I’ve mentioned a couple of times that we had “special plans” for this week that had nothing to do with Christmas. As some of you may have guessed (or knew from Facebook), those plans did have to do with our anniversary!
We went to Charleston, SC Monday and came back Wednesday afternoon. We’ve been to Charleston twice before: one weekend with a tour group in our early married life, and years later taking all the boys to Folly Beach for several days, staying in a hotel right on the beach. This time we stayed in the historic district downtown — in a historic hotel, the Mills House Hotel.
I liked this idea of using a half wreath on either side of double doors so it looks like one big one.
This was the first time we stayed in a hotel that didn’t feel like a sterile hotel room. It was lovely.
I was wincing at how much it must cost, but Jim told me that because of the points he accrued through his traveling, we were only paying the parking fee. That was good news! Though we hate his traveling, it was good to get something back out of it, and it made me enjoy the setting that much more.
The only negative about it was that you couldn’t park your own car in the lot: they had valet parking at the hotel or you could park it in one of the downtown public areas. I didn’t like not having access to the car whenever we wanted, but with a little planning ahead we could call down to the desk and have the car brought around so it was waiting when we came down.
Also the fancier hotels seem not to offer complimentary breakfasts.
But there were scores of restaurants within walking distance. The first night we ate at Magnolia’s.
Excellent — the service, the food, the atmosphere, everything. And scores of people were walking around at night, so we felt safe exploring a little afterward. There were a couple of little restaurants close by the hotel where we had breakfast, then lunch at a little tea shop one day, and dinner Tuesday night at Hyman’s Seafood. Didn’t like that quite as well. The potato soup was the best I have ever had, and Jim said the same of his crab cakes. But everything else was just ok, and the atmosphere was really noisy. Plus the only bathrooms were up a flight of wooden stairs. But supposedly, according to a plaque at my table:
We’re not really museum people per se, but there was a display based on weddings, wedding clothes in particular, that was neat to see.
The Joseph Manigault House was interesting though the tour only took about fifteen minutes.
The Heyward-Washington House was built before the Revolutionary War by Thomas Heyward, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The first two times we came to Charleston, we did the usual touristy things — the carriage tours (in a horse-drawn carriage while a guide tells about various historical tidbits), the harbor tour, seeing the Yorktown, etc. And I think those were great ways to “do” Charleston at first, and I loved them. But this time was a lot more free-form. The museum we could browse through at our own pace; the houses had tours every half hour, so we could go to them pretty much any time. Otherwise we just drove or walked around and stopped whenever we saw anything interesting we wanted to explore. We drove around the Battery, drove past Rainbow Row, visited a few gift shops, walked out on a pier into the harbor, where we saw a whole roofline of these guys:
Overall it was a fun, relaxing time. We certainly got our exercise: if we walked like that all the time, we’d be in good shape!
It’s good to get away sometimes and just be together. This was our best anniversary yet.