Our last “full” day in Myrtle Beach was definitely our favourite. We had plans to go to to Brookgreen Gardens, which would have been STUNNING no doubt- but our lunch went a bit later than planned so we decided to just spend the afternoon exploring downtown Myrtle. It was so nice to just be carefree roaming the town.
Lunch at Collector’s Cafe
After a lively night down at the Marshwalk, both Kass and I were feeling that sleep in life ;). We got in some extra ZZZs before heading for a delicious lunch at Collector’s Cafe, a coffee shop and art restaurant. The restaurant boasts a gallery that spans 6 rooms and represents more than 25 artists. Many times during our trip Kass and I were told we looked like sisters.. well, we twinned out and both got the Pasta Du Jour for lunch, which was penne with Cajun Alfredo sauce and chicken. It lived up to the hype.
Exploring the City
I mentioned this before, but I will say it again- Always leave a little room for magic. As big a planner as I am when it comes to itineraries, I think sometimes you need to leave a little bit of breathing room for spontaneous adventure- and that is just what our last day was filled with. We grabbed our cameras and hit the town to look for interesting places to check out and photograph. We stumbled upon many interesting and brightly painted walls, a vintage RV trailer, and tonnes of beautiful foliage. Make sure to leave yourself some down time to just walk around, see the sights, and enjoy being in Myrtle!
Ice cream at Kirk’s
When we were driving back from lunch, we noticed a vintage ice cream shop that we just HAD to go back to- and we are sooo glad we did! I mean, what’s a trip to Myrtle beach without ice cream? We had just seen a little snippet of the outside of the shop from the road during our drive, but I just knew it was a gem we had check out. When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised to be transported back into the 80’s via the Kirk’s vintage arcade inside. Green walls tacked with vintage coca-cola signs, retro diner tables, and old arcade machines filled the room. The vibe was totally old school and we loved it.
It’s also worth mentioning that they served the MOST DELICIOUS ice cream- you know, the kind you scoop out of a tub. I went with choc chip cookie dough, which if you were wondering, is my all time favourite.
Alabama Theatre (at Barefoot Landing) for “ONE – the Show”
We finished off our last night with a live performance at the Alabama Theatre. I love live performances, especially when it combines singing, dancing, and costume changes! I think that live performance is such a brilliant art form that deserves so much more credit. It’s truly an art form. The One Show was jazzy and cool, but also totally current and upbeat. Gotta love when you can listen to beauty and the beast, and Tay Swift in the same show haha. (Disney for life!)
Bright and early on Thursday morning (Like, before 9AM) Kass and I grabbed an Uber and made our way over to Croissants Bistro and Bakery. We had the cutest Uber driver, telling us all about this great book he was reading, but couldn’t remember the title of. But it was about World War 2, and that was his favourite kind of book ;). Staring out the window, tall majestic palms swaying in the breeze, it was going to be a great day I just knew it.
With the sun beating on my face, eyes closed, I dreamed only of one thing. Coffee. And we went to the right place.
Croissants at Bistro & Bakery
We were greeted by Mike, bright eyed and bushy tailed- who knew we were in dire need of some caffeine. Coffee with extra espresso it was- just how we like it. I was ready for some great eats and ordered, kind of conservatively. Some good old fashioned eggs and bacon- with a signature croissant. Kassandra, the bolder eater of us two- went with Eggs Benny… which in retrospect, I wish I had also went for. It was both of our first time trying eggs Benedict, and it was BLISS. Hollandaise sauce wassup!
It wasn’t long before our friend Mike decided to show us what croissants were really made of, and he carried out the biggest, most delicious Banana Foster French Toast I’ve ever seen. Our eyes, kind of dropped out of our heads when we saw it haha. HUGE brown-sugary french toast topped with bananas and whip cream. We were already full from sharing our gigantic breakfast plates- but of course we had to give it a try.
So good. Like, so so good. It was literally dessert for breakfast.
After we dug in to some of the french toast, I literally had to take a break because I was so stuffed. I went to the washroom, came back, and dear Mike had ANOTHER TRIO of delicious treats laid out on our table. OMG. haha.
Chocolate brownie (My all time fav).. Coconut Cake, and HANDS DOWN THE BEST STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE OF MY LIFE. If you go, you MUST, I repeat, MUST have this. Ditch the eggs, don’t even get toast. Just get this for breakfast.
