Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park- Look at how pouty James is!
I've been to Charleston, SC four times before so I knew there was a lot to do, but each time I've visited I was only there for a brief visit. The first time was in 2001 for work, so I didn't have much time. The next time in 2006, Katy, Sarah B., and I just did a quick drive through on my birthday because we were actually staying at Edisto Island. In January of 2008, Kevin and I left on an "engagement cruise" that departed from Charleston so we ran around a little before departure time. That March, I came back with my law school friends for dinner and drinks, but we were staying in Edisto again so we didn't see much. So on this trip, I tried to revisit everything I had seen before, plus any great sites I missed, plus one good restaurant.
We started at the City Market. I had perused it on my trip in 2001, but on this trip we spent a bit of time looking for some art to hang on our wall at home. (Thanks for the inspiration, Sunny and Trey.) Unfortunately, the one little frame we debated was nixed.
Charleston City Market is indoor and outdoor
Inside the market
From there we walked down some main shopping streets to Waterfront Park. James loves running around any and all parks, and I love the Pineapple Fountain. (Photo at top of post.) The first time I photographed it was in 2001. I had just graduated college and think I might have been a little bummed to hear that it would take me 10 years to have a husband and a baby, but I think both of my boys were worth the weight. Oops! Freudian slip! I meant worth the wait, but I guess both are true.
On to Rainbow Row where the houses are painted in pastels. I made Kevin take about a 100 photos of me here, but then I decided to use this one instead. James is not impressed with the houses.
Kevin and James being photo-tortured on Rainbow Row
At that point we were going to drive over to Hominy Grill so that I could enjoy the highly recommended shrimp and grits... but James fell asleep. If there's a parenting rule we take fairly seriously it's don't wake a sleeping baby. If there's one ROADTRIP rule we are religious about it's don't wake a sleeping baby. So we decided to walk to (and back from) Hominy Grill. I was exhausted and there was a wait when we got there, but a Rum Runner from the bar really helped me rally. The grits were good, and Kevin's chicken BBQ sandwich was even better, but the best part of the dining experience was that our well-rested child behaved inside a restaurant for the first time ever. Kevin and I left the restaurant shell-shocked.
The outdoor bar at Hominy Grill
We went back to the hotel for a while and then took James out right before bedtime so we could stroll through Charleston at night. Sadly we couldn't find anywhere to have for dinner that was sufficiently casual for a now past-his-bedtime James. And maybe it was just a little masochistic seeing how fun the bar scene was in Charleston on a Saturday night, when we couldn't participate in it, but we could pretend right?
This was a church once, but now it's a bar
The next day we went back in to Charleston and had an amazing breakfast at a place called Caviar and Bananas. I had a serano ham and manchego cheese burrito and jalapeno grits. Holy deliciousness. (By the way, for those of you who know me well enough to know that I don't like spicy food-- I have been somewhat successfully eating spicy food for about a year now!) We did part of the secretive Gateway Walk that takes you into the Unitarian Universalist Church garden and cemetery. It's very beautiful and extremely hard to find.
UU Church cemetery
James in White Point Park
Chasing a squirrel
White Point Garden/ The Battery
Kevin and James at the Battery, in front of the Charleston Harbor