We walk out of the Vendue inn before sunrise, stretch a little and start running south to Broad St. then out Broad to Colonial Lake and over to Murray Blvd. This was my run every day in College. I tell my wife stories of my time as a fraternity brother at the College of Charleston. She waves me off, exasperated. We make it to East Bay St. running in the now sunlit humid air, passing the pastel mansions back to the Vendue.
We wait in line at Callie's Hot Little Biscuit for breakfast. After braving the lines we grab our pimento cheese and ham on a delicate biscuit. We walk the smartly revitalized King St. South, heading into the Arboretum of The College of Charleston, faded pink buildings and oak trees line famously tricky brick paths. We make our way down the peninsula, ducking into the Unitarian Church cemetery with its overgrown flowers and Spanish moss hanging almost to the gravestones.
For lunch we meet an old friend at 167 Raw for oysters and seared tuna sandwiches. we tell stories from college and again, Stacy, my good natured, funny wife scrunches her nose and rolls her eyes.
After a nap we walk over to Meeting St. to look at the Hibernian Society where I bartended in college. I served simple high-balls to old men who played Gin Rummy all day long in a dimly lit back bar. "Bubbah...... would yah do a vodka soda one moahhhh time fohhh me?"Their bemoaned and histrionic blue blood accent, a mix of Cajun and Canadian, accentuating HEWZ for house. I did homework and watched Burt Wolf and Samantha Brown travel shows and listened to the old men carry on.
We continued on to Legare St. and Tradd, peeking in on manicured gardens, passing bespeckled guinny hens and crape myrtle trees. Carriage tours passed by as older couples wearing seersucker suits and smart dresses came out of their mahogany doors for the night.
At the rooftop bar at the Vendue Inn my wife, wearing nude strappy heels with shorts and an oxford, her hair braided the way nordic blondes do, takes my olive as i sip a vodka martini. We stare out over the harbor. Red roofs and palmetto trees, rust, white church spires. It is one of the most enchanting views on earth.
We walk over to Slightly North of Broad for dinner. I have the flounder with Carolina Gold rice. It is a dark and traditional space. I remember a New York strip with blue cheese and shoestring potatoes from 20 years ago that was the best steak I have ever had.
We end our night at the Griffon bar throwing darts, drinking scotch. On our way across the street to the hotel we look out on the harbor, smelling pluff mud and sweet grass, we take it in, enchanted.