A couple of weekends ago I took a great four-day girls’ weekend and headed to Charleston, South Carolina, with Michelle and her closest friends. We wined and dined, explored the historic downtown area, and spent some much-needed time with the bride to be. This was one of the best groups I’ve ever traveled with. (I do not know how to end that sentence without a preposition, sorry.) Seriously, no one complained about anything all weekend. As the person making all of the plans for the weekend, I can’t even tell you how nice that is. Not a complaint about the weather, the food, the awkward times trying to figure out what we were going to do next, the transportation, the cost, nothing – I think that is quite a feat for a group of nine women and I would gladly vacation with this fine group of girls anytime. Michelle’s big wedding color is lavender, so I made a couple of banners for the room and Michelle gave us all these cute purple, Charleston-themed favors. (And remember: We chose the lavender version of Minted’s “We Love Michelle” invite with these Charleston stamps from Zazzle.)
We stayed at the John Rutledge House, which was the perfect place for a group of girls. It’s a small charming boutique hotel. The staff is great and the breakfast is wonderful. There are definitely hotels in Charleston that are a little better location-wise, but we could easily walk to King Street and East Bay Street and catch the trolley a block away. That, by the way, is another great part of Charleston; a free trolley will take you all over historic Charleston.
We apparently were also not the only ones who figured out that Charleston was the perfect place for a bachelorette weekend because there were probably 17 bachelorette parties roaming the streets of Charleston Saturday night. Single guy friends, you should vacation here. One reason it is such a great town for a little girl-time is the shopping. There were so many fantastic stores, where I saw tons of the products I’ve been lusting after and several new ones. (I called the Husband on the trip and when I asked him what he was doing he responded with “Ahem…not spending money.”)
One of our stops was a weekly farmers’ market in Marion Square on Saturdays. If I lived in Charleston, I’d be here every week. There were tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, about 10 delicious food vendors (Lindsey B. and I were eying the grilled pimento cheese and gyro stands), art vendors, Rewined candles (good stocking stuffer, Mom)…and so much more. I loved it. (They also had a homemade pasta stand, which was cool because Lindsay L. just kicked off her new business making and selling her own pasta at farmers’ markets in Louisiana. It was so fun to hear about how she is changing her career path and chasing her passion for food.) We also made the rounds on Market Street and King Street. Market Street is just a big open market with craft vendors, mini-boutique type stores with all kinds of food and knick-knacks. King Street is the home of the upper-scale boutiques and everything from Forever 21 to Kate Spade (where Kerry got Michelle the cute Mrs. necklace to wear at the reception). Here are the few shops I loved:
- Old Road Mercantile – I went on a month long quest for Jack Rudy’s Small Batch Tonic for a gift for a friend a little while back and saw it in the window of this store the night before. Leah memorized the address and we went back the next day. This store has all sorts of bar compliments and gadgets and a lot of other really cool wares. (King Street)
- Savannah Bee Company – This is a store totally of honey. It started pouring rain while we were in the store so we spent extra long in it, and after trying several honeys and using all of their cool products I think half of us bought something. I got the cheese honey and can’t wait to try it out on some ricotta toast. (King Street)
- Lily Charleston – This store’s catch phrase is “Purveyors of life’s little luxuries,” and they aren’t kidding. I was drooling in this store. They carried all my favorite paper and candle brands, had great little gifts from local artists and stores in Charleston, and had a collection of great jewelry. (King Street)
My favorite part of Charleston though, is the architecture and interior design. Checkered floors abounded, beautiful old pastel-colored houses and Palmetto trees lined the streets, intricate wrought iron gates fenced in perfectly-groomed gardens, and amazing big porches invited you stay a while. We took a bus tour around the city and a couple of house tours so we got a good feeling for the city. One of the ladies giving us a house tour said, “This is one of those cases where their home became their obsession.” I almost squealed because I loved that quote so much. It is so true and you can really see it in these old homes.
But, I take that back. My favorite part of Charleston was the food. Check out this coming Friday’s post for a highlight of the DELICIOUS meals we had.