My aunt lives just outside Charleston so we stayed with her, my uncle, and cousin. I hadn't seen them in almost 2 years, so it was nice to get to hang out with everyone, especially my cousin Ellen. Of all of my cousins she's the baby, so I couldn't believe it when I found out that she's driving!!!!
And honestly, she's a good driver. She drove us to dinner one night and I never felt like I was going to die while she was driving - not like I have with some other, new drivers - *cough, Matthew, cough, cough*
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
My mom and I headed out of Chesapeake on Thursday. One bad thing about Charleston is that it is one long, boring drive away. I had my camera out for most of the trip so I could do another Traffic Cam post, but didn't see much besides trees, fields, and cars from Quebec (I think Quebecians must migrate south mid-April).
Since its practically family tradition, we stopped at South of the Border on the way down. That place is so old and decrepit - I wonder if it ever made any money. (I think that in-car DVD players were the final nail in the coffin of that tourist trap because they take kids attention away from the billion signs counting down to Pedro's.) I don't think this place has been renovated/updated since about 1976 - they didn't even have a computerized cash register! Paper and pencil all the way (I may or may not have bought my dad a key chain that is a bottle opener/corkscrew for only $2 - what a bargain!)!
When we finally got my aunt's I found out that my uncle and cousin love, love, love The Office. They even had the British version on DVD, which is so funny! The Jim character (Tim) is not nearly as cute as John Krasinsky, but the Dwight character (Gareth Kennan) is just as funny and weird as Dwight K. Shrute!
Friday was my appointment with the school. I sat in on a class and took a tour. Its relatively new, small, and right in the heart of the city. Even though its why we took the trip, I don't want to get bogged down in the logistics of choosing a law school here - that would be no fun - especially when there's lots of good shopping to talk about!
Like I mentioned, the school is on King Street, which my tour guide informed me is the heart of the city - good bars/restaurants to the north, good shopping to the south. After the tour my mom and I walked around downtown Charleston. I was surprised at how much of a city it is. I guess I was expecting it to be kind of like the "city" of Chesapeake, or at least comparable to Norfolk, but its more built up than either one.
I was surprised by how much Charleston reminded me of Charlottesville (I actually kept calling it Charlottesville, whoops!), but its more like Charlottesville on steroids. Like Charlottesville, Charleston is historic and walker friendly but its so much bigger than the home of my alma mater. I actually think Charleston's a little trendier than Charlottesville, but I also think the population is more diverse so it can support all of that trendiness. And honestly, its beautiful. The homes are gorgeous, old and historic. And its right on the water.
It looks like just about everyone down there is rolling in money, like they have so much money that they having nothing else to do with it other than spend it in every way possible - maintaining lavish homes and lifestyles, owning a boat, opening trendy restaurants/shops, and embracing the yuppie lifestyle. I liked it. I know I won't have much money when I'm down there, but I think you could do a lot worse than hanging around with a bunch of yuppies.
Friday night my aunt took us to this restaurant on Sullivan's Island (a barrier island of Charleston). This is the island where Hootie, aka Darius Rucker, of Hootie and the Blowfish fame lives. Unfortunately we did not see Hootie, which is probably a good thing since music-wise, I'm stuck in 1995 and cannot get enough of these guys.
Anyway, the restaurant we went to was really cool. It was called Poe's Tavern. And get this - the whole restaurant is Edgar Allen Poe themed. There are posters of him and movie posters for the film adaptations of his work hanging everywhere. Poe's specializes in specialty burgers and chicken sandwiches. I had a chicken sandwich topped with buffalo shrimp and bleu cheese sauce, so yummy! Even the menu was Poe themed! All of the dishes were named things like The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pendulum.
I know this is going to sound weird, but the best part was the bathroom. They had taken pages from his stories and plastered them all over the walls in lieu of wall paper. It was chaotic but thought out, just like Poe's work (what a coincidence...). The whole experience was enough to make this geeky English major's heart go pitter-patter.
Saturday we headed back to the city with my aunt and cousin. It was fun. Lots of shopping and walking around. We had $3 margaritas (yummy), played with the iPad, and scouted out cute guys (oh Ellen, when you're 21 we'll have such fun drinking together!). My aunt showed us more of the city. It really is a beautiful town.
I have some pictures from our trip, but haven't loaded them onto my computer yet. So I'll save those for another post!
ps. This has literally taken me