Monday, June 11, 2012

Historic Charleston, SC

We arrived in Charleston, SC around 4 PM on Sunday after what seemed like a long drive.

We stayed at a really nice Holiday Inn on the other side of the bridge technically in Mount Pleasant. If you go to Charleston, you should stay here. We were less than 5 minutes to downtown. AND we didn't have to pay for parking.
We had booked this room online at a few weeks prior. We took a chance when we decided to pick a mystery hotel based on location and how many stars and good reviews it had. The system said we would be getting a 3 star, 4 out of 5 rating on reviews, no breakfast, etc all for $70/night plus taxes and hotel fees.
After reading LOTS of reviews of what others had to say with this experience we decided to try it out. We figured if it didn't go well we were only there for 3 days/2 nights. You could pick any criteria you wanted, but this suited us.

We got lucky.
Once I knew which hotel we had I looked up there website and did more research. This Holiday Inn usually goes for $140/night.
Yep, we did good!

Check out our room:
Nice, right? We thought so.

After resting for about a hour we headed downtown to walk around and eat dinner.
We ate at a restaurant called Southend Brewery and Smokehouse where we had good food and a horrible experience. First we waited about 30 minutes to be seated. I didn't mind this. I expected this long of a wait.
Once we were seated we ordered our food and an hour later, we still DIDN'T have our food. It probably took close to 2 hours! That is awful! No one should have to wait 2 hours to get there food. On the flip side, we should have paid for our drinks and left. Not sure why we didn't. It wasn't like we ordered hard to make stuff. I ordered ribs - which were done - and Matt ordered a pizza. Our waitress kept telling us the pizza wasn't ready. I even asked several times if he should order something else. She kept telling us it would be a few minutes.
In the end, Matt did get his pizza and we didn't pay for it. I don't even feel we should have had to pay for anything. Nor should we have tipped her even though we did. It wasn't her fault we didn't get our food quickly, but I do feel she lied to us. Lied several times.
We were both very mad. She should have suggested we change our order or give us a free appetizer. We were starved!
Will never eat there again.
Never. Ever.
I am also hoping when people Google this restaurant my blog pops up and they read my review. And they chose to eat somewhere else.

Once we ate we walked to a nearby pier and got ice cream.
Monday was our only full day in Charleston and I had it packed! It was suppose to rain so we were unsure if we would be able to do everything I wanted to do. Thankfully it only sprinkled twice. Did not ruin our day at all.
We took a water taxi to Patriot's Point then to the South Carolina Aquarium.
I definitely recommend the water taxi. We paid $10/person for unlimited rides to 3 stops (we only rode it once all the way around). The guys were nice and the ride wasn't bumpy even though the water was a bit choppy due to the tropical storm further south.
Patriot's Point was awesome!
We got to explore two U.S. Navy ships and view a U.S. submarine (wish we could have gone in it). Neither one of us had ever done this before which made it a nice experience.
I had no idea how close there quarters are. Hope you like a few random pictures:

I absolutely could not get these in the order I wanted them.

The South Carolina Aquarium was alright. Very small. We looked at everything WAY quicker than I thought we would. I guess it is hard to compete with the Chattanooga, TN aquarium. I kinda felt it wasn't worth what we spent on it.
I liked looking at the fish, but the animals I most enjoyed were the lemmas.
Too darn cute!

 We went and saw them first; when we went to see them again, they were all sleeping in a ball.
Glad we got to see them interact with each other.

We ate lunch at the aquarium and then dinner at a place called the Noisy Oyster.
Wonderful restaurant!
We were lucky enough to get a view of Market Street, had wonderful service, and great food.

I ordered pizza and Matt ordered the seafood steam pot. We shared. His was even better than mine. Put Joe's Crab Shack to shame!
After dinner we walked around the water as well as the surrounding areas of Rainbow area and a park.
To me, this was very relaxing and enjoyable.
Here are a few of the homes and sites we got to see:
That evening we were both worn out. We stopped at Whole Foods for ice cream then headed back to the hotel to go swimming before it rained.
Tuesday we literally hung out around the hotel until it was time to board the ship at noon. We did manage to do some laundry.
Stay tuned for our adventure on the Carnival Fantasy!

I couldn't resist snapping these cute construction signs:

A few more cool things we saw; none of which we bought...
Matt wants this shirt - they didn't have his size though.

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