I've been convicted lately not to let my blog sit empty, though I've had a terrific case of writers block for the last several months. Meanwhile I've written thousands of words in the hope that I'd believe something good enough to publish. At some point one simply has to publish whether it suits.
These last several months have been full of planning, researching and planning and researching some more until all grey matter disappeared from my brain. For being what I thought was a simple trip to Europe I have been deluged with details and best ways to do things, see things and pay for things. From previous travels has come the revelation that some amount of pre-planning has to happen before hand to avoid paying too much and wasting time to boot, so I've been mapping routes, renting apartments, buying tickets, researching food and neighborhoods, getting to know metros for London, Paris, and Florence and looking at rental cars, fast trains and regional travel.
Exhausting, but I'm getting excited. Pretty soon we're going to be standing by Big Ben, walking by the Thames, exploring Brighton, eating chocolate croissants in Paris, meandering the Louvre, ogling Neuschwanstein in fall glory, paddling around Venice, standing below the balcony of 'La casa di Giulietta', and exploring Florence, Cinque Terre and Rome. Incredible. This is going to be one for the books.
Meanwhile, I live here
.. and life has been full, if not always pleasant. I seem to be dealing with low-grade health problems of some kind and it's cast a pall over the summer. Mostly I like to blame it on this unrelenting hot weather as if I'm some kind of demmed English lady in Morocco, but when fall comes we shall see. It's been a good reminder to me to appreciate health, because living a bit below par just ain't funny. Problem is, when you most need gratitude is when it deserts you, and this is when some rubber-meets-road Christian living comes into play. No, I'm not on Plexus, and yes I have tried it.
Rainbow Row | Charleston, SC
I don't have enough good things to say about this city, though I could think of a few things less-than-good if I were there in summer heat right now. Instead, for today I am going back to April 23rd and one of the best days of the spring, with fabulous friends.
Enter, Rainbow Row.
This part of the city was one for just lingering and poking around into different corners. Without a doubt one of my favorite spots was an artists gallery, I believe off King Street. I could kick myself a hundred times since then for not getting a picture or business card of the place. Apparently I was so enamored and overtaken with art that I neglected anything that could lead me back to it other than someday I will go back and wander the city until I find it. I'm not sure if it was the charm of the city or the fact that the curator compared me to one of the paintings, but I was head over heels for that gallery. The resident artist was there, painting just outside the door in the a lush, green alley and his style also was full of light, color, and serenity. Not wholly impressionist, though his style had definite ties to it; I believe he called himself more of a modern impressionist, with strong ties to nature.
Much of what he painted had was inspired by the streets of Charleston, and his use of light and shadow was masterful. His paintings were real and you could practically place yourself into and feel the city. Meanwhile as I was under the spell of the art and Amy kindly let me luxuriate there awhile, the rest of the girls were outside patiently waiting and enjoying sights like this. Inspiration indeed!
Light plays with shadow. I swoon.
Most of us changed for the evening after a long day in the same, travel-worn clothes, and went strolling through the market, the fountains, and by the harbor.
Golden evening light is one of the most magical of all, and we shot many, many pictures near the park.
It's crazy how much we fit into one day into Charleston, but we loved it. We didn't just rush around but spent plenty of time just chilling, like we did at the fountain for about half an hour. Best kind of day trip.
A windswept walk by the harbor, in which we watched a docked cruise ship preparing to cruise on it. I wished I could get on this sailboat instead.
Soon after this next shot the foghorn, or very-loud-horn-that-made-us-all-jump sounded in which the gentleman next to us derived much amusement.
We had to have dinner at a highly reviewed restaurant so we choose Hyman's by recommendation of my boss who loves southern food. I'd have to say that was a pretty spectacular shrimp n grits. That was the first time I ate the dish, and it was so good I may never have the courage to eat it anywhere else.
Thus five girls ended one of the best day trips to a place which will always remain golden in their memories.
Authors note: I have since then gotten the long coveted email from the artist gallery inviting me to an evening of jazz, art, and wine in their garden. Could I have gone without ditching responsibility I would've gone in an instant. However, I'm glad that I now know where it lives, and what it is called. I even have a shot of the painting that reminded the curator of me. Painted by Suzy Durband. This really caps the trip to have received the email from them, and finally closes the chapter of the magical day in Charleston.
All photos unless otherwise denoted are taken by Gretta, at Grettagraphy.