Didja miss me?
I missed you!
It feels like it's been much longer than a week and also much less than a week since I've written. Let me fill you in!
Last Christmas, my parents gave us kids a trip as our big gift. My dad planned a week long trip starting in Asheville, then moving on to Charleston, heading to Kiawah Island, and then back to Asheville. We spent about two days in each place. It was easily one of the best trips I've ever taken - not only because the scenery, accommodations, and food were MIND-BLOWLINGLY GOOD, but because my whole family was present. Laughing with my family is one of the greatest things there is.
So - let's kick things off when our trip began in Asheville:
- My mom and Parker's girlfriend, Emily, came to a Pure Barre class that I taught! So fun to have everyone there.
- We met up with the guys and went to Mayfel's in downtown Asheville.
- After breakfast, we loaded up in the giant SUV my dad rented to accommodate all six of us (plus Tom Hanks, in this case) and drove to Max Patch, where it was THE MOST PERFECT DAY.
- Though we probably should've taken naps, we came home, had a cocktail, rallied, and got ready for our fantastic dinner at Limone's. I wish I had pictures, but, tragically, I do not. Just imagine it.
- The next morning, we piled into the SUV and headed to Charleston. Arrived at our beautiful hotel, Zero George. If you have plans to visit Charleston anytime soon, I cannot recommend this hotel enough. It is the most charming place - everything about it is lovely. The hotel itself is beautiful - eye candy around every corner - the rooms are spacious and cozy, and the staff is incredibly attentive. I really can't say enough about it - it's a "can't miss" and is hands-down my favorite hotel of all time.
- We traipsed around Charleston for a bit - visited Battery Park, looked at the historic homes - came back, the girls put on our robes and enjoyed our champagne and cheese boards, courtesy of the hotel. I mean...are ya kiddin' me? I was basically pretending I was Beyonce at this point.
- Quickly dressed for dinner at Le Farfalle. Don't have any pictures from here, either, but this is a newer restaurant in Charleston (has only been open 9 weeks). It's a great, romantic setting - house-made pasta. Jordan had a squid ink dish, and I had the housemade spaghetti in butter sauce, pictured below. Both were delish. (Thanks to their website for these pics!)
- We capped the evening with cocktails on the rooftop of The Restoration Hotel. So delicious and great service. I continued drinking my new favorite - grapefruit juice, Tito's, St. Germaine, and a splash of soda. To my immense disappointment, this drink already exists and is called a Greyhound. I'm still going to pretend I made it up.
- Arrived back at the hotel to discover turn-down service and chocolates had been deposited in our room as a late-night treat.
- Enjoyed a completely picturesque breakfast at the hotel. Zero George has lovely indoor and outdoor seating along with a breakfast that makes you feel like you've been teleported to France. I'm telling you, everything about this hotel is just drool-worthy.
- The kids decided we were up for a bike ride, so we rented bikes from the hotel and cruised around the city for about an hour.
- Had lunch at Chez Nous, a teeny tiny restaurant in Charleston that you can totally miss if you aren't looking for it. One of the best meals I've ever eaten, and I think everyone would agree. The restaurant itself is a tiny space, well-decorated and beautifully lit, and the (handwritten) menu is traditional French cuisine. The chefs create two options per course, so the quality is just out of this world.
- We basically staggered out, woozy with total delight, and tried to window shop. Ended up waving the white flag and returning the hotel for pre-dinner naps.
- I have no pictures of dinner - suffice it to say it was delicious.
- For dessert, we headed to Peninsula Grill (a famous and very old-school Charleston restaurant) for their iconic coconut cake. We had a slice for every two people - the girls drank champagne, the guys drank cognac, and we tried to act like adults but were really giddy and giggly. Dad had to keep us in line as we grew louder and louder.
- We came back to the hotel and played what has become a staple of family game night - a game I'd like to tell you about right now:
- It's called Telephone Pictionary, and here's how you play.
- Start with a stack of small sheets of paper - there should be one sheet for every player in your group.
- On the top sheet of paper, you write a phrase. It can be anything - the more nonsensical, the better. For example, one of mine was, "Mom tries to wink" (we'd been trying to teach her how to wink on this trip to hilarious failure).
- You then pass your entire stack, not just the top sheet, to the person to your left -- the person to your right passes their entire stack to you.
- The clock is set for one minute. You read the phrase on the top sheet, then move that sheet to the bottom of the pile. You then have one minute to draw a depiction of whatever that person's phrase was - in this case, Emily had to draw, "Mom tries to wink." You can't use words - only pictures.
- After a minute, the whole stack gets passed again -- only this time, the next person has to write a description of the drawing they received.
- And so on and so forth, until your stack makes it back to you. The best part is the end, where you get to reveal what you actually wrote and how convoluted and strange it got by the end. I can guarantee that you will die laughing every time.
- Part II tomorrow - we head to Kiawah!