Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Life: Charleston, NC

In the spirit of my husband's spontaneity {of which i fell in love with} he thought on Wednesday, of last week, that it would be a fab idea to visit our dear friends in South Carolina. The only kink was that we would need to be leaving Thursday night, of the same week, and we had already made plans with friends to see a Casting Crowns concert in Grand Rapids... however, things like this only seem to add to our enthusiasm!
and so, after a Spirit filled, uplifting concert, we began our 15 hour journey to South Carolina for a REAL vacation!
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No one invited him, but our dreary Michigan weather came along for the ride. it was rain, rain, RAIN! the only nice day was Saturday and we took advantage of this spending the afternoon walking the streets of Charleston...
...and boy did it DELIVER!
What a BEAUTIFUL city! I really have never seen anything like it. while parts of it hint of the Louisiana Bayou with its sprawling moss covered trees, marshy landscape, and magnolias, other parts scream old world Europe, and yet somehow all around it is still so uniquely "Charlestonian." 
Driving down age old cobble stone and brick streets, one gets glimpses of the unique "porch doors" and side alleys that lead to mini courtyard gardens.
The unique "Charlestonian" stacked, sideways porches grace most homes, modest and elegant. In days of old, homes would not have been air conditioned and during the hot summer months these worked as "breezeways" to cool the home.
Charleston is truly a city of history and art. Shops all seem to feature an "anthropogie" style while restaurants come in various eclectic decor. Facing the harbor is "Battery Row" lined with a smorgasbord of the most magnificent Charlestonian, Georgian, Federal, Adamesque, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Victoria homes. In the distance lies the infamous Fort Sumter where the first battle of the Civil War began.
To quote Rhett Butler, in the second {less memorable} part of his most famous Gone With the Wind line, Charleston is quite literally a town of both "grace and civility."
a FAB cheese shop our friends took us to ... i just love hole-in-the wall shops and non-chain restaurants.
Only a few miles from Charleston, small towns such as Folly are just as charming in their "beach town" quaintness as Charleston is in it's historic elegance.
i just HAD to collect shells  - it's just what you do on a beach. i'm bringing some back to my kiddos ... 

Being a very woodsy, outdoorsy, rock climbing, camping, hiking type of gal, I did not particularly fall in love with South Carolina's overall marshy and flat environment, however, my time spent there was wonderful and I truly fell in love with it's Southern charm!
I always have a tendency to think about how different people in different regions/countries/places in life view things, how they live in connection to how I live, how our ideals/motives are similar/different.
Throughout this trip, I kept thinking about how different each region of the US of A truly is. Particularly my home versus this utterly different landscape in the South.
South Carolinians, Michiganders; Charlestonians, Detroiters; Plantations, Car factories; Atlantic Ocean, Lake Michigan; Southern charm, Northern rustic; Humidity, Snow; North, South.
and yet despite our differences, i am inspired by the ever present truth ... we are all the same.
people.
     beautiful.
            American.
                     great.
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