Standing Above the Marina on the Charles River, Charleston S.C.
On a chilly January day, with both wood stoves roaring, my thoughts drift back to a warmer time.
Late this past summer, I had a chance to spend a few days visiting my oldest son, Gabriel, who lives outside Charleston South Carolina with his family. It had been hot at home, in the nineties during the day, for a couple of weeks or so. I was prepared to face a southern summer day, at least compared to our last visit in springtime a few years ago. Then the temperature difference was a real shock.
The Harbor and Marina, Charles River
Gabriel and his fiance Beth work at night but they and had to work that week, but still they found time to take me around to see some of the sights. I was able to revisit some favorite spots from my previous stay and discovered some new places in the area as well.
Rainbow Row, Townhouses
Fortunately, I was staying within 3 miles of downtown Charleston, so I could easily walk there and back and I really enjoy finding new routes along the way. I like to discover different historic homes and secret gardens tucked in side yards and city alleys.
Like Boston Massachusetts, Charleston has some very interesting old cemeteries within it’s confines. These kept me very busy for several hours of my ‘on my own’ time.
Gabriel and I checked out the stables of the many horses and horse-drawn conveyances that grace Charleston’s cobbled streets. We investigated the historic district and returned to a favorite little Italian ristorante that we’d found previously.
We wandered seemingly aimlessly through the open market stalls, out of the direct sun, and caught up on family events. Then we searched for a gem store Gabriel had been to in the past, where he was searching for a treasure for Beth. Sadly, we tracked it down as far as a move and then its final closure.
Gabriel, Beth and I visited with Beth’s parents and grandmother. Then we visited McLeod Plantation on St. James Island, outside of Charleston, in the process of restoration.
The focus of the historic site was to follow the journey of enslaved Africans, to the eventual freedom of their descendants as Americans, still living on the same plantation, over one hundred years later. Even if you are family with the facts, peering into the tiny cabins and viewing the cemetery with no headstones, you realize how different the experience of those families was from anything in your life.
It Would Take About 8 People Holding Hands to Encircle this Tree
The live oaks here were amazing and the avenue of them, beginning at the Charles River landing on the property, and leading to the Manor House, was daunting. The rivers and waterways in this region, were the highways of the past. It was where all the commerce and travel of any magnitude took place.
One of the things I really love about downtown Charleston is how walkable it is. You can leave the main streets downtown, in almost any direction inland, and find a lot of history just waiting to be discovered.
It’s a lot about Porches and Architecture Here.
One day, walking back from Charleston downtown, where I’d wandered my way through several in-town and waterfront parks and green spaces, and along many old neighborhood side streets, I came to a revelation. Summer days in New England, do not prepare one for summer days in Charleston South Carolina! The last 3/4 mile of my walk, was without shade of any kind and that sun is a lot closer to the earth there than it is at home!