|Row of Houses in Charleston, SC|
You see, on our original plan for this trip, we were supposed to leave Southern Virginia and make a b-line for the Florida Keys. Sounds great, right? Well, upon further review we decided it would be best not to burn that much gas and bypass everything in between Virginia and Southern Florida. For whatever reason, we decided to stop in Charleston. We didn't research the decision much and had just a fuzzy idea of what awaited us.
If ever we were looking for a place to settle down to again, Charleston has all we are looking for. It has architecture and history. Enough restaurants that you could probably spend years without going to the same one twice. Great beach towns surround it. Did I mention the 3000 slip marina!? Oh yeah, it never snows there and we were visiting in the midst of a "cold-spell" where daily temperatures only got into the mid-60s in November. Meanwhile, back in NY where we left from, they got a freak snow storm.
Immediately upon driving into the city we got a great vibe. There was a pulse to the city. People out on the streets, horse drawn carriages traipsing down cobblestone streets, gas lights, houses that are hundreds of years old, dark alleys (of the not-going-to-get-stabbed-if-you-walk-down-them variety), Spanish moss, and palm trees.
We've been walking a lot on this trip, and this stop was no exception. We had arrived in time for the city's first Friday; which is where local galleries open up on the first Friday of the month to showcase new works. It is an event we used to attend in Albany, but Charleston's was significantly larger. An added perk is that most galleries serve free finger foods, and some serve drinks. At the last gallery we made it to there was a man playing Flamenco guitar in the rear courtyard. Art, food, drinks, and music. For free. Sign me up.
We also treated ourselves to a Walking Ghost Tour. It was a fun experience and we heard some pretty interesting and chilling tales. No ghosts though. But it did show us a different side of our new favorite city.
Before arriving in Charleston, something had been missing from this trip. We couldn't quite put a finger on it, but everywhere we had gone we didn't quite "belong". Even in Annapolis, which we had had high hopes for, we didn't get the feeling that it was for us. All that changed in Charleston, we could have happily never left. In fact, we met several locals who had had similar experiences. They were displaced for some reason or other, arrived in Charleston and just stayed.
We do have other places we want to explore though, and after brief stops in Savannah and Brunswick, GA, we've since arrived in Florida where we will be for the next few weeks at the least. If we don't like it here, South Carolina is only a few hours to the North.
|Cannons for Shelling Ft. Sumter|
|Looking out to the Harbour|