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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Charmed in Charleston

Our last night out on the “Charles” town.

Okay – so it’s been a month since our Charleston getaway and I still haven’t posted a blog. I’ve started it a few times but just don’t know where to begin or how to prevent the post from becoming a Griswold family vacation rerun. I don’t want anyone to drool on their keyboard in boredom thinking, “Enough already!”
So, I’ve decided to split our Charleston getaway into two posts. This one highlights our time together. Let’s face it – it’s basically for our family and the people who really love us. The other one will feature a few reasons we love Charleston so much. (We’re already dreaming of a third trip, and of course, a vacation home!) Oh yeah, we’ll have to figure out how to become independently wealthy so the latter’s affordable.
In front of Harborview Inn, our first morning back in the charming city we adore.

To recap, my friend recently asked me about our time in Charleston. She said, “So did you eat a lot, walk around and talk?” I thought a minute and said, “Yes, that about sums up our time together.” Lots of wonderful food (check out the next blog), lots of walking, shopping, and lots of talking . . . and not talking, just being together. No work. No dishes. No making beds. No dirty diapers. No “real life.” Ahhhhhh . . .

For those of you who’d prefer pics, here you go . . . 

Harborview Inn – the perfect location in the historic district overlooking Waterfront Park and Charleston Harbor. Our room was the triple window you see on the very left-hand side of the page. We stayed in a historic room with exposed brick walls & 14 ft ceilings – a whirlpool tub, your option of breakfast in bed, on the terrace or in the atrium, fresh cookies and milk each evening with evening turndown service. Yeeesss!

A morning view of Waterfront Park and Charleston Harbor from the terrace.

An afternoon view of the same thing. Alexa would’ve loved the fountain. Bored yet?

A view from the terrace overlooking Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter (center) & James Island (right). You’d have to click and really zoom in!
A glimpse of our home away from home . . . I need a wide angle lens.

Breakfast delivered to our bedroom.

Breakfast on the terrace.

We could walk down to the pier in the evening, sit in a swing and just watch the waves roll in. Cooper River Bridge was east of the pier.


Sunscreened up and patiently waiting for our walking tour to begin.

We visited Charleston during their (squeal) 65th annual Festival of Houses & Gardens. It’s only four weeks in the spring and it is amazing – a must see!! Each day there is a street to tour with select private properties/gardens open to the public. If you’re like me, it’s a “peeping Tom’s” dream!! We visited 23 private homes & gardens on the two tours we selected. It was probably the highlight of the trip for me.

We toured homes like this, c. 1800. I couldn’t even come close to capturing the entire home & surrounding property. And yes, this is a private home. Unfortunately, we couldn’t photograph inside the homes or on the properties for obvious reasons. Gen. Robert E. Lee addressed well wishers from the second level of the portico.

This home, c.1886, now houses the Wentworth Mansion – a luxury hotel. However, it was built for a very wealthy businessman, his wife and 13 children. Not bad, eh?

I wish I could’ve captured this breathtaking home better (notice the equipment for painting in the front). It was my personal jewel of the home tours. It is currently owned by Frank W. Abagnale – the real life character of the movie, Catch Me If You Can. He and his family lived in Oklahoma until their move to SC.

We enjoyed an evening tour on Church Street. It is claimed to be the “most romantic street in America.”

Another view of Church Street at sunset.

After our first walking tour – no sunburns, just smiles. Perhaps a bit dumbfounded by the lack of high-end antiques, gallery artwork and 18th century family heirlooms in our home. Seriously, what have we been doing with our spare time and money!? We need to tell these homeowners about IKEA.

We did find the perfect home. It’s tucked away in an alley (as many homes are in the historic district). It’s 700 sq ft larger than our home and just a little over $1,000,000 more than what we paid for ours. Bummer!

We decided this carriage house converted into a home would be the more reasonable option for our Charleston dream home. We like to dream big.

It’s true. Our little girl was never far from our thoughts & hearts. We really missed her!

I fell in love with this door. We walked by it often on the way to and from outings.

Rainbow Row

We were caught in a mid-afternoon downpour walking through the College of Charleston’s campus. We ducked into a building and walked out onto the “Cistern,” a grassy area where students enjoy studying. What a delightful, albeit wet, surprise!

Cobblestone on Chalmers Street, the longest remaining cobblestone street in the US.

This birdhouse caught my eye and made me think of my grandmother, Nonie, who loved birds. I’m positive her spread is far more spectacular in Glory.

Gotta love the self-portraits. We may not look charming but we were definitely charmed by the city we deeply enjoy. More to come – if you can handle it!


  1. I am glad you did this post! We are headed to Charleston in a couple weeks, so I am excited to see what you guys did!

  2. So love reading your blogs. Thanks for sharing. Charleston holds a special place in my family's hearts - my dad is a Citadel graduate. If you have never been, you must see the next time - go for a parade. Very impressive.