My husband and I hop in our 2002 Yukon, ready for another road trip. This baby has taken us everywhere; cross country and back, twice, from San Diego to Mazatlan, Sinaloa and back, twice, and from Mazatlan to Puebla, Puebla (Mexico) and back. Oh yeah, up and down the California coast too. Road trippin’ is our thing and the Yukon is our Hidalgo.
An hour into our Carolina road trip we begin our ‘what if’ conversation, the kind of thing you do when you have 20 hours of driving ahead of you and you’ve already talked about everything else.
“What if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?”
“France, Italy, or London,” I said.
“What if you had to pick one?”
“For really real?!”
“Yup, for really real!”
“Let’s go then!”
Well of course it won’t be any time soon. Lot’s of pennies have to be saved. But we determined to make the trip before our 50th anniversary which is only 6 years away. The conversation set the tone for the road trip. We would pay particular attention to anything that had French influence or design.
Arriving in Charleston from Maine a couple of days later, we pulled into the King Charles Inn, centrally located in the historic district. I am a great fan cities and ornate architecture and Charleston is well known for that. I could walk the streets for days, taking in the finely crafted ironwork, pillars, and carvings. Feels like it could be France, don’t you think?
“Haute couture for me darling…”
After a few days in Charleston we pop over the South Carolina border and spent a short day in Savannah, just to check it out. There was a stiff, cold rain so a stroll down the streets of the historic district was out. I would go to Savannah any day, in any weather though for a home cooked southern buffet at Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons and a visit to The Paris Market.
Talk about french inspired! Oh, my, was I breathless!! I didn’t know what to pick…so many exquisite prop possibilities! I decided on a grey table scarf with a red stripe and fringe, a soft steel blue wrap to go with my ‘french chic’ black outfits, and a handful of velvet ribbons in moss green and taupe. Someday I will return for the french straw market basket with leather handles…or maybe…I will pick one up when I make the trip across the Atlantic!
On up the coast to Wilmington, North Carolina. Heard great things about this place and we were not disappointed. The historical district has a decidedly French industrial feel to it. The architecture was ornate but not as much so as Charleston. We strolled down Front St. and took in the sights. Many places held on to it’s history…rustic patina, crumbling brick, stucco flaking off in chunks from the many layers of paint…the stuff of texture lover’s dreams. We had lunch at the Front Street Brewery and ordered buffalo fried shrimp and a Brew -BQ burger. This place is so cool that one of the offerings is a mug of bacon! The food was great but I couldn’t stop gawking at my surroundings…deeply grained dark wood, black iron scrollwork, paddle fans, wood floors walked on over and over for a hundred years.
In Wilmington we also discovered several antique shops filled to the brim with French country furniture and decor. I loved the shop called ‘The Thrill of the Hunt,’ and wished I had a few hundred extra bucks and a trailer to carry some furniture home with me. My favorite stop was ‘The Shop of Seagate‘ where I picked up a couple of unique wire baskets and an aged stone vase.
The trip was a fantastic success and we promised ourselves to return to Wilmington for a spring vacation next year. Tomorrow we head home. There’s a few cool props in the back of the Yukon just waiting to be photographed. I feel refreshed and inspired. Don’t be surprised if you notice a French influence in my Instagram feed soon!