When a storm rolls into Charleston in the summer, prepare for the skies to wring out like a sponge.
A couple weeks ago, my wife and I had the chance to take a vacation. It's the first vacation with any length we've taken in four years. Our destination was South Carolina with family, history and of course photographs as our guiding points of interest. Charleston served as our anchor for the trip. When we drove into town, I was nervous about the experience. Tourists everywhere, small alley-like streets crisscrossing and no obvious parking to be had except for paid parking in garages.
After parking in said garage, we struck out to find our way around the town, preferably by carriage ride. Little did we know a superstorm cell was just a half hour away. Quickly the sky darkened and let loose a torrential rain. I only got a couple photos and did my best to keep the two cameras dry.
After the, no joke, Tornado Warning and finding our way to get a bite to eat across the Cooper River, the skies relented. With just about 45 minutes of light left we hightailed it to The Battery, the prominent sea wall overlooking Charleston Harbor. Amazingly enough, the storm had driven most of the tourists away from the downtown area - a perfect opportunity to snag free parking and walk the sea wall. The humidity had lifted. The sound of gentle breeze, the waves and a few birds were the only immediate sounds.
The next day, to the dismay of my wife, we awoke at 5:30 a.m. to catch an uninterrupted view of the sunrise and the amazing light that accompanied it. The rays danced along the antebellum houses and palm trees, an amazing spectrum of color. This was by far the best decision we made in the harbor town, and I highly suggest an early rise at least one day if you visit.
The rest of the day we walked through the downtown area, took a tour out to Ft. Sumter and enjoyed a couple of great local eateries.
The history, color and overall essence of this American cornerstone make it a truly unique destination. I'm looking forward to returning in a few years.