We love any excuse to travel and visit our friends, and this time it was for good reason…a friend of ours was turning 30 and recently became an American citizen (originally from Poland.) A’merica! So what better way to spend the Labor Day weekend than with red, white, and blue decor in the historic town of Charleston, South Carolina?
Our rented, 16 people, beach house was located on Isle of Palms, which we were quickly informed is known as “IOP” to the locals. The private pool and short walk to the beach were superb, and where we spent the majority of our days. We arrived on our friend’s actual birthday, so we were excited to take him out and celebrate. We quickly experienced the hospitality and kindness you hear about of this charming town at a cozy, Italian restaurant, Coda del Pesce. The entire restaurant chimed in to sing “happy birthday” and cheers to our birthday boy. After eating exquisite Grilled Octopus, Oysters, Tagliolini with Clams “Vongole” (which was talked about for days after), and the best Scaloppini Pork with Risotto I’ve ever had, we all headed a few doors down to a bar, the Windjammer. Thanks to DJ Natty Heavy (a childhood friend to one of ours in the group) we danced the night away to our favorite new hits as well as hits from the 90s…yes N’Sync was played.
After spending a full day at the pool and beach, we cleaned up to head into Charleston to board a sunset cruise, or in our case, a “self-proclaimed” booze cruise on the Charleston Explorer. The sites were stunning, and it was thrilling to spot dolphins. I also loved the boat mascot; he was such a sweet dog… “ruff” life! We then caught a water taxi to take us into town to catch our dinner reservation at Cypress. I loved their wine wall, and of course had to grab a picture in this glass room…my heaven! All the food was mouthwatering. The Sashimi Tuna & Oysters were not what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised. My husband’s Steak Diana was the perfect concoction of mushrooms, swiss fondue, and truffle flavors. I also witnessed the Lamb fall off the bone of my friend’s meal beside me. We all left satisfied, and took a much needed walk to burn off some calories to the next bar…
Sunday morning was a bit rough after a night out on the town. We were looking forward to the brunch reservations we had made at the Boathouse that was less than a 5 minute walk from our house. Hair of the dog? Why not?! We ordered a few, affordable $15 crafts of mimosas, and many of us were glad we chose their Omelet of the Day that included BBQ Pulled Pork, mushrooms, and grilled onions. It was unique, but delectable. I was not looking forward to getting into a bathing suit after this meal!
Thankfully, the sun helped us work up our apatite again for dinner. We enjoyed beer, burgers, and fish tacos at a laid-back and casual joint, Poe’s Tavern on Sullivan’s Island, and you guessed it…Edgar Allen Poe was everywhere! Keeping with the theme, their menu included items such as the “Raven” and “Pit & Pendulum” as ways to order your choice of beef or chicken sandwiches. It was very obvious why they are known for their burgers!
I was sad for our last full day of vacation, but it was the perfect way to spend Labor Day…laying by the pool and playing at the beach. We decided to head into Charleston later in the afternoon to explore the town…this “exploring” quickly became a bar crawl. Our first stop was the Rooftop at Vendue Inn. This hotel is actually dedicated to the arts, which gives you the chance to experience the different pieces as you walk through the lobby. We spent a lot of time at “LOOK” which took us back to our childhood memories of playing with the red Fisher Price View Master toy. Finally reaching the bar, the drinks and view was exactly what we were hoping for! Our second stop, the Bar at Husk, made us feel like we had stepped back in time with the dim lighting and exposed brick. This was not the type of place I could order my go-to Michelob Ultra, but the guys were like giddy school girls with the extensive list of bourbons to choose from…which resulted in us staying a bit longer than planned!
Our final stop was at Poogan’s Porch for our dinner reservations. We started by ordering a few bottles of wine, Fried Green Tomatoes, Crab Cakes, and tried not to fill up on their homemade biscuits that melt in your mouth. Their menu was impressive; everything sounded so enticing that it was hard to choose what to order. My entre of Pan Seared Scallops made me really regret the biscuit I ate; they were to die for! Our table had many other dishes such as Shrimp & Grits, Short Ribs and the Seafood Combination, that met and exceeded our expectations. As our meal was coming to a close, we learned more about the mysterious legend behind Poogan’s Porch. Due to our curiosity, our waitress gave us a printed handout with the full tale. My friend then read this to our entire table as we all listed intensely. I have to say, this was a first to have story time in a restaurant, but who doesn’t love a good ghost story…?!
It can always be a little tough getting back to reality, but at least celebrating with good friends in a charming, beach town over the Labor Day holiday, helps reiterate the fact of working hard to play hard…at least that’s the Meg Williams’ Way!