02 October 2013

winning; or how my autumn vacation became impossibly better

the Monday after next, my oldest friend and I will be winging our way to Charleston, SC. We've been talking about taking a vacation together for ages, having traveled no further than a couple hours together since we were in junior high and embarking on club field trips to Virginia and Boston. Our schedules simply have not meshed, as she's a lawyer with her own firm to partner and run, a business venture not too old.

Then, I entered the #TakeMeToCHS sweepstakes. I did so on a whim, since my previously planned trip to the city this spring fell afoul of family issues. I adore Charleston and have not been there since my best friend and I went while she was still in law school, in 2008. It's been a long five years.

This year, Travel + Leisure named Charleston the best city in the US & Canada in its World's Best awards. Between that distinction and the six hotels in the small city named to the Best Hotels List, the Charleston Vacation and Conventions Bureau put together the sweepstakes: one winner per month of a featured package from one of the six hotels through 2013.

I filled out the form, tweeted, tweeted some more, Instagrammed some pictures from when I last was there, tweeted, then rapidly forgot about entering.

Imagine my surprise when the kind folks at CVB tweeted, Instagrammed, and emailed me to announce I'd won the Charleston Perspective package from the French Quarter Inn. My parents immediately began groveling, wondering which of them I would be taking. Unfortunately for either, I already knew my oldest girlfriend {we've known each other since we were 7, and she knows all of my embarrassing stories...mostly because she was present for a good portion of them} would be the best choice.

Just yesterday I finalized our flights, and we received the most wonderful itinerary from the nicest hotel staff. There's champagne upon check-in for our two night stay, a three hour sunset harbor cruise, a private carriage tour with snacks, a helicopter tour {with more champagne}, dinner reservations, and someone to pick us up and drop us off at the airport.

Tomorrow morning, I'm off to my travel companion's office to celebrate, then Monday the 14th we're on the plane and off to Charleston. I imagine there will be excessive amounts of tweeting and Instagram posts {there always seems to be something photogenic around every corner in Charleston}. Watch this space for a complete recap of our adventures...and don't forget to add your own entry to the #TakeMeToCHS Sweepstakes.

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