Fri. May 19, 2017:
Toronto flight to Charleston, SC
I was thrilled that we got to the airport and through security really quickly and with no delays- I wanted to go to David’s Tea to get some tea for the week. What I did not anticipate was that David’s Tea was in a different section of the terminal and I could not get to it. As we waited for our flight to start boarding I ended up making a sizeable dent in my book, The Undoing Project, to the point that I thought I might finish it before we got to Charleston, SC.
We had a layover in Charlotte, NC. The internet said that the Chick-Fil-A was still under construction but as we approached we saw the lit-up sign… and immediately our hopes were dashed. The sign was complete but that was about it. Why did they light it up?! So mean. We ended up eating at the Burger King next door. I went with the hotdog, because really how badly can you screw up a hotdog? It was about the same quality as an IKEA hotdog, not good but edible. The chicken fries however, those were another rubbery story with terrible dipping sauce to boot. Zesty cheese sauce does not go well with terrible chicken fingers. I had noticed on the terminal map that there was a bar called Carolina Beer Co. and it just so happened to be near Pinkberry- it was meant to be. The lemon flavour was ok, but the strawberry was far and away better. The guy even gave me a free topping (granola, if you must know). The bar was super chill, no one cared that I sat there eating my half-delicious-half-disappointing dessert. There was a diversity celebration happening nearby with the cheesiest of dance music. While they were playing the Macarena a guy was running towards them, I like to think he didn’t want to miss out on dancing. In fact he was going to find his travel partner as their gate had been switched. My reason for his panicked run was far better.
On the way to our gate we stopped to buy a Cheerwine. Apparently this is a North Carolina thing that neither of us had tried when we each separately visited North Carolina.
The flight was so short that I never even spit my gum out. I was about to but then I realized I needed it. Still?– I thought? Oh wait, we are beginning our descent. State 33!!! We also had a new record from getting off the plane to getting into our rental car. I could not believe how hot and humid it was. The girl at the car rental place said it was only going to get hotter in the summer. But South Carolina was absolutely gorgeous. There were palm trees everywhere and everything was so lush and green. It was a short drive to our hotel alas we had to listen to the radio because our car was so new it did not have an aux input for our iPod, just a USB input. We were staying at a Holiday Inn and I did not expect to be greeted with a free glass of wine. Everyone was also super friendly. Our trip was off to a great start. The wifi passcode did not work and I immediately started fretting, I needed to sync my FitBit steps, I was trying to win a challenge! The Cheerwine tasted like cherry Dr Pepper. The water in the hotel smelled like beets and tasted funny.
We walked to dinner at Magnolia’s. At first it was a pretty crummy walk. There was construction outside our hotel and we had to walk through parking lots and construction pits. It was also a bit sketchy at first. I did get to finally see a shotgun house. It was abandoned and I was mildly tempted to peek inside to see if I could see all the way through. It got nicer once we were on the medical school campus.
We passed a fake square-shaped lake and lots of big beautiful houses. There were so many lush green trees and they were just covered in Spanish moss. The houses had wrap-around porches and fans. We passed through a small park and a saw a white-bellied squirrel, and it was not fat. A red-tailed hawk swooped into an awning. There were a lot of gorgeous churches closer to downtown. There was a firewatch tower that reminded me of a game I had recently played on the Xbox. I never did manage to get a picture of it.
Even though we had a reservation we still had to wait before we were seated. No one really seemed to care and things just went at a slower pace. As we waited we watched people without reservations get turned away because there was no availability. Dinner at Magnolia’s was delicious. We made the mistake of each getting an appetizer because Brent wanted the fried green tomatoes and I wanted the crab bisque. Despite my hatred of tomatoes, I tried a bite and it was actually really good. For the mains, Brent had the scallops, shrimps and grits. It was ok, but I think I won with the bourbon fried catfish. The flavour had sunk in past the crispy outside and it was incredible. The black-eyed beans and corn salsa were just as good. The only problem was the portion, it was enormous and I could not finish it. We were way too full for dessert. I ended up having two cocktails at dinner, both were made with local liquers. The first one had spiced rum, cranberry juice and peach schnapps. It tasted like a Bath & Body Works Christmas candle- in a good way. The second was an Arnold Palmer (which I mispronounced as Almond) made with Firefly vodka and sweet tea- the clear winner.
The walk back was annoying because the streets were poorly lit. At one point it got scary, we passed under a construction awning that was not lit and super dark. The one upside to the poor street lights was that we could see a lot of stars. It was unbelievable how hot and humid it still was outside, it was nighttime! When we got to the hotel it was still really warm in the room. I wondered why and went to check the thermostat. Turns out I had turned up the temperature before we went out. I was thinking of the temperature outside, not the temperature I wanted the room to be.