20.08.2011 - 21.08.2011
It probably doesn't warrant being included as a "trip," but we took a quick hop over to Charleston for an overnight stay to visit with friends one steamy, hot Saturday night in August. It feels good writing about this now as the cold fingers of winter are tentatively trying to reach in under my door.
We must have picked the HOTTEST month possible to visit Charleston. It was like being in the fifth circle of hell when we stepped out of the plane at the Charleston Executive airport. I tried to wave at our friends Jamie and Dan but in my overheated stupor it looked more like a limp attempt to swat away a fly.
Because Dan and Jamie have a place there and we had never even been before (I know...shame on us, right?), we let them guide our palate and steer us into the nearby Charleston Crab House. They had talked the BBQ shrimp and grits up so well that I just had to have it. The grits were creamy and cheesy, tangy with just the right amount of BBQ sauce, and topped with tender shrimp. Within minutes, I had forgotten how hot I was as I licked the sauce that kept wanting to drip down my chin.
Of course, with only 24 hours, I had to eat as many courses as possible, so with the lingering scent of BBQ sauce still on my fingertips, I dove headfirst into a soft shell crab sandwich.
Things were off to a pretty tasty start.
After a quick sweaty "see you later" hug, Matt and I were off to check into the Ansonborough Inn in the historic downtown district of Charleston. Having chosen it by price alone with only 3 days notice, I wasn't expecting much.
Was I ever surprised.
I can't imagine staying anywhere better. The Inn was the perfect combination of historic charm, luxurious comfort, and southern hospitality. Strewn with original art and filled with soaring exposed beam ceilings, my only regret was that I only had a few hours to wallow in it's breezy comfort.
Despite the rapid rate at which I was melting, we did a little shopping along Broad Street hoping to find that one magnificent thing that we couldn't return home without.
Because the one thing I couldn't return home without was that pretty red bicycle that Matt wouldn't let me steal, we gave up on shopping and wound our way down to the Battery, along Rainbow Row, and back through the historic City Market before throwing in the white flag and admitting defeat to the heat of the day and taking a cool nap in our lovely air conditioned suite.
We were meeting Dan and Jamie at Amen Street for dinner. After rinsing 5 hours of sweat and street grime off my body, we found the restaurant just down the street, a short walk from our hotel.
They said the restaurant wasn't their first choice, but having no reservation anywhere, it appeared to them to be the quickest one to get into. When the waitress brought me a plate of mini shrimp corndogs....all I could say was...."Why would you want to eat anywhere else?"
Because I didn't feel I had met my fat and carbohydrate quota for the day, I followed the corn dogs with a giant platter of fried shrimp.
Eventually, the combination of heat, excessive walking, and caloric overload did me in and we called it a night.
The next morning, before heading home, we had to make one last stop. Jamie had recommended Hominy Grill for breakfast.
We were lucky enough to arrive just as the doors opened (okay, luck may have had less to do with it than my neurotic uber-planning and screaming for Matt to "HURRY! HURRY! We have to leave this minute so we don't have to wait in line!" but who's keeping tabs?) and we had a zero wait. Nestled quickly into our cozy little table, my eyes immediately fell on a menu item that actually cause me to begin salivating.
I had to have the Big Nasty Biscuit.
After this mile high fluffy biscuit topped with a crispy fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese, and smothered in sausage gravy, I could literally hear my heart and arteries say, "We give up, dammit."
Why can't every day include a Big Nasty Biscuit?
Because Jamie had insisted...really...that was the only reason....I had to try the chocolate pudding before I left. Who doesn't love a place that serves dessert for breakfast?
As I licked my spoon clean, I pondered what a delicious 24 hours it had been. I found an article in the Charleston paper in our hotel room that morning with the title, "101 Things to Savor, Slurp, and Suck Down in Chucktown." I better start planning the next trip now. I have a lot of eating left to do.