Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Visiting Charleston, South Carolina: the fun

During our trip, we were fortunate enough to be staying with the parents of a friend.  They relocated to Charleston a few years ago, but just moved into a new house in February.  The whole family worked hard to make us feel welcome and to show us a good time in their new city.

You know how the days without any plans end up being the best?  Our first day there, we slept in a little, took our time getting ready to head out, and then had a vague notion of going to see a friend.  That vague notion turned into a spontaneous gorgeous day full of meeting new people and going on adventures.

Thanks to another wonderful host, we spent some time relaxing on a pier & trying out his paddle board.

The water was freezing -- talk about incentive to keep your balance!

He then took us on a boat tour to see some dolphins (!!).......

Hubs soaking it all in.
Me rockin' my free Redskins sunglasses after losing every other pair I've ever owned.

Then we took a little detour to Goat Island meet more friends and take a tour of this beautiful home that is currently being built.  You should see the view from that top roof deck! 

The friend on Goat Island offered up his tractor so we could take in the sights down the [only] dirt road.  We brought along a few Coronas and enjoyed the ride...

M playing tourist
Goat Island is a funny little place.  With about 40 homes on the island and contact to the mainland restricted to boat access only, the residents are very resourceful.  They hire barges to bring over building supplies, they cart their own trash off, they all have personal water purification systems to make the rain water usable, and they find creative places to keep cars on the mainland. I can't imagine the mosquitoes at dusk in this place, though!  There are only a handful of families that live here year-round.

The only road on the island.
How did this truck get here?

Down the road.

Luckily they do have electricity!

Goat Island even has its own toll.  Unfortunately we couldn't come up with the suggested 25 cent fee -- we could only scrounge up about 7 cents.

After such a fun and full day, we headed back to the house for some R&R before our big 10k on Saturday morning.  For dinner that night, nearly every restaurant on the peninsula was booked.  Luckily we were able to grab a table at a place called Poogan's Porch.  I had the most amazing fried chicken!.

On Saturday morning, we were up bright and early for the Cooper River Bridge Run, which is a huge race.  Although it was delayed, we all had a great time and will definitely try to run it again next year.  I really only know two people that live in Charleston (that weren't running the race), but by sheer coincidence they ended up standing next to each other at the race among thousands of other people.

After some serious napping, our awesome hosts treated us to steamed oysters and a southern shrimp boil they call Frogmore Stew.

Shucking oysters.
Our friends from North Carolina joined the feasting festivities and we were all delighted to have a chance to kiss & hug baby Gunnar....

Mama & baby

Hubs hanging out with his new little buddy.

Hanging out with Auntie Mo and her solo cup.

We ventured out on the town for some mischief later that night.  At Husk, we all enjoyed the atmosphere with a few amazing cocktails & snacks.  After that, though, we were all so tired that we mostly just stood around staring at each other in various bars until it was time to go home :)

 J and I finished up our weekend over a nice, long, mimosa-soaked brunch with some of my family at a place called Triangle.  It was such a great chance to catch up a little with a couple I don't get to see often enough!  The $7 pitchers didn't hurt either ;)

The weekend was a wonderful escape from the Northern VA traffic and rush-around lifestyle.  We all spent the 10+ hour driver home dreading our return to reality on Monday morning.

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