Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Allllright, we love Charleston. If you want a city that has an adventurous history, manicured and colorful (!!) architecture, legitimate gentility and sunshine - Charleston, SC, is your girl. 

Ry Guy's stomach bug cut our time in the city short, so we only did one big thing while there, but I'm convinced it was the best thing we could've done. Simple as it sounds, we took a historical walking tour of the city with Two Sisters Tours. The two sisters are Charleston legends - born and raised - and their insider scope + arsenal of historical facts on the city is incredible (also, they didn't charge for Olivia - competitors did. They were SO kind. They epitomized southern gentility)! We saw Charleston's biggest attractions and beautiful alleys. We heard all the stories about why the city is the way it is -- why the zoning law's maximum height isn't high; why Charleston's homes are a balanced mix of classic, East Coast brick and colorful, Caribbean stucco; why there are gas lamps and 1/2 house numbers. We learned how in the world Charleston came back from the carnage of the Civil War. Wow. What an awful time. Truly. And what a nod to Charleston for picking itself up and blooming again. 

A few photos of the tour below. If ONLY these photos did the place justice. It was hard to juggle the girls, the camera, and to soak up all the stories from the tour -- of course the photos took the hit. But we'll be back, Charleston! One day!

Supposedly the home below is in The Patriot. Ryan said we've seen it edited -- I couldn't remember it all (I am no movie girl). But I loved learning about these one-room-wide homes in Charleston - like the one below - these gorgeous, long homes with the piazzas on the side (that porch that takes up the whole side of the house) facing south or west in order to shade the house and trap any cool air around the house. This home-style is all over. I LOVE homes, by the way, and the stories they tell. It was awesome to see Charleston's homes, really, make up that city's jam. 
We learned that the "front houses" - so the large, pretty house that's visible from the street, like The Patriot home above - all had servant quarters behind them. All of them. And such a euphemistic term that one -- "servant houses" -- these homes were the slaves' quarters. The home below depicts well that the front house + slave quarters today are often conjoined. The bricked home in the forefront of the photo building is now combined with the main house. Man, if walls could talk...these ones would probably have a few words about life changing and tables turning. In good and fair ways, thank heaven.
This little home below was a slave home. Fun fact -- it's now a million dollar cottage rented out by the homeowner (sign us up! ;)) It's beautiful, though, right? 
Via that small, bricked slave quarter below, we got to see how these old old old homes are renovated. Our guide said that brick by brick by brick, they are meticulously, if not painstakingly, taken apart. So neat to watch for a bit!
Miss O perched in front of the Heyward-Washington House -- originally owned by Thomas Heyward, a singer of the Declaration of Independence, and the place where President George Washington stayed when touring the southern states once upon a time. I didn't realize that Charleston has a pretty stellar Revolutionary Era history behind it. Seriously, it's SUCH a cool city!
That girl! I love you, Olivia!!!
Tradd Street - the oldest in Charleston - running from one end of the city to the other. It's lined with some stunner homes (that I took too few photos of). 
Olivia and her newest BFF up there leading the pack - AKA, our tour guide, Mary Helen. She was so good to Olivia. Some people turn their noses up when kids join the crowd. Not this lady! Our entire group was really kind to us all. Grateful for that.
Cobblestones! That umbrella stroller didn't stand a chance haha. 
One of those charming alleys. Love that our tour took us down little slots like this!
And then some homes and window boxes. The window boxes down there were something. I can still see three of them in my head that I wish I had photos of. Like I said, Charleston, next time! One day!
Rainbow Row (and the end of our tour)! An icon of Charleston and a little record holder -- the 13 colorful homes along the street are the longest cluster of Georgian style homes in the US. Pretty little things! 
Okay so the morning we went to Charleston, Ryan woke up with the stomach bug that had already made its way through Olivia, Claire, and me, but thankfully he was just fine through the tour. It was just as it finished (lil blessing!) that the bug really took over. We were here at Waterfront Park - below - where he spaced out for a bit on a bench while the girls and I played in the water. 
...but not before he played for a second, too. Way to hang in there, Ry Guy, and to smile on. I love you!!! 
Olivia's penny collection via the depths of the fountain. Don't worry, we tossed them back in with extra wishes. :)
Haha sweet Claire. She's waving to a little boy here that was in the fountain. He never saw her waving but that didn't stop her from going and going! My quiet(er) baby is coming out of her shell more and more. Makes me happy. I love you, Claire!!!
We originally planned to keep walking around the city (because there's just so much eye candy there!) and to find a good spot for dinner - Charleston is a foodie's heaven - but that stomach bug kind of stopped us dead. We made it back to the car, grabbed some ginger ale and salads at Whole Foods, and then headed back to the hotel (we stayed north of the city to save some $$). Ryan hit the bed ASAP when we got back, I took care of the girls, but juuuust as we were climbing into bed, Claire tripped, hit the edge of the nightstand -- WITH HER FOREHEAD -- it split open immediately. Poor, poor, poor Claire - she smashed her face just two days before at home - and poor Ry, considering that we dragged him out of bed and took off to the ER. Bless them both. And bless Miss Olivia. She was so sweet to Claire, and she kept telling me, "Mom, it's okay. Accidents happen. It's okay!" ANGEL.

Loved that Charleston day's ups, didn't love its downs, but hey, life's a ride!

The next post in the line-up -- our Hilton Head day. One of the best days ever!!


  1. Your pics of the homes are GORGEOUS. No. Scratch that. ALL YOUR PICTURES are gorgeous. Good work, friend!

  2. Laura up there!! :) Your comment made me laugh. I can hear you saying that EXACTLY as you wrote it. Goes to show how genuine and real you are in every sphere. Makes me miss you (that lucky London)! xoxoxo


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