I am just coming off of a wonderful weekend in Chaaaaarlston with 6 fabulous women!
In 2011, my mom and I took a mother/daughter trip to Italy before I got married. On our trip we met two women from Minnestota (Judy and Bev), two women from Colorado (Holly and Courtney), and one from Florida (Sandie). Us seven instantly bonded and we spent a majority of our trip together touring, drinking, eating and laughing. We have stayed in touch over the past three years via email and Facebook and reunited this year in South Carolina!
We rented a house on Folly Beach which is about 25 minutes outside of Charleston. Folly Beach is an eclectic little beach town with laid back bars, touristy beach shops and lots of vacationers. The locals are so friendly and the town has somewhat of a hippie vibe to it.
The first night we did a Low Country Boil on the beach. Andrew, the owner of The Smoking Pot, and his sidekick Andrew (yes, both of their names are Andrew) set up a table for us, taught us how to crack the crabs, cooked the boil for us and even made us a homemade key lime pie for dessert. It was so fun to roll into town and not have to worry about figuring out dinner plans! We had a ten minute walk on the beach to our location and it was all set up for us! We felt like celebs–or at least I did!
The first full day we stayed in town and walked through all of the beach shops, had Bloody Mary’s at Loggerhead’s and ate lunch at Taco Boy. Our bartender at Loggerhead’s, Luke, was charming and made one helluva good Bloody Mary! He even smiled through taking our picture with six different cameras–now that is Southern hospitality.
We had such a fun experience at Taco Boy! Their guacamole was awesome–it had the perfect amount of spice–and their taco list was off the charts! They had everything from seafood tacos to tempura battered avocado tacos! I had the sauteed shrimp taco (shrimp, salsa cruda, red cabbage, cilantro, and ancho chili sauce), the braised beef taco (braised beef shoulder, jicama radish slaw, toasted spiced pumpkin seeds, and queso fresco cheese), and split the tempura avocado (tempura avocado with chili glaze and citrus slaw) with Holly. They give you the option of subbing a lettuce wrap for the taco shell which I loved!
Of course, our group couldn’t go to a Mexican restaurant and NOT touch the tequila. I passed on it but Holly, Bev, and Courtney each had fun with a shot or two.
The party kept on rolling and we all got a little nutty that night. We ended up going back to Loggerhead’s that evening and came home and had appetizers for dinners! The appetizers ranged from ham roll-ups (a Bobo speciality that everyone loved) to marinated shrimp and trout dip (shout out to Sandie) and an assortment of chips, crackers, and hummus! Pretty much, if it was there it was gone! Don’t mess with seven hungry women who have been out at the bar!
The next day my mom and I took a cab into Charleston and went to the market and walked along King Street through the shopping district. The market was a busy little hub and had everything from hand-weaved grass baskets to pottery, spices and clothing. There were so many shops all along King street–everything from funky little boutiques to Anthropologie and Pottery Barn. We spent a lot of time milling through all of the stores.
We found a great lunch spot called Verde. It is basically a huge salad bar with every sort of green and topping you could imagine! You can build your own or choose one from their menu. We were both so hungry we couldn’t make up our minds to craft our own so we both had the Sante Fe salad! It was so good and fresh! I was so excited to find a healthy local place for lunch. Little things make me happy!
The other girls cabbed into town that afternoon and we went on a carriage ride through the historic part Charleston. It was a fun way to see the city and well worth the money.
We had on of our best meals that night at Hank’s Seafood Restaurant. We started with the Seafood Tower, a lovely presentation of raw clams, mussels, shrimp, and lobster. Half of us had She Crab Soup which is a sherry and cream based soup that is famous in the South and the other half had the Poached Shrimp and Manchego Salad. I am new to eating arugula in salads but this was a delicious way to ease into it! For dinner, I had the Ahi Tuna Sashimi appetizer from the raw bar. We had cappuccinos after dinner and a peanut butter pie, chocolate bread pudding and creme brulee floated around our table.
On Sunday, my mom, Holly, Courtney and I ended up going back into Charleston to walk through Battery Park, Rainbow Row, and the historic home district. The old homes are so beautiful and they remind me exactly of what I though Charleston would look like. The old gates are beautiful, many of the homes have private piazzas and there are old cobblestone streets everywhere.
For lunch, we ate at Hominy Grill. It was a bustling little spot! Their biscuits were to die for! It is not very often I have a biscuit but this was one time that it was sooo worth it! I put a little homemade jam and honey on it–yum, yum, yum! I am still thinking about that biscuit! I had the Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese sandwich–they serve it on sunflower toast. It was really good! Courtney and Holly both had Shrimp and Grits and my mom had a Vegetable and Goat Cheese Omelette. It was one of those meals that every time you took a bite you couldn’t help but talk about how good it was!
Courtney is the one who scouted out Hank’s and Hominy Grill. She has been nominated to be in charge of restaurant planning for all future trips!
We did find time to get some activity in. One of the mornings we took a bike ride to the end of the island to get a good look at Mission Lighthouse. Another afternoon, we took the bikes and ventured out to the beach! During low-tide the sand was nice and packed down making it easy to ride! It was so fun! Courtney and I also got in a few early am runs and even carved out some time for “abs”.
It was so fun to reunite with these women! I think it is pretty amazing that we have stayed in touch and made it a point to vacation with each other again! I truly feel like I have known these women my entire life. We laughed together, cried together and strengthened our friendships. We even drew names for a second Secret Santa and have started to plan our next destination.
Always be open to experiences because you never know where you will find a set of new girlfriends!
I had a great time but I missed Cody and Magic so much. I am a homebody at heart and it always feel so good to get back to the simple things in life that make you happy!
I am also looking forward to getting back on track with my eating and drinking habits! Even though I make good choices and balance things out on vacation it is never quite as good as when I am home!
I can’t wait to start the 21 Day Rabbit Food Reboot Challenge on Oct 6th! It is going to be the perfect way to get back on track with meal planning and healthy eating! There are still a few spots left but they will go quick! If you want to join you can register by clicking the picture below!