What up people?! A couple weeks ago I met all three of my sisters and my mom in Charleston to celebrate my mother’s 70th birthday. Charleston has always been on my list of places in the US to explore, so I was pretty pleased we decided on this southern destination spot. The ladies all traveled together from Texas while I met them across country on a red eye flight. It had been over a decade since the FOUR of us Coalson girls took a trip together, and we had never done so with our Mom. WHAT WAS GONNA HAPPEN?!
The first thing we did once I got there on Thursday was embark on a beautiful historic carriage ride through downtown Charleston, the Holy City. I had never seen so many places of worship! The old buildings were delightful but it was hot AF! I’m a delicate SF coastal flower now and am not accustomed to extreme heat or humidity anymore. Our horse was very lovely though and it was a cute time together.
Check me out, chillin on our lunch porch at Cru Cafe. God I love Southern porches…
We then decided to take a happy hour booze cruise for sunset views of the harbor. I loved this bridge, I even bought a small painting of it later on. BTW – some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen were on this cruise…
This is my sis Bryana, also known as the author behind the blog OurSommLife. She is married to a Sommelier and writes about their travel adventures, wine, being a mom, and most recently keeping track of my parents house through the damage from Hurricane Harvey (I’ll write more on that later). Isn’t she cute?!
This is a blurry pic of all of us on the boat, and it makes me laugh so hard. Bryana is on the left, then Krista, my mom, me, and my oldest sister Karen. Don’t we look fun?!
I’m glad we did the cruise because I never would have seen Fort Sumter or gotten this glorious shot! It is the birthplace of the Civil War, and anyone who knows me knows that I was a Civil War buff at the ripe age of 13. (My Grandmother gave me Civil War trading cards and my dad used to take me to meet ups at Barnes & Noble…granted I was the only child or young person under the age of 40, but it was a fun thing I shared with my dad. We saw a lot of Civil War era movies together. Let’s just say history was always my favorite subject growing up, and I used to fantasize about being a history teacher at one point in my life). #funfacts
The Charleston harbor has some spectacular sunsets! This is one of my favorite pics.
On Friday morning we proceeded to check out Boone Hall Plantation just on the outskirts of the city. We all grew up watching the 80’s adaption of North and South (staring THEE super hot Patrick Swayze!!!) and this was his home in the show. Of course we just HAD to check it out! (I might have also played the opening credits theme song on our way in…) ALSO – The Notebook was filmed here.
Afterwards we made our way over to Isle of the Palms beach to take a gander at the Atlantic ocean. We originally wanted to make a day out of Myrtle Beach because the movie SHAG was a staple in our home growing up. (A coming of age 80’s movie, that takes place in the 60’s, with a shag dancing contest at the end?! SIGN ME UP.) However, Hurricane Jose just missed the coastline prior to our visit and there were horrible mosquitoes everywhere, so we decided to axe the beach day. We opted for a short peek-a-boo visit instead. 🙂
Friday night we pursued our own ghost adventures at the haunted jailhouse downtown! We opted to download a few different “ghost hunting apps” to help us determine if our own Airbnb was haunted and also tried it out in the jail. Honest review, I think the apps are fun-n-games and didn’t really pay too much attention to the words they displayed (most of it was for entertainment but a handful of the words did freak me and Bry out…). But the apps “light up” around spiritual activity and the whole time we were in the jail my app was glowing up constantly (as opposed to other places). I also got a weird spooky picture which super creeped me out…
I love the old southern architecture! While I don’t forsee me living in the south again, I do love a good old southern home. They are just so beautiful to me.
The infamous Rainbow Row!!
Here I am outside of the Old Slave Mart. The exhibit was really well written and in my opinion was the best source of HONEST information on around the slave trade in the area. Slavery is not pretty but it happened and we should all acknowledge it FULLY (and not brush it under the rug) so that we can get an accurate grasp of how it has affected our country and citizens even today.
Alas, our last night out we all surprised my mom for a fancy dinner for her 70th at the lovely Charleston Grill! We even packed her one of her favorite nice outfits as we surprised her. It was fun to dress up together and enjoy a night out on the town. Plus, look at the photo we took in front of this amazing staircase!!
As our time ended together, we sported the Charleston rainbow row t-shirts mom got us to the airport, ate a quick breakfast, and huddled in for one last group pic before I went my separate way back to foggy San Francisco. Awww we are so cute.
Honest thoughts here:
- Charleston has been hyped up a lot in recent years as a top travel destination in the US. I, being the big history buff that I am, have always wanted to visit and was very excited to explore more of the Lowcountry.
- While it was very historic and the food was delicious, there wasn’t really a “vibe” or a social scene that I thought it would have. I assumed there would be a famous street with a lot tourist foot traffic, shopping boutiques, and interesting bars (similar to 6th street in Austin or any street in the French Quarter) but was a little disappointed that this wasn’t the case. It could have also been the time of year that we chose to visit, as it was nearly October, and perhaps summer time it is more bumpin’? It was basically dead when we were there and the night we went out after ghost hunting felt like 28 days later.
- I barely saw ANY POC, which I found strange…
- All in all, it was a beautiful place and I’m happy we visited! But I don’t think I would go out of my way to head back unless it was for a reason. Long story short, it wasn’t my favorite city. But it was one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen.
- I’m glad my mother had a great birthday
Now I will point you to Bryana’s blog post so you can see what she thought of our experience!