We also had the pleasure of meeting Heidi and her daughter- who gave us the CUTEST gift bags. Thank you so much ladies you are too kind. We will be back for sure!!
Lunch at the Tea Room at Hopsewee Plantation
Here’s a little tip. If you’re coming to Myrtle. Rent a car. Rent a car. Rent a car. Kass and I decided NOT to rent a car because we knew we would be out for drinks intermittently during our trip. Well, yes- this was true during the evenings- but for the most part in the daytime we were out and about- not drinking. So a car would have been the best decision, and MUCH cheaper than Ubering around. Learn from our mistakes!
When you think Myrtle Beach, you likely do not think- Rice Plantation or Basket Weaving.. well, neither did we- but when we saw how stunningly beautiful the Hopeswee Plantation was with it’s giant willowy trees and it’s commanding colonial home- we just had to see it in person.
It was about a 45 minute drive (hello expensive Uber).. from Myrtle Beach- but the drive was nice, sunny, and relaxing. Especially after eating our body weight in treats, we needed that down time to digest haha!
We didn’t get a chance to have lunch at Hopsewee- but in all fairness- we aren’t sure lunch would have fit! We arrived just in time to do the tour of the plantation. It was fantastic. So much rich history and energy in that building. We learned tonnes about the people that had worked on the plantation back in the day- and how the relationship between the Gullah Africans and the owners was much different than what you would expect. The Gullah people were respected and almost thought of as family. There was love in these relationships, with slaves living on the property with their families, working together with the plantation owners to come up with smart ways to irrigate the land. It was so interesting to hear.
The architecture in the home was stunning. It’s so impressive to see how much careful detail used to go into buildings. How things were built to last. I love seeing history with my own eyes. Carvings in glass made by people we will never know that lived there so long ago. Leaving their anonymous mark on the world, hundreds of years later.
Something that really struck a chord with me was how slow everything used to be. While we toured through the home we saw the “warming room”. This was essentially a small room, where dinner would be rolled in on a buffet to stay warm before being served for dinner.
Ain’t no warming room for Kraft Dinner.
I can’t imagine how much time and effort went into every meal. Everyone gathered around the table, savouring their food and just living slowly.
It’s truly amazing- and I definitely want to make time for slow in my life.
Sweet Grass Basket Weaving
Now this, was really something else. When was the last time you worked on making one thing, for upwards of three hours? I’ll tell you, it’s not often I can focus on ONE thing. I think in our hectic day-t0-day life we are so busy scrolling feeds and tapping photos that we (I) really need to find the time to take a break, and make something.
It’s been awhile since I started a project, and finished it all in one day. It feels incredible. I am so beyond proud of my little basket, and every time I look at it I will have fond memories of the tea room at Hopsewee. It will take me back to bonding with Verna, sitting beside Kassandra drinking coffee. This little tiny basket, that could mean nothing to someone else, means SO much to me- and that is super special.
I’m going to proudly display it somewhere in my home!
Let me ALSO add, that our lives were saved by Tae- who works at Hopeswee. Unbeknownst to us, we tried to hail an Uber from Hopeswee- but there was not an Uber in sight. We were, well.. stranded. Tae saved the day by giving us a ride into town in her…. red mustang. Yup. Best day.
Lobster at Wicked Tuna
After spending our afternoon basket weaving, we made our way over to Murels Inlet to check out Wicked Tuna. *sings* I tried lobster. I ate some lobster.* Another first for me, Kass and I dug in to some- may I say.. delicious lobster. Wicked Tuna was great. It’s a bit on the pricier side, but totally worth it for their great seafood.
Drinks + Music at the Marshwalk
We topped off our day two down at the Marshwalk with some live music, girl talk + more cocktails. As we visited on the “off season”.. it wasn’t as busy- but come summer time and high season- this is one of the best places to go for dancing and live music.
How much fun is it to go away with one of your girlfriend’s to Myrtle beach? I’ll tell you. It’s the most fun. And I’ll also tell you, we definitely packed more than enough pairs of shoes. #girlstruggles.
Our itinerary for our trip was absolutely packed, so I thought it best to divide up my posts by day. Three totally jam-packed days full of everything from beaches to basket weaving, to cocktails and seafood.
Our trip started off with a sleepover party at mi casa. It was actually Valentine’s Day, so lucky Kass got to par-take in some Valentine’s Mcdonald’s and Bambino with me and my boo. ;).
