Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Southern New Year - Charleston, SC to Savannah, GA

Wednesday, January 31, 2014
The next morning, we woke up and my hair looked great!

Ha! We got an early start, and headed out to Angel Oak, which is thought to be the oldest southern oak in South Carolina. It was down a long dirt road, and a very secluded, quiet place. It was a lovely early morning stop on the way to Savannah.

We drove for a while down Route 17 toward Savannah, and stopped on Edisto Island, which was beautiful and nearly empty in the off season and cold. We gathered some sea shells and walked along the beach before hitting the road again.

It was around this time, about a third of the way to Savannah, that we realized if we wanted to see the sweetgrass baskets we'd come for, we actually should have gone north out of Charleston. So... we turned around! The nice thing about vacation is you can do whatever you want. And we did. And it was awesome. On the way to our first booth, I heard a knocking sound I'd never heard before and when we looked up, saw my very first woodpecker! It was an incredible sight!

We hopped from booth to booth and spoke to some incredible basket weavers. Because it was after Christmas, and because the weather was a bit chilly and rainy, there were a lot of empty stands, but that made it all the easier to spend extra time talking with the artists we met. We ended up buying a few baskets from three weavers, each of which is beautiful in a unique way. Roger fell in love the with the elephant ear baskets and I loved the double-loop ones. We couldn't afford any of the really big pieces, but I'm glad we went back to buy a few smaller ones.

It also let us head to one last Charleston restaurant, which turned out to be the best meal we had the entire time! We ate at Martha Lou's Kitchen, and it was incredible. Any disappointment we'd had about missing the fried chicken the night before was totally alleviated when they brought out our platters. Every thing we ate there was perfect, from the (not overly sweet) sweet tea to the chicken to the lima bean sides to the spectacular pecan pie with a flakey crunch crust. Even thinking about it a month later as I write this, I just want to burrow down into that food. Another highlight is that Martha Lou herself was hanging out in the kitchen and dining room, and the waitresses were incredible. Seriously one of the best meals of my life.

After lunch, we made our way south to Savannah, again, and stopped for the most amazing boiled peanuts ever on the way back. I'm not sure what the name of the booth is, but it's on Rt 17 South and SC-174 and they were extremely tasty. After that, we drove straight to Savannah and had a little time to park and settle in to our hotel before we went to Kinzie's amazing apartment for a little New Year's Eve fun!

Kinzie and her husband, Donnie, had set up a little snack table and we all hung out and chatted there for a bit before joining them at one of their friends' houses for a little beer pong.

We headed back to Kinzie's just before midnight, and spent the evening chatting about our goals for 2015 and beyond. It was so great to hear how eclectic all our hopes and dreams are, because there's nothing more inspiring than hearing what brilliant people hope to accomplish, and how they plan to do it.

It was seriously one of the best New Year's Eves I've ever had. It was so much fun and so low-key. I can't think of a better way to ring in 2015 than with delicious food and brilliant friends in a new place to explore. Thank you so much, Kinzie and Donnie, for hosting us!

Next Up: We spend the day wandering around Savannah!

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