Hanks Seafood Restaurant

Hanks Seafood

I often get asked by many locals and incoming tourist, where is the best seafood in Charlston, SC.  Well, ladies and gentleman, I think I found it!

Hanks Seafood Restaurant is located in the middle of one of the busier intersections of Charleston where charming traffic jams are often caused by horse drawn carriages!

The outside of the building has plenty of photo opportunites for the traveler and local alike, so don’t miss the opportunity to snap a picture! Now here is the key, either A: get there early for Happy Hour (more on this in a bit) or B: Make reservations.  Hanks is always busy and there is a great reason why!

 

 

Happy Hour

So let’s start with Happy Hour! Hanks is now open early at 4:30 for Happy Hour! The Happy Hour last from 4:30-6pm featuring 1.50 oysters! What a steal!  In addition to the oysters, their drink specials include: 5$ Draft Beer, 6$ Featured Wine, 7$ Craft Cocktail!  Here are some of those fancy coctails I just mentioned!

Ginger Pineapple Margarita – Corralejo Blanco Tequila, Lime, Honey-Ginger Simple, Pineapple
Shipwrecked – Plantations 3 Stars Rum, Velvet Falernum, OJ, Pineapple, Grenadine, Angostura, Myer’s rum float

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Tim

Before the Appetizers came out we had the privledge of meeting the head Chef Tim Richardson who has more or less been working at Hanks since 2001! Seriously, he has worked his way throughout the restaurant and into the head Chef Position. Tim is fun and and vibrant and his passion for cooking and seafood are quite evident!  He is a South Carolina native and even surfs on his free time loving all things low country.

Head Chef, Tim Richardson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appetizers

Now let’s get back to these appetizers I was talking about.  I hope you like seafood because you are about to get a beautiful view of some of their special appetizers.

Seared Rare Tuna (Salad) – Fried Green Tomatoes, Arugula, Crispy Pork Rinds with Blue Cheese and BBQ Red Pepper Vinaigrette (tomatoes Limehouse Local, tuna from Crosby’s)
Oysters Casino – Garlic Butter, Smoked Bacon, Asiago Cheese, and Bread Crumbs
Grilled Oyster – with Red Wine Mignonette Gastrique, Crispy Andouille and Arugula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now aren’t they lovely? I would have to say that the crab cakes and Seared Tuna Salad were my favorite while my husband enjoyed the Tuna Tartare seen below.

Tuna Tartare – Jalapeño, Shallot, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tomato, Herbs & Lemon (tuna from Crosby’s Seafood)
Holy Crab Cakes! Loved them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that was almost a meal itself, but don’t worry we forged on so that you could see all of the amazing delicousness that Hanks has to offer!

Main Course

For the main course, Chef Tim sent out some of the most popular and also some of his favorite dishes!  I truly would never have ordered a Bouillabaisse on my own so I am now forever indebted to Chef Tim for making me try it!

Bouillabaisse – Fish, Oysters, Clams, Mussels, Shrimp & Scallops simmered in a Tomato, Fennel, Leek and Garlic Broth served with Rouille and Croutons (Black Grouper Florida from Crosby’s, clams are from Dave’s Clams, Oysters from NC)
Sauteed Flounder – Lump Crab Asparagus Salad with Lemon Zest Chervil and Roasted Tomatoe Beurre Blanc (flounder NC from Crosby’s, asparagus from Limehouse Local)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And these Scallops were so large and tender, I thought about slapping my husbands hand away from them!

Pan Seared Sea Scallops – Fried Mash Potatoes, Seasonal Greens, Grapefruit Soy Ginger Vinaigrette (scallops from Mark (used to be Mark & Mark) from Northern Fish / Massachusetts, grapefruit from Limehouse Local)
Yep, we at all of that and then some more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert

Can’t stop, won’t Stop!  I didn’t think we could possibly eat another bite until we were asked if we liked CRÈME BRULEE.  Why yes,yes we do!  And yes, yes we did love it!  I’m on a mission to try their Creamy Peanut Butter Pie next time.

Classic Vanilla Bean Custard with a Crisp Melted Sugar Top
The inside of the restaurant, remember when I said it was busy? There is a reason!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we strolled out of the restaurant, we were highly satisfied and overly full!  We shouldn’t have eaten that much, but we couldn’t help ourselves!  Hanks truly is one of the best seafood restaurants that I have ever been too! It takes the history and coastal charm of Charleston and brings that flavor to the table! Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Brewery of the Week ~ Low Tide Brewing

Brewery of the Week

We (myself and @scbeernerd ) have a Brewery of the week series where we highlight local breweries within the Charleston area. Focusing on different aspects including atmosphere, owners, history and of course all things beer. If you have a place you want us to go next, let me know!

