Break out your popcorn, because it’s time for show and tell! Today I’m spilling the details of my recent trip to Charleston, SC for the Saveur Blog Awards! If you’re curious and dying to know more about one of my favorite Southern cities, you most definitely came to the right place!
Two weeks ago, we traveled to Charleston as a family, Brett and I the captain and co-pilot to a crew of squirmy Cheerio-throwers in the backseat of our packed-to-the-brim SUV. We’ve been to the sweet Southern city of Charleston a number of times, but this was our first time traveling with tiny humans. The kids did terrific on the ride there, in large part due to Mickey Mouse, Cheez-Its, and sugar-coated cereal that I shoved in their mouth any time they opened it to cry. #survival
In place of the luxury accommodations we usually opt for, we selected an Airbnb on King Street that boasted quick access to restaurants, coffee shops, and (let’s be honest) Jeni’s Ice Cream. The Saveur events didn’t start until Sunday, so we spent just over 24 hours in the city as a family. It’s fun to watch your kids explore new places, and at 3 and 1, Aimee and George found a bit of adventure everywhere we went. Living room chairs and tables were new jungle gyms. Sidewalks were their ultimate playground for jumping, dancing, and crawling. Friends, I learned last weekend that my kids, given enough patience and nap time and ice cream, are willing and able to travel. While the trip was not without a few hiccups or emergency diaper changes, I think we really have a shot at a future of family traveling. TBD.
Once the blog awards crew arrived, the weekend really amped up. I was thrilled to see my dear friend Erin for a second time, and I even got to meet my long-time interwebs lady friend, Rebecca. These two, along with the multitude of other beautiful faces I met throughout the weekend, filled the days with laughter and served as excellent sources of encouragement and relation. Sometimes, as a blogger, you start to feel a little like an island, and it was so reassuring to hear from friends who are in the thick too.
The kind folks at Saveur set up a fabulous weekend of events for the finalists, including tours of Charleston, cocktail parties, pub crawls, and even panel discussions where we got to hear from industry experts about the ins and out of marketing, brand management, publishing, and social issues within the food industry. Yes, I met Deb, the fairy Godmother of blogging, and yes, she is as delightful and charming and sincere as you might have gathered from her writing. We heard from a number of other authors and even a few Southern entrepreneurs like Carrie Morey and Brooks Reitz.
I was honored to bring home the Reader’s Choice Award in the Best Baking and Sweets category. Although I attribute the win, in large, to the votes of my husband and my crazy-dedicated Selma friends, I am also aware that much of the success of this baby blog has been due to the help, encouragement, and inspiration that I’ve received from other blogger friends like Erin and Rebecca. It’s kinda like that scene from “Mean Girls” where Katy Herron breaks her homecoming crown into pieces and throws bits of it to other girls in the crowd; any win I experience in this new “career” is shared with the beautiful friends who have sewn into this site. It’s a thrill to bring home a trophy, but the joy comes with the people who earned it with me. I will forever pinch myself with delight that I get to do something I love so much and that other people, like you readers, want to be a part of it. So thanks. Y’all are the best.
So here it is: the ins and outs of what we’ve done in Charleston. If you’re a history buff, love the South, or are just really into food, there’s something for everyone there. This is what we’ve done:
Where We Like to Eat in Charleston:
Approachable, farm-to-table seasonal cuisine.
Cozy, contemporary seafood eatery with a patio, serving oysters, lobster rolls, fish tacos & more.
Jeni’s Ice Cream
No doubt, my favorite ice cream of all time. OF ALL TIME, PEOPLE.
Delicious, elevated Southern food from chef Sean Brock
Rodney Scott BBQ
In a town with loads of BBQ options, this is the one to try.
Oysters and seafood in a hip setting.
Xiao Bao Biscuit
Seriously delicious Asian food with influences from China, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit
Award-winning Southern style biscuits with all the fixings. This is a must-see spot in Charleston!
French food in the coziest little nook of a restaurant. Romantic and provincial.
Darling Oyster Bar
Terrific cocktails and raw bar in a fun, chic location.
My favorite lunch in Charleston, located in the historic district.
What We Like to Do in Charleston:
Downtown Saturday Market
Shopping on King Street
Historical Walking Tours
Horse and Carriage Ride