I didn't do any planning for my five-day trip to Charleston with friends. I just showed up at the airport, and let our friend who was born and raised in Charleston show us around. Actually, I take it back. That was a plan and the best plan I could've made. I didn't take as many photos as I could've but, here's what we got up to!
Dinner in the gorgeous private dining room at McCrady's Restaurant. Four courses for $65 feels like a bargain here, the duck was easily the best I've ever tried. I was insanely spoiled, because the next night we went out at FIG. Nine vegetable salad is where it's at! We also got a cocktail at the very cozy bar at Husk. See? Spoiled!
While I was eating carefully-sourced, expertly prepared meals from critically acclaimed restaurants, I checked in to see what Joe as eating for dinner. "Wyngz," he texted back. That's right, wings with a Y and a Z. I think they are legally required to be spelled that way, as they are a "chicken food product". In fact, they includes the proviso: "does not contain wing meat."
Edmund's Oast brewpub was more casual, but just as great. It's located in a giant hall with a vaulted ceiling and meat hanging from the ceiling, sort of like a hipster Medieval Times.
Asian-Southern fusion sounds a little terrifying, but Xiao Bao Biscuit is delicious. The decor is perfectly undone, and this might be the first place I'd go if I went back.
Besides the food, one of the highlights of my trip was meeting this cat. I want one!!! It's my friend's friend's cat and it is mesmerizing. I screamed when I saw it. "What the hell is that?" This is a flattering photo, because you can't tell that the kitty is a little chubby. I thought, wow, that's what my fat cat looked like without her fur. Weird! I did some reading and Sphynx Cats are supposed to have a pot belly, it's part of the breed standard. Even weirder!
Animal interlude! Look at this turtle, being all cute.
We stayed in a friend's apartment in the best location ever, right on the main drag, King Street. So charming! For high-end shopping, Hampden is quite spectacular. I had never heard of Elle Sasson before browsing Hampden, and I wish I had places to go in her whimsical-meets-tropical designs.
I brought my running clothes and went for a jog one afternoon. I didn't want to bring my cellphone, so I went with just a key. But there was a key code you had to enter to get into the apartment, so as I ran, I repeated the string of numbers. 5-3-8-9, I chanted in my head. 5-3-8-9, 5-3-8-9. But as I rounded the corner to our block, things started to go awry. 5-3-9-8. 5-8-3-9. Or was it 9-8-5-3? I had no idea. And no phone to call any of my friends, and no options really. Vacation panic! Amazingly, someone opened the door and let me in after 15 minutes. I never saw anyone in that small apartment building before or after that.
Here are some photos from Farm Bar, a Kinfolk-ready coffee bar and restaurant in a trailer near the train tracks. The Reston-born owner actually did host Kinfolk for a dinner at her farm!
Sums up our Charleston trip!