2022 was a huge year for our family and traveling.
We went to Hawaii for my 50th birthday and Charleston for my daughter's 30th birthday. For Hawaii we would say it was great except for the flights. For Charleston we say it was great except for the racism. Between the looks, the feeling, and the actions by the people there it was very off putting that we made a unanimous decision as family not to go back. Why spend money where we are not wanted?
We stayed at The Loutrel Hotel. One of the best hotels we have ever stayed. Between the great size of the room, the comfortable beds, and awesome free snacks constantly restocked. The only down side were the people staying there giving us looks of "You can stay here?"; talking down to my family, and trying to order us around. It is lucky for them that we choose to ignore and move away from such actions.
Since everyone was getting the new variant of COVID when taking the plane and constant flight cancellations we decided to drive to Charleston. It was a decent 4hr drive, except the last 2 hrs was spent on country back roads with sketchy stops and a lot of confederate flags. So we stayed in the car and drove 4hrs straight, so by the time we got to the hotel we were tired and starving. We decided to check-in, drop our bags, and go to a restaurant in walking distance. Near The Loutrel there is the Street Market, Buggy Tours, and tons of restaurants.
In the end we decided to go the Oyster House Seafood Restaurant around the corner from The Loutrel Hotel. There was no wait and it had a decent menu outside. We got there 1 hr before they closed so we thought it would be fine. From the start it wasn't. They wouldn't sit us outside and put us in a corner next to the kitchen. Let me tell there were plenty of people outside and empty chairs. Inside there were people at the bar and in other parts. However, the whole middle was empty of people and they would only sit us near the back corner near the kitchen. Then the waitress took 30mins to get to us and had an attitude. When taking our order she emphasized the prices like we couldn't afford them. The whole customer service was horrible. Then we get the food and some of the order is wrong. We were tired and hungry so we just ate but the food wasn't even that good. I had an upset stomach afterwards because of the Charleston She Crab Soup. I thought I should try something special from Charleston. After that I refused to get it from the other restaurants that served it. Just in case. Then we paid and left a tip and the waitress start apologizing but it was too late at that point.
The next day we thought we had brunch reservations at Eleve Rooftop. However, it was a weekday and apparently they only have brunch on the weekend. So we decided to walk to the Joe Riley Waterfront Park. It was so peaceful and beautiful. We saw different kinds of boats, birds, and we even saw dolphins. It was amazing just to sit there and there are so many places to walk if you want to.
Since we had the reservations we started to walk to Eleve. By the time we we got there, there was no one there and we only had lunch options. However, the staff was nice and the view was great. The food was good to, made us think we were going to get a better experience today. If it wasn't raining we would have sat outside. It was also perfect timing because we thought it would be great to walk to the hotel especially because parking was difficult. When we walked there it wasn't raining but right when we went inside it started to rain. It started to slack we when left so it wasn't a bad walk.
We were waiting at the hotel for my aunt and uncle to drive up from Atlanta so when they arrived we knew they were going to be very hungry. So we went to The Home Team for a simple barbeque because we had reservations later and it was just to help knock the hunger off for them. The food wasn't good and the waitress wouldn't sit us outside again. It stopped raining and the sun came out so we wanted to sit in the covered area. However, they said they were having a party out there. However, we saw a couple obviously out there and another after us were seated out there on the other side away from the party. We couldn't get a table either so we had to crowd in a booth.
Please note this was my daughter's actual birthday so we had reservations for The KingsTide on Daniel Island for a special dinner. It is on Daniels' Island and everyone gave great reviews for the ocean view. We had a party of 5 and on the website it recommended to reservations to get a place outside. So we had reservations and came dressed up. We told them about our reservations and they refused to sit us outside. Mind you we reserved a week in advance and called to make sure we could sit outside and they refused us. From the time we walked through the parking lot we got "How dare you come here?" looks from everyone. When we went to the hostess she was taking aback when we said our name for the reservation she was beyond shock. They said it would be a minute to set-up the table. We decided not to argue since it was my daughters birthday and we could still see the view from inside. The waitress we had was beyond nice and very helpful. All the food was great and I had the best Oysters I have in my life. Everything except the way the diners looked at us and how we weren't allowed outside was beyond exceptional. The view was amazing even at night with the city lights bouncing on the water.
The next day we went to Folly Beach. I have a friend who is a native to Charleston and she recommended that we sit further from the pier. As we took a walk near the pier I noticed there weren't as many stares. However, as we went down further we got the "How dare you come here?" looks unless we were near my friend. The view was beautiful and the waves were rolling in lovely. It wasn't too rough and the water was warm.
The next day we had at Brunch reservations for Virginia's on King. The reviews raved about this place. Let me tell you two drawbacks. The parking is horrible. If you can't walk from the hotel there get a buggy cab, pedal cab, or uber. Do not, I repeat do not try to drive and park there. It took 1hr just trying to get a parking space. The 2nd thing is the buttermilk pancakes are spiced pancakes. Other than that the people were great, the food was great, and the ambience was good.
We were able to score an awesome last minute reservation for a Salt Marsh Tour that goes to Morris Island. The boat captain we had was nice but the other people on the Salt Marsh Tour were giving off don't come on my boat vibes. We also had disrespectful people boarding the boat with us. However, the ride was smooth, informational, and beautiful. When we got to Morris Island the people who were docked there kept staring at us. But once we got to the side no one was on it was peaceful and so beautiful. The tide was the best I have felt it was like being back on the lagoon in Hawaii. You could see the lighthouse and so many seashells. On the ride back we saw so many dolphins right next to us. It was amazing with a side of racism.
After we came back from the boat ride we changed and went to our reservation at Momo River Front Park. It was a little hard to find in the maze like back street but I am glad we finally found it. The food was amazing and the staff was great. This was the most peaceful time we had with no problems from diners and staff the whole time we were there. Please try the pimento cheese spread it is divine.
If I had to go back to Charleston it wouldn't be because I wanted to go for a birthday again. I would stay at The Loutrel again and eat at Momo River front park. I would also explore the North Charleston food area. That area seemed more comfortable for black people.