road trip 2012 | charleston

After leaving Baltimore, we drove about 10 hours south until we reached Charleston. The last time I visited this southern coastal city, I was 12 years old and utterly enchanted by all things southern thanks to my frequent re-readings of Gone with the Wind. Returning as an adult, I found that Charleston had lost none of its ability to sweep me off my feet.

A refined, softly windswept city painted in pastels and punctuated by waving palms, Charleston is full of chivalry and friendliness. In fact, it has often been awarded the title of America's most polite city. Every single person we encountered greeted us with a "how y'all doing," and I don't think I held opened a door myself the entire time we were there. The concept of strangers is not one that many Charlestonians subscribe to, I've heard, which would explain why had such nice conversations with so many people in our less than 24 hour visit!

After checking into the lovely Francis Marion hotel, we set out to explore the city.

It rained for most of our visit, but the warm air coming in from the sea kept us feeling cozy.

We only had one night in Charleston, so we decided to go to FIG (food is good) for dinner. We are so glad we chose this amazing place! The food was spectacular (particularly the tomato tarte tatin) but our favourite part was the "make your own manhattan"feature. You got to choose your own bourbon/rye, vermouth, and bitters, and each combination made for a totally different cocktail. This was such a fun twist on a cocktail menu.

The next morning we awoke to a thick fog that tormented my lens for what seemed like hours. It did make for some creepy photos though, which was kind of cool!

For breakfast, we tried out Hominy Grill, a cozy little house serving up generous meals. Brian would recommend The Big Nasty, a biscuit sandwich, and I would recommend ordering yourself up a plate of grits!

After a final walk around the seaside, we jumped back in the car for the next leg of our journey: Savannah!