Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A little get-away to Charleston, S.C.

Late last week my husband and I stole a few days to ourselves and headed down to the lovely city of Charleston, S.C.   ~   The place, upon which seeing for the first time with my then boyfriend~now husband, I exclaimed "If we don't end up living here I will be so sad!"  Needless to say, since this was a visit, we don't live there yet ~ but I'm perfectly content with an extended stay every now and then - or even more frequently if doable!!

Day One....  Time on Sullivans Isand

Our first stop was at a cafe called The Heron on the most lovely Sullivans Island.  The Heron is a little hole-in-the-wall cafe which has gone through many changes in it's 30ish years there on the island.  The owner, Tim Holbrook, was holding down fort when we arrived and treated us like long lost friends; giving us samples of a delicious, homemade lemon-infused cake, sourdough bread and Coca-Cola made from sugar cane syrup and not the usual high fructose corn syrup - my husband could have stayed there forever!  Tim also jotted down "must-visit" bars/restaurants for a progressive evening of sipping and dining in Charleston.

In need of a walk after eating Tim's great selection of morsels, we headed to the beach there on Sullivans Island.   It's hard to tell that I'm happy to be back in my favorite place - but at least my man is ready for the heavy surf with the purple noodle he found lying on the sand.

Day Two .....  A long awaited visit into the city of Charleston 

A few charming street scenes.

It's easy to see why so many people are absolutely smitten with this gorgeous city!

After an afternoon of sightseeing, we were ready for a mini-happy hour of cheese, crackers and a glass of wine at Battery Park.  Then it was off to check out a few of Tim's recommended sites.

  The first of which was the rooftop bar at Grill 225 ~ the place was gorgeous ~ truly a picture waiting to be painted.
The view of Charleston from the rooftop is stunning - the menu, although quite pricey, is extensive, and my husband highly recommends the Refreshtini.

The next stop on Tim's list was Pearlz Oyster Bar
Here I experienced my very first Oyster Shooter.  Pearlz shooter consists of Absolut Peppar, oysters, horseradish and spicy cocktail sauce - although I have nothing to compare it to - I can honestly see why it is their signature drink.  

After this we took a detour from Tim's list and, on a recommendation of one of Charleston's finest parking lot attendants,  made our way to Social Restaurant and Wine Bar for a wood fired pizza from their highly rated menu.

Day Three in the City ... 

 Viewing the amazing window boxes ~
various colors and textures along the street ~

a little window shopping

and Whoopie - My Fav - The Art Museums!!!!!!!
Shown above are a few of Jeff Jamison's 
paintings at the Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art Gallery  Jeff chooses to paint in the classical style and process used by the Old Master Painters - such as Velazquez, Sargent and Sorolla!!!

Our eyes were drawn to Fred's vivid palette, stylized trees that are puffed-out masses of color and the stark "Prussian" blue negative space.   His view of Charleston's cityscape is really dramatic and quite different from the usual city scenes.

Gorgeous oil paintings that play up the value of light and shadow through out the city.

Jamie Kunkle's  Abandoned Interior Series of Paintings is absolutely astonishing.  The detail, color and sense of forsaken, left behind property is overwhelming.   I covet one of her pieces and look forward to following her development of this series of paintings!  Her vibrant paintings are represented by Mary Martin Gallery

While we were discussing Jamie's style with the gallery owner, Mary Martin, we were greeted by the cutest Swedish man ever - who graciously offered us a taste of Chocovine (a fine french Cabernet subtly combined with rich dark chocolate from Holland) as he entertained us with his stories of Switzerland and his love of the Swedish language.

After visiting a view more galleries, we retired to the car for a little happy hour of cheese, crackers and a mojito with fresh mint and lime.  While deciding what to do on our last evening in the city, we received a call from a friend whom we had met at the University of Richmond during a college tour with our daughters. Her husband started and owns the Old South Carriage Company.  They have a farm outside of Charleston were they keep their horses on a rotating basis, and she invited us to join them there that evening.  Gladly accepting the invitation, we headed out of town.

Upon arriving at the correct road we were greeted with a gorgeous view.  Their driveway was lined with trees dripping spanish moss and we felt like we had truly arrived in the old south.  The horses heard our car coming up the road, and hurried over to the fence to welcome us to their land.

We spent a wonderful evening with our gracious hosts, thoroughly enjoying their company and friendship.  This was indeed a highlight of our trip.

On our last day of vacation, we returned to Sullivan's Island for a walk, and Isle of Palms for a little surf.  We waved good-bye, with a promise to return, and headed up north to our home in Virginia ~ each carrying memories of time spent together.


  1. Thanks for this wonderful tour! My husband and I are thinking of living down South one day, and Charleston (and area) is high on the list!!

  2. Maya, If you do end up moving down there you best make sure you have plenty of guest rooms!!! And, I'd like to pre-reserve my space right now! :)

  3. Sounds like a great mini-vacation, and your photographs are just luscious! How funny that you met a Swedish man -- sort of a theme for the second half of May, hmmmm????

    -- Suz

  4. Hmmm Suz - could the theme for June please be rugged outdoor men? :)

  5. Thank goodness you had your camera to help you remember it all in such vivid detail, what with all those refreshment stops! What a fabulous trip journal; won't be the same in Dec. but we'll give it a go! :-) Can G recreate that refreshtini?

  6. A stopover at Grill 225 for a refreshtini would be exactly what is needed to rehydrate after our 1/2 marathon in December - and is the reason for my training! :)

  7. So glad you enjoyed your visit to Charleston! I love living here - there's nothing like it.

  8. Charleston Girl - I can't wait to return.


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