I am loving my time off from work, but with the Christmas holidays plus an incredibly windy day on the 26th I’ve been sticking around the homestead far too much. So I woke up (alarm clock free, ahhh) and hit the road for a day of shopping, eating and walking in sunny Charleston.

Usually my preferred parking garage of choice in Charleston is behind the BB&T building at the corner of Meeting and Holbeck Alley but today I decided to park in the Charleston Place Hotel garage, Patrick’s favorite one. I’m glad I did because the view of this horse fountain is majestic, and most importantly, doesn’t smell like real horses.

From there I walked, using my Urbanspoon app to try and find somewhere to eat. I ended up heading towards the Battery first and down to the waterfront to see the ocean one last time this year.

From there I decided I wasn’t that hungry and made my way through the crowded, uneven brick sidewalks towards the market and then back up to King Street. Originally, I was heading to Basil and shopping along the way, but stopping in too many shops made me hungry faster. And with the crowds it was turning more into a hangry feeling. I walked past a place on King called Tasty Thai & Sushi and whipped back and immediately decided to go there instead since it was right there.

I ordered the Lemonegrass No. 1 (sic) with tofu because anything with lemongrass calls my name. It arrived very quickly, or else I was just that absorbed in this week’s issue of the Charleston City Paper. It was pretty similar to a dish I had in Portland. It was slices of onions, and bell peppers with garlic, scallions, and fried tofu in a light brown sauce with rice on the side. This dish included the gently sweet scent and taste of lemongrass, which isn’t sour at all, but is more like that of a meyer lemon. I didn’t take a photo because I felt like the girls that were sitting next to me kept looking at me for some reason. Trust me though it was goooood. My mind is churning with ways to recreate this at home. In a search for a photo, this powder came up on Amazon, maybe it’s the secret ingredient!

After that I walked in a few stores and found something I’ve been looking for for years- a nice peacoat jacket made of sweatshirt material. Thanks to the huge sale signs in the window of Affordables I found it! There was a yellow version and a black one but I went for the classic black, and it was on sale for only $35! And it has a hood for days that it rains! Oooh! I kind of want it to be cold tomorrow so I can wear it comfortably.

After that amazing score I stopped by a French chocolatier and coffee shop that I saw earlier for coffee and a little sweet treat. I thought that it was the one I had read about online (amazing desserts, and the owners get cranky about photography), and it was. The French press coffee I had was incredible. I asked for milk and sugar and either sugar wasn’t added, or not as much as I anticipated. Despite that, the coffee was still very drinkable. In addition to the coffee I took two macarons and three jellied fruit squared.

I chose lavender (anything lavender calls my name too) and chocolate macarons. The cookies were light, with no crunchy resistance and a chewy jelled filling. The flavors were infused deeply into each cookie, which might seem strange for the lavender, a usually subtle flavor when used in baked goods. They were well worth the money for each one, and I though my macaron experience is limited, these were definitely the best I’ve had so far.

The sugared jelly squares were three different fruit flavors. Green was apple, orange was probably orange, and I can’t remember what the lightest color one was. They were sweet but not cloying. What I didn’t get there was the star of the show, the handpainted chocolates. Reviews of this place note that they are definitely worth getting. They are very beautiful too, like little jewels. The depth of color painted onto these chocolates are fascinating to see, even on the computer screen. It’s on Society Street, and you can’t miss the orange sign (such a rebel, taking photos of the sign outside, ha ha).

From there I stopped at the Savannah Bee Co., Trader Joe’s, and the Tanger Outlets to see what Old Navy had to offer. I picked up Palmetto honey, over a hundred dollars worth of groceries, and two tank tops and compression capris, respectively. The drive back was long since it was dark halfway through but the sunset was spectacular. I’m so glad that the days are getting longer again, even if ever so slightly.