I vividly remember my first visit to Charleston. I was arriving for summer school after my sophmore year in college and was excited to experience a place I had heard so much about. My expectations were high, and Charleston delivered. “The Holy City” placed its spell on me immediately! The fondness I felt for Charleston by the end of that summer was truly tangible. It grew exponentially through the years that I lived there and continues to manifest itself to this day. I remember writing a letter to my best friend back home shortly after my arrival that summer, (a novel concept for a college student today) about how impressed I was by the history of the city, the color palettes, the smell and sounds, the beauty of the setting, and the fact that it was maintained so well…….Charleston is truly a feast for the creative mind and the senses.
I recently returned from spending a week in Charleston and Kiawah Island that was filled with shopping, project site visits, some family time outdoors, and a beautiful wedding. As usual, with the first sight of the marshlands and the sinuous patterns made by the creeks winding through them, I feel life’s stresses pour out, and I am filled up with a peaceful calm.
There is something about Charleston! This trip I was inspired to contemplate what it is that I love so much about it. To get to the bottom of why it captures me like no other US city. Why it calms my soul while igniting my creativity. And, why it takes me a few weeks upon returning to a home that I adore, to stop planning my move back! I was also inspired to write a blog series on one of my very favorite places: “Why I Love Charleston!” I plan to highlight my favorite shops, architecture, restaurants, traditions, pieces of history, etc. Hopefully it will spark your interest in this special place, and you will fall in love with it too!
For now I will leave you with some photos from my last visit and a peek into my psyche and how infatuated I am with this place!
I love the way the shadows of the oak lined streets dance on my windshield.
I love the hint of jasmine and tea olive that drifts through the Spring air.
I love the single houses whose open terraces allow the breeze of the harbor to meet you at the door.
I love kayaking down the creeks of the beautiful marshland and hoping that you don’t encounter an alligator.
I love the sweetgrass basket weaving tradition that is passed down through familial generations.
I love exploring the tombstones of old church cemeteries with Charleston’s founding fathers and their decendants.
I love that Charleston is known for its hospitality and hence its symbol, the pineapple.
I love driving over the Cooper River bridge and Charleston harbor with my windows rolled down in Winter.
I love the glimpses I get into the private walled gardens South of Broad while walking my non-hunting, SC “hunting” dog.
I love the rooftop views of Charleston.
I love the sweet sulphur smell of pluff mud and view of birds oystering at low tide.
I love the architectural detailing and craftmanship that is such a rarity today.
I love the music of church bells marking the hour.
And, a glimpse of the setting of that wonderful wedding I mentioned.
I am just getting started! I hope you will take this journey with me, and I would love for you to share your favorite things about Charleston!