One random night in September 2016 (about 11 months prior to the trip), I was browsing the internet and reading random articles. One on the great eclipse of 2017 caught my attention. I thought it would be pretty neat to see a total eclipse being a bit of a physics/astronomy nerd…and look – the totality was passing right over Charleston. My wheels were turning.
We had been wanting to go to Charleston for a while. It just never worked out for various reasons.
Being way ahead of time, I checked for award flights. Delta not only had available flights, but they were actually at a reduced rate of 9500 miles each way. I also had Delta status at the time, so I could book and cancel award tickets without paying fees.
Flights were booked right at 11 months out. I could always cancel if needed.
Next, I found award space at the Hyatt Place Charleston. This is a category 4 Hyatt, so we were able to each use our annual category 1-4 award night from the Hyatt credit card. I added on a 3rd day with points.
It seemed the stars were finally aligning for us to make it to Charleston – or should I say the sun and moon were aligning…I can’t resist the nerd jokes.
With nearly a year to go before the trip, I put it on the back burner. In the meantime, we traveled to Spain and France, booked and canceled a trip to Spain and Portugal, and bought a major renovation project house. Needless to say, I did not do much planning.
I booked this as an extremely quick trip to minimize time off of work. And honestly, I was half expecting Alyce to bail on the quick trip when I booked it, but she never balked.
This trip would be just the two of us, and we’d leave Friday evening. Our return flight departed at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, which left us enough time to watch the eclipse, hop on our flight, and get back Monday night. With the tight schedule, we only had to take one day off of work. Of course, if I had known that we wouldn’t be taking 3 weeks off for Spain/Portugal (or anywhere), I would have planned more time in Charleston.
We were all set. And even though it was a quick trip, we had a great time. Alyce chipped in with the research, and we ended up eating at some fantastic places by just waiting and eating at the bar (or late at night in the case of our first meal).
Our flight did not depart until 4:30. We each got in a pretty full day of work. The late start combined with losing an hour to time changes left us not landing at CHS until 8:00 p.m. The Delta flights again went off without any issue. Both legs were pretty quick.
Catching an Uber to the hotel was easy enough and cost effective (~$15-$20). Our driver was an Alabama fan, but he was a friendly guy – so I didn’t hold it against him.
By the time we checked in dropped off our bags and picked a place to eat, it was after 10:00. Fortunately, our first choice of restaurant was open until 11:00 – Slightly North of Broad.
Alyce had read good things about it, and – even though it was late – we wanted to eat a good meal given our limited opportunities on this quick trip. It did not disappoint.
We ordered a bunch of small plates and basically created our own tasting menu. Everything was delicious, and I’d gladly go back for another meal. That said, it may have been our least favorite of our three dinners…which speaks to the quality of our other two dinners as we had a very good meal at Slightly North of Broad.
One interesting close to the night was that both of our phones were completely out of batteries – something that rarely happens to either one of us. But with the long day, all the Uber trips, and the fact that our phones were both 3 years old and on their last leg, we were out. So we had to have the restaurant call us cab, which they didn’t even really seem sure of who to call. After waiting 15 minutes, our ride finally arrived and took us back to the hotel.
The Hyatt Place includes breakfast for all guests. It is naturally not as nice a Park Hyatt breakfast, but it had multiple hot options and coffee. We ate it every day and enjoyed it just fine.
After breakfast, we walked all the way down King Street from the Hyatt Place to White Point Garden. We caught a Saturday morning market at Marion Square by luck on the way. One thing was that it was pretty, pretty, pretty warm and humid being August and all…