Dateline: Charleston, S.C.

For those of you who love Charleston, this post might be something of a disappointment. I love Charleston, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t love it for the same reasons as most people.

fancy houses, pelicans, and palmettos

I’ve been traveling regularly to Charleston for the past 21 years, thanks to several family connections. And yet, I’ve never been to Fort Sumter or on a carriage tour. I have yet to eat at Husk or attend Spoleto. I have pretty much no idea about 99 percent of the things that bring people to Charleston.

For me, the city is all about family- it’s fishing with my dad, tubing with my siblings and drinking gin and tonics with my grandma. It’s an early morning run along the battery, driving over the Ravenel Bridge to see my cousins and frolicking in the waves at Sullivan’s Island. Dinners are usually sprawling potlucks and cocktails are drunk on porches with old friends.

scenes from Sullivan’s Island

That said, I ate plenty this weekend. A few highlights:

– Drinking a Cheerwine from Burbage’s.

– Fishing with my family. Lots of fish, and even more laughs. My little sister fed the family with a 20-inch flounder she caught.

fishing feet, porpoises visit, red drum, flounder

– Grandmother’s 80th birthday party. Catered by Gullah Grub of Beaufort, SC, the food was divine. A whole grouper, grits bar, crab cakes, and an okra pie kept stomachs more than satisfied. This was my first introduction to Gullah cooking and I’m eager to learn more.

– Breakfast pastries from Bakehouse. Get the biscuits. Get the biscuits. Need I say more?

Pluff mud.

– Teaching my grandmother to make a cucumber gin and tonic. She introduced me to g&ts when I was young, and we love sitting around with one before dinner. I worried that after all this time she wouldn’t appreciate my tinkering with her drink, but she loved it!

– Coffee eclairs from Christophe Chocolatier. They have traditional eclairs and macarons and all that, but the coffee ones were like nothing I’ve ever had before.

water scenes. how can you not love a place
where oysters grow right on the rocks?