Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Charleston {days 1 & 2}

With a new baby and Thomas going to Europe for 2 weeks, we knew we weren't going to get to do a lot of traveling this summer, but we definitely wanted to do something. We decided we wanted to take Jamie to the beach and after a little goggling I discovered that the closest beaches to us are all around Charleston, South Carolina. So that's where we took our first ever family vacation. This was our first trip all together where we weren't visiting family or friends and went purely to see a new place and spend time as a family. It was a short trip; we drove there on Monday and came home Friday so we only had 3 real days, but it was a very fun and memorable experience. I'm so glad we went!

We arrived in Charleston on Monday evening after about 7 hours of driving, including just over an hour total of stops. Jamie was a fantastic traveler as usual but Jacob is not yet a fan of road trips. Not in the least. We were very happy to get there and get him out of the car! Jamie was SO excited to be on vacation he could hardly contain himself. The moment we got into the hotel room, he started running around exclaiming "I like it!" about everything. As soon as the car was unloaded, we threw on our bathing suits and went swimming. We had the pool to ourselves and had a lot of fun. Since Jacob's really still too young to get in the pool, Thomas and I traded off holding him and getting in the water with Jamie.
We did dip Jacob's toes in though.

After swimming we got dinner at the Early Bird Diner which was right by our hotel. It was such a fun place! We actually liked it so much that we went back for breakfast Friday morning before heading home. It had a very casual atmosphere and tons of books, board games, and crayons & paper for everyone's use and the food was great too. Especially the peanut butter pie. Words cannot describe. We had such a fun evening and it was a great start to our trip.

On Tuesday morning, our first stop was Fort Sumter, the site where the Civil War began. The fort is out in the middle of the harbor so you have to take a ferry to get to it. Jamie was so excited to go on a boat for the first time, and he had so much fun at the fort. He especially loved seeing the cannons and cannon balls, and they also have a junior park ranger program where kids can fill out a little activity sheet all dealing with Ft. Sumter and then get a badge at the end. I think today is the first day he didn't wear the badge since he got it. He has been talking about Fort Sumter and building it out of Legos ever since we got home. It was a really great experience for all of us.
view of Charleston from the ferry
The wall behind Jamie was built with tabby, which is mortar mixed with oyster shells. There were shells sticking out all over the wall.

We had a picnic lunch at Charleston's Waterfront Park. It was such a pretty area, right on the water and filled with . . . extra friendly squirrels! Thomas had too much fun trying to (and succeeding in) getting the squirrels to take nuts out of his hand.
this made us laugh

After lunch we had some amazing gelato.

We spent the afternoon at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry. I wanted to make sure we had some activities just for Jamie since it was his vacation too. He had the BEST time. We were there 3 hours and he could have easily stayed longer. There were several different play areas: a climbing room, a water room, a pirate ship, a castle, a grocery store, an outside area with a firetruck, a baby area, and an art room that we never even made it to! Jamie said when we left, "It was more of a play area than a museum!" He keeps talking about what he wants to do when he goes there next time. I've decided not to mention that next time may be a while, if ever...
He spent I don't know how long putting Thomas in this jail and even teamed up with other kids to put their parents in jail too.
turning the spit in the castle kitchen
Jacob was happy to get out of the Ergo and wiggle around a bit.

We had dinner that night at Hominy Grill.

It was our big splurge of the trip food-wise and it was definitely worth it! We had a lot of delicious Southern food: boiled peanuts, fried green tomatoes, she crab soup (not pictured), the "Charleston nasty biscuit" (fried chicken with cheese and gravy on a biscuit), Charleston red rice, collard greens, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, mashed sweet potatoes, the most amazing chocolate pudding, and buttermilk pie.

It really was a wonderful day!

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