Saturday, May 24, 2014

Day One of Road Trip Extravaganza

Today my mom and I started our three-day road trip extravaganza from Tampa to Boston. We started out at 5:55 am with the car loaded to the brim.

It was really early, but I was really excited to start! The first leg of the journey was from Tampa, FL to Charleston, SC. About an hour and a half in, we stopped at a Starbucks for coffee, tea and breakfast. I got the turkey bacon, egg white and cheese sandwich, which was very good! It kind of tasted like a healthy Croque Madame. Close to Orlando, we saw hot air balloons and a hidden mickey!

My mom and I took turns driving, about four hours each. We ended up listening to the radio, Pandora, and Stuff You Missed In History Class (one of the best podcasts around). We also played the Alphabet Game, where you have to find a word for each letter, in order, from billboards, signs and bumper stickers. The hardest letters are Q, X, are Z.

On one such billboard, there was an ad for a restaurant called Skippers’ Fish Camp Oyster Bar & Grill in Darien, GA. As it was around lunchtime, we decided to stop in for lunch. We found Darien to be an adorable little town and Skipper’s to be really good. It had a restaurant and an oyster bar. We went to the restaurant and sat by a window. I had the shrimp and grits, which was very good with cheese and bacon. Mom had a shrimp salad hoagie with cole slaw and the most amazing sweet potato casserole. It was very sweet, and almost tasted like dessert. I will try to replicate it for this year’s Thanksgiving.

Skipper’s also had a really nice view from their dock.

After more driving, playing the Alphabet game and learning about the murderous exploits of Prince Sado of Korea, we finally made into South Carolina at around 2:00 pm.

My family used to vacation in Folly Beach, and I have some great memories from Folly and Charleston. Charleston itself is one of the beautiful cities in the United States. The houses and market make you feel that you are walking back through time. We stayed at the Doubletree on Church Street, a block away from the Old Market. The room was really nice and spacious, and we got warm chocolate chip walnut cookies as we checked in.

After freshening up, Mom and I wandered through the Old Market, Broad Street and the Battery. The Old Market has been redone, so it has an indoor section with permanent shops and the outside section. At the market we got earrings, scarves and a candle. I also got fresh lemonade from a cute lemonade stand.

We then went on Broad Street, looking at restaurants for dinner, and there is a plethora of choices. We passed Rainbow Row, a famous section of E. Bay Street where the houses are painted different colors. I love these houses with the ironwork on the gates, trees, and gas lanterns. I wish that I could live there . . . Maybe one day.

Our last stop before dinner was the Battery and a walk through Waterfront Park. More beautiful antebellum houses and a great walk by Charleston Harbor, what could be better? With the breeze, the weather was beautiful and the humidity was not too bad. We could also see Fort Sumter in the distance, a must-go for any Civil War enthusiast. Waterfront Park was also beautiful with a tree-covered walkway and cute little courtyards with benches.

For dinner, we decided to go to Pearlz Oyster Bar on Broad Street. We sat at a community table and as it was still happy hour, Mom ordered a glass of wine and we got a dozen oysters. They were delicious!

Instead of ordering dinner right away, we decided to take our time and chat, and split a Caesar Salad. How restaurants make lettuce, cheese, croutons and dressing taste so good is beyond me. The salad disappeared really fast.

For dinner, I got linguine with shrimp and Mom got a fried soft shell crab with an arugula salad. As everything else at Pearlz, they were fantastic. I would definitely recommend it to anyone going to Charleston. I want to go there again to try everything else on the menu.

Before finding somewhere for dessert, we went walking around the area. On the drive back from Boston, I want to stay in Charleston for more than one night, what do you think Dad?

After working up a bit of an appetite for dessert, we went to Kaminsky’s Baking Co.. Which is basically a restaurant just for dessert and drinks. Mom got an iced latte while I just got an ice water. For dessert, we split warm berry cobbler with ice cream on top. Berry cobbler just screams summer to me, and this was a perfect start to summer. The cakes in the display case looked delicious and the portions are huge. This is another place that I would recommend and go back to (I seem to be saying this a lot).

We then went back to the hotel to go to bed because we had to get up at 6 am to start the drive from Charleston to Washington, D.C.. I cannot wait to come back to Charleston and explore more. Everyone there is so friendly and I could spend days walking through the little alleyways and taking historical tours.

Thanks for reading and I will see you tomorrow with the second leg of our journey from Charleston to D.C.!

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