Charleston, South Carolina | Vacation | September 2016

My Dad and I went to my favorite place ever, Charleston, SC in September. We flew down Saturday and flew home on Wednesday.

Our first adventure of the day was getting upgraded to first class. We were super excited, neither one of us had ever flown first class before. We got to board the plane first, got free beverages while everyone else was boarding, and got lots and lots of personal space. Our flight was only an hour long but it was still a cool experience. I don't think it was as great as people make it out to be, but I also don't need fancy things to be happy. I'm content with coach.

If you don't know, I am a huge Ohio State Buckeye fan. Well it just so happened that our flights were the same exact time as the Buckeye game vs Tulsa. Luckily we had a layover in DC so when we got there I found a restaurant that was playing it. I only got to watch about half an hour of the game before we boarded our next flight, but something is better than nothing!

We finally got down to the Charleston airport and it took forever to get our rental car. We got a new Mazda and it had a keyless starter, neither one of us new how to work it. It was super funny because we tried for a good five or more minutes until we finally got it turned on. The key is to hold the brake down while you press the button to start the engine. After we successfully started the car, we drove to our hotel, The King Charles Inn, checked in and went up to our room. I pulled back the covers on the bed and there was hair all over the sheets, gross. Dad called the front desk and told them we needed clean sheets, he checked his bed and there was hair all over his too. The housekeeper was not happy when she came to the room. After she changed the sheets and we made sure these were clean, we headed down to the front desk and asked for their recommendation for a good Italian restaurant around. The got a reservations and we headed out.

It was only about 10 blocks away so we decided to walk. I was in an OSU hoodie and jeans, Dad was in khaki shorts, sandles, and one of his plaid button up shirts. We walked into the restaurant, Vincent Chicco's, and it was probably the fanciest restaurant that I have ever been too. There lights were dim, candles on the table, and everybody there was in a dress or a nice suit outfit. I felt stupidly under dressed. I should have known when they said we had reservations... oh well. We ordered our food and I decided to try wine because I have never had it before. My Dad suggested white wine so I ordered Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio. It was alright the first few sips, but the more I drank the more gross it tasted. The crazy thing is, they didn't even ID me, which is really surprising because I look like I'm 12... but I'm really 21. Food wise, I just ordered Spaghetti, but it was really good. Once we finished eating we left and walked down this adorable little alley lit up with string lights and cute tables, I tried to get a picture of it with my phone, but it didn't really work.

The next day, Sunday, we woke up early because I had a photoshoot to do (See Rhoads Family in Blog). It went great, their neighborhood was beautiful. Once we got back to Charleston, we started walking around town. We headed to the Charleston City Market.

Almost everything was hand-made, making it really expensive but really cool. The Market seemed to never end, it just kept going from one building to the next. We finally got through all of the market and started walking around town more. It was very hot and humid that day so we stopped at this cute little candy shop, Savannah's Candy Kitchen of Charleston, and got some ice cream to help cool off. I also tried a sample of Pralines for the first time. They were decent tasting but I don't think that I will get them again. We signed up for a carriage ride around the Battery so we sat in an alley near there to cool down and eat our ice cream. The carriage ride was through Charleston Carriage Works. We sat in the front row of the carriage and the tour guide kept teasing us about being from Ohio. Fun fact: Their horses are bred in Amish Country in Ohio.

The tour took us around downtown Charleston and through the Battery. We learned lots of historical facts that I never knew about Charleston, it was really cool. After the tour ended we walked down to the Battery, around White Point Garden, up to Waterfront Park, and then ate dinner at Mac's Place. Mac's Place is pub so they had all the TV's playing different NFL teams. The Cowboys were playing on the biggest TV (they're my favorite NFL team right now because Ezekiel Elliott, the Buckeyes star running back, got drafted there). I watched Zeke score his first pro touchdown and I swear I was the only one in the restaurant that cheered when he scored hahaha. Nobody understands a Buckeyes love for Zeke... even my Dad looked at me like I was crazy, oh well! We finished eating, went back to our hotel, and fell asleep for the night.

On Monday, we spent the whole day at Patriot's Point. We started out on the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier. We went all over the ship, lower decks, upper decks, everywhere. I was in love. I've always loved the Navy, ever since I visited to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. We probably spent a few hours on just this ship. I didn't want to leave, but we had to.

