Who Do You Think You Are? My Journey of DNA Testing and Family Tree: The Charleston Road Trip Recap & Mills House Review Pt. 1

Hi loves! So I am going to be sharing some of my vacation photos in 3 separate posts because I took so many. Last month my husband and I took a road trip to Charleston, South Carolina & Savannah, Georgia. I had been to Charleston about 4 times as a child and as a teen and I had no significant memories of being there except shopping with my family. He has never been to Charleston so I was like we should go. 

Buried deep with in these 1400 blog posts there is a journey that I started two years ago. It all started with my taking a DNA test on Ancestry and then mapping out my family tree. I have an extreme interest in Africana Studies and I hope that one day I can advance my studies with a degree in that field. So, after getting my DNA test back and seeing what countries origins contributed to my DNA sequence I then wanted to go to a plantation. It was a plantation that I was almost sure of that my family on both sides had been on which would be the Kinglsey Plantation in Jacksonville, FL (we went there 2 years ago). So, without realizing it last April was the 2 year anniversary of that trip and coincidentally we were in Charleston about to do the same thing because I learned that something like 85% of African Americans had ancestors who came through Charleston. My DNA results have been updated and they showed the same also.

 I have had a lot of people not understand why I wanted to go to a plantation, what was I looking to find, and ask is my husband "ok" with what I was doing. I personally thought that those questions were not warranted. I wanted to learn about the history of our nation and of my people and I understand some people would rather forget the past, but it can't be forgotten. And hell no, my husband wasn't upset about it- I think that is an absurd thing to ask by the way. Anyhow, that is the main reason we made the trip up to Charleston. This stop at Middleton Place (Plantation) was the last stop in my needing to see and learn in a more hands on way. All of those photos will be in part two so I won't say much more about that.

One other thing that I wanted to experience while in Charleston was the low country cooking. My family without really trying imparted a lot of recipes and cooking styles on us younger generations that basically were low country recipes that have changed over the years (more Floridian in my opinion). For example one of my favorite things to make is Okra and Tomatoes over rice and I never knew that was a low country recipe. I wanted to really experience the food there as much as I could with my limited diet. I also did some great studying on the different types of rice that grows up there and that too piqued my interest.

The downtown area of Charleston is unique and interesting to me, there is nothing but history there and I told my husband I know you will love it! I found us a hotel (The Mills House by Wyndham) that really was in the most ideal spot for sight seeing. It was right on meeting Street and you can basically walk out of there in any direction and sight see. I did not care for the service at the hotel to be honest it wasn't the best and a lot of that centered around the restaurant there.

So, you all know for me I am all about the room. I live in a small condo and so for me when I vacation I feel like I need at least a little more space than the standard room so I don't feel like I am trapped. I learned this when I did two weeks in Soho, Manhattan and was in this teeny tiny hotel room. I felt like the room was nice and clean, but a lot of the space was under utilized. Literally, the room was huge, but it was just open space. I didn't even take photos of the other side and the wet bar area because it wasn't even really decorated. But there you have it, its a popular hotel and its highly rated so I figured I would post the photos of the suite.

Breakfast- First Watch

This was our first meal in Charleston there at the hotel. The food is just ok, but their oysters and vodka black pepper sauce was to die for. I went back a second time for oysters only.

The first thing I heard and experienced upon stepping foot in Charleston were these church bells. It was Sunday so they rang for 15 minutes straight and it was so captivating; I realized I had never heard church bells before in my life. They also had a historic cemetery right on the other side with a old water fountain that they encourage visitors to drink out of, but I was like that would be a no!

And we also went to the shopping district because my husband forgot his belt at home and he for some reason thinks it is uncouth to walk around without wearing a belt. So, it was an interesting walk and I did a little shopping too. Shopping while on vacation is something I usually don't do unless one of us forgot something at home. Growing up we would go on vacation and spend all of our time at the mall which in retrospect annoys me.

Breakfast at the Barbadoes Room

Happy hour at the Barbadoes Room

With exception to the poor service I received at the Barbadoes Room, all of the other restaurants I dined at were phenomenal! There were literally 4 or 5 top rated restaurants right outside our hotel and luckily on one rainy night we walked out there and ate dinner because I was absolutely fed up with the rudeness of the staff at the Barbadoes Room and we had been stuck in the hotel all day due to the rain.

We absolutely fell in love with Husk. This is the type of restaurant that would flourish in the SoHo or Hyde Park area here in Tampa. They have a great chef, everything is sustainably farmed, local, and organic and the menu changes two times a day (Brunch and dinner).

When the rain finally let up we went out for a full day of sight seeing. I'd say we walked around the city for about 5 or 6 hours straight before returning for dinner.



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