Charming Charleston

Hola Bisquichitos! Mom and I took a quick jaunt to Charleston this past weekend. We had never visited this fair city before. Since we wanted some beach time, we stayed on the Isle of Palms at the Wild Dunes Boardwalk Inn. I forgot how different the Atlantic Coast is from the Gulf…more debris on the shore, more wind, darker waters, buildings further from shore. That’s not a criticism, far from it. The Atlantic shore, especially on the barrier islands, has lots of character. The marshlands greeted us on the drive across the big bridges. One of those immense suspension bridges felt like it was taking us straight up to the heavens.

We visited Charleston proper on Friday, touring the Market, King Street, the Battery and Rainbow Row. I loved the open air market. So many interesting vendors and handmade goods! I finally found my own tiny Alpaca! (Another peculiar obsession of mine…Alpacas) Mom and I rode a bike taxi (loved it!) down to tour Rainbow Row and the Battery. When I was younger, I would never have appreciated the history of the area. All of those houses are over two hundred years old or more, many now lovingly restored to their original glory. (And if you’re curious, those houses run anywhere from $5 to $15 million. Ouch!)

As we strolled back towards the Market, we found a boutique that we’d seen on the internet: Lily. If you love all things French and vintage-inspired, you MUST check out their website. Every item feels curated, hand-picked, created with great care. Unlike so many touristy shops, nothing feels superfluous or like a cheap tchotcke. The owner greets you with a melodious “Bonjour”. Delicate handwoven straw purses from Bali decorated with handmade camellias adorn one wall and a bookshelf. I’m still pining for the delicate pendants and earrings on display. They looked vintage without being dated or shabby. Unique candles and fragrances bedecked the tables, along with lovely embroidered hankies. Even their greeting cards winked at you with good humor. Truly a spectacular boutique!

We dined that afternoon at Pearlz on East Bay Street. What fabulous fresh seafood! Crab and avocado salad, lightly fried cod with a lemon aioli sauce, garlic sauteed spinach and potatoes gratin. Yummy!  We also ate at Locklears, a quaint restaurant recommended by my Uncle Tim. Delicious fried seafood! And let’s not forget…the Boardwalk Inn had fabulous cheddar cheese grits that we enjoyed two days in a row.

Saturday, we spent a couple of hours on the beach. I wandered into the surf briefly. The water was a perfectly refreshing temperature. However, I prefer the clear blue green waters of the Gulf for boogie boarding, so I didn’t venture out beyond that. During our last walk on the beach, I noticed a funny shape in the surf. A horseshoe crab! They fascinate me! Horseshoe crabs have been around for MILLIONS of years! Not certain if it was alive or not, I poked it with my finger, before finally getting up the courage to lift it up and see underneath the shell. Its legs kept moving as I picked it up. So cool!

All in all, a lovely way to spend four days. The best part of the trip…getting to spend time with my mom.

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