We took a ferry over to Fort Sumter and did a tour there. It was actually a lot smaller than I was expecting. Granted, most of it was destroyed in the Civil War, but still. Our tour lasted about an hour and we took a ferry back to Patriot's Point and started exploring the USS Clamagore Submarine. This sub was literally rotting away, I was really kind of worried that it wasn't in safe shape to be going on, but we went anyways. I don't know how people live in those for months at a time with a full crew, it's so cramped. After the sub, we went on the USS Laffey Destroyer. This one was a little better with how much space you had but my favorite was still the carrier.

Another really cool thing that we did at Patriot's Point was the Vietnam Experience. I was really looking forward to this because a lot of people close to me fought in Vietnam and I hear a lot of stories from them. I was excited to see how they lived and everything. It was really cool to see, but it made me sad that they had to live like that for so long. I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone in the military for what you do or did, I really appreciate all of you. Back to the Vietnam Experience, they had bomb and siren sounds going off, guns that made shooting noises if you pulled the trigger, the eating quarters were super cramped and had noises like a bunch of people were talking at the same time, and all of the helicopters and planes you could go into and it'd say how many people would have to fit in that tiny area. The only thing I didn't like that made it feel fake was how clean everything was. I know it's an exhibit and they don't want it to be messy but that's a big thing I hear from the Veterans I know, is how dirty it was. But it was still really cool to see and I highly recommend it to everyone traveling to Charleston.

We wasted some time in the gift shop and waited for our dinner cruise to start. SpiritLine Cruises, the company that took us on our Fort Sumter tour, also does dinner cruises with live music and a four course meal. I was the only young person and I think my Dad and I were the only non-couple group. But the food tasted really good and it was nice to be able to wander around the boat. We got some really good views of the city and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge before and after dark. We headed back to the hotel for the night after the cruise ended.

The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed to the west side of the city to Charleston Sailing Charters to go sailing on Fate. The Captain (Dustin) and First Mate (Evan) greeted us like we were normal tourists that were just sailing to try something new and party on the water, little did they know that we are pretty experienced sailors that were there to sail. At first they were doing all of the work, then Dad asked if he could take helm and they were surprised. Then we all started talking about my Dad's boats and how much we've sailed in the past. They told us how nice it was to talk with educated people that knew how to handle everything. They actually sat down and enjoyed sailing instead of doing all the work, which was fine because we wanted to do the work. Apparently Dustin has his own photography business,, so we discussed photography in depth too. They even got the spinnaker out and showed us how to sail with that because we've never done it before. Overall that was a lot of fun and very relaxing as sailing always is to me. I was sad to leave the boat.

We ate lunch at the marina restaurant and headed back to the hotel to take a nap. I actually slept longer than planned so we headed to Folly Beach a little late. We started out going to the pier, there had just been a really heavy storm so there weren't many people there and it was still overcast. But of course it was still super hot. We didn't stay there long, we headed down to the beach but it was actually closed when we got there. I think it closed at 5pm and we got there at like 5:05pm.... oh well.

My Dad wanted to hike to see a lighthouse so we did that next. The first half of the pathway was paved and people had spray painted hearts and smiley faces all the way down it. It was really cool. When the paving ended, it was just a sand path. I took my shoes off and carried them. All of a sudden I see something move to the left of the path. I stop and creep over there and it was a crab! Their official name is Atlantic Ghost Crab. But I freaked out. It was super close to us and I didn't have shoes on! What if I would have stepped on it?! I didn't have my camera with me to take a good picture either, I was mad. But I took one with my Dad's camera and quickly ran off. It was super creepy. I have never seen a crab in real life before, let alone that close to me! At the end of the beach path was Folly Beach Lighthouse. We took some pictures of it, enjoyed the ocean and beach for a minute, and headed to dinner and then back to the hotel for the night.

The next morning was our departure date. We woke up bright and early and headed to the airport. We upgraded to first class again and headed home. We had a stop in DC then back to Columbus we went. It was a sad day for me. I am so in love with Charleston, I didn't want to leave. But overall, it was a wonderful trip and I can't wait to go back again!