We headed to Porter bright and early to catch our flight around 11AM.
I kind of feel like a Billy Bishop master after my trips with Porter to Pittsburgh and last year during a shoot to Montreal. You could say I know my way around the Porter lounge at this point. ;). It’s never too early for Porter cookies. (Confession: Last time I flew Porter I chain ate like 5 cookies and hid the wrappers because I was embarrassed that I lost my self control. It’s cool..)
Kass and I took at trip to Chicago with our girlfriend’s last year for a bachelorette party last year. (Yeah, it was pretty okay, wink.).. So it felt like old times hopping on another flight with her. I am liking this travelling trend here.
A quick 2 hr flight to Myrtle complimented by my favourite in-flight reading material (RE: Porter) and always complimentary drinks… and we made it!
First things first, LUNCH. When we arrived at the airport, we were whisked away by our first Southern Gentleman of the trip, Keith.. who helped us put together our itinerary for our trip. (Shout out to Keith!) On the drive in to the Market Common I was mesmerized by all the colourful houses on the way.
Lunch at Tupelo Honey
Within our first hour in Myrtle, we headed to Tupelo Honey Cafe, where I tried gritts for the first time. For some reason, (maybe my sheltered hamburgers and hotdogs childhood).. I thought grits looked like waffle fries. Nope.. Looked more like oatmeal, but tasted great! We also had fried green tomatoes (Another first, you’ll notice that is a trend on this trip).. They were AWESOME. If you’re in Myrtle, try them! Annnnd, we were told if you’re in Myrtle shrimp and gritts is THE THING to try, but be careful- because the quality is apparently allover the place. We recommend asking a local to get the good stuff ;).
I had the Carolina Grilled Chicken Sandwhich at Tupelo, and it was delish! If the weather was a bit more cooperative we would have for sure headed to the roofop balcony for lunch.
Get your Shop On.
We were freeeezing after lunch because it had been rainy and not-so-typical-Myrtle weather, so we headed straight back to our hotel to warm up, check out our new pad + get ready for a night on the town! However- had it been much nicer weather we would have definitely strolled the shops at the Market Common. There’s a giant Anthropologie which I am sure we would have gotten lost in.
We then made our way over to the Hilton Doubletree.. Ocean view room with a private balcony, holla.
Nothin’ like waking up, opening the drapes, and seeing the ocean- let me tell you. Also, not sure how many hotels give you hot cookies upon arrival, but that was definitely a a big old check mark for the Double Tree. Not to mention the morning buffet that included both a DIY omlette, and a DIY pancake station.. with chocolate chips. *impressed face nod*.
BTW, the beach is literally walking distance from the hotel, so of course we made a trip down to the water!
Gotta love Porter Escapes!! If you’re ever looking to hop on a plane and not have to worry about a thing- look into booking an Escape. Porter does all the dirty work so you can head straight to the chemist for happy hour.
Happppppy Hour at the Chemist
Science Rules! F’real.. I was never one for science class, I mean.. except that one time I won gold at the Science Fair. <– click that link for a treat. *cry laugh emoji*
But mixing chemistry with drinking might be my new favourite thing (And had Ms. Mcgeachy included this in the course curriculum I may have went on to become a molecular biologist). Jokes.
Phil from The Chemist definitely made our night (We sure kept him busy!) Phil was like a mad-scientist behind the bar, concocting the most delicious drinks- many of which he served up to us with liquid nitrogen, making us squeal with excitement haha. My favourite drink of the night (if I had to choose) was the Professor’s Punch.
“Faculty meetings just got a whole lot more interesting with grapefruit-infused vodka, freshly squeezed lemon juice, cranberry juice, validated with with Sprite and varied with grapefruit peel-infused ice and lemon wheel.”
AKA. Yum. I also loved the Flux Capacitor- which doesn’t just sound cool, it tasted amazing with it’s house-concocted blackberry simple syrup.
Dinner at Art Burger Sushi Bar
Now this is where sh*t got adventurous. For me that is. Like I mentioned previously, I’ve lived a sheltered life when it comes to food. I mean I only tried poutine for the first time in my 20s. (I know.. now I wish I hadn’t tried it because I am a gravy addict.) Up until this point, the only sushi I had tried was avacado rolls, and spicy salmon rolls. Here’s a great tip. If you’re a picky eater and have any reservations about trying new foods.. just have a little warm-up session at The Chemist. Post- drinks at the Chemist, my food inhibitions were a little low… and I. Tried. Everything. (Mom, I know, I can’t believe it either).
