Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Happy New Year's--Charleston Style

Hey Girls-

Happy New Year!  Yes, I know it's May but since I took my blogatus, I haven't told y'all about what I did to ring in 2016.  But let me first say---"Wooooooo".  If you don't know who this is or what that means, we may not be able to be friends anymore.  Just Kidding, kind of, but not really ;)   Ric Flair lives in my native Charlotte area so it's a bit exciting when you see him out and about.  Now this is a judgment free zone, so don't judge me when I say this but I grew up in the day of wrestling (often known as rastlin' by many Southerners-not this one BTW) and watching Saturday morning GLOW and my favorites of Ric Flair and the Rock 'n Roll Express. 

Oh, and just in case you didn't know what 'GLOW' wrestling was (which is Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling)...here you go.  You are welcome ;)

OK, now what were we talking about?  That's right, NYE!  So, I'm not typically the person that goes out on NYE.  I'm usually doing something low key like hanging out at somebody's house, at a small party or bar but nothing really extravagant or planned.  But this year (or rather last year) I had nothing, absolutely nothing, planned at all and actually feared being at home watching Ryan Seacrest by myself.  But my bestie Pamela came to the rescue and suggested we take a last minute trip to Charleston---one of my other favorite cities---to ring in the new year Southern style.  And that's just what we did.

We really didn't have much of an agenda once we arrived--just to explore and eat and drink our way through Charleston in 24 hours.  We were super lucky to have found a hotel last minute right in downtown Charleston so after we made it in, we went right back out in search of some oysters.  I had been to Hyman's Seafood before and they didn't have a wait so it was our place to be.
After enjoying a few cocktails and feasting on oysters, crab cakes and hush puppies (oh be still my clogging artery heart), we ventured out to walk off some calories and do some retail therapy.  I love downtown Charleston.  The shops, the history, the beautiful homes, the salt air--ah, so perfect. 

Before we left I made it our mission to find a place for dinner NYE which wasn't an easy task considering I was calling on December 30th.  I found a few places and made reservations at all of them so we could decide once we got down there.  Lucky for me, we settled on Sermet's (a restaurant owned by JD Madison who is part of the cast of my guiltiest of guilty pleasure, 'Southern Charm'). 
This is JD--you'll see more of him later.
So, again, we were lucky enough to find a hotel last minute but here's where our lucky streak really started.  I started checking out some other options for dinner.  But I really wanted the chance to see some of the cast from 'Southern Charm'.  JD's restaurant Sermet has a jazz bar upstairs called 'The Mezz'.  They were having a NYE special including dinner, a band, dancing, all you can drink champagne or wine and big toast at the strike of midnight all for $200.  I didn't think we'd have a single chance of getting in but after a lot of persistence Pamela managed to get us 2 seats at their bar for 10pm.  I was super psyched.  Our original reservations were at 6:30 and we weren't really sure what we were going to do after dinner which probably wouldn't have lasted more than a couple of hours and we definitely didn't want to be snoozing by 11---especially because we were in Charleston.  So, what did we do next?  We took about a 4 hour nap ;)  Hey, we're getting older and beauty sleep is precious, valuable time.

We opted to take a pedicab to get to the restaurant because we were both in heels and the sidewalks aren't very forgiving for walking on 4" sticks.  First of many fantastic ideas for the nights. 

We got to 'The Mezz' in a jiffy minute and were whisked upstairs to take our seats.  It's a smaller venue that was very comfy cozy.  They had a dance floor, a fantastic band and there were about a dozen tables with only about 100 or so people.  Quite the intimate affair!   It was selfie central plus we were both having great hair nights.  Our bartender hooked us up right away with a couple glasses of bubbly and our night had officially started.

After ordering our meal, our bartender (who BTW was adorably cute but also young enough to be my kid) was chatting it up with us and asked if we had ever watched the show 'Southern Charm' because several of the cast members were enjoying their NYE there and had a table in the corner.  I totally acted completely oblivious to ever watching the show but I was secretly squealing on the inside (and outside when he walked away).  I didn't want to be one of those crazy star struck fans that made a fool out of themselves.  Literally minutes later, the hostess came and told us that they had a cancellation and asked if we wanted to sit at a table shared with another group of people.  Um, let me think about that ma'am---hells to the yeah I do!  Again...our luck was getting better as the night progressed.  And it got instantly better when she sat us next to the main table of JD Madison (Southern Charm cast member and owner of Sermet's/The Mezz), his family and friends and Kathryn (Southern Charm cast member).  I nearly fell on the floor!  Pamela couldn't help but laugh at me because of how cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs I had become in a matter of seconds walking across the restaurant floor. 
Let the fun begin!

So in my obvious fan stupor, the next few pictures I tried to take incognito.  This is JD and Kathryn.

Again, this is one of my favorite shows.  I watch it religiously every week.  I've never been a super big fan of Kathryn's and unfortunately NYE night didn't change that for me.  She just wasn't friendly not one single bit.  But hey, maybe she just wasn't having a good night--we all have bad days I suppose.

OK, now that I got that all out of my system, let me talk about our awesome new tablemates.  They were so much fun and we had the best time getting to know them.  They were local Charlestonians and honestly it felt like we had known them forever by the end of the night.  You'll definitely see that in the last of the pictures.

Dinner was amazing but I couldn't find any of those pictures but I did find pics of the most important part of that meal which was the dessert--although we were so stuffed we could barely eat it, we did manage to bust out a red velvet cake toast.

 Alright, enough of the chit chat---here's how the rest of the night went.  I'll fill in on the most important parts.


 JD was so gracious to the crowd, thanking them so much for spending their evening with him and his family and friends.  It was very heartfelt.  He then went around to every single table and personally shook hands and chatted with every single person there.  Which makes me love him even more---and his Southern accent-OMGeeee!

This handsome man is JD's dad.  He danced with every girl at our table and was the quintessential Southern gentleman but I believe he was kind of sweet of our young tablemate. 
Alright, let's get down to the most exciting part of the evening.  The party was officially over at 1 but our table had been chatting and dancing with most of JD's family and friends the majority of the evening.  The band stopped playing but they turned on Pandora, waiters started cleaning up and we were all dancing and drinking straight out of the champagne bottle.  It was just our two tables left standing--everyone else had left.  When the staff turned on the lights, JD yelled at them to turn them off because we were still partying.  Around 2:30 and after too many bottles of champagne to drink Pamela and I said our goodnights and goodbyes to what was by far the best NYE celebration I've ever had.

This was the last picture of the night back at the hotel--feet hurting, makeup sweated off, Spanx feeling a little too tight but still the biggest smiles on our faces (well that and a little leftover table confetti)!  Oh what an amazing time! 

Next morning, we woke up sans hangover and declared that 2016 was going to be the year of the champagne--and so far it has been.  We packed up our stuff and set out in search of the perfect brunch spot before heading back to Charlotte.  Our luck continued on as we just beat the big brunch crowd and scored the most perfect porch seats at 'Poogan's Porch'.  If you are ever in Charleston you must try this place!  It is amaze-balls!!!!
I kept the bubbly flowing for brunch!  It was a New Year's Resolution.
Y'all I'm not even kidding on how good this food was.  I had the chicken and waffles that had a blueberry texas pete syrup.  It was stupid good!!!
And girls, that was Charleston in 24 hours.  On the way home, we turned up the tunes and danced like we were 'In Da Club' already making plans for NYE 2016.
OK y'all, thanks for hanging in there for my last two throw back posts!  Tomorrow I'm going to bring it back to the present and fill you in on what I'm doing "Currently...".  Be sure to come back!