call to place: charleston, south carolina

My daughter, Sarah, and I are called to take little jaunt to Charleston, South Carolina in mid-November. Sarah, being what you might call a “food explorer,” wants to sample southern cuisine: gourmet takes on low-country dishes, fresh seafood, and classic comfort food.  I will enjoy the restaurant adventures as well, but I also want to see the historic city: The Battery, Rainbow Row, grand houses, and Reconstruction Era National Historic Park; I want to take the ferry to Fort Sumter, where the Civil War was ignited. I want to drive under trees draped with Spanish moss and walk through marshland, coastal beaches, and neighborhoods with porch-wrapped and candy-colored houses.

We picked Charleston as our destination as it is only a 6-hour drive from my daughter’s home in Richmond, Virginia, which is two hours south of me. We wanted a special mother-daughter bonding trip, as we haven’t traveled together since she was a child. We settled on a November trip, as Charleston is notoriously hot and humid in summer; we have hopes for cool and dry weather.


painting we bought in Beaufort, SC, near Charleston

I am a big fan of author Pat Conroy’s books, especially Beach Music and The Prince of Tides.  He’s written other books too, books that have been made into movies, including the two above as well as The Great Santini and The Water is Wide.  As a child of a military family, Conroy (1945-2016) grew up in numerous places, attending 11 schools by the time he was 15.  Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he didn’t have a real hometown until his family settled in Beaufort, South Carolina, where he finished high school.  He attended The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, which is in Charleston.

Conroy’s stories were heavily influenced by difficulties experienced with his own father, a US Marine Corps pilot, who was physically and emotionally abusive toward his children. His highly dysfunctional family is subject matter for most of his books.

Beaufort, South Carolina, the place Conroy finally called home, is about an hour and a half south of Charleston.

I’ve been to this quintessential southern city once before, for one day in August 2005, in the heat and humidity of summer.  We stayed for two nights – one full day – on our way to Hilton Head, S.C., about two hours further south.  We made frequent trips to Hilton Head in our early child-rearing days, as the beach was a great place for little boys to while away summer days building sand castles, boogie boarding, swimming and riding the waves.  On our one foray into Charleston, we took only two pictures, both of me, with my moisture-infused scrunched-up hair, sitting with a large verdigris frog in front of some shop.

I hope to explore Charleston more deeply this time around, as we’ll be there three full days.  I promise, I’ll take pictures. 🙂


“THE CALL TO PLACE” INVITATION: I invite you to write a post on your own blog about what enticed you to choose a particular destination. If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments.  If your destination is a place you love and keep returning to, feel free to write about that.  If you want to see the original post about the subject, you can check it out here: imaginings: the call to place.

Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, November 27 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  My next “call to place” post is scheduled to post on Thursday, November 28.

If you’d like, you can use the hashtag #wanderessence.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the fourth Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time.  🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read a few posts from our wandering community.  I promise, you’ll be inspired!

Thanks to all of you who wrote posts about “the call to place.”