Cheers to a new review and giveaway! Photo @ashdeezphotography

Low Tide Brewing

Low Tide Brewing is located on John’s Island right here. Now before you say wow that’s too far, let me tell you it took us about 10 minutes from the cross town to arrive at this gorgeous and peaceful setting.  I couldn’t believe how close this brewery is to downtown Charleston even though it seems like you are in the middle of the country.

Front of the Building
In front of the building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beer:

Alright, well they have a pretty stellar line up at their brewery.  My absolute favorite of the day was their Gingerly Squeeze My Lemons (also the best name ever), while my husband loved the Just a Peach of Habanero.  Their Sweet Caroline Kolsch was pretty rockin too.  They may have the best beer naming abilities that I have seen in awhile!  They sell Crowlers and Growlers for take away just in case you need some more at home!

To learn more about the beer check out @scbeernerd .

Crowler! Photo @ashdeezphotography
Lining it up!

 Owner/History: 

Low Tide has two owners, Mike and Andy.  Mike is from Rochester, NY but has been visiting the Charleston area his entire life.  Since college, Mike has lived in Charleston on and off while attempting to pursue a career in the energy industry.  When the energy career path didn’t materialize Mike hatched the idea for Low Tide and got a degree in marketing at University of Rochester while working at a local brewery.
Mike Fielding, Owner
Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Cheers!
Andy is from Conifer, CO. He knew at an early age he wanted to own a brewery and has been working towards that goal ever since.  Andy attended Colorado State University and earned a degree in fermentation science.  Andy then worked in different roles at different breweries before meeting Mike when he was the head brewer of a brewpub in Omaha, NE.
Andy, Head Brewer and Owner. Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Andy, Loves to talk about the science of beer while relaxing and drinking a beer!
When Mike decided to open a brewery the first thought for location was on John’s Island.  Mike was very familiar with the area and really wanted the brewery to have a connection with the local agricultural community. After searching for months, they almost gave up and were close to getting a building in West Ashley.  Before signing on the other building, they did one last search of John’s Island and came across the building they now call home.
There was an evident camaraderie with great banter between the two owners that you notice right away.  They are laid back all while getting the job done.  Each has their role and I enjoyed learning from both of them!
The beer is the star of the show, but these two owners are pretty awesome as well!
Don’t spill the beer guys!

 

Why the name Low Tide Brewing?:

Mike came up with the name “Low Tide Brewing” while kayaking between Kiawah and Johns Island. At the time, he had not yet officially decided to start a brewery but ever since he began home brewing in college he liked to think of names for the brewery and for the beers (well done sir). During the summer of 2012, Mike was working as a kayak guide in Charleston and spent a large amount of his free time home brewing. While on the water at low tide, the name was born.
They often get asked why not “High Tide Brewing”.  They thought Low Tide fit with the Lowcountry lifestyle giving it a more laid back, relaxed feel.  Most importantly low tide is their favorite time to be on the water because of all the activity.  I would say the name suits them and their brewery perfectly!
Hand Painted Kegs, Photo: @ashdeezphotography

Atmosphere:

This place is open and welcoming with great light.  On a nice day, the doors will open to let in the fresh air and the fun outdoor activities that are inevitably going on all the time!  Don’t worry though, they have Air Conditioning for the steamy summer days and nights that occur in Charleston.  There is an area for kids to play and pups are welcome too as long as they are on a leash, and just look at Julian (my new love)!

I can’t even handle it!
Heck Yes! Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The seating includes bar stools, picnic tables, and adirondack chairs. They have Yoga on Saturday mornings and boot camp on Sunday mornings! Food trucks are ample and they have a list of activities located here.

Future Plans: 

As for expansion, they installed new equipment on the brew floor within their first year. Looking toward the future, they are in the design stages of packaging artwork. Cans and Speciality bottles are also in the plan. Continued focus to re-invest in their Tap Room experience is ever present. They hope to increase outdoor accommodations as well as expanding their merchandise line up.

I can’t tell you how much fun we had with the owners and learning about the brewery!  It is a must stop for both locals and tourists alike!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for having us!

Collaboration with Charleston Distillery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special thanks to Kyle from @charlestonbrewerylist and Ashley from @ashdeezphotography for joining us!

Cheers,

Beer me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Photos Marked taken by @ashdeezphotography; call

843-801-5832 for inquiries.

