One of our favorite things to do is travel. Last year, thanks in large part to Jonathan's work schedule, we were fortunate to get to go on four trips. The second of those was to Charleston, South Carolina. We'd never been before, but we spent our honeymoon in nearby Savannah, Georgia, and loved it, so we knew we'd love Charleston as well.
We flew from Memphis to Charleston on Memorial Day weekend, and spent two days photographing beautiful old buildings, eating and drinking way too much, exploring eclectic little shops and walking along Folly Beach. We hit all of our personal high points on this trip: very old architecture, food and drink, a little antique (book) shopping and the beach. If you've never been to Charleston, I highly recommend it. As one of the South's oldest cities (where the Civil War began), it's packed with history. I'm sure it's brutally hot in the summer, but it was quite lovely in late May - not too hot, but not too cold either - perfect weather for jeans and a t-shirt.
Blue Bicycle Books - This local bookstore features rare and used books. We loved its tiny rooms with books literally from floor to ceiling, and of course, the bookstore cat, Purdy. I am a believer that every bookstore needs a bookstore cat. Jonathan found a ton of great books here, and I bought one really cool book (see below).
Taco Boy - I have a confession. I love Mexican food probably more than any other food on the planet. Quesadillas, fajitas, salsa, and basically any ingredient included in the food itself. You get the picture. Of all of these foods and ingredients, nachos top the list. I am quite the nacho connoisseur - every time we go to a new Mexican restaurant, I have to try the nachos. Most of the time I'm disappointed because I want them to be West-coast style with lots of melted cheese, jalapenos, refried beans and fresh veggies. However, when Jonathan and I stopped at Taco Boy, it was different. We ate lunch on their patio on a beautiful day, the magaritas were flowing (and they were FABULOUS), the chips and salsa were yummy and the nachos were some of the best I've ever eaten. They arrived on this low cake pan-type platter, and they had been baked so the cheese was melty and the chips were slightly crunchy. Good stuff. Plus, Taco Boy inspired us to start using a cake pan for our at-home nacho cooking, and it definitely made our nachos a lot better. Not as good as Taco Boy, but better than most of the nachos in Memphis...
Walking Tour - If you have some tennis shoes, a hat (I bought a big wide-brimmed one locally), and the desire, I recommend walking around this city on foot. We didn't rent a car, and we really like to walk, so we grabbed a map and explored. There are so many beautiful old homes and even more beautiful gardens....it's breath-taking, especially in the spring. There were flowers everywhere. I'm sure there are tons of books on Charleston's beautiful scenery, but I found this book at Blue Bicycle, and I fell in love with it. The book is called Very Charleston, and it's written and illustrated by Diana Hollingsworth Gessler. It was one of my only keepsakes from our trip, but it's the perfect one. Thanks to Diana's writing and drawings, I feel like I'm in Charleston every time I open this book. An added benefit: it's journal-sized - so cute!
We didn't have much luck with antiquing or clothes shopping on this trip, but there are plenty of cute stores. I think part of our problem was that we were in town on Memorial Day weekend and a lot of places were closed. Regardless, Charleston is a fun, vibrant town, and it makes a great weekend getaway location.
Makes me want leave on Friday...