I’m not a girl who believes in love at first sight or fairytale endings. I have never thought that Prince Charming is going to come and sweep me off my feet. It’s takes a lot for me to fall head-over-heels for something. I can be tough to please and have high expectations.
Charleston, I’ve been dreaming of you for years. I had high expectations of you. I envisioned the sweet salty smell of the sea, the lazy palmetto trees lining the side walks, and the brightly painted mansions with their elaborate piazzas and old live oak trees that have witnessed the lives of George Washington and Robert E. Lee.
And Charleston, you stole my heart the second my plane landed on the tarmac. I’m not sure if it was the bow-tie wearing southern gentlemen or the pineapple fountain in the Waterfront Park, but you left me breathless and weak at the knees more than once.
Your people are friendly. Always greeting me with a smile and a “how are you doing today?” in a bit of a southern twang. Your men hold doors for women and the Citadel cadets court their lady friends down King Street and the Battery. Your glamorous women with their perfect hair and pink lips carry their colorful bags out of the local boutiques and the ultimate preppy stores of Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines.
Your City Market is bustling with craftsman selling their handmade sweetgrass baskets from skills passed down from their African descendants over the centuries. They still banter in their native Gullah language. The prices for these baskets are insanely high, but their tradition and culture are as deeply woven in the early days of America as the Cooper River is deep.
Walking around your French Quarter left my mouth-watering for the amazing food from some of your world-famous restaurants of your foodie town. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit hidden away on King Street is one of my favorites.
Everywhere I walked around in your city, I was left wondering if I was walking in the footsteps of America’s heroes from centuries ago. Your streets and walls are practically oozes with history and greatness. Your stories are long and full of intrigue and mystery. I can picture the women in their corsets and hoop skirts drinking tea in their rose gardens while gossiping with their wealthy house guests. The men are talking plantation business as they stroll to their local pub to grab a pint.
You should be gracious that the Historic Charleston Foundation was founded in 1947 to preserve your charm and beauty for generations to see. Your architecture is unique and stunning. I want to save all my pennies for the next 50 years so I can afford to buy one of your many Charleston single homes south of Broad. I loved getting lost on your side streets just taking in the beautiful iron gates and colorful doors.
Your many hidden gardens are as colorful and green as you. I only wish I saw them in full bloom. I especially loved your public alleyways tucked away between homes. A pleasant surprise was always found behind the last brick house.
Charleston, I loved sitting on a bench basking in the warm January sun just watching your people and tourists alike taking in your charm. One morning while swinging on your pier, I saw a heron fishing in your seagrass and a dolphin feeding in the deeper waters. In the afternoon, sailors were enjoying the light sea breeze that blew them towards Fort Sumner. Occasionally I closed my eyes pretending that I was on that boat sipping a cup of the only tea grown in North America grown in your backyard.
Three days was not enough to explore everything you have to offer. Charleston, you make my knees weak and my heart beat faster. I love your charm and beauty. Someday I will make you my own, but for now, I have a huge crush on you. And, I will be back soon!