My Surprising Trip to Charleston

This submit is sponsored by Marshalls. Find extra on our sponsored submit coverage here.

If you’ve been following us on Instagram, the cat is out of the bag. But in case you haven’t (nicely, it is best to — observe us here!), I went on my Choose Surprise trip for Marshalls. And it was the whole lot. EVERYTHING.

The one factor I like most about Marshalls is precisely what they’re finest identified for — wonderful surprises in every of their shops at unimaginable costs. That factor of shock makes buying FUN, and I like figuring out that regardless that I don’t know precisely what I’d discover, I positively know that I’m going to stroll away with one thing (or a number of issues!) that I like. I took this way of thinking with me to Charleston, and it impressed each facet of my journey — from my buying journey to Marshalls to get me packed and prepared, to the wonderful issues I did/noticed/ate over the course of the weekend (extra on that under!). Trying new issues and making shock a alternative is fairly liberating — and I really realized loads about myself after a weekend away with simply me! And it began with a little bit inspiration from Marshalls to search out out what would occur after I actually step out of my predictable routine.

Wanna hear the play-by-play? I believed you’d by no means ask!

First, as I headed to the airport, I opened my sealed Pack Up + Go envelope (eventually!) and discovered that I used to be going to — shock — Charleston! I’ve been to quite a lot of U.S. cities earlier than, however by no means had I been to Charleston. And I used to be pumped. I’ve watched journey applications and meals exhibits all about Charleston’s magnificence, allure and meals scene. And, guys, it lived as much as the hype.

So, on a aircraft I obtained with all my superior Marshalls finds. Did you recognize they even have nice offers on baggage, totes, equipment, magnificence provides and journey must-haves — like the attention pillow and headphones you see under? And that they get new stuff in on a regular basis, so that you by no means know precisely what you’re going to search out — however you will be completely assured that you just’re going to adore it? True story!

After two fast flights, I landed in Charleston and instantly obtained that Southern hospitality that the city is understood for. As I obtained off the aircraft, one airport worker requested me how I used to be doing. I stated, “Good!” and requested him how he was. His response? “Ma’am, I’m loving life,” with an enormous smile on his face. I got here *this shut* to high-fiving him as a result of that, my pals, is the right way to dwell.

That first evening in, I obtained settled into my lodge room (I stayed at Belmond Charleston Place — so good!), unpacked after which spent far too lengthy determining what to put on to dinner at Prohibition (I had SO many nice choices from Marshalls that it was arduous to decide on, however I settled on an extended, flowy black gown with sandals, jean jacket in case I obtained chilly inside, hat and a clutch that was simply the correct mix of cute and cozy but additionally completely appropriate for the place I used to be going) and needed to energy stroll down King Street to make my reservation time (bonus cardio!). There I had an amazing cocktail and a few wonderful roasted carrots and recent grouper.

That subsequent morning, I went for a leisurely jog all the way down to the Battery and ran alongside the seawall, admiring each the views of the water and the attractive properties. Along the way in which, I took loads of stroll breaks, stopping to examine among the historic buildings (and there are quite a lot of them!) or slowing down simply to admire a ravishing backyard, flowering tree or cool vintage or hat store. It was so enjoyable to go jogging in a brand new place, but additionally to decelerate and soak within the metropolis. Charleston has the type of magnificence that simply makes you need to cease and admire it. Truly, a shock round each nook.

After my run, I cleaned up and went on a strolling meals tour. Charleston is understood for being a foodie’s dream (and all over the place I went they’d implausible gluten-free choices!), so I had mini meals or snacks at 5 superior locations. It was so enjoyable, and I, fairly actually, obtained a style of what Charleston is all about, plus plenty of historical past. From hash to pralines to grits to collard greens to spices and tea, it was scrumptious. (I’ll write all about that in a second submit on Fit Bottomed Eats later, so keep tuned for that!)

And I knew precisely what I needed to put on for the meals tour. I picked up this romper at Marshalls earlier than my journey and I knew it will be PERFECT for the recent, humid climate. It’s completely snug and will be dressed up or down relying on what footwear and equipment you put on with it. Seeing that I’m usually in operating kicks, the gold wedges had been fairly the style departure for me, but it surely felt actually, actually good. I felt like a real Southern belle (and obtained plenty of compliments on my outfit!).