List of Restaurants that may carry Low Tide Brewing Beer:

167 Raw
Amen St.
Andolinis West Ashley
Bay ST. Beirgarten
Beerworks
BlackWood Smokehouse
Bohemian Bull
Bowens Island
Carolina Yacht Club
Caroline’s Lowcountry Kitchen
Cherrywood BBQ
Country Club of Charleston
Ellis Creek
Fischer’s
Fleet Landing
Griffon
Halo
Hege’s
Home Team West Ashley
How Art Thou
Kiawah Ocean Course
Kiawah River Course
La Tela
Local 616
Loggerheads
Meeting at Market
Mellow Mushroom Avondale
Mellow Mushroom King St.
Obstinate Daughter
On 41
Pages Okra Grill
Pour Taproom
Loggerhead Girl at The Sanctuary
Seanachi
Smoke Mt. P
Southern Roots Smokehouse
St. James Gate
Tbonz
Tattooed Moose JI
Tavern & Table
Triangle Avondale
Triangle Mt. P
Wild Olive

Charleston Beer Week

Charleston Beer Week

Beer Week… yes, that’s correct an entire week of beer related activities and events!! I just made your day, didn’t I!!

I was a little overwhelmed when I heard there were going to be 48 events during the week!  48!!! Not sure if you can get to them all, but if you do…. you may be my hero.

Here is what you need to know!

Pint glass giveaway!

When is it?

Beer week is held September 9-16, 2017

8 days, with 6 “official” events taking place per day. Of the 48, 13 events are ticketed, with ticket sales located on the individual event page. Find ticketed events here , charitable events here and outdoor events here . All of the other events are “pay as you go” so you can enjoy as little or as much as you would like throughout the week.

Where is it?

Where is it not is the real question.  Beer week events are seperated into varying locations including Downtown Charleston, North Charleston, West Ashley, James Island, John’s Island, Mount Pleasant, Folly Beach and Summerville.  So basically, you have no excuses because there is certainly one near you.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that there are 54 breweries so far that are participating!

Edmunds Oast Brewery, Devin and Jennifer

Can you buy  tickets same day?

Well, I wouldn’t recommended it as some of the events have already sold out (Beer Brunch at House of Brews, and Sunset Paddle & Lowcountry Boil at Bowens Island Restaurant)! However,  people can purchase up to the last minute via their phone if the event is still open or you could call ahead to the venue.

Giveaway Items

What is the History?

It is the 5th Annual CHS Beer Week! Oh my, the amount of planning that Chrys Rynearson has done leading up to the event is quite amazing.

It was kicked off in 2013 by Denise Boozer (best name ever) who worked for Lee Distributors at the time, and now is with Dogfish Head and she brought Chrys Rynearson and Timmons (Now the Director of Group Operations for Edmund’s Oast) into the fold.
Since year #2 Chrys and Timmons have ran it. Some changes from the first year included: moving the date to the week after Labor Day (which coincides with Charleston Restaurant Week); implementing two rules: “no more than six events per day” and “no more than two events at a single venue” in order to try and focus more on quality over quantity. They also wanted to make swag (t-shirts and glassware) as abundant as possible, and give it away to participants instead of trying to sell the items. Hence the giveaway!
Now Chrys is running the show, and this year decided to add an extra day to the “week” since they have seen such incredible growth. Why thank you Chrys, there is always room for another beer day.
Tulip Glass for the Giveaway! I may have drank the beer though!
Collaborations include 155 reps from local breweries, national breweries, distributors, retail stores, restaurants, pubs, homebrew organization, and more. Of these 155, 120 are local businesses and 20 are local breweries. Talk about support local! Love it all!
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Beer Week.  Now go enjoy a Beer or a few!
Growler and Growler Kuzie giveaway!
For more information go visit their website at: Charleston Beer Week
Cheers,
Barb

@blushingalpacas

 

 

 

 

Brewery of the Week ~ Charles Towne Fermentory

Brewery of the Week!

We (myself and @scbeerned ) have started a new Brewery of the week series where we highlight local breweries within the Charleston area. Focusing on different aspects including atmosphere, owners, history and of course all things beer. If you have a place you want us to go next, let me know!

@blushingalpacas @scbeernerd Photo: @ashdeezphotography

Charles Towne Fermentory

Outside of Charles Towne Fermentory, Avondale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Towne Fermentory is located in the Avondale Neighborhood of Charleston found here.  If you haven’t been to Avondale you will love this little area of Charleston, and of course will fall in love with this brewery, the owner, workers and needless to say the beer!

BEER:

I am in love with the RALF and the Infinite Yawn (hoppy blonde, for a hoppy blonde)!  Quite honestly though, I didn’t have one that I didn’t like. Here is the current list of brews on tap.  Although they change regularly, they try to keep some of the favorites like the Sungazer IPA rotating in to the line up.

