Charleston, South Carolina
The land of Southern charm, Lily Pulitzer, and a lot of sweet tea.
I still don't understand the appeal of Lily Pulitzer. The clothing kind of reminds me of those tropical patterns you always see on lawn chairs and the wall paper of a condo in Hawaii. Why would you want to match the chair you're sitting on? (The neon colored sun dresses are kind of fun though) There were a bunch of other clothing-related things I supposedly learned but they have all escaped me. Oh well, at least I do remember the food :)
Poe's Tavern, located in a quiet neighborhood on Sullivan's Island, Poe's is an ode to the famed poet as well as the island which inspired his short story, "The Gold Bug". All of the items on the menu are named after his various stories and poems and the bathroom walls are laminated with pages of his works. We went for a lunch on a Tuesday (maybe it was Wednesday or Thursday...) and the place was completely packed!
|Snapshots: Kaminsky's Desert, the famed Poe's Tavern, Sweet Tea, looking like a "Southern Belle", burgers, banana splits & the water front.|
From the swanky Harbor Club to the touristy market place full of vendors selling trinkets and souvenirs,I got the full experience of downtown Charleston. The most exciting part of the day though was probably when we stopped by Kaminsky's, a famous dessert cafe, and my friend ordered a coffee drink where the caffeine and sugar content was probably illegal. Redbull should find the recipe of this drink and start selling it by the liter. College students (me included) would have quite a field day.
|Scenes from Kaminsky's. Iced coffee, Chocolate mousse and a rasberry drink with about 5 shots of espressso.|
Featured on the Food Network, 10 Best Restaurants of South Carolina, Post & Courier and every other local and national food website/newspaper in existence (oh and Oprah), this is apparently the place to go for Southern cooking. Probably should have tried something a little more adventurous then a grilled cheese.
|Southern classics: Mac and cheese, green beans, fried chicken, grilled chicken and grilled cheese.|
Anyways, after a week of nonstop Southern cooking, I realized my body was getting kind of angry with me so I decided to eat some vegetables...and then got yelled at for wanting broccoli. Oops, sorry! I'll know better next time to detox after I go home :o.
I absolutely LOVE Chicago. Yes it was freezing, rainy and windy for most of the time we were there but it was still quite an adventure. The first time I was in the city of Chicago, I was 15 and there for debate nationals. There was no one else I knew except for my debate coach so I spent most of my time wandering and exploring. I even attempted to walk to the Navy Pier from our hotel which turned out to be really really far. Much farther than the map led me to believe. I did this in my newly purchased $2.50 Old Navy flip flops. Yea those shoes lasted me a grand total of 24 hours.
|Not so much a section of the city as a random collection of streets on the periphery of Chi-town. You know you have arrived when the street signs turn into red, white and green (and there are Italian flags waving everywhere).|
It was quite a bit of a hike to get to Little Italy but the food was definitely worth it. A brief lunch turned into a 3 hour affair including a bottle of wine, various courses and a lot of chatting. By the time we were finished it was 4:00pm. By the time we got back to the hostel, it was 5:00pm. By the time we met up with our other friends, it was 5:30pm and time for dinner.No dad, I did not eat like this this everyday :p
|[Fried Ravioli] Perfect little pieces of heaven.|
|[Roast Beef Sandwich, left] [Sword fish & Risotto, upper right] [Scallops & something under the scallops :p, lower right]|
The last time I was in Chicago Chinatown, I was twelve (maybe 13 or 14....one of those nebulous tween years) and the Chinatown was tiny comprised of just a smatterings of restaurants with very ghetto looking tables. The place has had a complete makeover (sort of like those house rendtions on ABC) with a massive collection of authentic Asian cuisine and the typical hair salons.
|[Mongolian Lamb, upper left] [Sour Cabbage and Fish Soup, upper right] [Baby Sprouts, lower left] [Chives Dumplings, lower right]|