Hello! Today, I’m sharing the details of our vacation last week to South Carolina. We often head to Siesta Key, Florida for most of our vacations, but we’ve gone to SC pretty often as well. I actually was thinking and we’ve been to Hilton Head once, Folly Beach three times and IOP three times as well. So, we know our way around the Charleston area pretty well. Since our summer is filled with baseball, we chose IOP because we can drive there in 8-9 hours, and we hadn’t been there since fall break 2018.
These memes are timely:
It’s so much effort for my homebody self to get everything organized and packed, but the trips are always worth it once we get there.
Warning: photo overload! 😉 My love language must be photo taking!
We left after Hayden’s Sunday baseball championship game, and drove to Asheville. We arrived at our hotel around 10:00.
Monday morning, we slept in. Even I slept in! The kids and I woke up around 9:00 and, after a quick breakfast, we hit the road around 10:30. We definitely took longer than we thought we would in the morning, but the sleep was much needed.
We arrived at our hotel around 4:00, unpacked, and headed straight to the beach. There was an outgoing tropical depression, so it was really windy but no rain. We walked around a bit, and the kids splashed in the water before we changed and went to dinner.
We drove a few minutes to Mt. Pleasant and ate dinner on the water at Saltwater Cowboys. I had the shrimp tacos, and they were delish!
This pic of Hayden and Travis is a fave of mine!
Hayden and Hadley checked out the dock of the restaurant after we ate.
Then, we headed back, but made a stop for ice cream on Sullivan’s Island. As we were parking, Travis recognized the picket fence that I had the kids stand in front of in 2013. This photo (on the left) is on our gallery wall in our kitchen. The kids obliged for a “how it’s going…” photo for contrast of “how it started.” Since 2013, the kids have grown two or more feet and the house has definitely been upgraded!
We hit up Co-op for delicious ice cream.
We headed back to the hotel and went to bed!
Travis always gets up early on vacation, and I do try to sleep in a bit. The kids really sleep in on vacation! Travis usually goes for a run, and then it’s my turn to sip my coffee on the beach. It’s my absolute favorite thing to do!
Our hotel was on the beach, and we rented two chairs and an umbrella for our four full days there. They were set it by the time Travis got down there each morning. (We packed two smaller beach chairs from home, so we all had somewhere to sit when needed). These are the best spent money for sure!
Me: every morning…
I brought a ton of snacks and drinks from home, but Travis went to the grocery for sandwich stuff and other food for the week. The kids had a quick hotel breakfast (They had grab and go until 9:30 each day), and then we hit the beach.
I usually went to the room around noon to make sandwiches and grab any other food we needed. We typically stayed at the beach until 2:00 or so, and then the kids liked to go to the pool. I will say that Travis knows my love for the beach, an ocean view, and reading a book under and umbrella, so most days I stayed put while he monitored the kids at the pool.
We usually got an afternoon snack or headed back to the beach for a bit before dinner each day.
Travis and Hayden love oysters, so everyone freshened up before we went to happy hour at Pier 41.
Oysters were the happy hour special as was $2 champagne. They had oysters, Hadley had calamari, and I sipped the bubbly!
We went back to the beach afterwards. Hadley and I walked around while Hayden and Travis played catch.
I always love watching the sunset at the beach. Through the years, we’ve tried to make a point to go to dinner early and head back to the beach for sunset.
After the sun set, we headed to at late dinner near our hotel at Acme Lowcountry Kitchen. We’d eaten there during a previous visit and knew the food would be good. Hadley got the salmon, I had a salad, and Travis and Hayden split the fish special.
The kids wanted ice cream, so we got that on our walk back to the hotel. We all went to bed with full bellies.
Wednesday started with another morning filled with sunshine and coffee.
Once we all got down to the beach, we took our traditional beach family photo 😉
On this day, we purchased a boogie board, and the kids had tons of fun.
I got some time on my own in the afternoon with a book and a cool beverage.
Wednesday evening we headed to Charleston to eat at Coast. I love all of the colorful home in Charleston!
Our dinner at Coast was my favorite. The atmosphere was amazing, and the food was phenomenal.
Hadley, outside of Coast, looks like she’s 11 going on 16!