I’ll take that one. Photo @ashdeezphotography
Oh yes! @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about the beer check out @scbeernerd .

Owner/History: 

Adam Goodwin, Head Brewer/Owner. Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam Goodwin is the founder/Head Brewer and he is fantastic!  He comes from Massachusetts where he has worked in the brewery industry for many years.  After working at Tired Hands Brewing Co outside of Philadelphia, Adam was hired by Trillium Brewing Co which is where he met Justin Slotnik the assistant brewer at the Charles Towne Fermentory.

Justin was one of the volunteers to test pilot batches at Trillium Brewing Company. With hardwork and dedication, Justin climbed the ladder at Trillium, until eventually he was getting hours in the brewhouse. Timing was key for Justin to pursue his dream of being a brewer. There is a dedication that spills through every aspect of the brewery and that all starts with these two.

Why the name Charles Towne Fermentory?:

 Adam really wanted to tie the name to the location. It’s all about locality and connecting the beer to the community. The reason they went with the old school spelling of “Charles Towne” was that they wanted to invoke that traditional imagery of old wooden casks and traditional methods, but also wanted to combine those ideas with modern techniques and knowledge.

The taps and of course an old dry cleaning sign. Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atmosphere:

This place is open and welcoming with great light.  On a nice day, the garage style bay doors will open to let in some fresh air and the fun busy street noise from local restaurants and businesses.  There is an area for kids to play and lots of games for them (or adults). The seating includes high tops, bar stools, couches and tables.  Although they love pups, they aren’t allowed in the brewery.  Don’t be too upset, there is a fantastic reason.  Every day they have pop up chefs come in and take over their kitchen.  The caliber of chefs that come in, like The Caste Jons , is nothing short of incredible.  Now you can enjoy your 5 star beer with your 5 star meal!

Oh hey there Ryan! Photo @ashdeezphotography
Serving up 5 star food in the kitchen @thecastejons

Future Plans: 

Growing, growing, growing. There is no surprise that the Charles Towne Fermentory is a hit with the locals and with everyone that comes into the tap room.  They are a young brewery not even a year old (December, 2016) and are still navigating their future plans. They do have occasional taplines at local restaurants that are ever changing (See list below).  As for now, they want you to enjoy the community feel of their tap room while sampling high caliber food and drinking one of a kind beer.  Look for them to brew great things in the future!

Thanks for having us!

Give Away Items! Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Photos Marked taken by @ashdeezphotography; call

843-801-5832 for inquiries. Special Thanks to @charlestonbrewerylist for all their help!

List of Restaurants that may carry Charles Towne Fermentory Beer.

167 RAW
Bay Street Biergarten
Bottles LLC
Brew Cellar
Brewpublik
Cafe Craft
Closed for Business
Coleman Public House
Craft Conundrum
Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House
Crafty Draught
Edmund’s Oast
EVO
Fat Patties Beaufort
Fat Patties Bluffton
Graze MtP
Graze Summerville
Homegrown Brewhouse
House of Brews
Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer
Liberty Tap Room Mt Pleasant
Maybank Public House
McCrady’s Tavern
Mellow Mushroom North Charleston
Mellow Mushroom Summerville
Mellow Mushroom-King St.
Mellow Mushroom-MtP
Mercantile and Mash LLC
Moe’s Crosstown Tavern
Poe’s Tavern
Pour Taproom Charleston
Sesame MtP
Smoke BBQ MtP
Tattooed Moose Johns Island
Tattooed Moose-Downtown
The Barrel James Island
The Griffon Pub
The Meeting Room
The Obstinate Daughter

 

Belmond Charleston Place

The Belmond Charleston Place

Have you ever just wanted to get away, and by away I mean out of your place? I’ll wait while y’all raise your hands… You know you want too. Sometimes you can go a short distance and feel a world away.

Near but far! Photo cred: @ashdeezphotography
Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the great pleasure of having a staycation at the Belmond Charleston Place and let me tell you, it was amazing! Here is the good news for you,  there is a local steal… I mean deal going on right now until the end of August for all locals!! See details below or go here. If you aren’t a local, no problem there are some great deals for you too offered here.

(This is your chance to be a tourist in your own town and rediscover Charleston’s charms from your home away from home in the very center of the historic district until August 31 (Sundays through Thursdays only).

Now, through August 31st, save 25 percent on the best available rate – plus, receive 25 percent savings at The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place ( I didn’t try this but I will have too next time), Charleston Grill (never disappoints), Thoroughbred Club (swanky and fun), Palmetto Cafe (gorgeousness) and the hotel’s newest guest only venue, the rooftop Clock Tower Pool Bar.