And, I am happy to report.. it was AMAZING..and I promise that’s not just the professor’s punch talking. I’ve come home a new woman, a new sushi loving woman. Kass and I decided as soon as we got there, that we couldn’t possibly come to Art Burger and Sushi Bar, and only order sushi. Heck no. We ordered both the sushi and the burger. *laughs* What’s funnier is we ate it all. Travelling works up quite an apetite people. We both tried the Art Burger, because if it was named after the restaraunt it has to be one of the best choices. (It was)..
And.. the coup the gras.. after MUCH deliberation (Aka, me being like, why don’t we try this vege sushi option?..) And Kass standing her sushi ground- as she should have.. we decided on the Tiger Rolls (more so for me).. and the Omakase- which, if you aren’t aware.. is a SURPRISE DISH. Guys.. The pickiest eater on the planet let Kass coax me into having the chef prepare us a SURPRISE SUSHI DISH.
……and it was the best decision ever!!
I wish we had better lighting in there because these dishes were served up SO beautifully. BTW- there were so many other cute aspects of this restaurant like the art gallery when you walked in, or the way the menus were in the shape of paint palettes. You should probably just go ;).
+ for all you fashionistas, here’s a link source for what I wore Day 1:
Bo and I have two Valentine’s Day traditions. 1: McDonald’s on actual Valentine’s Day… and 2: We try each year to book a hotel for a night on one of the weekends surrounding V-Day. As a hotel lover- it’s a way to explore our neighboring cities, sleep in a King size bed (yahoo).. and tour around! Since it’s not totally feesable to go on vacation all the time.. like we would like to.. Grabbing a hotel for a night serves as a much needed mini getaway. You’d be surprised at how trip-like just getting a hotel for the night actually is. A couple years ago we hit up Hotel Ocho in Toronto- it was quaint and cute. We try to find new and interesting hotels each time to spice it up, see something new, and ogle beautiful design.
So when we heard about The Walper Hotel in Kitchener, we just had to check it out. Kitchener was actually our old stomping grounds, where we *kind of* went to college.. *snickers. So to be back in our old hood- so many years later, it was pretty fun.A 1893 landmark, the Walper has really stood the test of time. And, I was actually surprised to find out that many years ago we had actually stayed at the Walper Hotel- but that was pre-renovations.. it’s definitely stepped up its game. Lighting game specifically!
We checked in on Saturday afternoon and cheersed over some Autumn Ale that was gifted to me from my friend Bethany. Thanks Bethany!! The entrance to the lobby was small but packed an elegant punch. Long stretching brass sputniks that complimented impeccably styled bookcases and lovely large scale art- it was a beautiful first impression of the hotel. We were greeted by the cutest receptionists ever- wearing matching bowties. Of course I loved the mustard yellow polka dot one.. Considering getting one for myself!
Our first glance at our room we were pleasantly surprised. We didn’t realize, but all the rooms are actually a little bit different- and not all are posted on the website. The real show stopping feature of our room was the exposed beam that divided the sleeping and work areas. We stayed in a Cityside King.
Giant matte black sputnik chandeliers on either side of the room was a nice touch. I love me some sputniks.
And how about those hanging sconces beside the bed? Dreams guys.
Perched next to the window was the possibly THE most perfect reading nook. The chair was incredibly comfy, and was in the perfect position to get some natural light. You know me and chairs.
We only stayed for a night, but we went for some lovely drinks at The Berlin– which was walking distance from the hotel. We met up with some friends at TWH Social – which had a cool-casual environment and really awesome lights hanging over the bar. We then- relived our golden years by taking a trip down memory lane to Dallas. Nothing like walking into a college bar to make you realize you are no longer in college haha. It seemed that the playlist also hadn’t changed in the 5 years since we worked there together. To be honest, we went a little ham on the drinks and our Sunday morning excursion plans were replaced with couch cuddles, but had I been more responsible. ;).. We would have also hit up Goodvibes Juice + The Belgian Nursery. Do as I say kids, not as I do.
Anyways, wishing ya’ll a super happy Valentine’s Day! We’ll be chowing down on Jr. Chickens and Bacon cheeseburgers, paired with only the finest grocery store bambino. Cheers!