I’m writing from the airport this morning. I’m off to NYC for a couple of days, and I thought this would be the perfect time to write all about my week + my Charleston trip. I hope you have your coffee ready because this is going to be a long one! I picked my coffee up at Cinnabon and it was so hard fighting the temptation for one of those tasty little cinnamon rolls. It doesn’t help when my gate is right across from the delicious aroma.
I spent all last Wednesday locked to the couch editing the video + blog post from my hiking trip. I knew I had to get up and do something or I’d officially become a couch potato.
I laced up my shoes and headed out for a quick three mile run in the neighborhood. After my run, I took the boys out for a two-mile walk. When I’m a couch potato, so are they.
For dinner, I made roasted carrots, salmon, and brussels sprouts. I’ll blog that recipe soon!
I have no idea how it happened, but I’m on a kickball team in a real kickball league. I hadn’t played kickball since I was in sixth grade! Not to brag or anything but Meighan and I both scored on our first kicks. My second kick was caught, and I managed to get a few people out. It was honestly such a fun night and I can’t wait for my next game. When I got home, I made leftover flat out wrap pizzas and a Caesar salad for dinner. Meighan and I headed to Charleston Friday morning. This was going to be our last long run together before our half marathon. We wanted it to be somewhere fun, so we could celebrate how far we have come. As soon as we arrived in Folly, we headed to CVS and the grocery store for beach snacks and a quick lunch.
Now, that’s a big SAND wich. 😉
All of that bread was too much and I didn’t want to be too full for our dinner, so I reconstructed the sandwich.
We spent a couple of hours on the beach and then headed to get coffee and walk the pier. Folly is so much fun to explore and it’s filled with fun shops and restaurants.
If you’ve read any of my other Folly Beach/Charleston blogs, you know I never leave without a cappuccino Center Street Coffee! It’s the cutest little spot, and the coffee is delicious!
I ordered a cappuccino with skim + one extra shot of espresso!
Beach hair. Don’t care.
We left Folly Beach around six, so we could check into our hotel and clean up for dinner.
We stayed at the Francis Marion Hotel. It’s right on King Street and close to all the coffee shops, restaurants, trails, parks and more. I used to drive by this hotel every time I was in Charleston and dreamed of staying there. So glad we finally made it happen!
The hotel rooms were adorable. Gold & Blue! The view of the downtown Charleston was breathtaking, and you could even see the water.
“The historic Francis Marion Hotel, named for the Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox,” has a long tradition of gracious service, elegant accommodations, and hosting splendid banquets and events dating back to its opening in 1924. Built by local investors at a cost of $1.5 million from plans by noted New York architect W.L. Stoddard, the Francis Marion was the largest and grandest hotel in the Carolinas. The 1920s was the Golden Age of railroads, radio, and grand hotels, and the Charleston Renaissance was in full bloom and the Francis Marion Hotel was “the place to be” Read more about the history here!
If you want a taste of southern hospitality, you’ll find it here! The staff was so friendly and welcoming.
Meighan and I headed down King Street to find a place to eat dinner.
We found a cute little spot called “Eli’s Table.” It’s right on Queen Street.
We sat outside under the lights. They greeted us with Champagne. “HELLO!”
We treated ourselves with an appetizer. All of the appetizers look phenomenal, but we went with the Prosciutto & Fig Crostini. It had fresh local figs, prosciutto, truffled goat cheese, and pomegranate syrup on top of toasted crostinis. They were heaven. The bottoms of the crostinis were slightly toasted in butter.
For my entree, I had Eli’s Forager’s Salad with salmon on top. Their salmon was perfection. The salad had kale, lemon-olive oil, blackberries, watermelon radishes, shaved red onion, and vincotto.
I cannot wait to go back! We skipped out on dessert because we wanted to feel our best for our last long run on Saturday morning. Kyle and I are going to come back here for dinner when we visit again!
I never slept better in my entire life. The hotel beds were like clouds 🙂
My alarm went off at 5:30 am, and I slept through it for a good five minutes. I heard it going off in my dream, but couldn’t snap out of it. The annoying alarm didn’t wake me up, but Meighan’s voice softly whispering, “Tara, Tara” woke me up.
I headed downstairs to grab us some pre-run fuel and coffee. I like to be awake three hours before my run, so that’s why I woke up so early!
Pre-run fuel: banana, energy nut bar from CVS, and a medium-roast coffee.
It was kind of a bad thing that the beds were so soft because I didn’t want to get up.
We took off for our run at 8:30 am! I had a route in my head, and I was happy with how successful it was.
*When I take photos while I run, I just hit the camera button and pray they turn out well enough for me to edit! I don’t stop to take photos.
We started down King Street. Luckily it was still early, and most of the shops hadn’t opened up yet. Most people were rising or packing for a day at the beach. We were extremely blessed with perfect weather.
We took a turn down Meeting Street to Queen Street and then to the water.
I always talk about how I rarely sweat during a run. I usually sweat once my heart rate begins to go down, but this run had me sweating the first five minutes. Welcome back, humidity!
I saw this magazine at the grocery store and recognized the path instantly 🙂
Running in a new scenery makes a difference for me. The beautiful surroundings distract me, and I forget about the time or any aches and pains. If the run is any distance over six miles, I have to find a new spot.
There is a method I always use to start and finish in the same place during long runs. I want to be near my water when I finish, and in a spot where I can stretch.
Estimate your mile time – 10:25 per mile
Divide your total distance in half – 4 miles
Multiply your half distance mileage with mile time – 10:25 x 4 = Approx. 41 Minutes
Run the half time in one direction and immediately turn around and run back to finish the next half.