Offer is valid for travel now through August 31, 2017. Offer is valid for Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley county residents with a valid SC ID. Subject to availability and restrictions may apply. Promo code: LOCALSONLY.)

Now let’s get into all these details, shall we?

Newly renovated guest rooms: These rooms are POSH!  It’s often difficult for a hotel to showcase rooms that are not only newly renovated but also whisk guests back to the “good ol’ days” when hotels were more than just a stop off the freeway.  The rooms at the Belmond are able to accomplish both. With furniture and staging that take you back in time, It balances the modern touches that today’s wary travelers or staycationers are expecting with the added bonus of Charleston charm.

Club level room. Photo Cred @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clock Tower Pool Bar: I have walked around downtown so many times and never noticed that there is a rooftop pool bar overlooking beautiful King St.  WHAT?! Why didn’t I know about this before.  Here is the catch, it is only open to hotel guests which means no lines, fantastic services and glorious views to be had by all (well, all hotel guests)!

Clock Tower Pool bar. Photo cred: @ashdeezphotography
Photo cred: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit Plate Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clock tower drinks. @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now let’s talk about the Club level…..

Seriously upgrade to the Club level.  It could not have been a better experience.  We were greeted by our friendly Bartender Dan, and a show stopping food spread.  I was in love as soon as I stepped off the elevator (and not just with my husband)!

Stairway to the club level also known as Stairway to heaven. Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Dan. Club level staff. Check out those high end bottles in the background!

Club level amenities include:

Personal concierge for travel, leisure and business needs: (didn’t use this but I bet it was on point)

4th floor, spa and clock tower bar. Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

Private lounge: The lighting and the view at this level are outstanding.  It is housed on the 8th floor with ample space for people to mill in and out as needed. You have views of the bridge and this lounge allows for you to be as outgoing with the other guests or as recluse as you would like to be with its tables and side nooks.

Photo: @ashdeezphotography
Club level lounge. Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All-day beverage service: You heard me correctly…all day until 10:00 pm. Full bar after 5pm!  Oh my… oh my, what a fantastic perk! Their bar is fully loaded and their staff were ready with recommendations for both drinks and local area restaurants.

Bubbles for me!
Views! Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon tea: It was very quiet during this time. Most people are checking in or out but if you are able to make it to the lounge during afternoon tea enjoy it, especially if you are way from your kids for the night!

Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres:  Truly could have been a full meal.  They don’t mess around when it comes to food.  All palates can be satisfied with this set up.  It varied from vegetarian options to meat, cheeses and desserts.  Here is a fun amenity, when we returned to our room after sampling some food and drinks there was a welcome note with chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us.  How did they know that chocolate covered strawberries were my love language?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After-dinner cordials and desserts: We had a nice nightcap after dinner, and the mood was vibrant and fun with great service and happy guests. All the staff remembered us by name as we walked in and even remembered what we had ordered earlier in the day.  Knowledgeable and friendly without being conspicuous is a hard task and the Club Level staff has perfected it!

Thoroughbred Club Photo: @ashdeezphotography

 

 

 

 

 

Deluxe continental breakfast: Oh my goodness, (insert drooling now)!  This spread is meant for all different types of appetites and dietary restrictions. There were hot options, cold options, pastries, fruits and of course coffee, tea and juice. Only problem I had was that I wanted to try all of it!

Breakfast in our room
Expansive Breakfast options

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out wasn’t until noon and since we are early risers, we decided to explore the downtown area at sunrise.  The lighting was perfect and there was no one around.  We loved it! When we got back to the hotel,  we took some breakfast back to our room and enjoyed our sanctuary for a few more hours before heading out to walk around town again.

View from our room in the morning!
Morning walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you are looking for a centrally located downtown hotel for an upcoming business trip, an out-of-towner looking for a regal Charleston experience or a local looking for a spa-like getaway the Belmond Charleston Place has exactly what you are looking for!

Thank you Belmond for a wonderful staycation in the city that I love!

Cheers,

Lobby of the Belmond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Professional photos marked and taken by @ashdeezphotography

Contact @ashdeezphotography: 843-801-5832

 

 

 

 

Brewery of the Week ~ Ghost Monkey

Brewery of the Week!

 

We (myself and @scbeerned ) have started a new Brewery of the week series where we highlight local breweries within the Charleston area. Focusing on different aspects including atmosphere, owners, history and of course all things beer. If you have a place you want us to go next, let me know!

