Charleston Update!

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since we arrived here in Charleston!  Below please find an update on our place and some of what we’ve been up to!

We are enjoying our time here in Charleston – the weather was initially chilly but it’s been warming up and most days have been in the 70s.  It’s been wonderful to go on walks in t-shirts and shorts and enjoy the warmth!  The city is very pretty, the people are pleasant, and we have made our first friend:  a big yellow lab who lives down the street who we’ve decided to call Duke…. 🙂

Some recent Charleston notables include:
– “America’s Most Friendly [City]” by Travel + Leisure in 2011 and in 2013 and 2014 by Condé Nast Traveler,[7][8]
– “The most polite and hospitable city in America” by Southern Living magazine

We’ve had some great meals and many more to come – we are amazed at how many great restaurants there are (over 700 listed on trip advisor alone) for a city with a population of only 130,000.  It is exactly as I pictured it – a smaller, cleaner, safer version of New Orleans.  I love New Orleans too and Charleston shares similar architecture and fantastic gourmet southern cuisine!  Dave has had some of the best oysters ever (fresh and fried) and I am loving how many restaurants serve PEI mussels, littleneck clams, and local swordfish.  It’s a foodie heaven for sure!  Yum!  Charleston also features quite a few rooftop bars and restaurants, a pleasant surprise.  We’ve only been to one but will visit others soon!

Dining Ventures

We are still continuing to do our Fast Diet between all the eating, where Dave and I restrict our calories 2 days to a week to 600 and 500 calories, respectively – and normally no drinks, though Dave is a bad influence and there is an occasional cocktail on those days!

Charleston City Highlights
We have done some exploring around this very historic city.  The homes are really amazing and it seems like every block has houses on the National History Register.  An architectural walking tour and visits to the many churches of this Holy City is definitely on the list!

Isle of Palms – Nov 8
Barrier island close to Charleston – nice wide and quiet beach with homes set at a decent distance from the dunes (kind of reminds me of beaches at home in Long Island.)

Fort Moultrie, Sullivan’s Island – Nov 8
Fort Moultrie is a series of citadels built to protect the harbor of the Holy City.  The first fort, built of palmetto logs, inspired the flag and nickname of South Carolina, “The Palmetto State”. Interestingly, the space between the logs with filled with sand and readily absorbed shots and shells from the British ships.  Crazy huh?  Highlights here include the disappearing rifle (after firing, the rifle pivoted down so it could be reloaded safely behind concrete walls.)

Fort Moultrie’s history begins during the Revolutionary War and continued through the Civil War, WWI, WWII – it became a national monument in the 60s.

Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant – Nov 8
We initially went just to see the plantation – but were pleasantly surprised to catch a Civil War re-enactment! We enjoyed it more than the plantation home!

Civil War Re-enactment



Boone Hall Plantation Home most frequently photographed plantation and one of America’s oldest working plantations (we weren’t too impressed with the few rooms they let you visit.)  Part of the movie The Notebook was filmed here – I do love that movie!

Don’t pick the cotton!

Live Oaks and Spanish Moss make for a dramatic and beautiful entrance to the plantation, while period costumes took us back in time.

Our Place
Our apartment is an old vintage 1 bedroom (clawfoot tub and all) attached to a huge Victorian B&B home on Warren St.  We are in one of the historic districts and close to the College of Charleston, just a few blocks from upper King St (design district) which is loaded with bars, restaurants, shops, etc.  It’s a fantastic location and we are able to easily walk to most of the city’s attractions.  It is also extremely reasonably priced!

Unfortunately the apartment had dust in it probably dating back to Queen Victoria – ha ha! I was seriously not happy about all the cleaning that had to be done during our first few days!  We also had to contend with a coffee maker that had previously doubled as a roach motel and dead bugs in the freezer (HOW does that happen?) and on the underside of the trash can lid.  We should charge the owner a cleaning fee!

I suggested to the owner that she, similar to what our Napa owner does, charge all longer-term renters a move-out cleaning fee and have the place professionally cleaned in-between renters (at no cost or work for her.)  She seemed agreeable to that idea.  Despite the cleanliness issue, the place will suit us fine for our time here 🙂

VRBO lesson learned: Confirm that the place will be professionally cleaned prior to move-in!

Here’s a link to the listing – this is for the unit downstairs – we are upstairs and it looks pretty similar.

My work really hasn’t skipped a bit, though the internet access hasn’t been the best.  It’s very quiet and I’m probably more productive here than I am in Chicago.

We are looking forward to having my Mom come in for Thanksgiving week and our friend Paul visiting in early December.

We have our first visitors confirmed for St Helena – Kate, Mike, and Elizabeth are coming in the week of April 4 for spring break – woo woo!

Please visit us if you can swing it!  We miss friends and family and look forward seeing you soon!

Chicago friends – I will be back in town on business on Jan 14 and will plan to add a day or two for fun!

Stay tuned for more updates and pictures – our goal is to post regularly/every few weeks when we have interesting updates!

Love,  Cindy & Dave

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