Two of the amenities I looked for, and found, in our Charleston hotel: (1) a midtown location so that we would not have to drive everywhere; and (2) free breakfasts, so my early morning cranky self wouldn’t have to go out hunting for overpriced coffee and muffins. Those carefully made plans were blown our first morning in Charleston.
Mr. HT decided that he didn’t want the pumpkin pancakes that the hotel was serving that morning, with the usual fruit and pastry buffet. He wanted to go to the Hominy Grill instead. Hominy Grill is a trendy restaurant that’s on many “best breakfast” and “best southern comfort food” in Charleston lists.
If I hadn’t been so hungry and grumpy (what’s wrong with free pumpkin pancakes?!), we would have made a longish but doable walk to the restaurant, on the edge of downtown. As it was, we drove. Review sites warned of long waits for a table, so Grant — more than me, because I would have been happy to kill him if I’d had to have waited — was relieved that the restaurant was more than half empty. It was about 8:30, so locals were probably already at work.
A table in a quiet corner and some coffee later, my horns began to recede and I folded my pitchfork into my purse.
While we waited for our food, we noticed the interesting architectural details in the room. Our waiter didn’t know anything about the history of the building but another waiter heard us asking and stopped to chat and provide some information. The 19th century building had been a residence, a store, and a barbershop. Where we were sitting was an expansion, and the barbershop poles framing a door on the inside was something taken from an exterior. He didn’t know anything about the tin ceilings but, without us asking, offered us other history touring tips.
Mr. HT had their popular shrimp and grits, and I had an egg biscuit and grits. My food was fine but I can’t say that it was anything that I’d go out of my way for. The grits were corny deliciousness, but the biscuit was a little dry and wooden. The shrimp and grits contained more hot spice than I’d want first thing in the morning but Grant loved them, and they’d be something I’d definitely order later in the day, after my stomach had time to wake up.
Mr. HT wanted to see the USS Yorktown, a former aircraft carrier turned museum, so after breakfast, we drove across the Ravenel Bridge toward Mount Pleasant, where the ship was docked. There were a lot of people walking and bicycling across the bridge and since we were a little early for a ship tour, we decided that a walk would be a good way to work off a grain or two of grits. There was a parking lot right next to the end of the bridge and we took a fun stroll across its 2.7 mile span and back. There was an amazing view of town (the photo of the church steeples in the St. Michael’s post was from the bridge) as well as the Yorktown.
The bridge walk was one of my all-time favorite Charleston activities. It’s probably the only one that I’d insist on doing again on our next trip. And it was free!