without family, obligations, schedules, stress, or responsibility. One stays in the moment on vacation because one puts of thought of upcoming obligations and we forget the past by staying busy with fun and exciting food or sights.
I would guess that I am not the only one that longs for being in the NOW. With our opposing personalities, Brad is much better at sensory and observing his environment. I remain lost in my head and thinking to the future and considering all possible scenarios. My goal is to make my home mimic this environment of ease, luxury, and satisfaction and work on enjoying the present. I believe staying in the present is a key to happiness.
My mindset at home is always thinking ahead. I have to force myself to stay in the now.
If you are in Charleston or looking for a getaway, I highly recommend my summary of our trip. These opinions are unaltered and unsponsored, and I visit Charleston several times annually.
8 AM – Drive from the Upstate to Charleston, SC
11 PM – Lunch at Basico. Get the guacamole appetizer and your choice of tacos.
12 PM – Drive out to either Folly Beach’s ‘The Washout’ to surf or Isle of Psalms to tan or lie by the ocean.
1 PM – Enjoy the beaches. If in Isle of Psalm, Go see Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse and the beautiful beach homes. If in Folly, walk down Main Street then go see Morris Island Lighthouse.
4 PM – Drive to Charleston and check into The Dewberry. If the Dewberry is booked, go to The Restoration or rent an AirBNB.
6 PM – Enjoy sunset on The Terrace at The Dewberry.
8:30 PM – Walk to Coast.
9 PM – Enjoy dinner at Coast.
8 AM – Wake up slowly. Enjoy coffee.
10 AM – Brunch at Gentry Bar for The Breakfast Club brunch.
11 PM – Shop King Street.
2 PM – Walk The Market.
5 PM – Explore the Battery
6 PM – Walk down Cannon Street, viewing the gorgeous homes. Drive down Rainbow Row on your departure.
Other favorites: The Americano, Taco Boy, Husk Restaurant, Sugar Bakeshop, Palmetto Breeze Sailing Charters, RB’s, and Poe’s Tavern.
Comment below if this helps you plan your next excursion to one of my favorite daytrip cities.
Have a wonderful weekend and WELCOME TO SEPTEMBER!