This past weekend, my lovely friend, Lindsay, invited me on a quick family beach trip to Charleston and the Isle of Palm. We loaded up a massive white Tahoe (I somehow managed to UNDER-pack. How did that happen?) and headed down. Lindsay rented a gorgeous home right on the beach in the Isle of Palm (about 30 minutes outside Charleston). It was newly remodeled with gorgeous bedrooms, bathrooms, a stunning kitchen and family room area. The beach was a short walk over a boardwalk and through the dunes.
We started out the trip with grocery shopping, enough to feed an army for a week. And raided the local liquor store for accompanying libations (pickled liver, anyone?). For certain, we were not going to run out of anything.
Lindsay’s mom, Kim, and her boyfriend, Jack, joined us, along with Lois, Kim’s mom, and Greyling, Kim’s brother. We had to wait for Blake, Lindsay’s brother, and Bobby, Blake’s roommate, to arrive late Friday. Her family is more boisterous than mine and I loved how much energy they have. Lots of fun and laughter!
We went shopping in the open air market in Charleston on Friday, had drinks in a little pub, and feasted on mac and cheese and hot dogs that night. The market is sensory overload for me. I only made one small purchase…an Alpaca teddy bear. It’s so soft. I’m a little obsessed with Alpacas.
Saturday, we sunbathed by the pool, then ate a good lunch and got ready to head into Charleston for a tour of homes. Lois had always wanted to see the tour of historic homes, so we boarded the tour bus and listened to an hour and half worth of history. I’m not sure how the tour guide talked for so long without breathing. To be certain, it was a very informative tour, albeit a little mentally exhausting. Mostly, I just enjoyed seeing the architecture. We also got out and toured one of the mansions (can’t recall the name). We were the last group of the day and the hostess was not very friendly (though our guide was nice). No matter, we ambled through the house and listened to its storied history. The floating staircase was stunning.
After the tour, we had worked up an appetite and trekked over to the best seafood place in Charleston–Hanks. The she crab soup was absolutely divine…rich, creamy, full of flavor. For my main course, I chose the fried grouper and shrimp platter, which came with hushpuppies and sweet potato chips. I ate myself into a food coma. Seriously, I could eat my weight in hushpuppies. There’s a reason this is the top rated restaurant in Charleston. The service is impeccable; the food stellar; and the prices reasonable (especially considering just how delicious the food is).
Lois, Kim and Jack went back to the beach house after dinner, while the rest of our gang ventured out to a rooftop bar overlooking the city. We had planned to take a tour of the “dark side” of Charleston at 10:00, so we killed time with cocktails.
Several SoCo and Cokes later, we started the tour. I was a bit tipsy by this point, so navigating the varied brick, cobblestone and concrete streets and sidewalks was a bit challenging in my D’orsay heels (I know, stupid for a walking tour, right?). Midway through a story about a double murder in front of a large church, my feet decided, for me, that they were done. So I took off my shoes. The streets of Charleston are remarkably clean…not a speck of broken glass, nails, twigs, gravel, nada. Super tacky, I suppose, but necessary. We wandered all over, while our guide regaled us with stories about brothels and JFK, Jr.’s dalliances (though, did I really need to know he pitched a tent saving a debutante from falling down some stairs?). Note: the “dark side” tour does not include ghost stories or spooky locations.
I totally fell in love with Lindsay’s grandma, Lois. She’s a very spry, youthful 82 year old, light as a feather and a bit frail (to be expected), but so mentally sharp and funny. She doesn’t quite fit in at the assisted living center where she resides now, especially since she has excellent hearing, good vision, full mental capacity and mobility. Plus, she misses her husband of 62 years so much and the home they once shared. As special as Lois is, I can only imagine how great a guy he was too. Lois has a quiet sense of humor, so delightful and sweet. She loves hot dogs, eats in tiny portions all day, drinks McDonalds coffee at least eight times a day, is a night owl, used to ride motorcycles, and raised two equally delightful children, Kim and Greyling.
Kim is vivacious, bubbly, hysterical fun. She kept singing the Meghan Trainor song, “All About That Bass”, all weekend long, bouncing to the beat. I can see where Lindsay gets her bubbly personality (and Blake too!). We had met a few years ago, but it was wonderful to spend time with her and get better acquainted.
I’m also tickled to know Greyling now. He has been a drag performer for 38 years…even starring in his own show in Las Vegas. So fabulous, endearing and interesting! And breathtaking in full regalia. He really needs to write his memoirs one day. Now he headlines a show every Friday in Sarasota and sells it out all the time. I can’t wait to go see it!
This trip really was all about that bass…all about family, love, laughter, making memories, living it up and turning it up. Love you so much, Lindsay, Lois, Kim, Jack, Greyling, Blake and Bobby!