Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bonjour, Charleston!

     So I decided that since this week is a special week (Spring Break!!), I'll be doing a post every day during my stay on Kiawah Island/ Charleston, SC! This way I don't have one MASSIVE post this Saturday that no one will likely read all the way through. Smart, right?
      Official Day 1--Today--was awesome! My travel buddy Emily and I are both pretty adventurous people. Don't get me wrong--we love our beach time. It's an absolute necessity. However, both of us are too restless to sit on the beach for more than a few hours at most. That's what is so great about being just a short, beautiful drive from an awesome city! For those of you who haven't had the chance to visit Charleston yet, put it on your bucket list now. It's amazing, beautiful, bustling, and historical. I don't think it's possible to get bored in Charleston. If you do, I'm impressed.
       We started off the morning a little slow, not making our way to the beach (only a five minute walk from the condo) until about ten am. We wanted to let it warm up a little bit because the sky was a bit overcast. We tried to just lay on our towels for a little while, but it was still too chilly, so we did what any normal people on the beach would do...go on a sea shell hunt! Except we found way more than just silly old sea shells!! Here is a catalogue (to use the scientific term) of our findings:
1. Sea shells (all but one are whole)
2. A horse shoe crab shell
3. 5 leopard spotted crab shells
4. A partial sand dollar
6. A sea horse skull!! 
This is not a drill. We really did find all of these awesome treasures! It was the best sea shell hunt I've ever been on. Emily's got a great eye!
        After lunch, we ventured into Charleston, my second favorite city in the country. An absolute must when visiting this city--The Historic Open Air Market. Here, you have a variety of different vendors--"Made in China" all the way to watching women weaving sweet water baskets right there in front of you. It's crowded; it's loud; and it's awesome. The market never fails to please. I think Emily and I walked the length of it at least three times in search of bumper stickers. Don't worry, we found them.
        If you have the time, we started walking around the surrounding area, stopping at St. Phillip's church which has an eerie ghost story to it. A picture of the ghost has actually been captured. But the church has a sign in their graveyard, denying the existence of any spirit on their property, with the exception of the Holy Spirit.
       It was my first time to take a walk down to the pier, from which you can see Fort Sumter. Unfortunately, we were too late to catch a boat out, which is okay. We had a great view, and we devoured some delicious Belgian gelato. I suggest chocolate orange--it's weird yet delicious. Give it a try.
       *Warning, eating in Charleston is not for the faint of heart or the weak of wallet. Finding an affordable place to eat is a chore, so this is why I suggest skipping down the road a ways to King Street, home to YALLFEST (the best weekend of the year). I gave Emily a tour of where the book festival hosts panels while we waited for our chosen dinner place to open. We also popped into Blue Bicycle Books, the host of YALLFEST. If you're ever in the city, go support this awesome business. Dinner, we ventured out of the country, and tried some Pad Thai and Chicken Fried Rice at Basil, which may be the best Thai place ever. I'm not kidding. Also, get their fried wontons. I would've been happy with that as my meal.
       The day finished with the beautiful drive through the Live Oaks back to Kiawah, watching the sun set on the beach, and trying the different flavors of macaroons from Macaroons Boutique on John St. The owners are the sweetest, and the pastries are literally delicious. I'm not kidding.
       Here's a summary of the places we've been today:

  1. Kiawah Island Beach
  2. Charleston Open Air Market
  3. Charleston Candy shop (they yell "Free Samples" all the time, and it's awesome!) 
  4. St. Phillip's Church
  5. Charleston Pier
  6. Blue Bicycle Books
  7. Macaroons Boutique
  8. Basil Thai Restaurant
Stay tuned for tomorrow when we dive into the world of the Notebook!!

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