Oh, the things we learn when we are traveling! About ourselves, about our companions, about our destination, about why packing light is a good idea…the list goes on.
I learned a lot of lessons during my vacation with Eric to Charleston and Savannah last week, lessons I feel compelled to share with you all over the next few days! Here are my lessons from our first evening in Charleston…
Lesson #76: Delicious lowcountry cuisine + a good ghost story = the perfect Southern dining experience.
Wednesday night, Eric and I got to our hotel around 6:00 and decided to pretty much head right out for dinner. As I changed into my new blue dress, I read through all the comments on my blog, pulled up some menus, and decided on Poogan’s Porch, both because the first thing I saw on the website was buttermilk fried chicken, and the next thing I saw was “third most haunted place in America.”
That did it! We were there.
While we didn’t have any ghost sightings, the entire experience was still pretty great. I ordered the buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy and spinach. Eric has this rule that we can’t both order the same thing when we go out to dinner…which is really annoying and sort of a pain when you’re dining somewhere that has something you both need to order, like buttermilk fried chicken. He got a pork dish that came with pulled BBQ pork and pork belly, gouda mac and cheese, and collard greens.
The fried chicken was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted, and that gravy? Oh my goodness! It was one of those times when I’m eating food so good, I think, “Oh…so this is what this food is actually supposed to taste like.” When it happens (rarely!) I feel like I’m in The Giver, being given the sensation of that food for the first time.
Eric’s pork was delicious too, especially the BBQ pork, but it just was no where near as good as that chicken.
For dessert, Eric ordered the bread pudding and I went with the strawberry cobbler. Did you know strawberry cobbler is a thing? I didn’t. But it is. A really, really good thing. The sweet warm strawberries were topped with crumbles and powdered sugar and vanilla ice cream. It kinda set my world on fire.
As we dug into our desserts, I looked deep into Eric’s eyes and told him that he needed to pace himself with the dessert. I stroked his hand lovingly across the table.
“You need to make sure you don’t want to pass out as soon as we get back to the hotel tonight,” I said evenly. “Because we’re on vacation and…I WON’T take no for an answer.”
It’s hard to catch Eric off guard, but that did it. He cracked up and then I turned really red, as I often do when I’ve said something out loud that sounded really different in my head. But I recovered and we both laughed for like five minutes.
The original plan for after dinner had been to go to Rooftop Bar at Vendue Inn but we honestly couldn’t eat or drink another bite, so we just ended up walking around the King Street area for about an hour, just taking it all in. Charleston is totally romantic…well, let me rephrase that.
Lesson #77: If you visit Charleston when you’re single, you’ll undoubtedly think it’s super romantic and feel sad that you’re single. But if you actually visit with a guy, you’ll realize that no amount of palmetto trees or great lighting or cobblestones are going to get him to get all misty-eyed over you unless that’s the sort of thing he does everywhere.
As we were walking around King Street, we passed a Smart Car with a custom black-and-white paint job. As we approached it, two guys were passing it at the same time, but walking toward us. After we passed each other, Eric started chuckling.
“I can’t believe that guy just called you a zebra,” he said.
“Um…did you not see the zebra print paint job on the car we just walked by?” I said. He turned around and just then saw the car.
“And…why are you laughing at the thought of someone calling me a zebra?” I went on. “How is that funny?”
“I just thought it was very…audacious,” he said. “I mean…I thought they just didn’t take too kindly to your type down here.”
Lesson learned, right?
Lesson #78: When you find yourself in Charleston eating the best fried chicken of your life, seriously, pace yourself. And then walk in off with a post-dinner stroll around town. Not only will you thank yourself when you’re shedding your new dress later in the evening, but the leftovers you bring home will make for the best bangover breakfast ever when eaten in conjunction with a waffle from the hotel breakfast spread.