Happy birthday to me! I’m 30 years old this year and it’s definitely bittersweet to say goodbye to my 20’s. My 20’s saw some of the best and worst times of my life. I traveled the world and got a good bit of partying under my belt in the process. I’ve had a handful of interesting jobs. I met my husband and we had a baby, got a puppy, bought a house, got married…then moved…and moved again into the house we are in now. I made some of my best friends and had some great adventures. I said goodbye to my mom as cancer took her life, and then said “See you around” to my dad who moved across the country. I had another baby and we settled into life as a family of four.
I learned so much and grew so much and wouldn’t trade any of it (except losing my mom. I’d trade that in a second). After all of that excitement, I’m ready for my 30’s!
Naturally I had hoped to celebrate this milestone year in a big way, but like most people my hopes were slightly crushed by a certain pandemic. I wasn’t going to let that stop me though! Sure, I couldn’t exactly go on a cruise or host a huge party with all my friends, but I was determined to make it special.
To start our day we were invited by Historic Columbia to go on a walking tour of the Robert Mills house and gardens in the heart of the city. This particular tour was centered around the holidays in the 1800s. We learned a lot and it was really cool to see a new part of the city that I knew was there, but knew nothing about. Historic Columbia hosts regular walking tours (currently 100% outdoors) as well as some bonus events, like this week’s movies in the garden.
The tours are $10/Adults and $7/Children. It’s definitely geared more for teens and up I think, as my children didn’t really give a hoot about anything that was being said. Either way you go, the grounds are a great place for photos!
After our tour, we grabbed a quick bite at the Granby Grill in the Olympia Mills housing area. We then rushed across the street to 701 Whaley so I could get my hair done by Bailey at Moss and Moon salon. Let me just say, if I’m going to pay big $$$ to get my hair done (which I rarely do), this is the kind of place I expect to go. The decor was SO fun and there was always something new catching my eye. Not to mention I got to sip on chardonnay while I had my hair played with!
When that was done, I went home to grab my husband so we could check into our hotel for the evening!
I have had many friends work with/stay at Hotel Trundle over the last couple of years, and I finally got up the nerve to reach out! Rita (one of the owners) was the sweetest person and helped me to arrange the perfect birthday “staycation”. I love a good staycation as you may know if you have been around for a while! There’s something extra special about learning a new thing or two about the city you live in. You may be surprised at what you don’t know, or the places that are right under your nose!
A little about this unique hotel- Hotel Trundle was created out of three historic buildings in the heart of Columbia. When owners Marcus and Rita saw the space, they knew it was the perfect spot for a one of a kind boutique experience.
From the moment you step into the hotel, you feel the love and care that went into every square inch of the place. The beauty is in the details, and everywhere you look you will see details big and small that capture the heart of Columbia and showcase the eclectic taste of Rita and Marcus. From the unicorns sprinkled around the place, to local products that are both used in the design and to make your stay more comfortable.
I personally loved seeing my “area” of Irmo represented with the Loveland Coffee pods placed in our room. I wish I’d had a little more time just to walk around the place and examine the artwork and design details that make Hotel Trundle such an interesting place to stay.
Regardless of whether you’re planning a staycation in Columbia or if you’re visiting from another city, rest assured that Hotel Trundle has your health and safety in mind! The safety features they have implemented since their reopening can be spotted all throughout the hotel. High touch areas such as the front doors are covered in NanoSeptic self cleaning adhesives, which use nano crystals that sanitize using an oxidation method that is triggered by light. These cool strips can be found all up and down Main Street in Columbia!
All high touch areas are carefully looked after, such as all door handles to rooms. These are coated in a rubber sleeve that is likely also self cleaning or is easier to deep clean and sanitize (I’m not quite sure). Every remote control you find is encased in a plastic bag specifically for remotes, that get changed out frequently. Certain services that would require people going in and out of your room (luggage delivery, housekeeping every day) are temporarily not in use to avoid germs being spread.
There is an abundance of hand sanitizer around, and masks are required in the main lobby or any shared spaces. There are also free masks at the front desk and your room comes with a “personal protection pack” that includes a mask, sanitizing gel and wipes.
We were greeted at check in with a choice of wine or beer as well as a friendly smiling face (well, she was “Smizing” since we couldn’t see her mouth!) Our room was super clean and had so much character! We got “The Corner King” which seems to be a popular room among my friends too! It was so cool to people watch from our windows.
I ordered myself a small charcuterie box from Carolina Charcuterie Company earlier in the week and she hand delivered it to the hotel for me! It was the cutest little collection of meats, cheeses, nuts and veggies wrapped up all pretty with a bow, a wooden knife, and two picks.
If Hotel Trundle wasn’t cool enough on it’s own, it’s only a short (I mean VERY SHORT) walk to get to Main Street! If you are new to Columbia or just don’t go downtown often, I highly encourage you to take a walk up and down Main Street. This has become one of my favorite spots in town. It’s also a great place to catch Pokemon, if you’re still into Pokemon go ;). If you stay on a Friday night, you can’t miss the Saturday morning market, Soda City. It’s from 9-1 and THE place to be!
We stopped in at The Grand to possibly go night time bowling, but they were expecting a long wait so it was either find a spot at the bar, or keep looking. We meandered up the road and back down on the other side and stumbled into Main Course. This restaurant has a ton of beer on tap which is what initially caught my eye, and they have little pods where you can practice your golf swing! If you’re here in the daytime, upstairs is where you can find Immersion SC, a neat art exhibit that is perfect for fun photos!
Much to my delight (not so much my husband’s) there was a drag show going on inside! We paid the $5 cover and split a burger while we enjoyed the gorgeous queens performances. I LOVE a good drag show. I got pulled up on “stage” to dance a couple of times, got a free shirt and a shot, and my husband got a little extra show that included a drag queen dancing on a chair right in his face. Definitely the highlight of my night…I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!
Main course has drag shows every Saturday night now, so if you’re interested you should definitely go! It’s not the MOST socially distanced activity, but I will say it wasn’t packed in there, and the tables were pretty well spread apart. It ended around 10pm so it was perfect for these tired parents! We finished our night out by walking up to the State House to take some selfies by the big Christmas tree.
When we returned to Hotel Trundle we were greeted by a complimentary bottle of birthday wine, which was definitely the icing on the cake! I was able to cast hulu from my phone to the TV so I could continue my Mindy Project binge, and then I had an amazing nights sleep in a crazy comfortable bed!
In the morning you can grab at ‘go bag’ of cereal and some milk from the fridge in the lobby of Hotel Trundle if you want, or you can walk up Main Street for some local brews. We stopped at Drip, but Indah coffee is another great option that’s very close!
While I may not have gotten to do anything outlandish or extravagant for my 30th birthday, I think this year’s celebration turned out better than I could have imagined. I was spoiled, got to spend time with the people I love, and got to explore one of my favorite cities…my own!
If you’re considering a stay in Columbia, I don’t know that you should even consider staying anywhere else! Take it from me when I say…spend a few extra dollars and stay somewhere nice. Last time I tried to save a few bucks on a hotel, we ended up in what felt like a crack den that had a broken A/C and slamming doors all night. Just spend a few extra dollars and live like Columbia royalty. Just do it.