On our way to dinner, I spotted Sewing Down South which is Craig’s pillow store. I love watching Southern Charm, so I was excited when I saw his store! Hadley and I stopped by there for a few minutes after dinner. Craig wasn’t there, but the employees were so friendly!
We ended our evening in Charleston walking around Battery Park. We usually do this every time we visit.
Then, we headed back to the hotel and went to bed!
On Thursday, I checked the weather, and they were calling for 100% chance of rain on Friday, so we beached hard on Thursday!
I got my “me time” in the morning.
Then, we hung out in the sand most of the day! Hadley borrowed my hat for a bit:
Then, Travis and Hayden wanted round two of oysters, so we went to Binkys, by our hotel, for Happy Hour oysters.
Then, the kids played in the pool for an hour or so before we headed to dinner at Papis.
When we visited IOP for fall break 2018, we went to Papi’s TWICE. We loved it that much. So, we couldn’t wait to eat there again. We got all the dips and chips, some margs (for the adults ;), tacos, and then churros for dessert!
After dinner, we headed to the beach for a bit before bed!
Friday morning’s hour by hour forecast seemed pretty favorable for a decent day at the beach. One more morning of coffee …
followed by my sunshine and sand.
The day actually turned out to be so nice. The wind picked up and the skies got cloudy around 4:00, so the kids hit the pool and then we got ready to go into Charleston again for dinner.
The kids really wanted to do a ghost tour, so Travis found one for Magnolia Cemetery at 9:30 pm. We walked around Charleston, and as expected on the Friday of 4th of July weekend, most restaurants had quite the wait. We go to Hyman’s every time we come to Charleston. They said their wait was about 1.5 hours, so we walked around, and Hayden and I got ice cream sandwiches at Peace Pie (key lime pie for me and chocolate peanut butter for him), and Hadley got some macarons from Le Macaron which was next door.
The wait ended up being about an hour, and we ate dinner around 8:00. We were a bit pressed for time because we had to be to the ghost tour by 9:15. We ate quickly and headed that way…
Hyman’s has these little cards on the tables that are fun to read. Fun fact: When Travis and I visited Charleston for the first time in 2010, we ate at Hymans, and I have carried one of these marriage cards in my wallet ever since. I should probably refer to it more often, but it’s a good little check list!
This one is so funny and so true!
The Magnolia Cemetery Nighttime Tour was so good. I didn’t know what to expect, and I told the kids to be prepared to be “spooked” a little, but it was all good.
We met our group and tour guide, Joy, at the gates of the cemetery at 9:15. Joy was amazing! Hayden and Hadley were the only kids on the tour. After she closed the gate, she pulled them aside, and told them they could ring the massive bell to start the tour. She gave us all flashlights, and explained that we needed to stick together because there are various birds, bugs, spiders, and ALLIGATORS! that we may see on the tour.
Joy was so knowledgeable. The tour is listed at 1.5 hours, but she told us that her tour takes about two hours, and she wasn’t wrong! As we walked, she shared the history of of the cemetery, talked about Charleston, the people who were buried in the cemetery, and sprinkled in spooky stories within the history.
My kids loved it! Hayden White was often found near Joy, asking her questions!
We spotted the huge cranes, definitely saw spiders, and had to keep our eye on a alligator that we spotted in the pond as Joy told one of her stories!
Her tour ended right around 11:30, and I definitely wish we had time to drive through the cemetery during the day just to see some of the headstones and structures in the daylight.
We got back to our hotel after midnight, packed up most of what we could before falling asleep around 1:00 am.
Let me tell you what is more spooky than a southern cemetery at night…me on less than 5 hours of sleep 🤣
We were up by 6:00 and on the road around 7:00. Of course, we hated to say goodbye to one of our favorite places, but we were ready to get home and see Homer!
To sum up the trip with a favorite quote:
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”
I never realize how much we need to get away until we do. Grateful for some time in the sunshine with a mix of sand and saltwater. The week provided a time for great memories, wonderful weather, amazing food and a different setting for the kids to bicker 😂
This was me most of Sunday…unpacking all my overpacking…
If you made it to the end of this post, you’re the real MVP!
I’m so glad we made the time to squeeze in some uninterrupted family time in one of our favorite places.
Have you ever been to the Charleston area? We’ll definitely be back…hopefully soon!