Celebrating in Charleston

Last Wednesday I packed up my sundresses and my sunscreen and headed down to Charleston for T.J.'s graduation weekend. After several annoying airport delays (seems to be the norm these days) I finally arrived in that pretty coastal city and the arms of my guy. We headed downtown to meet up with his sister and her boyfriend, in town from Montreal, and several of T.J.'s classmates out celebrating the end of 4 hard years of med school before the even harder years of residency start.  

The next day more family arrived to town, his parents, his aunt, his grandmas, and my parents! Everyone got to meet and say hello while waiting for the "hooding ceremony" to start. This was the ceremony just for the medical degree candidates where a doctor of their choice places the hood/cape/neck thing around their shoulders. It was fun to look through the program and see where everyone was headed for residency and it was so sweet to see some people  "hooded" by parents or grandparents. After T.J. (and another hundred new doctors) walked across the stage they all stood and recited the Hippocratic oath.  We then got to watch T.J. say another oath as he was commissioned as a Captain in the Army. 

Oh man was I one proud fiance! I know he has worked so hard these past 4 years, and even though he's basically been "done" with school since he found out where his residency placement was back in December, it was nice to officially recognize that accomplishment with him.

We then headed out to dinner with everyone at Blossom where I enjoyed some fried green tomatoes, pork belly and crab cakes. Just the first of many delicious meals over the weekend.

Friday T.J. was supposed to attend the entire school graduation (doctor, dentistry, nursing, etc), a 4 hour affair which we decided to forgo for the beach. The hooding ceremony was more personal and formal and special enough that we didn't feel like we were missing out. T.J.'s family was staying on Folly Beach so he and I hit up Publix (oh how I miss this store) and grabbed sandwich fixins and headed out there for lunch. We then spent the rest of the afternoon playing bocce ball and getting too much sun. I failed as a fiance in that I did not nag him about sunscreen. His back and my shoulders paid the price.

Once we decided (a little too late) that we'd had too much sun, we walked into the little beach town for dinner at Snapper Jacks. I started with a Pina Colada (my favorite frozen beachy treat) and then T.J and I shared some peel and eat shrimp.

After dinner T.J. and I trekked back across the bridge and onto the peninsula. We showered off the sand and met my parents (who were staying nearby at the Planter's Inn) for a rooftop drink at the Vendue Inn. It has a fantastic view of the city and all it's church steeples but it was a little too chilly that night to enjoy the skyline for too long. We parted ways and T.J. and I went out in search of a late night snack which we found at Pearlz. We ordered calamari and some really stubborn steamed oysters, a great end to our evening.
On Saturday we headed back over to the beach house for lunch, this time with my folks for a shrimp boil. We had shrimp, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, grouper and salad (all we did was eat this weekend and we were in desperate need of something green).

After our yummy lunch we all piled into one car and headed back into town so T.J.'s sister, her boyfriend, and his cousin could do a little sightseeing and so T.J. my parents and I could get a drink and relax. Sometimes logistical problems with large groups (especially those involving lots of family) can only be solved with a mojito. So I had two. The four of us sat poolside at the swanky Market Pavilion Hotel rooftop and chatted about future plans and in-laws and whether or not my dad would have shrimp and grits for dinner again that night.

We headed home to freshen up for dinner before meeting up with everyone at 82 Queen. This restaurant is a labyrinth of small dinning areas and we sat outside in their beautiful courtyard under a gazebo. It was the perfect intimate table setting for our two families to get to know each other a little better. I had the "Southern Chicken" which means fried chicken thank you very much. After our meal, we said goodbye to T.J.'s family and then headed on to dessert and coffee at Kaminsky's. They are open until 2am and there is always a line. There menu is simply the display case of desserts right inside the door. They let you in 5 people at a time to see what delicious treats they have that day. Honestly it's a little stressful because everything looks so good and you have to sort of remember what you you saw and then you can either order something to go or they'll seat you at a table and you can ask for peach pie or coconut cream pie (our selections) from your waiter.

Sufficiently full we walked my parent back to their hotel and said farewell before taking a nice long stroll back to T.J.'s apartment and calling it a night. Sunday morning T.J. went to work off the shrimp and grits and I started packing up my suitcase. We then drove to Shem Creek to meet up with my old roommate for lunch at Vickery's. We also picked up my graduation present for T.J. which I had shipped to her for safe keeping. I had ordered him a custom cornhole set with our undergrad university's emblem on it. I thought it would fun to have this out West, and maybe we'll run into some fellow Greenville folks in Washington.
(purchased here)

We spent the rest of the afternoon picking up bubble wrap, packing tape and bins so T.J. could get his apartment in order before the movers come next week. But we also decided to drive over to Sullivan's Island and cruise around for bit. Sullivan's Island is a much calmer, classier scene than Folly. We picked out our favorite beach houses and then stopped at Fort Moultrie, which was somewhere T.J. had never visited  and wanted to checked off check off his list before he leaves town. This fort saw a lot of action in both the Revolutionary and the Civil wars. You can also see Fort Sumter right across the water.  It's a really quiet oasis and it only made it harder to leave.
Too soon after, T.J. was dropping me off at the airport.Thankfully we have a wedding in Columbia, SC this weekend to look forward to before he has to head out to Tacoma. 


  1. It was a fun full weekend that's for sure! Fattening too : ) At least Charleston is a city made for walking. Can't wait to have fun with you both in the great Northwest!

  2. I have been to Folly Beach a few times, for family vacations. Always fun. Have eaten at 82 Queen, and loved exploring Charleston (did the ghost tour twice, I think). A lovely place, and it sure sounds like you all had a great family time!! Thanks for sharing! Love the photos.


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