Saturday, May 13, 2017

Charleston Part II

If you missed Part can find it HERE.

Day 4:Exploring Downtown Charleston & Shopping 

On Tuesday we went into downtown Charleston to explore some more and do a little shopping. Some locals told us about the best little donut shop called Glaze. So we went in to taste their notorious bacon-topped donut. They didn't disappoint. We were planning on only getting one donut each but ended up getting a whole box of them to snack on later. After we scored some seriously yummy rings of deliciousness, we ate breakfast at a quaint restaurant called Toast. Once we filled our bellies, we wanted to shop a little. King St is the place to be! Everything from Anthropologie and Louis Vuitton to boutiques and antique shops were on this street. We also booked a Carriage Tour and we took a ride around Charleston in a horse-drawn carriage. There are so many companies that do this here. If you go during a busy season, you should make reservations. We learned some fascinating history on this tour. The kids fell asleep, ha ha, but Ty and I enjoyed it. Of course I found the movie theater that The Notebook was filmed at. Check that off the list!
On our way back to Mt. Pleasant, which is where our resort is located, we stopped at Tavern and Table to eat. I had fried deviled eggs and cornbread for starters. I cannot tell you how amazing these were!! Not only was the food awesome but we got to sit outside over the water. I highly recommend this spot also.

Day 5: Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

On this day, we anticipated some rain in the morning so we decided to do something mostly indoors. We got lucky and this was the only morning we had that had some rain showers on our trip. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is the old USS Yorktown (a WWII aircraft carrier) that sits in the harbor, next to the Harbor Resort, and is now a museum. I wasn't too thrilled to do this until we actually got there. It was extremely interesting and I ended up enjoying this a lot, as did the kids. Do this if you visit here with kids or if you are interested in that sort of thing. If you saw my Instagram stories this week, then you know what I'm talking about. We got to explore the entire ship including the captain's area, where the soldiers ate, slept, brushed their teeth and got medical attention or hair cuts. The top wasvwhere the aircrafts were displayed as well as some inside of the ship. There was even simulators and NASA experiences inside. Really cool stuff! You can also do helicopter tours here really inexpensive! I was ALL about doing this but there was a 3 person maximum and we didn't have anyone to watch one of the kids so Ty said he would make it up to me ;) I'll be waiting for that one.
After that we went back to have dinner, swim and hang out in the hot tub at the resort. We roasted marshmallows and made s'mores by the fire pits. We also visited with one of Ty's childhood best friends who moved to this area.

Day 6: Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens and S'mores to End the Day!

On this day we visited 2 more plantations: Middleton Place and Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. All of the plantations are unique in their own way. Magnolia Gardens had miles and miles of land to roam and of course gardens and animals galore including a feeding/petting area. We went in with Scarlett to feed the animals and made sure to stay clear of the peacocks that were in mating season. They tend to be aggressive during this time but so beautiful with their feathers all spread out! We spotted them in the trees all over the plantation. We also took a boat swamp tour and saw more alligators than I cared to see! I was a little freaked out by this but the tour guide explained they hadn't had an alligator attack in Charleston for over 90 years!
 Middleton Place had a lot of historic features and a gorgeous view overlooking the property. In the stable area, you could visit each area where a re-enactor would walk you through what they did their back in the day. Scarlett was amazed with all of that. She helped them smash corn and watched the wood worker carve all sorts of neat items. We decided to do these 2 plantations in one day. We also had it on our agenda to go see Angel Oak Tree, the oldest tree around with quite the presence! But the kids were extremely tired and crabby after the plantations so we skipped this.

Day 7:Beach Day!!

There are quite a few beaches to choose from in this area. Our last day here we chose Isle of Palms Beach. I can't compare them to the others since we only got to see one. Sullivan's Isle is close to Isle of Palms and these 2 beaches are low key, which is why we chose them. On the other side of Charleston are Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island. Also Foley Beach which tends to be more of a mature beach because of all the bars in the vicinity. There is no lack of beautiful beaches in this area. We saw dolphins not far off the shore of the beach and had lunch on the strip before heading back to listen to live music on the rooftop of The Fish House. We had drinks, food and watched the beautiful sun set of the harbor. We spent a few nights up on this amazing rooftop lounge. The kids would dance to the music and sometimes catch their vaca buddies while the grown ups enjoyed cocktails and the ocean views. For our last night, we took a walk around harbor to pick out which yacht we want next ;)

Day 8:Good Bye Charleston!!
We said good-bye to this wonderful place. It was great to explore the history and color of Charleston. We could have spent longer here but we are thankful for a week here. When I got home, I added a few more places to my "Go See" list. Every time I visit a place I've never been, I get this urge to see more...I didn't get a chance to travel much when I was young and so now I'm taking advantage of that. Anyhow, if you are ever looking for a fun place to vacation...Charleston is a great choice!! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Charleston Part I

I have more photos of our trip to Charleston than I know what to do with. So it's taken me awhile to get them all together and pick a few to share with you. And by a few, I mean a lot ;) Then my Mac refused to upload pics and I was forced to buy a new one....thank you Ty. ;) So I apologize if this post took awhile. I had a bunch of inquiries about recommendations and where we visited.

