Vacation, Part II: Charleston
Le sigh. I have an extreme affliction of Wanderlust. Every time I go to a new city, I want to move there–just temporarily, but still. I often daydream about grad school just as an excuse to move somewhere for a predetermined period of time. Charleston definitely made the list of “Yeah, I’d like to move here for a little while…” It’s a beautiful city with so much history and great architecture! I mean, the porches…oooooh the porches. I have a slight porch obsession, and I sometimes fantasize about living in the south, having sweaty hot summer nights drinking my mint julep (or other adult beverage) on my porch. I realize that there are downsides to this (sleeplessness, feeling sticky, BUGS) but I choose just to imagine the romantic idea of this lifestyle.
Anyway, I digress. Basically I had a lot of lusting for the large ancestral homes on the Charleston waterfront, as well as plenty of other homes around the various neighborhoods. I mean, porches/balconies on every level? Yes please! A girl can dream…I’ve already told Brandon that if we ever get to design our own house, there will be a porch, preferably a wrap-around. This is non-negotiable.
A major selling point for the porch? A porch SWING. In Charleston by the harbor there are these amazing huge porch swings. I made Brandon sit on them with me every night. It was very romantic and relaxing. I never wanted to leave…in fact, on our last day I might have gotten a little teary. I’ll blame it on the pregnancy hormones.
We watched the end of an amazing electrical storm from the swings one night (Brandon wanted to go out during it, but I was too much of a scaredy cat–this Bay Area girl is not used to major lightning!). Speaking of storms, we also learned a lesson: when the wind suddenly REALLY picks up, run for cover because a downpour is approaching. Luckily we learned this the easy way while in Charleston. On a side trip to a plantation, however, we learned it the hard way.
We visited the Magnolia Plantation on our way out of town. On the way in, I noticed a sign saying no refunds for weather. “Luckily for us,” I thought to myself, “it’s a beautiful, sunny day.” And it was. We started at the petting zoo, and made a few friends
We then ventured into the gardens. They have a map with 20 something various sites to see that are all along a winding path around the beautiful gardens, so there we were wandering and gradually we noticed it was less sunny.
And then we heard some thunder in the far off distance. We still had quite a few sites on our list. And the wind. Oh, the wind came. Sudden, large, strong gusts of wind. Brandon and I looked at each other and said “uh oh….” but we were pretty much exactly halfway through the gardens–the only way to shelter was forward or backwards. We chose forward and continued on our way and then the rain started. It began absolutely POURING, and first we took shelter on a bench (the gardens are extremely dense and lush) under a tree. It worked for a bit, but then we started getting soaked and realized we should keep moving.
As a little reminder, I was 6 months pregnant at the time. And I was wearing wedge sandals. And a skirt. Anyway, we start moving (quickly) and then the thunder and lightning is directly on top of us, and we’re in a foresty garden area. At this point I start freaking out a little. The gardens are flooding and I’m running through trees in water in lightning in wedge sandals while pregnant and the storm is directly over us. I will admit I was terrified. We kept going, however, and we made it back to shelter to where a bunch of other people (equally as wet) were also waiting out the storm. A native of the area confirmed for me that being near trees is not a great idea, so it was good we moved.
Phew! Since we were on our way to Hilton Head already, we had our suitcases in the car and were able to change into dry clothes and get on our way. And speaking of Hilton Head, that will be the next post destination!
(All photos except the final 3 were taken with film)