We were staying on the Isle of Palms for our beach vacation—a mere 20 minutes from downtown Charleston. It would’ve been impossible for the Mister and me to resist returning to this beautiful place for a look around. I have many fond memories of visiting my cousins here when I was a child, but back then I was too young to appreciate the history, much less the amazing architecture and gardens that surround one in the Holy City. As you may know, Charleston is often called the Holy City because from almost any vantage point, the city’s skyline is defined by church steeples. These shots are of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church on King Street. St. Matthew’s isn’t the oldest Lutheran house of worship in town, that distinction belongs to St. John’s (1742). Nevertheless, St. Matthew’s rich earthy color and traditional red doors and black and white entry tiles were so appealing.
We actually started our day in Charleston at the Visitor’s Center, which provided a parking garage as well as innumerable guides and maps, some paper ones for the fogeys like me and digital ones for everyone who brought their “iGizmos.” Just down the street is Marion Park, which honors the legendary “Swamp Fox,” the Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion. Supposedly, my family is related to FM, but since he had no sons and the documentation is rather sketchy, I am somewhat skeptical. A more believable link is that the Mister’s family always stayed at the Francis Marion Hotel when they came to Charleston to visit the Mister’s brother when he was a student at The Citadel.
Charleston is often touted as America’s most polite city, and I would have to concur, but what’s with all this gum? Miss Janice would definitely not approve!
Middle is intrigued with the colorful display; he especially liked the face in the upper right of the post. Ewwww!Happily, on King Street, a diversion is always easy to find! Everyone wanted to check out Robot Candy & Toys!
Preppy wear is all the rage on King Street. Seersucker and white bucks are the uniform for gentlemen; I even saw one charming older fellow in patchwork seersucker pants with a gorgeous needlepoint belt. Middle decided he must have a blue and white seersucker belt, so we found one on sale! I’m not sure what he has his eye on in this window, but if you’re wondering why the seat of his britches is so dirty, let’s just say he never met a stair rail he didn’t want to slide down!
A little more shopping and some great people-watching, and the next thing we knew we were at Charleston’s new Waterfront Park, with a view of Fort Sumter. Waterfront Park, although not as historic as The Battery, is a beautiful green space where we enjoyed a slight breeze. While everyone was still in a good mood, we decided to call it a day. Truthfully, the Mister and I seriously wanted to keep going, but Little and her cousin Miss M were about “done in” from the heat and walking.A verdant spot in which to sit and contemplate, but, as you can see, it was just too hot, even in the shade.Quintessential Charleston colors between King and Meeting streets. This isn’t the famed Rainbow Row, but it certainly reflects the same aesthetic.
Here’s a peek into the courtyard of the Peninsula Grill, one of Charleston’s most highly recommended restaurants, and one the Mister and I plan to try sans children.To stave off crankiness a bit longer, we enjoyed peach smoothies and a bit of air conditioning. Middle is at an age where he likes to make goofy faces in almost every photograph, but I caught him here on the sly.Winding up the day in the Holy City, I took a few shots of the exterior of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. Founded in 1680, the congregation has met continuously since then, although the building has been destroyed and re-built several times. Hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, Indian attacks, British occupation, smallpox, yellow fever, more hurricanes, slave uprisings, Union occupation, and still more hurricanes have not prevailed against this faithful congregation. I’m not one hundred percent sure this is a Philip Simmons’ gate, but it certainly is a gorgeous example of wrought iron craftsmanship.
As in most historic cities, Ghost Tours are a profitable venture for imaginative entrepreneurs. No doubt St. Philip’s churchyard, where statesman John C. Calhoun and many other notables are buried, is a regular stop on these tours. I absolutely love St. Philip’s response to those looking for a, shall we say, spiritual connection. Can I get an amen?!