Charleston was wonderful. It had been on my list of places to go for awhile. I feel like Charleston is one of those places that goes under the radar for awesome places to vacation! We had SO much fun and I am so glad that we chose this locale for spring break. I have had a lot of people ask me how I plan my vacations so I thought I'd show you some of my itinerary from Charleston. Also, look for anything in bold. I've linked everything for you. You're welcome!

Day 1: Travel & Unwind
I packed up the kid's two new backpacks from Skip Hop Zoo with activities for the plane. This works like a charm and they were excellently behaved despite it being a quick flight. We had some time in the airport before take off so we let the kids play by the windows while we had a drink at the bar. We flew out of JFK on a Saturday and when we landed, it was like we landed in a different land. Everyone was cheerful, smiling and friendly in a way that they aren't in New York.  Now I know the reason, too. Charleston is nothing short of amazing! We rented a car from Enterprise which was right in the airport. Don't be fooled by cheaper rates of other car rental places not located at the airport. There are only a couple of them that are actually IN the Charleston Airport and after reading reviews about waiting hours for the shuttle to get them to the off-site rental location, I knew we made a good decision going with Enterprise. It was a quick and easy 10 minute process and we were on our way to the Charleston Harbor Resort.  I chose this resort because of the pools and amazing views of the Harbor. There are two sections to this resort: The Beach Club and The Harborside. We stayed on the Beach Club side. This resort is brand new and was a delight to stay at. I highly recommend it if you are visiting the area.
We settled in and then went to meet one of my best friends who traveled from North Carolina to visit with us. We met for dinner and then came back to get at good nights rest. We watched a movie until we all feel asleep. Ps. King sized beds are amazing but I feel like Ty and I slept so far away from each other each night! lol. 

Day 2: Boone Hall Plantation 

We woke up early and grabbed a quick breakfast at this little place called Charleston Cafe. We forgot that Sunday was Easter and that we probably should have made reservations! But it worked out and breakfast didn't take too long. Then we drove to the place I had been dying to go to for months! Boone Hall Plantation!  This place is as dreamy as the photos you see online and yes, scenes from the Notebook were filmed here. Those beautiful Oak trees all lined up are a MUST SEE! Scarlett made friends with the horses there and she would have stayed there all day if we let her. We also did a tour of the mansion and then did a riding tour of the plantation. We spent most of the day here but you could do a half day if you wanted and incorporate some of the other cool plantations that I talk about on Day 6.

Day 3: Relax, Pool & Sun in the AM....Rainbow Row in the PM

On day 3 we decided to take a day to relax with some drinks by the pool. Every vacation needs a day of relaxation no matter where you go. And what better way to spend a Monday?! First we had breakfast at the Fish House which is the restaurant right on the resort. The rustic feel went along well with the theme as it overlooked the harbor and the USS Yorktown Aircraft carrier (which I will tell you about later). Then we headed out to the pools (there are 2 on the Beach Club side) to swim. We also drank cocktails (Scarlett had a virgin mudslide), and ate delicious, greasy food. It was all I had hoped for....ahhhh....especially after this year's never-ending winter in NY. This was a highlight for me. We listened to music and just relaxed while we watched the kids splash in the water. GLORIOUS. is all I can say about that.

After naps, (that Maxwell took daily by the pool) we decided that we would go explore downtown Charleston. If you stay at the Charleston Harbor Resort, you can take a water taxi right from the Harbor and it will bring you into Charleston. Perk, if you didn't want to take the short drive over the bridge. We found the iconic Rainbow Row (string of beautiful colored houses) and took all the touristy photos that we were obligated to take. We took a walk along the stunning homes that lined the ocean to Battery Park and let the kids run around. It was so beautiful! Everything there is so gorgeous so I apologize if you hear me repeating myself.  The houses there are my dream come true.  Please, please please let me live in Charleston!!! So much so, that Ty had to drag me out of there! Which he finally did after enticing me with dinner at the Oyster House. I discovered an American Mule cocktail, which is now my favorite drink ever, and the seafood was incomparable. That is coming from a New England was seriously impressive. Pretty much everywhere we ate was just that.  There is good food in Charleston.

I will post part II of our Charleston vaca on Thursday morning!!