If you’re running a loop, you won’t have to worry about it! Be aware of the streets you take and take a second to recognize and memorize buildings you pass.
The mileage felt great! I could have kept running and so could have Meighan! We just wanted to stick to our training plan and not overdue it! We still had a lot of walking to do. If you are ever in Charleston and want a great running route, use the one posted above! You won’t regret it. But don’t do it in the summer! It tends to get a little too hot and humid downtown.
The plan we used and created was amazing, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
After showering off and checking out of the hotel, we walked down to 82 Queen for breakfast.
Last fall, Kyle and I had breakfast with his dad at 82 Queen. I’ll never forget the incredible food I had, so I wanted to experience it again. I also wanted Meighan to try it out!
This place is a Charleston gem. The restaurant has been in Charleston for over 30 years, and it continues to thrive and serve some of the original recipes.
Southern buttermilk biscuits <3
I never liked grits until I had them at 82 Queen, and putting seafood in my omelets would have never been ok with me.
Meighan and I both ordered the same breakfast. I’m literally at the airport drooling over this photo! I just want this all over again.
The low country omelet had shrimp, crabmeat, spinach, tomato and Parmesan cheese. We had a side of stone ground grits, bacon, and fresh fruit.
Add this breakfast to your Charleston list; you will not regret it!
We food coma walked all the way back to the hotel to pick up the car. We were excited to spend the rest of our day at the beach.
Instead of going to Folly Beach again, we decided to try out Sullivan’s Island. It’s usually less crowded and easier to get to.
Nothing better than cold coconut water under the sun!
After the day at the beach, we decided to grab gelato and coffee at Beard Cat’s Sweet Shop! Meighan found this place on her phone search, and it was definitely a win.
Gelato made fresh daily with milk from local South Carolina farmers!
I had a cappuccino + 1 extra shot of espresso and a side of gelato. The sweets shop was so bright and colorful!
For my gelato flavor, I chose one scoop of carrot cake and scoop of pistachio almond.
The carrot cake gelato had chunks of actual carrot cake in it. It was out of this world! The pistachio was equally delicious.
We decided to leave around 6 pm. We wanted to get back on Saturday night, so we didn’t have to face the Sunday Easter traffic on the way back to Charlotte. If you like spicy and sriracha, you need to try this popcorn!!! We made it to Charlotte around 8pm and I was so happy to see Kyle and the pups.
Meighan has been BEGGING me to try out Joe’s Dough’s for the past four months! Ironically, they sent me a free half dozen coupon in my Instagram inbox. I think Meighan’s continuous behavior of tagging me in their post worked.
We decided to pick up their Easter donuts early Sunday morning. I was sad that the Cadbury egg donuts were sold out 🙁 Above we have salted chocolate caramel, coconut jellybean, chocolate sprinkles, glazed, cinnamon, spicy carrot cake, maple bacon, and chocolate glazed. The donuts were pretty dang good! *adding this to my Charlotte list* We cut them into little pieces so we could sample them all. To be honest, my FAVE donuts are the jelly filled ones.
Kyle and I took the pups the dog park later Sunday morning. This was Leo’s first dog park! He was a bit scared at first but was jumping all over the dogs ten minutes in. They were both in heaven! I used to take Grumples to the dog park every single day when I was living in Atlanta. It was my morning routine. I’d grab coffee and drive him over to play for an hour.
I wish Charlotte had more dog parks! This is Frazier, and it’s located near uptown Charlotte. It’s pretty large and there are a lot of grassy and shaded areas for the pups to play.
The boys were zonked.
Since the gym was closed on Sunday, and there was no way I was going to go out for a run, we all headed to a hot yoga class.
I loved the 95+ degree room. Sweating out all the toxins and getting in a deep stretch was just what I needed! I was actually feeling sick on Sunday, so I was nervous to do yoga, but it actually made me feel better.
After yoga, we all headed to Bourbon N Burgers (formerly known as EDS) for lunch. Kyle and I split a turkey BLT avocado wrap with sweet potato fries.
We all split wings and Southwest spring rolls. They were so good! This is probably a top spot in Charlotte for wings. I recommend the Jamaican Jerk.
I spent Monday morning having coffee, relaxing, and working on the blog. I even fit in a three mile dog walk with both dogs before it got too hot out.
I made a yummy tuna salad on Monday for lunch. You can find the recipe here!
I decided to head to the gym and do an athletic conditioning class on Monday night. It’s one hour of movement to keep your heart rate up. Lots of jumping jacks, squats, ab work, planks, push-ups, hand weights, cardio, and so on!
I took the dogs to my parent’s house Monday night, and we all hung out for a bit. I stopped at CVS to grab my FAVORITE post workout on the go drink! The muscle milk pro series is so good! I usually have it fifteen minutes post workout. Sometimes I drink half before and half after.
After working yesterday afternoon, I headed out for a three mile run before yoga. Running and yoga always relaxes me before a day of travel.
On the way home from yoga, I stopped and picked up a salad at Chopt! I still have half left in the fridge and can’t wait to eat it when I get home on Friday.
My salad had cranberries, goat cheese, the Chopt lettuce blend, Falafel, grilled chicken, butternut squash, onions, cucumber, and balsalmic on the side.
Kyle and I spent the night finishing up 13 Reasons Why. It’s a love/hate for me with that show. It’s definitley one you’ll have to judge on your own. Some people like it or hate it. I’m kind of both.
Questions for you!
- Have you ever done hot yoga?
- Best Donut flavor you’ve ever had?
- Favorite destination run?