Fall 2016 Road Trip Part 2: Columbia & Charleston

After spending time in Savannah and Charlotte, which I blogged about in Part 1, we drove an hour and a half from Charlotte to Columbia, South Carolina. We saw there was an Old Chicago restaurant near our hotel, so we were excited to have dinner there since there used to be one near us when we lived in Brandon and we absolutely LOVED it. We ordered a classic pizza and weren’t disappointed! We had to eat quickly because Eli was fussing, but it was just as good as we remembered!

When we got back to the hotel, we had to improvise with bath time for Eli. He was on an every-other-night bath schedule on our trip and this was bath night. He didn’t seem to mind the tight quarters!

img_9730img_9735Monday Robert worked while Luke, Eli and I went to the Riverbanks Zoo. Thanks to our membership at Lowry Park Zoo, we enjoyed half-price tickets. The zoo was fantastic! A lot of it was recently remodeled, so it felt very fresh. I noticed right away how close you can get to the animals. There’s a large deck area to stand while the giraffes come right up to you. The elephants are almost within arms reach. Plus there are a lot of animal statues, which we had fun taking selfies with. We arrived shortly after it opened at 9, and stayed through lunch, which is a pretty long outing for us.

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From there we drove two hours to Charleston. Robert continued working and would meet us there in the evening. Luke cried for about half the trip because the iPad we had with us did not have mower videos on it, and then he fell asleep five minutes before we arrived to our hotel. I sat in the car for 20 minutes while he slept and then checked into the hotel. I’m sure our crew was quite a sight with me loading up the luggage cart while wearing Eli in his carrier and telling Luke to sit on the cart so he wouldn’t get run over by a car. Then pushing the cart as another adventure, especially navigating it into our room.

img_6757Once Robert arrived we got ready for dinner and ate at a place in downtown Charleston called Fleet Landing. It literally sits over the water. I had shrimp and grits, which were delicious.

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From there we walked around the Waterfront Park area and stopped at the pineapple fountain, which turned into quite an adventure. There were a couple kids wading in the water, so Luke followed their lead and hopped right in. We quickly decided we needed to remove his clothing. He wanted to take his diaper off too but we were able to keep that on, fortunately. He was loving it and didn’t want to get out but it was getting dark and I wanted to check out the pier before heading back to the car. Fortunately I had a baby blanket to use as a towel. His shorts were toast – soaking wet, so he sported just his button down shirt and a diaper for the rest of our walk. We walked out to the pier to look for dolphins but didn’t see any. After that we called it a day and headed back to the car. It was a long but really fun day!

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Tuesday Robert worked just outside of Charleston and the boys and I went to check out Patriots Point, which is where the USS Yorktown is docked. I saw online that there are lots of old war planes on the ship, so I thought it’d be fun for Luke. It ended up not being as fun as I thought. A lot of the ship was not stroller friendly at all, and Luke really wasn’t interested in the planes. Plus there were tons of mosquitoes! We were all getting bit pretty badly, so we didn’t stay long. While packing up the car about 10 flew in. I was surprised they were as bad up there as they are in Tampa. We swung by a Harris Teeter to pick up lunch and headed back to the hotel.

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After lunch Luke took a 2.5-hour nap! I was astonished! Eli slept for a little bit, woke up and we played, and then he fell back asleep (on me) for nearly two hours. I considered moving him so I could get up, but I realized I didn’t have anything I needed to do, so I just stayed there with him. It was a weird feeling. I always have things to do, but what was I going to do in this hotel room? So I did some instagramming, face booking and reading from my iPhone. It was pretty nice! I reflected on how blessed I feel to be able to do such neat things with my boys, even when our adventures don’t turn out to be as fun as I hoped.

Everyone woke up refreshed in time for Robert to get back and we headed to Shem Creek for dinner. We ate a delicious dinner at Vickery’s, where we could see shrimp boats and miles of marsh land. After dinner we walked out on the boardwalk and caught amazing sunset views, met some people fishing and passed lots of friendly dogs. It was finally feeling a little like Fall with a nice breeze and drier air. Still warm, but a tad crisper than what we are used to.

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We got up Wednesday, had breakfast at the hotel and hit the road. The map told us the drive would take six hours and 40 minutes. We took our time and made it in about eight hours.

All in all, traveling with little ones is no easy feat! There’s a lot of stuff to lug around, lots of transitions and new things to see, do and eat, lots of time in the car. But I’m glad we did it and I’m proud of how well Luke, especially, handled it all. Being a toddler is tough and he took (most) everything in stride. There were tough moments, but looking back, we made some great memories, and I can’t wait to take another adventure with my crew!

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