Seasonal Gelato from Scoopy Doo
During my travels, I tend to make a conscious effort to find local treasures of that place. It usually isn't difficult, and although it tends to be a bit of a mission in some places, it still becomes quite an adventure locating local artisans who are flourishing under the pressure of cheap Made in China chachkis and generic high street souvenirs. This time I took a road trip to South Carolina with my sister and her husband, who had moved to its capital, Columbia, where my sister works in the Department of Sociology, whilst her husband finishes up his PhD in the Philosophy of Physics.
Known for being the first city in America, South Carolina's capital offered not only the quintessential tourist attractions, but a plethora of fairtrade and locally-made shopping that had my purse strings at its breaking point. I was only there for two days, but managed to fit so much in.

FIVEPOINTS is where it all begins for me...That's where the nightlife seems to be, and where I did my shopping and some of our dining.
five points
So, I went a bit crazy in South Carolina, and it started when we went into the Natural Vibrations store. A store that I would not normally lean towards, unless I am in the Caribbean, but it was the nearest refuge from the blistering heat. When we went in, we were greeted by an 'Anglo' Rastafarian with a quasi-Jamaican accent, and a display filled with locally crafted ceramics. As we explored the shop further, past the quintessential incense and rasta hats, I came across the racks of fairtrade clothing, and bought a silk top.
We then went to 2G's on Saluda where they have mostly one of a kind pieces that are either overstock, vintage, second-hand or bespoke. We met one of the coolest chicks around, who disclosed that her top, which I told her I must have, was one of her own creations, which she made from a dress she found in a recycling bin. From brands like Anthropologie and Pikolinos, to locally made jewellery, 2G's is a treasure trove of unexpected gems. I walked out with a cute little number, so stay tune for a 2G's style post.Whilst there, my 'cool chick' told me that I had to check out the consignment stores a few doors down, particularly Revente.
Walked into Revente and didn't want to leave. Immediately I was confronted by vintage and second-hand Chanel, Gucci, and Dior. However, more interestingly, I found a Suno dress, which had me momentarily giddy, until I looked at the size...whomp whomp!
Natural Vibrations Proprietor
Some of the local pottery sold in Natural Vibrations
Inside 2G's
The Dress that got away at Revente
Boiled PEANUTS! Yeah! You read that correctly. This is a staple for the South Carolinians, and the official snack for the State, as of 2006. Prepared by using semi-mature or 'green' peanuts (unlike mature peanuts used for roasting), which are boiled in salt water, these little snacks are a must when visiting.
Motor Supply Company Bistro is one of those great gems that highlight why it is important to support businesses that champion seasonal and sustainably-farmed produce and house-butchered meats. Notable, if your food was not provided by the local farms, it was made in house, from the stocks to the charcuterie. And don't expect to find the same foods, as the menu is determined by what is available, so you are always in for a culinary experience that is far from stagnant.
On my final night, the happy couple took me to one of their favourite Thai restaurants, Baan Sawan, which is where one went for their infamous curries. Here you pick how spicy you wish your curry to be, making Thai food a bit more accessible to those of us who are not too keen on  house-on-fire spicy foods. I definitely recommend.

It was sooooo hot in Columbia, that my sister and brother-in-law took me to their favourite places to cool down. Those places just happened to be a gelato shop and a frozen yoghurt shop.
Scoopy Doo! Homemade Gelato made with seasonal ingredients. My trip saw the fridge stocked with Lavender and Honey Dew gelato...yuummmmeeerrrsss! I love a good gelato, and Scoopy Doo's was amazingly delicious. For those who decide that they would like their gelato in a cone, you are treated to a homemade waffle, which my sister, luckily, got 2 minutes freshly made. I took my blackberry sorbet in one of their ice-cold bowls, which I cheekily used to cool my forehead. YES, it WAS that hot in South Carolina, but I loved every moment of it.

I was in South Carolina for a short while, splitting my three days between Columbia and Charleston, which limited my "sight-seeing,"Besides a very scenic tour of the city itself, my darling brother-in-law took time off from his PhD and teaching to take me on a tour of the University of South Carolina's b-e-a-utiful campus. The following day we took my little Polpettino to Riversbank Zoo and Botanical Gardens, which was a five minute drive from my sister's. Zoos tend to be slightly depressing, but Riversband Zoo gets high praise for keeping their animals healthy and happy while maintaining some of the prettiest park grounds in Columbia.

In an old People Tree Dress [option 1], [option 2], [option 3] & Palmaira sandals
Alex + Ani Bracelets & Recycled plastic bracelets and fan from The Museum of African Art in Washington DC
Next stop? Charleston, SC...

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  1. Jennifer Hughes22 June 2016 at 13:48

    YES! Not a lot of people think of Columbia when they think of South Carolina. Thank you for showcasing some of what we have to offer. LOVE Scoopy Doo, and I need to check out 2G's.

    1. You must check out 2G's Clothing. So gooood! Great treasures to be found in there.