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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Otte

East Coast to West Coast | 2018 Travel Series Part 1

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

Where has the time gone!? It always seems to fly by, but particularly this year - it has gone especially fast for me!

Between juggling this new mommy-work life balance gig this past year, a growing business, working our tails off over here at The Modern Hive with some really exciting on-going projects and trying to squeeze in a little bit of 'me' time (#exhausted, #survivalmode, #bringwine), the year has simply flown by. HELLO it's 2019 and I am JUST now taking time to write this travel series out!

I did however manage to escape for a few extended weekend trips! Taking that break is SO SO important, they rejuvenate your soul and reset your mind, at least I have always found that to be true. I have always found that whenever I travel, I always come back inspired in my design projects. Often I find while reflecting, that each travel experience is somehow incorporated into whatever it is I am working when it comes to projects at the time. What's that you say... you want me to design you a modern Parisian style condo?! Well.. don't twist my arm too hard, I've always wanted to travel to Paris.

So where exactly did I go this year? I'll be writing up a few blog posts on my travel experiences in the next few weeks 1: because I love sharing my experiences but 2: because I want to remember these experiences years later!

East coast travels included a quick trip to the charming and historic city of Charleston, South Carolina. My favorite part? Aside from taking our first family trip with Miss Riley, was of course the adorable boutique hotel we stayed in called The Restoration. I mean, just the name of it sounds relaxing - am I right?!

A close second has to be the adorable little cafe attached to the hotel called The Rise. But who am I kidding?! You don't go to Charleston to stay put in the hotel, you go to Charleston to experience the city! Check out the rows and rows of antique stores, and Market Street, learn about the rich history, drool over the fascinating architecture and eat fresh Southern sea food!

For anyone who has been to Charleston, you already know that the city is known as the Holy City for it's church steeple skyline. The historic city is lined with skinny brick buildings, all of which are of short nature. Back in the day it was a city ordinance that buildings were not to be built tall.. rumor has it because they wanted to preserve that steeple skyline.

During our time in Charleston, I have to admit - I played it real low key. As a new mom to a 5 month old, I wasn't about to make all these extravagant plans for tours and eating excursions (stay tuned for part 2 of this series where I re-gain some of my energy!). So I followed. And relaxed. Drank just a little, and ate lots of good food! And I slacked on taking pictures, because guess what?! I was actually making a conscious decision to be in the moment and enjoy this time.

So, because photos are lacking here are my top 5 tips and favorite things to do while in Charleston:

1. Stay in the downtown area and if you can, stay in a boutique hotel. You won't regret it!

2. Learn about the history - whatever way you can! We did a horse carriage tour. While I was consoling a spit-upy baby just about the entire time on our horse tour (PS: they are kind of overrated) I did actually enjoy strolling through the historic neighborhoods and learning about the rich history and even some folklore rumors! We also did a tour to Sumter Island and learned about the battles fought there during the Civil War.

3. Go Antiquing! While I didn't exactly get to do that due to baby and the boys (dad and hubby) who aren't exactly shopping enthusiasts, I did get to walk down a few of the antique alleys and pop into a few.

4. Find a rooftop restaurant and eat there! Because the roads were built so skinny back in the day and everything is so close together, you really don't find much for outdoor seating in the downtown area, unless it's on the roof! Our favorites were the rooftop bar at our hotel called The Watch

5. Map out the restaurants you want to eat at! 5Church and Magnolia were at the top of my list!

6. Okay.. and 6 BONUS! If time allows, schedule a spa visit to the Amethyst Spa! PS: anyone else notice that amethyst is EVERYWHERE in Home Goods this year and past year? I may have picked up a few amethyst rocks for my own home collection after doing a spa day at the Amethyst in Charleston!

In Summary, now that my daughter is a bit older, I'd really love to go back and explore a bit more (especially now that I'm getting the hang of this mom life... well... at least for now until the next learning curve comes about). But In the meantime I'll just have to reminisce about our first family vacation to this adorable city!

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