My wife Paige and I both travel frequently, but rarely find ourselves going somewhere completely as tourists to relax, often finding ourselves on work trips or visiting friends and relatives. But after finding myself head-down at a new job for a few months and with Paige nearing the six-month mark of pregnancy and desperately fighting the fact that her body was in need of more rest, the laid-back vibes of Charleston and the south beckoned as the perfect respite.
Neither of us had visited South Carolina, but it had been on our list for years. A two-hour flight with no time change couldn’t be easier for a five-day getaway. This would no doubt be our final vacation before we’d have to organize our travels around an influx of baby-related items (and an additional human), so we made a conscious decision to travel light: We flew with carry-ons only and avoided renting a car.
We arrived in the afternoon and checked into the Fulton Lane Inn right in the center of Charleston — a vibrant city offering old southern charm, a rich history and culinary delights. Over our first three days, we walked for miles exploring the cobblestone streets of the city, ate in excess at as many restaurants as possible and embraced the variety of unique tourism offerings. We rode horse-drawn carriages through the oldest neighborhoods and spent an afternoon on the bow of the harbor tour ferry. As foreigners of the South, the historical education from the local tour hosts especially piqued our interest.
After our time in Charleston, we took an easy Lyft ride south down the coast to Kiawah Island and checked into The Sanctuary resort. This was where the R&R really started, courtesy of their “Bliss Before the Baby Package.” The beachfront property sits above an endless white-sand beach, surrounded by mangrove canals, perfectly landscaped fairways and oak forests. Our home base was an ocean-view room on The Sanctuary’s top floor, complete with white robes and matching slippers to enjoy on our private terrace each morning.
Three days lounging at the beach passed by in what felt like an instant, but we maximized our time with five-star meals of fresh local seafood and read multiple novels under a beach umbrella. Between our many beach walks, Paige enjoyed some poolside mocktails and I scheduled a private tennis lesson for myself. The ocean and pool offered the perfect reprieve from the heat. For our final day on Kiawah, we went to the spa together and fully indulged. Paige received deluxe prenatal attention with a Maternity massage, while I enjoyed the steam bath and sauna before we reconnected in a private relaxation room.
We ended our trip with a final night in Charleston and a well-rounded southern meal at the renowned restaurant Husk. A quick flight later, I was back in the office fully refreshed.
As we neared our due date, Paige and I were mindful of how much our life together was about to change. Taking this trip was an important part of our relationship after having trouble finding time in our fast-paced lives to sit down together and enjoy just being a couple before the big change. We came home ready to take on all the future holds. We have many more adventures ahead of us — even if the next one will require a rental car that fits a stroller and a car seat.
Photographs by Eric Greene