How to have an affordable girl's weekend in Charleston, SC

Lodge Alley Inn Fountain
Lodge Alley Inn courtyard
Lodge Alley Inn Bluegreen Resort King Room
Nikon FG film camera

Although we don't live in Charleston anymore, it still feels nice to steal away for a quick weekend trip and call it a staycation. The first time I ever visited the Lodge Alley Inn I was just a wee one. Now I can pretty much say I've stayed in nearly every room type. The Bakers are owners at the Bluegreen Vacation Club. I had been checking for about two weeks almost daily to try to snag a last minute opening and finally on Wednesday afternoon I was able to book a one night stay in a studio. When I arrived we were upgraded to a King room and giggled at how nice our girls weekend spot was going to be! I'm amazed at by how quickly I'm reminded that I miss the cobbled streets, resurrection fern, and moss hanging from the old oak trees. Charleston just feels like how after all these years and I never feel any pressure to do anything to fancy when I visit. 

Olilo salmon bowl
Olilo falafel grain bowl

After Corey finished class on Friday afternoon we grabbed a quick lunch on the College of Charleston's campus at a new cafeteria called Olilo. Iron Chef Cat Cora created the fresh food concept with Aramark and it's the perfect addition to the CofC campus! Thanks to Corey's recommendation, I had the grain bowl with falafel (my favorite food), avocado hummus, tzaziki, chickpea and cucumber tomato salad, pickled onions, and harissa. I had to laugh because later that day CofC posted nearly the same bowl on their social media feeds. It really was tasty and Instagram-worthy!

We went out shopping on King Street and headed over to the Skinny Dip: Charleston Edition to check out the new shop and grab some drinks on the rooftop. It's the cutest little rooftop bar with a great view of the Francis Marion Hotel! I had Westbrook's White Thai witbier and Corey had an iced mocha and we chatted about all the cute things we could never afford in the store. I also took a little time to run over to the Treasurer's office to say hello to my old co-workers!

Little free library in Charleston, SC
Palms in Charleston
The Pink House on Chalmers Street in Charleston, SC is currently for sale.
Pirate's Courtyard in Charleston, SC

Corey had never been to the French Quarter before so I wanted her to take some time to explore before the end of the school year. I took my film camera with me again this weekend so look forward to some of those shots to come in the future! I should be finishing up my roll this coming weekend. We found the sweetest little free library with a guard dog, counted all the Range Rovers we passed by, and looked at some of the more modern infill housing. I love the mix of old and new in Charleston. No one does it more seamlessly. I showed her Alex's old barber spa and we took a peek into Pirate's Courtyard. We passed by St. Philip's Church just in time to hear all the bells ringing for Good Friday. 

After a cheap bite to eat at Taziki's and failing miserably to find a dessert spot without a line down the block, we headed back to our room for popcorn and Netflix! If you ever have the opportunity to book a hotel room "just because", I highly recommend it. It was such a relaxing evening.

Saturday morning we woke up pretty early and watched the sun rise out our window as the cruise ship pulled in. After getting ready we walked over to the Charleston City Market to try out the new Callie's Hot Little Biscuit location. I had the chive biscuit with roasted tomatoes, the country ham biscuit with fiery pimento cheese, and the black pepper bacon biscuit with salt n pepper butter. Corey had the sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit which is a bit more substantial. It's also delicious and the only other thing I've tried from Callie's HLB. I love the new market location because it's easier to find somewhere to sit and eat nearby. 

Sadly, we had to check out of the room shortly after breakfast. I took a little drive around the battery before finding some free weekend parking on the CofC campus. Alex's boss was in town with his family so we met up with them at the farmer's market in Marion Square for a few minutes. I wish that I didn't have a three hour drive home because there were so many delicious looking veggies that I wanted to buy. After adoring all of the sweet puppies in the market, we finally pulled ourselves away and headed back over to King Street to do a little more shopping. I scored a sweet record for $6 from Urban Outfitters (that I'll be featuring on tomorrow's Tuesday Tunes blog) and got a new Anthropologie tee from the Oops Company. 

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy. We visited the Halsey Institute to view the student works featured in the Young Contemporaries exhibit and then lounged around Corey's dorm after going into a carb coma at Mama Kim's. It was a short and sweet weekend but I'm grateful that I got to spend part of my Easter weekend with my little sister! I'm looking forward to having her around a little more soon. 

In case you were wondering how we did on our budget weekend, here's my tab:

Hotel -- Free on Points
Parking -- $22
Gas -- $27
Olilo -- $10
Mama Kim's (for two) -- $23
Shopping -- $22
Callie's HLB -- $11
Beer -- $4
Tazikis appetizer + Dinner -- $15

Grand Total : $134

P.S. I've been trying to step out of my comfort zone and work on my public speaking skills by filming myself. It's such a weird concept but if you'd like to take a look at my vlogs from this weekend, you can check out Part I and Part II