Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Charleston: A First Time Visitor's Review

Jack and I took advantage of the long weekend, and headed north for the first of many (whether they like it or not) trips to see the Bakers in Charleston. Let's get this party started!

We stayed at the Goose Creek Inn, a quaint B & B in an up-and-coming neighborhood, with a lovely view of the countryside and local wildlife. Fresh coffee is served with a smile by 8 am, along with a hot breakfast on the weekend. The proprietors exude southern charm and hospitality (which we found literally everywhere in Charleston!), and made us feel right at home. Amenities also include free tours of downtown Charleston! We couldn't beat the price, and when the heat was out for a short time on the last morning of our stay, we were given a free night to use on a future visit! Now that's what I call customer service! ; )

These are geese. In Goose Creek! On the pond, looking out the back door; it was all we could do to keep the guys from breakin' out the shotguns! After coffee on the porch with Laura, Mitch got home and we took off to see downtown, and, man, was it chilly!

We ended a windy walk at the pier on the Cooper River, followed by dinner at Fleet Landing; a cool, eclectic, "maritime chic" (per their website) dining experience, with a fun happy hour and the friendliest bartenders. On to dinner...

We were lucky enough to catch Restaurant Week in Charleston! Fleet Landing participated with a "prix fixe" (pronounced "pree feeks" (don't worry, I had to google the pronunciation) menu of 3 courses for $30. This was my appetizer of stuffed hushpuppies, filled with lobster, rock shrimp, leeks and corn. Yum! I took this photo with my phone since I forgot my camera (horrors!), and doctored it up. Our waiter was Darlin. Yep, Darlin. And his mama done named him right ; )  My main course was...shrimp and grits, of course! Jack had a huge filet that he could have cut with a fork; it looked fantastic! Now back to the Inn to rest our bellies! Up for tomorrow: Patriot's Point to see Fort Sumter!

On Saturday, we boarded the Spirit of Charleston for a 30 minute ferry ride to the fort, and got this amazing view of the USS Yorktown. We'll definitely be touring the ship next visit, as we'll need a whole day!

Fort Sumter. I love history, really I do. I just can't retain the info. So I sheepishly asked Foozer (that's Laura), "Is this really the actual beginning of the Civil War?" She very patiently replied yes, that this was the real beginning. Thanks, Foozer, for not making me feel dumb : ) The head wear came from the local Walmart; that wind was nothing to mess around with! Brrrr!

On the Cooper River. Cool.

A view of the city from Battery Huger, inside the fort. The "self guided tour" (you walk around on your own) is only about 45 minutes, then back to the ferry. We were hungry (again), so it was off to a late lunch!

A popular restaurant on the outskirts of town, with ice cold craft beers, pan fried chicken, and lots o' other gravy smothered southern cookin'! I think my jeans are getting snug...oh well, back to the Inn to warm up!

After mass on Sunday, Laura and I left the guys behind with football and wings, and went to explore some landmarks and architecture in the city. Magnolia's Restaurant caught our eye on Friday, so we figured Sunday was a great day for their brunch. And were we ever right! 

Apple fritter poppers, shellfish over grits with fried spinach (above), and their famous why-doesn't-an-egg-sandwich-taste-this-good-when-I-make-it-at-home with sweet potato fries later, my jeans were in tatters. I looked like the Incredible Hulk. *sigh* Back to the gym...

Ok, let's walk this foodie weekend off. Down Bay Street to see...Rainbow Row! Another "Graceland moment" for me!

A beautiful Bay Street home. There'll be lots of sighing from me till the end of the blog...can you hear me?!

I hereby solemnly swear that I'm making a photo collage of the beautiful doors, gates and porches of Charleston. *sigh*

1 E. Bay Street. *sigh*

Laura's favorite water fountain in the park on the point of the rivers. She actually had a lot of favorite things. We decided they would probably multiply the more she gets around town. The inscription on this says, "Given to the children of Charleston by a friend" : )

More Rainbow Row. Did ya hear it? *sigh*

Dunno if these are garage doors, or a front door. Either way, super cool.

Church Street, St. Philip's (Episcopal) Church cemetery. "Episcopal" was a running joke; it was in parenthesis on every sign that pertained to the church. In case you forgot the from the first 37 signs you saw it on.

Front door at St. Philip's (Episcopal) church. You knew that was coming, didn't you? It houses the oldest congregation in SC.

Now THIS is funny! Those Episcopals!

A bank/church, closed for renovations. Not sure what it will actually be, but it was stunning. Enough of that walking, let's get back to the house so we can have dinner! LOL! Yep, it was definitely a foodie weekend! Mitch bought steaks at the local meat store, and they were super. We talked, ate chocolate covered marshmallows (yep, took my chocolate melter along), and flipped around the tube...oh no, it can't be this late... I don't wanna go to bed! It only means we have to get up and leave tomorrow! *sigh*

The view out the back window on our last morning. Frost! Which apparently caused a power failure as everyone cranked their heat up to get ready for work! We didn't care, it got us a free night! ; )

Within a few minutes, it was already warming up. We said our goodbyes, loaded the car with the 7 coats that we brought between us, and were on our way. Bye, guys, see ya next week!!!

Print Friendly and PDF