A few weeks ago for Spring Break, we took a lovely trip to Kiawah Island and Charleston in South Carolina. The entire trip was wonderful, relaxing and fun. I would highly recommend the places we stayed plus the tour we took in Charleston. So, this blog could be a recommendation on places to stay and things to do but it is not. What it is is a confession of a girl who loves dresses who got completed distracted on a walking tour of historic Charleston.
If you love beautiful linen, gorgeous maxis dresses, and white shirts, and if you went into serious mourning when Calypso St. Bart’s closed, then read on.
We started our trip at The Sanctuary Hotel and Spa whereas my son Jackson put it, the service is unparalleled because “everyone is on the same page”. A gorgeous resort hotel, right on the ocean, yielding a stunning view from the balcony and even when “booked to capacity” at 10:30 am on a beautiful morning, my son Thomas and I were the only people by the pool.
The food was exceptional, so much so that I ate some bread at the Italian Restaurant, Tomaso. I think I said aloud, “I really understand why Oprah says ‘I love bread'”! in her Weight Watchers commercials. The service at The Ocean Room makes you appreciate every single detail of fine dining including when all four plates are set down at exactly the same time. A detail not lost on my son, Thomas.
After the lovely stay in Kiawah, we headed into Charleston and stayed at Zero George. A historic hotel, quaint and charming. The best word I can use to describe this hotel is peaceful.
I always love to take a tour in a new city, as it is the best and easier way to understand not only the history but also figure out what types of things there are to do and where it might make sense to spend some more time. So, upon a recommendation, I booked a tour with Two Sisters Tours.
The walking tour is lovely and informative and about 2 hours and 15 minutes. We lucked out with a picture perfect day and a tour guide that was Charleston native (7th generation) making it very special and personal.
Everything sounds great so far, right? Normal, spring break activities… which was exactly how it was going until about halfway through the walking tour, our guide, Mary Helen walks us by a women’s clothing boutique, Madison- Mathews. I glanced at the window and then literally felt the universe pulling me into the store.
One look was all it took. I glanced quickly around the store – eyeing the white linen shirts, white dresses, seersucker, the hand-embroidery. Should I go back to my tour, I thought? Should I try on dresses? Should I try on dresses, catch up with the tour later? I was afraid of getting lost so I told the ladies in the store I would be back and caught up to my tour.
Focus I told myself as we passed more historic houses. Focus on the stories, the history. Look, this building used to be a grocery store. Fascinating. I tried to tell myself as my mind went back to the white dresses.
I quickly caught up to Mary Helen and tried to ask casually, “Are we going back the same way we came?” (I am thinking I can run into Madison – Mathews on the way back.)
Mary Helen responds “Not exactly but we will end up in the same general area we started.”
Panic sets in. I loved those dresses and white shirts. I can’t leave without them. My mind is racing.
“I would like to go back to the dress store.” I try to sound casual, calm.
“No problem” replies Mary Helen, I will walk you over after the tour. It will only be a few blocks away and I am friends with the owners, I will introduce you.
“Great!” I respond. I try to relax. The tour continues. I am no longer listening to the tour. I want to go back and try on the dresses.
So, I am proud to say I made it through almost all of the rest of the tour. As we were walking and started to get further and further away from Church Street, I could feel my blood pressure rising (not healthy, right!!) and I bolted back to the store.
Anyway, this story has a very happy ending. I have found (and wanted to share with you) my new fav store and clothing line, Madison- Mathews. It is exactly what a beautiful clothing boutique should be in my opinion. A store filled with unique pieces and where you can have a conversation with the owner and designer. I could have spent all day there learning more about their story and success.
I am sure you can guess where my vote will be for spring break next year!