Why We Love Charleston
The first time we ventured to Charleston was very much by accident. As a matter of fact, it was something my husband did that landed him in hot water. At the time, he was in his last year at UNCG and his second year coaching football at South Stokes High School. We had been planning to go on a cruise to the Bahamas. When we first scheduled it, we selected to leave from Jacksonville Florida, and it was going to be on one of the newest ships that Carnival had at the time. But a week after booking it, Kyle found out that the dates conflicted with South Stokes football camp, and he decided to switch the dates; which meant leaving from Charleston instead. Now it may not seem that bad, but this meant being on a much older ship, actually the oldest cruise ship of the Carnival line and having an extra day at sea.
We drove in to Charleston the night before our cruise, but it was dark so we didn’t see much of the city. The next day we decided to get out and see the city before our cruise departed. We looked up some local beaches and decided to go to Folly Beach, we had no idea how important that place would end up becoming to us. That first time there we spent maybe an hour walking along the beach and searching for seashells. But we were taken aback by the vibrant, yet laid back atmosphere of Folly Beach. There was only one big hotel and no chain restaurants. Coming from someone who grew up going to Myrtle Beach every summer this was a welcomed change.
Our next big moment came around June of 2013 while we were on a family beach trip to Myrtle Beach. I’m not sure how or what motivated my husband to start searching for lighthouses, but he did, and found that one was on the end of Folly Beach; the eclectic little beach town we discovered a year before. It was a two hour trip to Charleston, but being the adventurous people we are, we decided to make the trip. Coming in to Charleston this time, we discovered another favorite of ours in the Arthur Ravenel bridge. It is quite an engineering wonder, and from the top of it you can see the entire beautiful old city. We made our way down to Folly Beach. As you drive to northernmost part of the island it narrows all the way down to one road with the beach on your right and marsh on your left. You end at a small cul de sac and a gate that won’t allow you go any further. The sign said ¾ of a mile walk to the Morris Island Lighthouse. We set out to walk and learned that it is quite mysterious, as there is now trees on both sides of you. As you reach the end of the paved walkway it turns into a small path in the sand. As you start up this path you begin to see the top of the lighthouse, and as you continue, you see more and more until there it is in all its glory. There’s just something so majestic about this faded lighthouse standing out in the ocean being pounded on by waves, and yet it continues to stand strong. There were many times over the next couple of years that we would simply drive to Charleston, see the lighthouse and eat on Folly, just to drive back to Myrtle Beach or home.
Fast forward to June 27th, 2015. I was walking that same ¾ mile trek up that sandy path as the lighthouse peeks out. As I reach the top of the hill I take a second to take in God’s creation, then begin walking with my son, my pride and joy. I look to the left and see my closest friends and family waiting, in the middle is my husband and we are having our wedding ceremony. That spot will always hold a special place in our hearts.
We love all the restaurants on Folly, from the Taco Boy, to Rita’s, to The Lost Dog Cafe. We love the city, the history and all the stories you can see in the buildings and architecture. During that first trip to Charleston back in 2012, we saw a sign on a beach house that read “Yesterday’s Dreams,” that has always stuck with us. Today, one of our dreams is to buy a beach house in Charleston. Hopefully one day that’ll be another one of Yesterday’s Dreams.