Crazy Things That People in Their Late Twenties Do (Charleston Vacation, Part 1)

This past week, Josh and I loaded up the tried and true CR-V with suitcases and dogs (Nola and Margeaux, to be exact) and did the whole fourteen hour drive thing to Charleston, SC.  (As I type this, I realize that 2012 has been the year of long road trips for me — here, here, and here being just some of the examples — it must be related to the world ending in December… obviously). 

Our friends, Megan and John were getting married — destination wedding style — in Charleston, South Carolina.  Aside from our great love for Megan and John, we also have a great love for the South, along with any vacation that promises delicious seafood and historical loveliness, so yeah, we were all about it.

But back to the road trip part…

The original, responsible, this-is-what-adults-should-do choice was to go to bed after getting off at the restaurant and leave early-ish the next morning (like 5:00 a.m.).  However, what usually happens with Josh and I is that we pack at the last minute, get NO sleep, curse our fate, and leave early anyway, with full intention of drinking multiple Red Bulls along the way.

This time, we’d done laundry early, cleaned the apartment the day before (which is essential to going out of town — we MUST come back to a clean house), and done EVERYTHING we don’t normally do.  So this time, when we were both prepped to go to bed at 9:30 with everything crossed off of our (read: my) to do list, we were surprised to say the least.  And then inspired… If you could call it that.

You see, now that 30 is on the horizon (and I’m referring to the age here), Josh and I have found ourselves making more spontaneous, i.e., more twenty-something type decisions lately.  Even if they are not the best decisions.

So instead of leaving the next morning after what would have been a restful eight hours, we threw caution, logic, and reasonable thought processes to the wind and decided to leave…right then.  Like at 10:00 at night.  What made this even sillier was that we hadn’t exactly gotten a full night’s sleep the night before.  Yet, the idea of jumping in the car right then and jumpstarting our vacation eight hours earlier was so appealing that we just did it.  The solution to our sleep deprivation issue was that we would just trade off driving and napping shifts.

One of many caffeine stops along the way…

We didn’t take into account the fact that we might both be sleepy at the same time and of course this was the case as soon we hit Maryland.  I was fighting sleep in the passenger’s seat, Josh was even more so in the driver’s seat, and our dogs were… wide awake.  But they don’t know how to drive, so they couldn’t exactly pull their weight in this case.  (Obviously that’s the only reason… not the whole no-opposable-thumbs-too-short-and-oh-yeah-they’re-dogs reason.  I mean, that one just doesn’t hold up.)

So we pulled over to a truck stop with the intention of taking a twenty minute nap (we set an alarm and everything), but it turned into a two hour nap (we’re old and tired…. did I mention we’re approaching thirty?).  However, we still had a six hour head start, so we didn’t feel too defeated, and after just a few more stops, we got into Charleston at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday.  I mean, we had zombie eyes and everything, but we were still there a lot earlier than if we had waited until the next morning.  Overall, our twenty-something choice was the best one (or at least, the most fun… and THAT’S what is more important).  Right?!

A truck in a gas station: This is the moment we realized we were back in the South.

While the wedding was in downtown Charleston, Josh and I, always on a quest to save the murnies, opted to stay just outside of downtown Charleston in the lovely and quiet West Ashley area.  We also had the babies (read: dogs) with us so we needed a pet friendly place that wasn’t going to charge us an arm and a leg simply because we had two dogs.  And because we had been with the dogs and were suddenly in a, strange, new place, we really wanted to eat dinner somewhere that was dog friendly.  (And don’t you know I thought of that before and did an Urban Spoon search for a dog friendly restaurants in West Ashley?  Of course I did.)

We ended up at Parson Jack, a slightly more-than-a-sports-bar sports bar that had an enclosed off-leash dog patio along with “best wings ever,” according to chicken wing aficionado, Josh Donahue.  Not to mention they had DIY s’mores for dessert (yes, please), which we absolutely ordered.  They brought out a small basket of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers, along with a little burner and two fondue skewers.

And after a Captain Obvious reminder from our server that fire can cause fires, we proceeded to roast our own marshmallows at our table.  Cutest.  Thing.  Ever.  (More restaurants should do this! But then again, fire can cause fires, so…).

That was about the extent of the excitement for that day, especially since we’d driven all night and morning and were — like I said — zombies.  We went to a PigglyWiggly across the street (I forgot those existed!) and got a 6 pack of the local amber beer, Palmetto Amber.

The verdict: Josh liked it; I thought it was awful (and I like amber beer).  And while we forgot our bottle opener, we were in luck because our hotel had one… attached to the wall.

That’s right, our basic-er than basic hotel had no tissue box, no hair dryer, no alarm clock, no wall art (oh, how I pined for a floral still life or bird nest print), but it had… A wall-mounted bottle opener:

So.  Much.  Class.

After a beer and a half (I had the half), we went to sleep for eleven hours (eleven!), got up, and did lots of cool things…

… Which I’ll tell you about tomorrow!  Check back!