For Christmas this year, Adam gave me a weekend away in Charleston, completely on my own. I was set to head out the Friday after New Year’s, January 5th, except I still had the flu…and then a snowstorm hit the east coast and closet Charleston down for a few days. So, instead, I flew down on January 26 and stayed two nights, and had the most amazing time wandering around by myself.

I stayed at the Dewberry and spent most of my Saturday morning in their spa. It was heaven. We’ve had a busy few months of work travel for Adam, holiday work deadlines for me, lots of meetings and evals and progress for H, and I was just a little burned out by the time Christmas came around. So this trip reset me, refocused me, and the spa rejuvenated me. All of the self help cliches you can mention, and all were true.

When I got to town Friday night, I wandered up and down King Street. I had poutine and fried chicken at Virginia’s on King and sat there drinking a local pilsner and reading my Kindle for quite a while. It was so much food, but I wanted to try everything. And I picked up cupcakes and a t-shirt from Cupcake Downsouth¬†and brought them back to my room to munch and hang out (and then hit the gym late that night).

After the spa on Saturday morning, I just wandered the city all day. Booze pops from a truck, a Kapla toy store where I picked up pink blocks for H, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits in the market for a walking around snack. It was perfect weather.

I had lunch at Hyman’s and reminded myself that I really don’t like grits, but I did love the sweet crabcakes and shrimp.

And then I just wandered around, looking at everything.

I picked up a beautiful cheeseboard by Robb Helmkamp from Charleston Crafts, a very cool juried gallery/shop run by a collective of artisans.

And then Saturday night I had the best meal at Vintage Lounge. I sat at the bar outside on the back patio and had their fondue, which was just amazing, and drank whatever wine the lovely bartender suggested. She and I talked about books for ages (I was there pretty early in the evening, before it was busy), and I sat reading with my Kindle again.

And then it was Sunday morning, and it was time to go home. I was so ready to get back by then, but it was just the best weekend. I loved having some time on my own, a proper distance from home so I wouldn’t just be tempted to drive back and see everyone. H and Adam had a great father/daughter weekend. And it set me up mentally for the year ahead. I came back ready for new challenges, with new plans, and just feeling like it was going to be a great (but so, so busy) year. I loved it in Charleston.