 

First Stop ~ GHOST MONKEY

Outside of Ghost Monkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEER:

Here we are outside the brewery  just enjoying the sun and the beer. Their Not Yo Mama’s IPA and Lemon Basil IPA are both solid choices at the brewery and also their biggest sellers. My favorite right now is the JoJo a nitro coffee stout. Their intention is to provide a good variety of beer selections so no matter what you like you can find something on the tap list to drink. Here is a link to their current tap list. To learn more about the actual beer check out @scbeernerd .

Owners/History: 

There are 3 owners : Josh Parker, Jim Leonard and John Kosky.  Jim is the head brewer.  Josh and John worked together and met Jim through a mutual friend.  After getting to know him, Jim mentioned he was thinking about starting a brewery and wanted to know if we might be interested.  Jim was a home brewer for over 15 years.

Why the name Ghost Monkey:

Josh (one of the owners) took a business trip to Spain and visited Gibraltar.  He was walking up a mountain when a monkey came out of nowhere (like a ghost) and snatched his bag of souvenirs.  The monkey broke the souvenirs while looking for an orange and thus a brewtiful name was launched. I love it and my kids think the name is pretty cool too (so that makes it awesome)!

At one of their tables
Manager, Andy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location/Atmosphere: 

Ghost Monkey is located here, which is in Mount Pleasant and very close to the Port.  Their goal was to be in Mt Pleasant and at that time the only other brewery was Westbrook,  MtP was ready for more breweries.  The atmosphere is laid back/casual with a place for everyone! It’s kid friendly and dog friendly and they always have food trucks to serve your hunger needs as well as events including live music/cornhole tournaments to spice up the fun factor.

Fried Chicken and Beer #america

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future Plans:

Currently, their beer can only be found in the tap room.  They are on a small system right now and all have their day jobs still so they are unable to produce enough beer to send out to other locations at this point.  Ghost Monkey is starting to upgrade their equipment and the plan is to be in a bigger system within a year.   The bigger system would allow distribution to bars and restaurants!  We can’t wait!

I love everything about Ghost Monkey and now we want to give you some things too!  Enter the giveaway posted on instagram and win these great prizes. Go visit Ghost Monkey and tell us what you think!

T-shirt, growler (sorry it will be empty), pint glass, koozie, and tulip glass!
Lovin my tank top!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Isla Surf School

Isla Surf School

So have you ever gone surfing?  Have you ever wanted to try surfing?  Let me tell you the answer to the those questions have always been NO!  Or Heck No in my case!

Folly Beach
Look for the tent!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always been a little scared to get into the ocean above my waist unless I could see what was around me (it’s ok, you can make fun of me). So when I was asked by Peter the owner of Isla Surf School whether I was interested in learning how to Surf, my first thought was….no I do not! Thankfully, I took a moment and thought about it.  Why wouldn’t I try it? I live on the coast and this is what it is all about.  Now let me tell you why you need to try it too!

First let me tell you a little bit about Isla Surf School.  It is located at Folly Beach a bit down the beach from the pier located here.  Peter Melhado is the owner and started this company August 20th, 2015 and has a staff of 4.  Peter is a life long surfer and has worked surf schools and camps throughout his life.  They are open year round but tend to be the busiest in the summer for obvious reasons. In addition to private lessons and daily lessons they also have after school programs, summer camps, yoga & surf Sundays and a variety of packages. Here is how you schedule your lessons/packages/group packages or buy your merchandise.  Use code ALPACAS for a 15% off any lesson time or Mechandise!!!

Owner, Peter
About to get our surf on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter was kind enough to provide instruction to myself as well as my husband and 2 kids.  It was great to see how he was able to switch between how to entertain and motivate my kids to instructing the adults (some of us more scared than others) on how to manipulate the board and the surf.  My daughter was an actual rock star on the board and is now researching all things surf!  What a confidence builder for her!  My son who is a bit younger, loved trying to do “sweet jumps” off the board… seriously whose kids is that?! You can see them below.

Pop ups!
We got it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was a bit nervous on the way out, but that quickly went away as I needed to concentrate on what the heck I was supposed to do.  Where do I put my feet again?   Hands go where? How do I lean?  After the first wave (I even stood up for a second… that’s what I call a WIN), I was officially hooked!  I even rode a wave for a little bit!  My husband also had a great last run on his board.  The entire family considered the day a great success!

I’m up!
Cory’s up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are few other great things I learned about Isla Surf school that are pretty awesome.  Isla is partnered with the Warrior Surf Foundation which is surf and beach therapy for Veterans suffering from a variety of mental issues to help them transition back into civilian life. Also, Isla works with Charleston Ripple Effect which is an Autism therapy session.

