Charleston, SC – grits, gators, gardens galore

DO: walk through the city market full of sweetgrass baskets and southern bites, relax at a beach (I went to Sullivan’s, which was really, really nice, but Folly’s is the place to go for more “fun”), stroll along east bay and the waterfront – gorgeous water on one side, gorgeous colorful houses and mansions on the other, white point gardens and the battery, Magnolia plantation and gardens
SEE: french quarter cobblestone streets and architecture, all these locations where they filmed The Notebook! – American Theater, King St, the intersection where they laid down in the street, Boone Hall, Calhoun Mansion… gators swimming and sunning!
EAT: Edmund’s Oast (awesome for craft beer lovers, and if you sit at the “chef’s counter”, they give you little presents!); Husk (homey feel, excellent southern comfort); The Ordinary (best. fresh. seafood. excellent rum cocktails); Magnolia’s (slightly more upscale, inventive); Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit for delicious and fresh biscuits on the go!
MISC: if you’re not from around the south… beware of mutant buggers! giant venomous spiders in the plantation gardens (as well as several species of venomous land and water snakes, although I didn’t see any of these), ridiculous mosquitos (got so many bites that I ended up taking antihistamines). know that much of the “tourist” experience is steeped in Charleston’s slave history.

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Made in Detroit

DO: walk the Riverwalk, shop at Eastern Market, Woodward Dream Cruise (annual)
SEE: ART (Detroit Institute of Art, Heidelberg Street, street art), “The Spirit of Detroit” statue, fist sculpture
EAT: Slow’s Bar BQ, Sala Thai, Fishbones, Mexicantown Mexican food

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Thailand – Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok (August 2015)

DO: stroll the night markets for kitschy souvenirs, listen to chanting monks, get a Thai massage, ride a tuk tuk, pet giraffes/zebras/antelopes on a Chiang Mai night safari, elephant conservation (where they treat elephants MUCH better than those elephant ride places in the city!)
SEE: wats all day (Wat Po and Wat Phra Kaew are my Bangkok favorites, Wat Rong Khun is a must for Chiang Rai), Vinmanek mansion in Bangkok, flower market, lizards and cats everywhere
EAT/DRINK: street food!!! KAPRAO (click for recipe!), khao soi and deep fried whole snapper in northern Thailand (BOTH SO GOOD), green curry, pad kee mao, paenang curry, spicy papaya salad, coconut ice cream, thai iced tea
MISC: pack good bug spray, be prepared to freeze (stand still) every day at 6pm as the king’s song gets played over speakers and literally everyone stops moving

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