On Friday afternoon (the 8th day of our college tour) Tom arrived for a fun weekend in Charleston. Sophie’s tour of the College of Charleston is not until Monday and so we picked Charleston as the city we would stop in and take a little break before the last tour. It was a really good choice. Our dinner reservation that night at McCrady’s wasn’t until 8:45 so we had a lot of time to go out and investigate. We were staying at the northern border of the historic district, about a 15 minute walk to the center of everything (The Francis Marion Hotel, which I would not recommend) and we walked down King Street until we got to the South Battery which is the end of the peninsula and looks out at Fort Sumter. Charleston is beautiful with great shops and restaurants and filled with centuries-old homes that have been very carefully perserved and are still lived in. This city definitely has a great vibe.
Dinner was in a building with it’s own incredible history; George Washington was served a 30 course meal there. The food was absolutely delicious even if the chef had an overabundance of love for the popped kernel of corn. This James Beard winner was completely fixated on popcorn and it showed up in almost every dish on the menu.
Saturday morning we had breakfast at The Hominy Grill which was delicious and thankfully we arrived right after it opened because within minutes there was a line around the block.
I had eggs with hominy grits, bacon and an amazing biscuit. We cabbed to the Charleston City Market, an outdoor covered marketplace that goes on for blocks that was originially a sort of farmer’s market for city slaves to buy food from country slaves on behalf of their masters. It wasn’t your ordinary outdoor market and there were a ton of local artisans selling really interesting and creative things. I loved this lady, making baskets…
At 11 we met up with Tommy Dew for an historical walking tour recommended by my friend Deb from Tokyo. http://www.tommydewswalkingtour.com I highly recommend him too. Originally from Richmond, VA with an amazing southern accent, he told the story of the south, specifically through the lens of Charleston and it put a completely new prospective on the war between the states. I loved it and learned a ton. If only all history could be taught while walking through it.
After the tour we had a delicous lunch at Magnolia’s. Tom said it was the best fried chicken he has EVER eaten, and he doesn’t say the word BEST very often. We also had to get a plate of these homemade potato chips with blue cheese.
What was on the agenda next? A much needed NAP. We had dinner reservations at 6 but had to cancel, we were just too stuffed to eat any more food. Around 7 we went to the Vendue Inn, a newly renovated boutique hotel that boasts over 300 works of art sprinkled through it. This is where I would stay if i returned. They have a really nice rooftop bar where we went for drinks. They had a fun art installation that everyone was playing with. Most people made imprints of their butt or chest but Sophie made a really sweet heart that people took photos of. We were watching from the other side to see what she was going to create.
We woke up on Easter Sunday in the bible belt and for the most part the city was pretty quiet. Everyone must have been in church. We went to the Granary for brunch, which i didn’t realize was in “North Charleston” about a 20 minute drive from downtown Charleston but we did get to go over a pretty beautiful bridge to get there.
After brunch, we did a little poking around the campus of the College of Charleston so Tom could get a little taste.
Back to the hotel, Tom packed up and left for the airport and Sophie worked on some homework. Our plan this afternoon is a little shopping and dinner at Edmund’s Oast. Mad Men is on the to do list tonight and then first thing tomorrow is our very last college visit to the College of Charleston and then HOME!!!!! Living out of a small carry on for ten days is a challenge!