Friday, October 26, 2012

Welcome to Charleston, SC

I'm going to back pedal a little bit here since I haven't shared this yet.  One day back in June, I was working at my desk and threw down my pen in frustration.  "We have GOT to get out of here", I said to LAM.  "I need to get on a plane and go SOMEWHERE and be served wine and eat nice dinners and look at art."  See, the problem is that while we actually travel a lot, it's mostly to racetracks where we both work as high performance driving instructors.  While this is usually a whole lot of fun, it is also a whole lot of work.  We get up somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 AM and our feet hit the ground running.  We spend the day coaching students who are trying to kill us at 130 mph and then we drive our car during instructor run groups.  Sometimes, it's horrifyingly hot, other times it's bone-chilling cold.  Also, it rains.  It is ALWAYS work.

This is moi driving up the esses at Watkins Glen International.

So, a destination needed to be found.  Charleston, SC had been on my cuteness radar for some time and neither of us had ever been, so we packed a bag and left on a jet plane.

The Ben Franklin bridge from the air.  Bye-bye Philadelphia.

The hotel that we chose was the Vendue Inn.  It had history, cuteness, great decor (every room is unique and special), free made to order breakfast, free wine and cheese reception, free bicycles for our use and fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookies every night.

Front door of the main entrance to the Vendue Inn

Our cute little room

Real honest-to-goodness keys

Daily breakfast


Charleston is well known as a foodie town.  LAM is a well known food philistine.  Give him pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, hold the veggies and he's good.  Anything weird, he does NOT do well.  Our first meal was at East Bay Meeting House.  Oddly enough, it was probably one of the best we had.  Casual, elegant and simple--it was divine.
LAM car watching out the window.

We ate at the famous McCrady's which LAM declared "too weird" for his regular guy palate.
This is what menu fear looks like.

We rode bikes...

Admired the incredible homes and gardens...

Shopped in the preppiest stores on earth--Ben Silver and M. Dumas and Sons...
Window at Ben Silver

Ben Silver interior

I swear the Lily bike parked out front HAD to be a prop.

We came back at the end of the day to chilled towels and fruit scented water...
And a lovely wine and cheese reception...

Each day was enjoy, rinse and repeat.  We never wanted to leave.

Our black English cab eased the pain of the ride back to the airport.

Our cab's name was Horatio!

In summary, we ate, we drank, we walked, we shopped, we bought a piece of art and we fell in love with Charleston.  Until next time...

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