Thursday, July 17, 2008

Family Vacation in Charleston

Our hotel room

Spanish Moss

Cooper River Bridge-our route into Charleston

Charleston is one of our favorite places on Earth, and thankfully Avery loves it too. We just got back from 5 wonderful days there! The weather was unusually "cool" for Summer there, with temperatures staying in the mid to upper 80s with a constant breeze. Probably the best thing about this time in Charleston was the food. Ross had a goal to NOT eat at a chain restaurant for dinner the entire time. We wanted to truly experience the lowcountry atmosphere, and restaurants were a good place to do just that.

Our first night took us to Poogan's Porch where Avery had her first taste of shrimp & grits. It was a delicious way to begin our vacation, here's the website if you'd like to check it out: .

Avery building her sand castle

The next morning, we went to Folly Beach for a day of fun in the sun and seashell hunting. Avery loved finding seashells that she thought were pretty so she could have her own seashell collection. She later used some of them to decorate a sand castle which she promptly destroyed as soon as it was finished to 'clean up the beach'. She's definitely Ross's child...... We took her out into the ocean, but she is still afraid of deep water--we're trying to help her overcome that fear but it will take more than one trip. That night, we went to Hyman's Seafood, a Charleston landmark that normally has a line waiting to be seated. One of the perks of traveling with a younger child is that you get to eat earlier than you did when you didn't have kids, so there isn't a lot of competition for the early time slots! We never had to wait thanks to Avery's appetite. will take you there.

Entrance to Boone Hall Plantation

Tuesday we visited Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens. We toured the house, which Avery thought was boring since there was "nothing to do" since she couldn't touch anything so we had to remind her it was everyone's vacation not just hers; ). I thought it was romantic, and learned that parts of "The Notebook" had been filmed there. She perked up when she discovered all of the animals there. We saw horses (including a 7 week old pony that Avery named Harry), tiny fiddler crabs, and best of all butterflies. There was a butterfly pavilion with tons of butterflies swirling around us. We had to go in twice because Avery loved it so much. She found all stages of butterflies, from caterpillars to chrysalises to the beautiful colorful adults. She could've watched them for hours, and we could have watched her face for hours just taking it all in. That night, we went to a quaint restaurant called Jestine's Kitchen in downtown Charleston that Avery picked (we let her have some input). She liked it because we peeked into the window when it was closed and Avery saw that it had a refrigerator with pictures on it in the dining room--she knew it HAD to be good! The food was good, and the story behind it is neat. This will give you an idea of the food and history: One of the coolest things that happened was that when we first sat down, the waitress gave Avery the customary paper & crayons, but then she came back after she had finished her drawing of a tiger, lion, and cuckoo bird with some flowers, and asked if they could hang it on THE refrigerator! The older man who was eating at a table beside of us commented that Avery was quite an artist and she just beamed. By the time we left, the line to get in was wrapped around the street corner!

Our little artist!

We woke up Wednesday with no plans, so we decided to go to the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry in downtown. We spent 2 1/2 hours there and all of us had a great time. Avery's favorite part was the Shrimp Boat, where she tried to boss the other kids around by yelling into the intercom that they needed to watch out for the whale behind them. It was so entertaining, the kids could even dress in raincoats and galoshes to haul fake fish & shrimp onto the boat.
There's a whale behind youuuuu!!

There was also a Medieval Castle made just for kids that, as an adult it was hard to maneuver through since the doorways and ceilings were only 5 feet tall--Ross was crawling through it at one point, being chased by a tiny boy in a dragon costume. He's a great Dad, kids just gravitate to his silliness and fun spirit. There were other neat parts to the museum as well, feel free to explore at .

That night, we went to what ended up being our favorite restaurant of the whole trip: The Hominy Grill ( Ross surprised me by telling me he had seen it on Rachael Ray's $40 a day show on the Food Network awhile back. This was a surprise because Ross does not watch Food Network, and he does not like Rachael Ray. But he does like Charleston so it caught his eye. The food was absolutely amazing, and Avery had her first taste of fried green tomatoes and boiled peanuts which she called peanut beans. Ross almost went into a cornbread coma, he was deliriously happy with his dinner. It's a place we will definitely visit again. YUM!

Hominy Grill Menu Board

Don't let me forget about another place we visited. Every day. If you know us, you know we are really picky about what we eat, try not to eat too much sugar, etc.....Ross's friend told him about a neat little bakery called Cupcake ( that she liked, and urged him to take us there. The first night, we were sold. Ross does not eat cupcakes, so this became mine & Avery's daily treat (we were on vacation....). My. Goodness. I've never had a cupcake so good until I tried their Rocky Road one that first night. I ate it before I thought to take a picture, but the one above is their S'Mores version. I was SOLD, and Avery and I had cupcakes on our hotel balcony every night. It's neat because they change their cupcake menu each day, and the flavor choices are am-A-zing! Avery would study the tiny pink take home menu several times a day to figure out which one she would choose, and she always tried to choose one different from mine so she could have a taste.

I think she & I enjoyed that time together more than anything. She would go and sit on the balcony in the morning and watch the empty pool, until I brought our breakfast out. She had such a good time on that balcony, and she'd be thrilled if people were in the pool--she'd let out an "AWE-some" (her new word), or COOL if someone did a trick in the water. She refused to go down to though, preferring her third story balcony seat so she wouldn't have to go near the water.

Ross said it looked like we were holding her captive and hoped people didn't think we just wouldn't let her go to the pool.

On our way out of Charleston, we stopped at Cupcake to get some for the road (they do not ship-I asked). We ended up choosing 6 different flavors, and Avery picked one out for Ross they called "Death by Chocolate". She promised him he wouldn't really die if he ate it, and told him he HAD to try it. We just finished our cupcakes at home, and it was a sweet way to end a great time as a family.
Avery's Lemon Blueberry Cupcake
Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Jen! What a great blog! It "feels" like you wrote it.... I can just imagine sitting and talking to you while I'm reading. You're a great, smooth writer! Want to go to Charleston now! Love the pics of Avery-she's SO like our Ella (who, by the way, has also prayed to God for a baby-as yet to no avail)! Thanks for pointing us to this! We'll enjoy getting to know you guys better through it! Talk to you soon!
    Heather Stoneham


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