After the meals tour, my stomach was full, and I headed again to the The Belmond for spa time. I had a therapeutic massage, manicure and facial. IT. WAS. GLORIOUS. I hadn’t had my nails accomplished in a few 12 months, and I haven’t had a therapeutic massage or facial since I used to be pregnant with Gwen … and she or he’ll be two-and-a-half in September, so, yeah. It was completely outdoors of my norm and completely wonderful. The meals tour crammed my stomach with goodness, and the spa crammed my spirit with calm.

After getting my zen on, I placed on one other wonderful discover from Marshalls and went to one of many hottest eating places in Charleston: Husk. The pink ruffles are completely Southern and completely proper for an evening out. This is one more occasion after I walked into Marshalls, tried on one thing new and was stunned with how a lot I LOVED it on. Paired with a cute little clutch I picked up at Marshalls, too, it was nice for an evening out in town.

And the meals didn’t disappoint. Oysters … tomato salad … Carolina Gold rice … catfish … peanut butter chocolate shake … bourbon. It was probably the greatest meals I’ve ever had. You know once they discuss having the ability to style somebody’s love or ardour within the meals? Husk has that. If you’re going to Charleston, guide a reservation as quickly as you recognize your dates (I used to be advised by quite a lot of locals that they couldn’t consider I obtained a reservation), get there early to sit down on the attractive entrance porch, and order the whole lot on the menu. You received’t remorse it.

That subsequent morning, I took a leisurely stroll down King Street to a different beneficial restaurant: Stars. I’d realized on my meals tour that brunch was an enormous deal for Charleston of us — nearly everybody goes after church (they don’t name it the Holy City for nothing!). So clearly I needed to do brunch proper. And Stars had an amazing buffet. It was a pleasant solution to strive a little bit of the whole lot: native recent fruit, shrimp and grits, kale salad, omelette, roasted potatoes, and sausage. Plus, espresso. Always espresso.

My final cease in Charleston was at Mira Winery. The wine is definitely made in Napa, however one of many homeowners has a house in Charleston in order that they determined to open a tasting room. Lucky for me, I may get in a tasting simply earlier than my flight residence. These are my type of pours …

And it was nice. I sat outdoors on their again patio, underneath the shade of an enormous umbrella and delightful sprawling oaks, and leisurely sipped on some severely GOOD vino.

And I imply leisurely. I sat there for nearly two hours, and loved each second.

And, to be trustworthy, that basically stunned me about your complete journey. I’ve flown alone lots. But vacationed, fine-dined and wine-tasted alone? Not actually. Not ever. I’ve at all times been with somebody or going to go to somebody or assembly up with somebody. But it was very nice to only sit again and have an entire desk to myself. Sometimes I’d chat with fellow diners or have an extended dialog with the server concerning the meals or wine, however very often, I’d simply calm down, get pleasure from and take all of it in. I used to be stunned by how good that felt.

I used to be additionally stunned with how a lot enjoyable I had dressing up for, actually, nobody else however myself. I used to be in a brand new place, doing new issues, and it was liberating to put on garments I didn’t usually put on. I noticed myself in a brand new approach. Not higher — simply completely different sides of myself. And, in quite a lot of methods, it was a complete confidence booster. I favored spending time with myself. I favored trying good and dressing up. I favored treating myself to dessert and a glass of wine. I favored mixing issues up. I favored slowing down. I selected shock — and I noticed myself in a brand new approach.

An enormous because of Marshalls for sending me on this wonderful journey and serving to me to interrupt out of my on a regular basis routine. An enormous because of the folks in Charleston for being so good, welcoming and making some darn scrumptious meals (and taking my picture so typically!). And an enormous because of — corny as it’s — shock itself. Surprise itself stunned me with how a lot one journey may make me see myself in a brand new approach.

Have you ever been on a visit and located your self modified from the expertise? Did it shock you, too? —Jenn