Do you ever have that “split personality”-type feeling when you return from vacation? You know, where half of you is totally in the relaxation groove and the other half of you is chomping at the bit to get back to work? If you’re lucky enough to love what you do—like I sure do—then, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Brent and I just returned from our trip to Charleston, South Carolina. It was a great to get away for a few days to rest, to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, and even to do some shopping!
Charleston Place Hotel
We stayed at Charleston Place
, this great little boutique hotel and spa that was a block off of King Street and a couple blocks from Market Street.
Highly recommend this hotel. It's right in the middle of everything! No car necessary.
Of course, my favorite store at Shops at Charleston Place
Shopping On King Street
A view of King Street
As you probably know, King Street is like a shopping Mecca, and I rarely miss a Mecca. Shopping is part of my responsibility as a shop owner, but I don’t consider it work. I enjoy looking at different displays and visiting various boutiques.
So much to do on King Street
And King Street offered plenty. It’s always nice to see what others are doing in the market and to learn from other shopping experiences. To be honest, it’s just as educational in discovering what I don’t want for Bella Vita as it is finding things that I like.
Loved this window display. Lots of "display inspiration" in this town!
Plus, it often validates all the hard work and effort we put into making our brand come alive within the walls of our store. We take great care in our customer service and visual displays. (But I digress.)
Carriage Ride Through Cobblestone Streets
Many streets still have cobblestones. This was picture was taken on Meeting Street.
My first carriage ride. Highly recommended on the first day. It helped us learn our way around the city.
So, we took in the usual sights and relaxed and enjoyed our time on vacation. One afternoon, we took a carriage ride through the cobblestone streets of Charleston to learn about the history of the town. (Like, did you know Charleston boasts the first public college, museum and playhouse in the U.S.?).
Historic Home Walking Tour
Porches in Charleston were built facing East to catch the Atlantic breeze.
Another day we hoofed it on a five-mile walking tour of historic homes. The antebellum homes were, of course, lovely and quaint and charming and spectacular in all kinds of ways, but that walking part … not much fun. Let’s just say it was hot. And not July in Memphis hot. Try a heat index of 115 degrees! Needless to say, I was thinking more about when this walk would end than what type of shutters were perched upon that old house.
I sent this selfie to the girls at the store to see if they liked my new hat!
Oh! And if you’re like me and purchase new outfits for vacation, well I never took the tags off on this trip. The unexpected heat sent me out to purchase much cooler and more breathable attire. So much for my fashion-over-function mantra.
Quick History Lesson At Fort Sumter
Brent's a history buff...so this was the favorite part of the trip
Now for more history … there’s a lot in Charleston, as you can imagine. Fort Sumter was at the top of Brent’s agenda, so we went for a visit. There was this battle, and that one, and then infantry and artillery. Amazing stories, mind you, and Brent was in Heaven! Admittedly, war history is not my cup of tea, but I was more than glad to indulge my history buff hubby … even in the heat. I recommend a visit.
Take the Bike Taxi everywhere you go, so worth it!
Charleston has so much to offer with incredible home tours, history lessons and shopping inspirations, but the most exciting part for Brent and me was by far the amazing food! We didn't want to get there and figure out that we needed reservations three weeks in advance and miss out on a dining treat, so we planned this itinerary before we left and made reservations at the top spots to eat. So glad we did, because we enjoyed every bite!
Lunch: Fleet Landing
Lunch: Jestine's Kitchen
(because it's worth eating there twice)
Dinner: Hank's Seafood Restaurant
Brunch: Poogan's Porch
Dinner: Slightly North of Broad
Brunch: Eli's Table
Dinner: Boathouse at Breach Inlet
A Visit To Rewined
Rewined Candle HQ. It's all about the candle-making, no frills!
Oh, and before I wrap up, I can’t forget to tell you about our visit to Rewined Candles. If you've never experienced one of these candles, you’re missing out. They are made from re-purposed wine bottles and the scents are based on different wine varietals. It was great to tour the facility, see how the candles are made and meet the owners. Honestly, I was surprised at how big the facility was—7,000 square feet and they ship to 7-10 countries.
Finding out how it's all done
We sell Rewined Candles at Bella Vita, so please come by and check them out. They have a very delicate aroma, and they make great gifts.
Our gorgeous view while at dinner at Fleet Landing
Sunset cruise off of Fripp Island
Overall, our trip to Charleston was just what we needed. Sightseeing, education, fun, food, a little R&R and even a quick excursion to a B&B on the coast.
Time To Get Back to Bella Vita
On the plane home - We had so much fun!
Alas, it’s back to the daily grind at the shop, but I’m glad to be home. The staff at Bella Vita kept everything in tip-top shape while we were away—just in time for me to come back all inspired and ready to plan for the fast-approaching holidays.
One great takeaway from our vacation: we might have discovered a new feature artist for Bella Vita. Stay tuned to see what happens—I can’t wait to share the details! Until next time...