Isla has a great future with a talented core of instructors.  I would highly recommend them whether you are coming into town for vacation, wedding festivities or  whether you are local and you and/or your kids want to give it a try. So go check them out!

My HECK NO went to a Hang 10 after my first surf lesson!  Thanks again Peter!

 

Cheers,

Barbara Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

Jord Watch

Jord Watch

I have teamed up with JORD which makes fabulous wooden watches for a fun 100$ giveaway! I decided to take you and my JORD around to a few of my favorite places in the Charleston area!  But first the giveaway!

In order to enter the the 100$ giveaway you have to go here! Easy peasy! Then you are entered with a chance to win 100$ towards a new JORD watch.  The contest closes on 7/30/2017 so don’t delay!! This is the link to my specific JORD watch in case you wanted to know which one I have been wearing.

Some of my favorite places or things to do in Charleston, SC:

King St: Do you like food, shopping, drinks or history? Well, King St. has it all. I love everything about King St. from the newer up and coming areas with a thriving restaurant scene all the way down to the Battery Park. There is so much to see and do!

King St

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston always has something to do and lucky for us we have a local baseball, soccer, and hockey team!  We love to go out and support our local Charleston teams with or without the kids.  Here we are at the Charleston RiverDogs Game.  Time to play ball!

Charleston RiverDogs Game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It wouldn’t be South Carolina if you didn’t have to be near water in the summer.  Mind you, I DID NOT get my beautiful watch wet!! That’s a huge NO, NO! But, most of my days are spent by the pool or beach and I often go straight there!  Look how it shines against the water!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, I often take my watch out on the town for dinner. We are in one of the fastest growing culinary areas and I wear my JORD to complement all things fashion.  Here is a sample of some fun looks from dinner out an about. Bonus points if you can guess where I took it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed a few of my favorite places with my JORD watch. I have enjoyed taking you along for the ride! Now go win yourself 100$ towards your JORD watch! Here’s the link one more time!

Good Luck!

Cheers,

Barb

 

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North High Brewing

 

North High Brewing

What would you do the night before leaving for Europe… Pack? Go to bed early? Well, not if you have an option for a private brewery tour!! From here on out, the night before a big vacation is now known as “Flight Night”!

We had the great pleasure of being able to tour the brewery floor at North High Brewing and then head off to the taproom when the tour concluded. Score! Lucky for us, Kelsey Stief (Marketing), was a fantastic host and really represented the brand of North High Brewing. It’s a laid back brewery, with a fun personality. Just like Kelsey! I loved the names of their beers and the retro look they used for design.

Kelsey Stief, Marketing and our tour guide!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me tell you a little bit about this brewery.  Owners Gavin Meyers and Tim Ward, met in graduate school at Ohio State school of Business and wanted to bring a new brewery concept focusing on experience to their area.  In 2011, a brewery was born. North High Brewing was the first and only Brew on premises established, where the customer is also the brewmaster!  Heck yeah, you mean I could call myself a brewmaster?? That’s a pretty sweet title!

Honey Wheat Lager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By 2014, a brewery expansion was initiated bringing North High Brewing from one of the smallest to one of the largest in the area.  Brewmaster and partner, Jason McKibben, came on with the expansion and has been brewing and drinking happily for 3 years now.

Brewmaster, Jason. He was super excited to get his picture taken!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 led to signing with Premium Beverage Supply company and their beer is currently distributed throughout Ohio in 3,000 locations. Expansions and demand continue to increase especially after the Pale Ale took silver medal in the American Pale Ale category at the World Beer Cup. Now remember, I am not a huge Pale Ale fan, but come on I have try this beauty!  It was fantastic and my husband who is a Pale Ale kind of guy loved it too.

They now do their own canning!
Look how beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heck yes!
Acting cool, in the cooler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the brewery tour, which is off site from the taproom, we headed to taste some of their beers… “Flight Night”! My flight consisted of the Hefeweizen, the Honey Wheat Lager (only sold at the taproom), the Jalalima (if you love Jalepenos, this is a must), and the Thunderkissed a coffee infused milk stout (this coffee is roasted on site at the brewery). I loved them all evidenced by how quickly they disappeared from my glass. Wait…it’s gone already?!

The Taproom in all its glory!
Flight Night Success!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their taproom is very well appointed with an area for home “brewmasters” and a fun area to host parties.  In addition, the light was perfect and you can even bring your friends with you… man’s best friend that is!  They pride themselves on being family friendly, pet friendly, college friendly… so basically everyone friendly and they wouldn’t have it any other way!

This my beer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had the best time so go check them out here.  You won’t be disappointed! Next time you plan a vacation, I hope “Flight Night” is on the agenda!

