Monday, July 11, 2016

C is for Charleston

DVC and I ventured off to Charleston sans child last weekend for a wedding and were completely charmed! Neither of us knew much about the city before heading there other than the very general complimentary musings of pretty much everyone who has visited who has been to the Holy City (so nicknamed because of its skyline full of steeples) before. Some of the streets were so adorable it felt like walking around New Orleans Square in Disneyland (the highest of compliments!), complete with cobblestones, gas lamps and tons of Spanish moss draping romantically from the trees.

We spent most of our time simply walking around the different neighborhoods, noticing there was pineapple decor everywhere – paintings, sculptures, even a giant pineapple fountain that kids were playing in! My favorite anecdote about the city went as follows:
After many months away, a sea captain would spear a pineapple to his fence post to let friends know he was home safely and to please visit so he could regale his guests with tales of the high seas. The pineapple today remains a symbol of hospitality and is beloved throughout the city.

Our hotel was right in the heart of the historic downtown district, super easy to get to all of the fun places we wanted to check out. And it was pink!! So much pink all over town, including every inch of our hotel. It had a rooftop pool and a pretty outdoor patio / garden bar, and tons of cute little sitting areas. The building was very old and felt very Pirates of the Caribbean-ish (i.e. awesome).

And now for the FOOD!

Things we devoured:

She-crab soup – yes, as in, soup made from only lady crabs. Undeniably tasty, but made me feel super weird to eat - why only the girls? Are they really that much tastier than the boys? 

Grits – wasn't that big of a fan. Didn't mind the texture, but they just didn't seem like much, unless completely drenched in butter. Which is fine, I guess, but seems heavy (especially for breakfast) and I just don't get all the fuss. 

Seafood casserole – omigod amazeballs. I had this for  dinner  supper the very first night, when we randomly meandered into a rather famous oyster house for  dinner  supper. Turns out the first meal I had was the best one from the entire trip - it had shrimp, crab, scallops and fish all baked in a cheesy,  cornmealy little cast iron skillet. Plus I got a specialty cocktail from the fancy schmancy cocktail menu and it was six dollars. SIX DOLLARS. As I said, amazeballs.

Let's not forget about the main event!

Have you ever been to a wedding in the south? I would venture to say it's as charming as you'd expect and more blisteringly hot than you can possibly imagine. Everything about this one was lovely, save for the fact the ceremony was in the direct sun and it was over 100 degrees out. Bummer. They passed out adorable parasols and fans, which would have made us feel quite elegant had sweat not been dripping down our backs and soaking through our fancy wedding clothes. Still, the setting was gorgeous, though it did feel a bit strange to be celebrating something on a plantation. I get that it's a historical landmark, but it just feels...odd, for lack of a better word, to be admiring a place with such a dark history. Middleton Place provided a stunning backdrop, from the minute you drive up under a canopy of trees that fully covers the road...gorgeous with the light peeking through, spooky at night! There are only a few original buildings that remain standing, as most were burned by Union soldiers in 1865, but the gardens are extensive and immaculately manicured (apparently America's oldest landscaped gardens!). The cocktail hour was particularly enchanting, held in a shaded meadow overlooking a pond next to the estate chapel. Rice was the main crop of this plantation, which was ideal for such a riverside location, and as gifts they passed out cute little bags of the variety made famous in this region, Carolina Gold.


Fun little getaway!


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