If you stop, close your eyes and breathe deeply, you will feel it.
My mind is taken back to when the city was new and the southern belles dressed in their Sunday best every day of the week. You can hear the click, click, click of the horses walking down the cobblestone streets pulling the carriages and the rich history that flows up and down the streets of Charleston, SC will nearly carry you away.
This past weekend Wiley and I had the pleasure of taking a trip to one of our favorite cities in the world and it was so wonderful. When we were in college we lived in Wilmington, NC which is just a quick three- hour road trip from Charleston. We were celebrating Wiley’s 21st birthday when we took our first trip to the city alone. We will always remember that trip as one of our favorites, as it was then that we knew we would be together forever. We had never been anywhere alone before so this was a big deal. We rented a tandem bike, wore matching salmon colored sweaters and road around the southern town knowing that in that moment nothing in the world could stop us from being in love. We have a picture of us sitting on the bike together and whenever someone notices it in our house, we will say “that’s when we fell in love”.
It’s funny how places can be so special. I never knew that a place could make me cry just thinking about its memories but it does. As soon as we stepped foot off the plane last week, Wiley and I smiled our biggest smiles and were as giddy as little kids who just got her first puppy. When we are 80 years old, we hope to be able to share these stories and know that this special place helped make the people we have turned out to be.
On that same trip we went to a local grocery store and bought the cheapest bottle of sparkling wine we could find, two plastic wine glasses and drank to Wiley’s 21st birthday. In the years following we took countless trips to Charleston and eventually after he asked me to be his bride, I had my wedding dress made there. If my girlfriends couldn’t make a weekend trip with me, Wiley and I would drive to Charleston, he would sit outside of the wedding dress shop as I would slip on the dress, checking on its progress. To say the city speaks magic to us is an understatement.
This trip, we relived some of our fond memories and shared stories as we walked around. We have made it a tradition to bring home a sweet grass rose from every trip we take. This kind young man has claimed his spot outside of a boutique on King Street and sells the roses to raise money for his family.
As we walked in and out of the stores on King Street we made our way into an art gallery where we met Rick. Rick is the gallery owner and paints the most beautiful paintings in the courtyard of his store. We walked out to the courtyard and there was Rick’s easel and paints set up for the most inspirational, picturesque scene. He told us that there was going to be an art crawl later that evening and invited us to come back. So we did. It was so fun mingling with locals and taking in the art that is so inspired by the area.
The next morning our first stop was the farmer’s market. It’s a pop-up market that is only held on Saturdays and is full of everything from produce to locally made dog collars. We grabbed a strawberry and peanut butter crepe and walked around taking it all in.
As you probably know eating healthy, nutritious meals while traveling is no easy task. Whenever I go somewhere the first thing on the agenda is to find a health food restaurant. Luckily, we found three that we really liked and that I would highly recommend. The first is a new little spot right off of Market Street called Whisk. It was a bight little spot that served fresh smoothies, juices, coffee and tea. For an afternoon pick-me-up we got a made to order smoothie and it was delicious. The second place we found was a chopped salad spot with all kinds of wholesome ingredients. This place is located right on King Street in the middle of all the hustle and bustle and is called Verde. It was the perfect lunch spot! Wiley and I split a salad (they have big portions) and then walked a few steps down the street to get a dessert smoothie. This particular smoothie place had acai bowls, smoothies, and juices. It has a coastal California vibe with friendly young people who serve up some delicious food. Beech is also located on King Street. We ordered the Avie Monkey and it was just right for dessert! If you have a chance to take a trip, be sure to check out some of these great eateries.
Charleston will forever be beautiful, perfect and simple to me. I’m thankful for the memories that I have made there and can’t tell you enough how excited I am each time I get the opportunity to return. There’s something special about a place that makes you feel like home even if you’ve never lived there a day in your life.