Cheers,

Barb Skidmore

@blushingalpacas

 

GoldCreationsSC

Gold Creations

I have had the great pleasure working with Gold Creations in Charleston, SC located here.  Jewelry is so often a representation of our style and ourselves that sometimes it is difficult to find the right piece that fits. Lucky for me, before leaving on a trip abroad, I was able to stop into this little shop and locate some dream pieces.  Before I get further into my trip, let me tell you a little about this charming shop!

Family owned and operated since 1975, started by a husband and wife team, Glenn and Vicki Wolfe.  The business began buying Native American jewelry on the West Coast then bringing their goods back to Charleston, SC and selling on the tables in the Market. This is where the conception of Gold Creations shop began and now houses their store.  Currently, they support 13 employees 4 of which are family.

Store Manager, Katherine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be deceived by how small the actual shop is, the amount and quality of jewelry they house are quite impressive!  Do you see all those gold pieces behind Katherine in the picture…. yeah, so many sparkly things!!  I was almost overwhelmed when I went into the shop, but never fear these girls know what they are doing and helped guide me in the right direction!

Their biggest seller is their Sterling Silver Rice Bead collections which they have been selling for over 15 years now. These necklaces were fashioned after the Carolina Gold Rice that was SC’s main cash crop in the 1700’s. You can find more about this here. You can see why they are a huge seller! Just gorgeous!

Carolina Gold Rice Beads
Rice Beads and Gate Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So why did I choose Gold Creations? For years and years, Europe has been sending their gold and jewels to the States. This time however, I intended to bring a piece of Charleston,SC with me on my travels to Europe and Gold Creations provided just the pieces to compliment my story and my pictures.

To know me, is to know that my husband and I travel. We travel abroad, we travel local, we travel extensively.  Our favorite mantra is: The greatest traveler is always planning their next trip.  We live by this saying and although we just returned from the United Kingdom, we are already planning the next trip. Truly, we never stop thinking about it (Luckily, my husband is just as crazy as I am)!  With that said, one piece in particular stood out to me, The Compass Rose.  Now the Compass Rose was originally, fashioned after the nautical life of the low country. However, it has come to mean much more to me!

Big Ben, London UK

Here I am with Big Ben in the background, standing outside of the lovely phone booth with people everywhere. There is always a defining moment where I think to myself, we made it! This is where I am supposed to be at this time in my life!  The Compass Rose defines this for me. Follow the path you choose and let it lead you to new and exciting places. The Compass Rose took me to lots of places during our 12 days of travel! Let’s find out where!

 

Another defining moment for me, was getting to Stonehenge.  Trust me it was an escapade getting there… I mean serious shenanigans before we hit those gates! When we finally saw the Stones as we crested the hill, it was breathtaking.  The skies were moody and the Stones were telling a story, just like my compass. I wouldn’t have had the skies any other way.  It even started to sprinkle a bit which led to the perfect experience.

Stonehenge
Rice Bead Bracelets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now don’t worry, we also went to Scotland too and on an overnight train to boot!  It was actually quite relaxing, but enough about that!  If you plan on going to Scotland, plan on going to the Highlands!  My favorite place by far on the trip.

Here I am at Eilean Donan with my Gate Earrings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eilean Donan was a gorgeous castle and also right next to the entrance or Gate to the Isle of Skye, so the Gate Earrings played perfectly with my destination this date. And to answer your question, yes it was cold almost every day even though it was June! It also rained quite often, but would clear quickly.  My favorite quote of the trip was when one of the workers said, “The weather is nice now, but we are just minutes away from miserable”!!  What a true statement, and also pretty funny, or not so funny depending on who you ask!

Now, we couldn’t leave Scotland without first looking for Nessie in Loch Ness (we didn’t find her), heading to Inverness, stopping at the top of Scotland in John O’Groats and heading back and out through Edinburgh. Here are a few more pictures.

Loch Ness, we didn’t find Nessie!
John O’Groats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It truly was a non-stop journey with lots of destinations. If you have any questions about our vacation, just let me know and I will do my best to answer them.  Follow the links in the post to access Gold Creations website for any questions related to the jewelry. You will not be disappointed by their variety and quality.

The Compass Rose will forever be apart of my future travels! Thank you Gold Creations for helping me locate such a magical piece.  I think Elizabeth (Lizzy) from Gold Creations said it best:

“The Compass Rose is a reminder that we are not merely travelers, but we are the navigators of our destiny.”

Now start planning your next adventure!

Cheers,

Barb @blushingalpacas

Ackergill Castle, Highlands UK with my husband @skidmorediaries