Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Well, let me pack some pimento cheese sandwiches and I'm ready to go.

Hubs and I just returned from a mini-vacation to one of my most favoritest (yes, it can be a word) places on God's green Earth- Charleston. 

I first fell in love with Charleston, South Carolina on our honeymoon over 18 years ago and I have always wanted to return.  Honestly, I would just plop myself there on the battery and live if they would let me. But since most of the homes along the water are umpteen dozen million dollars, I'd have to pitch a tent and I don't think Charleston is the type of town that takes too kindly to occupiers.  (Plus, as a side note, I hate camping.)

The entire vacation began with Daughter's plans to visit her grandparents in North Augusta.  It made no sense to drive her to their house, then drive another 8 hours back to Florida, just to make the exact same drive days later.  So Hubs and I  decided to take a look at the map and pick somewhere fairly closeby to visit. 

WHATDOYAKNOW?  I found Charleston! 

I am forever grateful to my mother for teaching me how to read a map at age seven.  To her credit, it was less of an educational moment and more of a keeping of her sanity.  Every time we drove to my grandparents' house I would ask the age-old question, "How much farther??!!"  So, she taught me how to read a map and count the towns on our route. Yes, I could get you clear across South Georgia, even with alternate routes (as long as I didn't nod off and lose count. If that happened, you could end up on Jekyll Island.)

Let me tell y'all something about Charleston.  It is PURTY.  Pretty would be the proper term, but it just doesn't do it justice.  The homes are gorgeous, the parks are beautiful, and the people are some of the nicest and genuinely cordial I've ever met.  We stayed at a quaint inn.  They are abundant, along with sweet bed and breakfasts. If you ever do get to visit, I recommend spending the extra budget and staying in one of them. It adds so much to the experience when you get to spend some time in these historical homes.

And the food? OH MY WORD. We found shrimp and grits on every menu.  They don't serve Jim Dandy grits, y'all. No, these are real grits.  The kind they sell in little bags at roadside stands and markets with words like "Stone Ground" on the side.  Hubs had shrimp and grits for dinner one night and I had a huge bowl of cheese grits at the Farmer's Market that will make you slap your mama.

(May I just say that my pantry is full of Jim Dandy grits and they are a respectable choice in my home, but when I can get some good stone ground ones, you know I enjoy them.)

There's something else I learned about Charlestonians. 

They love their pimento cheese. 

It was on everything. 

Pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese on filet mignon, and pimento cheese sandwiches, of course.  I mean, I love pimento cheese, but I have never seen it served in so many ways. After three days, I finally gave in to the pimento cheese craze and decided to have it on my hamburger.  Y'all know what? The folks of Charleston are onto something. It was delicious.  I will never look at a pimento cheese recipe the same way again.  It may, in fact, be my new condiment.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was walking along the Waterfront Park. They have porch swings along the water where you can rest and watch the boats come and go.  The hostess at the inn recommended it as a way to cool off at the end of the day and I'm glad she shared it with us. 

I am starting to feel like this is sounding like a travel blog, but y'all, Charleston is really one of my most favoritest places on God's green Earth.

Now if I could just win umpteen million dollars or learn to live in a tent...

Here are a few of our favs from our recent trip-

Charleston Waterfront Park
Amen Street Raw Bar and Grill (oysters and fresh seafood)
Poe's Tavern (Yummy beach burgers for lunch. Try the pimento cheese)
Farmer's Market (local farmers, artisans and delicious food vendors)
The Market (local vendors all in one spot)
Belgian Gelato (try it "Belgian style" with Belgian chocolate and whipped cream. HEAVEN.)
Sullivan's Island (quiet beach with locals and lovely homes, no condos)
The Battery (take a drive or ride your bike)
Charleston Tea Plantation (the only one in the country)

Also, check out Fort Sumter, USS Yorktown, and Drake Hall.  We visited all of them on our honeymoon many moons ago and they all are rich in history. There are tons of historical homes as well.


Susanne said...

Well if you find that umpteen million dollars and buy one of those homes, I'm assuming they come with guest cottages so I'm coming to visit!

Roxanne said...

LOVED reading about your travels. My own hubby and I took a much shorter overnight trip this summer--and just being together was fun. Add a gorgeous locale and real grits, and you are walkin' in high cotton, girl. :)

I, by the way, have a WONDERFUL pimento cheese recipe. I'm not really a pimento cheese fan--I can eat it, as I'm southern and female, but THIS pimento cheese recipe is GOOD!!! I can send it if you want it.