I am officially on spring break and tomorrow Rob and I are heading to my favorite place in the world, my sweet Charleston.
I have talked at length on this blog about how much Charleston means to me, and I still don't think I've ever adequately put it into words. This city was my physical home for four and a half years. And it's still my home. That hasn't changed or shifted or softened with the years I've now spent away. I think about Charleston nearly every day. And it always fills me with quiet and peace, with grace and stillness. It's my heart, and tomorrow I will be there, and that makes me so, so happy.
I have such a long list of things for us to do in the three days we'll be there, including:
-Going for a run around the city and along the battery. When I was in Charleston in January my knee still wouldn't let me run without pain, and I am hoping that I get a pain free, lengthy run of the peninsula. I wasn't a runner in college and that fills me with regret. Because Charleston is a city designed for running, completely flat with a constant breeze in the fresh, salt tinged air.
see! Runner's World agrees with me that Charleston is the best running city ever. This was in their latest issue as a Rave Run)
-Drinks and dinner Saturday night on Upper King (which has grown even more hip and trendy and revitalized since when I was a student and all there was up there was O'Malley's and Silver Dollar)
-Drinks and oysters at The Ordinary, the new raw bar from the guys who run FIG which was the site of one of the greatest meals of my life
-We have reservations for dinner at Stars, a grill room and rooftop bar with what sounds like an awesome delicious wood fire grill
-Sunday we're going to go see Middleton Plantation and (!) kayak the Ashley river from the plantation as a starting point (the description said we could spot gators, dolphins, and, wait for it, manatees!)
-Hoping to have a casual night Sunday, maybe get a big, juicy burger out on Sullivan's at Poe's Tavern or hit up Shem Creek (the site of so many drunken college nights)
-Will definitely get in a Sullivan's walk (or if it's really as warm as it sounds like, sunbathing session)
-Hoping to get in a stop at the Aquarium, right on the harbor and one of my all time favorite Charleston places (plus sea turtles!)
-For our last night we're going to Husk, Sean Brock's second restaurant, which I've been dying to try since it opened (even a few weeks ago every other night we were going to be there was booked solid)
And I plan on spending the rest of the time soaking up as much of Charleston as possible, taking the kind of deep, full breaths that I only really take in that city.
I have been a good number of places in this world, to a lot of far flung cities and islands, to places of incredible beauty.
But nowhere, and I mean nowhere, compares to my Charleston. Give me spanish moss and tidal marshes, coastal creeks and soft, blue ocean. I'll take live oaks and salt air and side porches; tides and shrimp boats and Confederate jasmine. I'll take them, and Charleston, over anything on this big, wide earth.