My first time in Charleston, SC, almost exactly a year ago, I spent most of the weekend alone. I should firstly explain that I was in town for Holy City Blues Exchange, a weekend full of amazing blues dances and live music. My social interaction was dancing with I could and coordinating rides with the lovely Nashville dancers I booked an Airbnb with. I danced from Friday night until Sunday afternoon to Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns and Eli Cook, but in the hours between dances I wandered King St. in the warmest jacket I had.
It was beautiful, and I treated myself to a new outfit at H&M, and a new Lush bath bomb. I also stopped by Savannah Bee Co. and picked up the most wonderful earl gray tea and peach beeswax lip balms. I use them every single day. It was a great trip, and I have no regrets about exploring it on my own, but this year was a completely different experience.
We started our roadtrip around 4pm and so began the concert of the year, with myself as the headliner, direct support, and local. I’ll use this opportunity to mention that my “Roadtrip Jamz” playlist is an absolute work of art, designed especially for Taylor and I. It includes swing and blues for me, Billy Joel for her, and plenty of Gambino, Chance, feel-good indie, early high school angsty tunes, and dad rock for the both of us. So although my audience this time was not Taylor, I made the most of it, and played some Dance Gavin Dance and Coheed and Cambria that we both love. We kicked off HCBX VIII by going to the Friday night dances and grabbing a late bite at Kickin’ Chicken for the best chicken and waffles.
Saturday we got a late breakfast at Breizh pan Crepes before heading to the afternoon dance were Eli Cook played, and immediately afterwards stopped by Five Loaves Café and Kudu Coffee.
As it started getting dark, we began the trek towards the parking garage and got pretty lost along the way, but the dance was so much fun it made me forget how unbelievably tired I was and how much my legs hurt from walking around in heels all day.
Sunday morning we stopped by Workshop, which reminded me of East End Market in Winter Park, FL. It was spacious and quiet and just adorable. The #1 Special Banh Mi and the garlic noodles from Pink Bellies were so good and filling, we didn’t feel hungry again until we picked up some dessert from Republic Ice Cream before getting back on the road.
Looking back, the majority of what we did was eat, but life’s too short to not enjoy good food when it’s available, right? We also slept very little, but the dances were more than worth it. I was so happy to see so many long-distance dance friends and have some great dances with new people. My only regret is not being able to stop by the museums and galleries around town.
We ended our trip on a happy note. After accidentally falling asleep for the first hour or so of the drive and feeling guilty, I woke up to the sweetest surprise. Before starting the trip I’d mentioned wanting to stop in Savannah, GA to walk around and stop at Chippewa Square. Even though we didn’t have much time, I woke up to ivy covered walls and Spanish moss, and the park where Forrest Gump once told his story on a park bench. It also helps that I picked up the most delicious rose chai latte on the way back to the car.
See you soon, Charleston.