Friday, June 12, 2009

Our Charleston Trip: Part One

Well, it's only been 3 weeks since we got home, better late than never. Hey, I HAVE been otherwise occupied! I'm not posting any pictures since you can access them from my picture link.
Mrs. B
17 May 2009
Here we are back in Charleston (it's been four years!) and back at the Vendue Inn. This time, we are in #256, which we are pretty sure is next door to the first room we stayed in in 2004. In any event, it's a lovely room. The bed is so comfortable and incredibly high. There is even a foot stool to use!
We left home around 10:00 am yesterday and enjoyed the drive down in our new car. We stopped in Lumberton NC for lunch at a Ruby Tuesday. Thankfully, we had a far better experience this time than we did in Indiana several years back (that, truly, was the dining experience from hell). Ruby Tuesday must be trying to set themselves apart from the likes of TGIF, Chili's and Applebees as the decor looked decidedly different than before; more now like a (somewhat upscale) steak house (a la Ruth Chris or Flemming's). Anyway, the food was fine; I had a salad because I was anticipating looking smashingly slim in my red dress later on that night but I did indulge in a mojito. Mr. B was very happy to have a tall Sam Adams and a buffalo chicken sandwich.
We made it to Charleston around 3:00 pm. As always, it was hopping! Lots of people roaming around and the usual bikers (for some reason, every time we come to Charleston, there appears to be a biker rally).
After sort of unpacking (which meant basically we hung a few things up and put the toiletries in the bathroom), we went across the street to the main part of the inn for their daily afternoon wine and cheese reception. Everyone who works here is extremely friendly. One of the managers, Jerry, talked to us quite a bit and kept bringing us more wine and offered to bring us some cheese, fruit and crackers from the other room (we elected to hold out for dinner at SNOB).
After talking to Jerry about our dining plans (and the fact we only had a RSVP for that night at SNOB, leaving three other nights), we ended up making RSVPs for tonight (Sunday) and Tuesday. Tonight will be a new Italian place that I'd read about in Gourmet magazine and Jerry confirmed it was quite excellent. It'll be "family style"; no menu. Whatever it is, it is. Tuesday we opted to make an RSVP at the Vendue Inn's restaurant The Library. We've never eaten there and figured we may as well give it a try since everything else about the Vendue Inn is generally positive.
BTW, Jerry is a relatively attractive man in his mid to late 30s. He came to Charleston from New Jersey many years ago (although he was not at the Vendue Inn when we came in 2005). At one point, he mentioned his fiance, however, he kept hovering around us and coming back to chat; and, as I said, offering to bring us wine and tid-bits. Mark's Gay-Dar went up so let's just say Jerry was not coming around to butter ME up :-)
After a bit of a rest in our room, we got gussied up for SNOB. The Red Dress. YEY! Looked good!
They were great to us at SNOB, as always. Read my review from Trip Advisor by clicking here. They had "our booth" for us (although we did have to wait a bit in the bar since the diners there before us were taking their own sweet time paying the bill) and brought us complimentary flutes of champagne once we were seated.
After dinner (and feeling quite full), we decided to walk to the waterfront park (right by the inn) to smoke a cigar and swing on one of the many porch swings on the pier. It was a lovely night out, although turns out a storm was brewing! It woke me up in the middle of the night; Mark didn't even hear it; probably because we'd had a long soak in the tub, more wine and he was one sleepy dude after all of that! Not to mention, this bed; it's like sleeping in clouds (I stole that line from another guest who wrote it in the register).
We're having a slow start to our day today. We just got back from breakfast (it's no longer a buffet; probably the only disappointment regarding the changes the new management has made to the inn) and are trying to decide what to do today. Probably just roaming! Dinner is at 7:30 pm.

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