Last summer, for our Girlfriends Getaway, my friends and I chose Charleston, S.C. It was the perfect girl-bonding destination for dining, dancing, shopping, and sleeping in.
“Traveling together has truly helped define our relationships.”
My circle of mommy friends first met almost six years ago when our kids were toddlers. We had been taking our children to story time at Barnes and Nobles every week for several months before we decided to go out and celebrate my birthday.
We were pretty much in the same season in life, the season of being a new mom and clinging to our identity. Meeting new friends was just what we needed.
What started out as monthly “Moms Night Out”, quickly grew into an annual Girlfriends Getaway. Our first trip was in 2009 to Las Vegas for the Annual Mocha Moms Conference.
(Side note: If you have trouble convincing yourself or your spouse that you deserve a Girlfriends Getaway, a moms conference is the best transition for an annual weekend with friends.)
Fast forward 5 years later and we are preparing for our next annual getaway this summer. Here’s a look back at our Charleston Girlfriends Getaway:
Charleston, South Carolina
We chose this location because it was accessible to Atlanta and the Southern Charm Charleston is known for. This would be our first time here so it was the perfect destination.
“The Restoration on King is the epitome of a Girlfriends Getaway hotel.”
For our trip we chose a 2 bedrooms, 3 baths luxury villa with full kitchen, living and dining at the award winning The Restoration on King. The Restoration On King is Rated #4 of the Top Small Hotels in the US. It is the epitome of a Girlfriends Getaway boutique hotel. Modern, spacious, and immaculate.
The hotel offers lots of amenities including a wine and cheese happy hour in the early evening and warm cookies and milk and coffee and tea at night.
The suites also came with a fresh continental breakfast delivered to your room each morning. You complete your order the night before and by the next morning a beautiful picnic basket is delivered with your selections.
Typically we create a two payment plan to cover the deposit and the final expense. Our budget varies each year based on the location but lies between $400-$600 per person for the weekend for our hotel. Travel arrangements are made individually if we fly.
Once our hotel is decided the person designated to plan the trip gives us our payment date and we give her the monies.
Last year we all took part in planning our trip. Everyone chose a task. Selecting hotel, transportation, activities, dinning, and photography (that was my job).
It usually works better when each person is involved in the planning process. Otherwise that one person coordinating the entire trip gets bogged down with making decisions for the group.
There were five of us traveling to Charleston so we rented two cars. We also had different departure times on Friday so one car left Atlanta in the morning, the other left in the afternoon. Charleston is about a 6-hour drive from Atlanta. The hotel offers valet parking and once we got there we didn’t see the cars again until check out Sunday.
“The best way to see Historic Charleston is on a bike.”
Charleston has so much to see and do and with such a short weekend, we did our best to take it all in. The hotel is centrally located in historic Charleston just off King Street in the Fashion District. There are plenty of shops and restaurants close by.
Visit Charleston’s Finest City Guide to check out all that Historic Charleston has to offer.
The Restoration on King offers guest complimentary bike rentals. We made a reservation for our group of 5 for after breakfast Saturday and we rode bikes for the remainder of the afternoon. The city is extremely biker friendly and its easy to get around. The best way to see Historic Charleston is on a bike.
“I love my Shrimp and Grits just as much as the next girl.”
Finding down-home southern cuisine in Charleston is easy. Just follow your nose. But there is so much more to offer at these fine-dining establishments than just Shrimp and Grits.
Don’t get me wrong I love my Shrimp and Grits just as much as the next girl, but it’s nice to have options. Charleston’s restaurant scene offers just that, options.
For lunch we ate at Poogan’s Porch. May not sound like much to you but this place is amazing. Natural lighting with elegent and modern decor. I had the shrimp and grits, (hold the sausage please), and it was exactly what I expected it to be and then some.
Poogan’s Porch was very busy and we had to wait 40 minutes for a large table. In fact most of the good restaurants can get busy, I highly recommend making a reservation for your party.
Saturday evening we dined at S.N.O.B. (Slightly North of Broad). Another great find in the sea of strange named restaurants, S.N.O.B. offers up a creative and festive menu that will make your taste buds dance. All or most of the selections on the menu use local ingredients including butter beans, scallops, and clams. There’s also a quirky list of signature cocktails such as Lavender Reviver and Spring Violet.
Location, location, location. We change our location every year, our husbands weren’t going for a Vegas Girlfriends Getaway each year so we had to switch it up. Unfortunately this means we go through a long deliberation process to determine the location of our trip.
There’s so much to consider when you’re traveling as a group. We all typically have the same standards and expectations so in the end it always works out.
Every year on our Girlfriends Getaway we read each other’s horoscopes out loud. I’m not sure how this tradition started but it’s something that we do at the end of a late night, typically on Saturdays, just before dozing off. It’s fun and insightful to read them together.
Reading horoscopes together may’ve helped us get to know each other, but traveling together has truly helped define our relationships.
“We all promised not to tell our spouses.”
On the drive home on Sunday one of the cars ran out of gas and had to pull over on the side of the highway. I’m not quite sure how the car ran out of gas, but lets just say that being in good company can lead to all kinds of distractions.
Good thing it was daylight and the second car wasn’t too far away and was able to get gas. The bad news, none of us had any experience pumping gas into and out of a gas can.
I am a proud 5 year Mocha Mom veteran and I invite you to the next National Conference this year in New Orleans. Kick off your Annual Girlfriends Getaway tradition!
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