Kiawah Island

There’s nothing appealing about a warm, sunny beach day. I’ve long thought the ocean is a terrifying place and my fear of the ocean fits better in a gloomy, rainy, windy, cold, gray day.
After making a list of places we need to see before we leave (!) Charleston, John and I decided to visit Kiawah Island, South Carolina, on a perfect winter beach weather Sunday. It rained so hard that the roads on John’s Island were flooded and the sun hadn’t shone since the previous morning.
Kiawah Island has been somewhat of a myth to us. When people have described it to me it’s like they’ve never been to a beach before. A surreal week in Cape Cod aside, my California beach experiences were too much traffic, too much sand and freezing cold water.
But I could tell John needed to get our of the house and besides our weekly Saturday morning trip to Whole Foods, it had been a while since we had done anything remotely interesting. We made reservations at Jasmine’s Porch at the Sanctuary Hotel for a late breakfast.
Entering the gates of Kiawah is similar to the entering the gates of Jurassic park. To get there, you pass through John’s island on a four lane residential road dotted with low, swampy houses and tiny churches, expecting to come to a seedy beach town of tourist shops and ice cream parlours. But, at the end of the road on John’s island, you pass through a round-about, with each exit looking more luxurious than the next.
We stumbled over the name of the restaurant to Kiawah’s gatekeeper, but she smiled, politely correcting us, and let us in anyway. We navigated the quiet streets broken up only by pristine golf courses, until we reached The Sanctuary.
John and I had no business being there. It’s beautiful and old like the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, but extremely, unimaginably, exclusive. All I could think as we tried to find the restaurant was how loud my cheap boots were echoing down the great, chandeliered hall, and that I couldn’t believe we had brought a baby.
The restaurant was pretty empty, but it wasn’t quite brunch time and it was probably off season. And why come down to breakfast if you can afford room service?
Explaining that you can eat hibiscus flowers to the baby.

Edible florals.

Gloomy beach day and southern lighting.

Gloomy beach day and southern lighting.

We’ve lived in the south for over two years now, but I’ve never really had an experience where I felt like we traveled back in time to southern culture. It’s uncomfortable being treated like your a guest at one of the most expensive hotels in the south. Especially when you’re table is covered in baby toys and formula powder.
The tofu scramble with avocado butter--don't be put off by the name or the inredients. Unreal.

The tofu scramble with avocado butter, and extra hot sauce. Unreal.

The reality of taking the baby to brunch.

The reality of taking the baby to brunch. Bottles. Toys. Un-drunken mimosas.

John got deconstructed carne asadas that he ate while I was changing the baby in the bathroom. I took a Yelp tip and got the Avocado butter scramble. It was the least southern thing on the menu and the most delicious. Knowing that we probably won’t ever be back, got a third dish, the blueberry quinoa pancakes. The food was incredible, completely worth the price and drive.
The wind!

The wind!

After breakfast, we decided to walk around the hotel grounds before the baby got too cold. The courtyard was cold and empty, and we had a few moments to take in the quiet of the gray day, the ocean and the strong, salty smell of the Atlantic. When the baby had enough of trying to catch the wind, we went to pick up a post card at the hotel gift shop. The lady working there said that it was 40 thousand dollars just to join the club.


Style note: I’m in love with this cozy knit tunic sweater from one of my favorite bloggers, Cupcakes and Cashmere. I got a STEAL on it a few months ago on Poshmark–25$! A girl in the fashion industry got it as a gift and it didn’t fit her, so I scooped it up when it was entirely too hot in Charleston for a sweater. Now it’s one of my favorite fall pieces.

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