Travel Diaries: Charleston, South Carolina.
The more hours that pass since I’ve arrived back in Georgia, the more I’m in shock and awe that I planned and experienced my first trip “alone” in my entire life. If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@iamkymofficial), you’d know that my boyfriend and I decided to take a spring break trip to Charleston, South Carolina. It was not only a spring break trip, but it also fell about a week from our one-year anniversary, and was not only our first trip together as a couple, but also both of our first trips with a significant other. It was a special and memorable trip for the both of us.
We awoke at five in the morning on Thursday and left my boyfriend’s apartment by six. Since we were driving the whole five hours and forty-five minutes to Charleston and the route we had to take was going through Atlanta, we wanted to get an early start to beat the morning rush hour. Luckily, we did beat it, and we reached I-20 by 6:30 am. This interstate took as all the way to the Georgia-South Carolina border, and we got to see some beautiful lakes and rivers through Georgia. Since I’m not much of a travel blogger (though I really want to make this a major part of my website now), I missed the “Welcome to South Carolina” sign, but I did get these gorgeous pictures of the sun rising as we rode into it.
Once we were maybe thirty minutes into SC, our GPS took us off I-20 and on to some backroads (through Aiken, SC I believe). My boyfriend had never truly seen the countryside before – dirt and gravel roads, houses that were miles apart, farms with wild animals just roaming about – so it was so funny to see his reaction, considering I lived pretty much my whole life in Middle Georgia and frequented South Georgia for travel softball, so these sightings were nothing new. He also commented quite a bit on how the gas in SC must be a special blend, because it seemed like his car would never run of gas! We had to fill up only once on the way there and once on the way back – phenomenal.
Eventually the backroads ended and we were on I-26, which took us to Charleston. Since we couldn’t check into the hotel until three in the afternoon, we hit the beach first. We arrived at Sullivan’s Island Public Beach around 11:26 am. The sand was beautiful and pristine, and the water was a greenish blue with lots of foam; unfortunately, it was cooler and windier than the weather was predicted to be, so we couldn’t swim or stay on the beach for long. We did do a photoshoot though because if you didn’t take pictures, did it really happen? I also waded in the ocean up to my ankles, but the water was way too cold to stay in for long.
We left the beach to find somewhere to eat; we thought about going to one of the local spots near the beach, but they were all seafood based, which wouldn’t fare well with me being a vegetarian. We decided to travel to the hotel and then pick somewhere to eat close by. The hotel was about twenty minutes away from the beach and was located in the heart of Charleston, so I wasn’t too worried about finding it and a place to eat. We settled on trying a local café that served mainly paninis, but I missed the turn (as I was now driving) and we ended up on King Street with all its hustle and bustle. What I didn’t know was that Charleston had a university spread across the city, with King Street in the middle of it all. King Street has eateries, both locally owned and chain businesses, stores, such as H&M and Urban Outfitters, and (which we would find out later) a booming bar scene. Once we saw all of the possibilities of that street, we resolved to return there during the nighttime. (We didn’t really “plan” or have a strict itinerary for this trip; it was very much so a “go with the flow” trip.) We decided to get Chipotle, and it was my first time ever having it. It was decent, but didn’t necessarily blow my socks off. On our way back to our car, we actually got stopped by a local radio news reporter who asked us where we came from, why we were there, and whether we were going to the Jimmy Buffet (?) concert, the bridge run, or the Cajun festival that would be going on that weekend. Since we were only staying overnight, we couldn’t partake in any of the activities, but it must’ve been a really nice weekend for those who could participate in all those activities!
We returned to the hotel and were actually allowed to check in thirty minutes early. The hotel we stayed at was the Comfort Inn-Downtown Charleston. The front desk staff were very nice and accommodating, and we got chocolate chip cookies upon check in. For one night, the room was $149.80, including taxes and fees, which wasn’t bad considering we booked the room very late (about three weeks before our trip). My mom actually scrunched up her nose when I mentioned we were staying in a Comfort Inn. My family (myself included) have always been a little bougie when it comes to hotels; there was a time where we wouldn’t stay in any hotel that wasn’t an Embassy Suites. The hotel was very nice and clean and stocked with everything we would need – a mini fridge, adequate linens, clean sheets, iron/ironing board, coffee maker…etc. The WiFi password was printed on our keycard holder, so we didn’t have to go searching for it. The only downside to the hotel I would have to point out is that there wasn’t much parking, but we were able to find a spot every time we came back to the hotel, so it wasn’t that major of an issue. A possible downside could also be that there isn’t much of a “view,” but since I always keep the curtains drawn, I don’t care much about what the outside of the room looks like.
We ate, took a three-hour nap, and then showered and got ready to go to our next destination -Waterfront Park. Waterfront Park sits along the Cooper River, and you can actually purchase a ferry ride to go across/around the river, but the boyfriend was a little too afraid of that, so we just walked along the pier and took some pictures, and resolved that we’d come back the next morning before we left to get pictures with better lighting. Then, as we promised, we went back to King Street and just walked up and down the street, listening to the music leaking from the bars, watching college friends meet up to go bar hopping, and marveling at people who were lining up for ice cream even though it was fifty degrees outside. Before leaving King Street, we got takeout from Spring Roll Asian Cousin, and it was delicious! I can’t remember what my boyfriend ate, but I ordered the yellow vegetable curry and it was the best curry I’ve tried so far. We also got a lot of food for what we paid for; we were only able to finish about a third of our food and saved the rest to take back to Georgia.
The next morning, we ate the complimentary breakfast from the hotel, and it wasn’t too shabby. There were eggs, sausage, grits, waffles, donuts, biscuits, cereal, and an array of other breakfast foods and juices to choose from. It was nice to have the continental breakfast, as we didn’t have to spend money on another meal. After eating, we showered and packed up the room, and we checked out about thirty minutes early. We returned to Waterfront Park, where we took even more pictures, and then went to a free art exhibit nearby. The name of the exhibit was Woke and was a compilation of pictures, maps, and text centered around African-American history and heritage in Charleston and South Carolina as a whole.
Unfortunately, we had to go back to Georgia. The drive back was about an hour and a half longer due to traffic in and around the Atlanta area, and even as I’m writing this post, I’m feeling a little “jet-lagged” and have that post-trip tiredness. Still, it’s so surreal that I even went on a trip out of Georgia with no guidance and no supervision, and it has made me feel more like an adult than any other life experience. I’m so blessed to have been able to have this experience and share it with one of my best friends, and I now know how addicting travel can be. I planned on dropping $200 on the Sephora VIB sale, but I’ve decided to spend only $60 and put the remainder towards my next trip (which I’ve already started planning). Where will I go to next? I already know, but that’s for everyone to find out…eventually.
Write you little lovelies later,
XO Ky M.