As soon as we checked in to our vacation rental and dropped our luggage off, I got into a sundress and took the boys to the beach. In those moments when I step onto the sand and hear the waves crashing, my anxiety disappears. It’s such a stress-relieving activity. We took off our shoes and walked in the water along the beach. The water was so warm…like bath water. I’m so used to freezing cold water. I live on Lake Michigan and the water temperature in the summer is still in the 50’s! So the water temperature on Isle of Palms, the beach we went to by Charleston was heavenly. I think that’s why I liked this beach so much. I live by Lake Michigan, and we have beaches here too. But they aren’t warm. I could wear a sleeveless sundress and take off my sandals and be totally comfortable. It was like being wrapped in a warm blanket, sitting next to my fireplace. Comforting.
There were a good amount of people there at that time, which was about 6pm. We visited the beach each day we were in Charleston and the amount of people changed at different times of day. The morning was the least busy. The afternoon was the most busy and then it got less busy again in the evening…just like a wave. The busiest time was unexpected because that was when the tide was in…there wasn’t as much space on the beach to lay out. But that’s when most people wanted to be there.
I brought beach toys for the kids. They preferred toys where you could splash people. I have to show you this picture of my son running up to splash me…see below. I thought I was taking a nice selfie, but you can see what he was plotting. So funny. I didn’t mind…remember the water was so warm. The kids played in the sand a little bit, but they loved the water. They played in the waves for hours. The current would slowly drag them down the beach. If I stayed back on the sand, I got worried looking for them at times because they’d drift away.
Don’t Forget the Seafood
Because Charleston is near the ocean, they have great seafood. We tried a place that serves locals our second night in town. It was all fried seafood and was pretty cheap. We got shrimp, scallops, fish. A combination platter. The second night we went to Bubba Gumps’ Shrimp Company. I had shrimp and the best hush puppies I’ve ever had. This was a recommendation from our carriage ride tour guide. The third night we went to a place we found on Yelp that was a little more expensive. It was a sit down, multi-course meal. It was good, but not the best we had during our trip. I love seafood.
Wrapping Up a Beautiful Vacation
The best experience by far that we had at the beach was after that last seafood dinner. It was 8 or 9 at night and it was dark. I asked the boys if they wanted to visit the beach one last time. They agreed. The moon was shining on the water. The air was warm with a gentle breeze. There were a few people with flashlights scattered on the sand. We walked down the beach and looked inside all the huge beachside mansions. We ran and almost lost each other in the dark. That night I realized how precious this time with my boys was. I had done it alone. Alone, and empowered. I had memories I treasure in my heart. During that last walk on our Charleston beach at night, I was grateful…and at peace. My heart was content. I had these two boys, entrusted to my care, that I could bless with beautiful experiences. Experiences we shared together…just the three of us. I will never forget those days in Charleston. Those moments on our beach. They, like the pattern the waves leave in the sand, are engraved on my heart. I’m a mother, the most precious part of my identity. And I love my boys more than anything. Charleston represents so much for us. A place we will always return to, even if only in our minds.