We spent last weekend in Charleston, once again loving the place itself and enjoying the company of some of our favorite friends. We arrived and met up late on Friday evening with only one request for them: could we please, please, please go to the beach in the morning, before our wanderings downtown? Our friends have no need for the beach, living so close to the Florida ones, but they were very cool and agreed to it.
We woke up Saturday morning to partially cloudy skies and "a chance of thunderstorms" on the horizon. Thunderstorms, schmunderstorms, we said! LET'S GO TO THE BEACH!
I insisted (as I always do) on bringing my camera with us. We showed up, walked to a spot, then the girls ran out and I followed them, capturing this shot:
I then turned to my right and found Z:
At that point we all started looking up at the sky, and all around, and realized there might really be thunderstorms upon us. I tucked my camera into the inner cavity of our friends' trusty BOB stroller, then joined the rest of our party, who were looking around and chuckling at the other folks all packing up. Wimps! Hadn't they ever been in a little rainstorm before?
And then the rain began.
It was just a little as first. A sprinkle really, and we strutted our stuff and commented on how awesome we were and how we got the beach all to ourselves, blah blah blah. Still, we covered the BOB with towels and our Stone blanket from Mexico (which I think we picked up the year of the insane windstorm at Rocky Point, am I making this up?), just in case.
Then, after a short while (and some really great waves for Zane and some super adventuring by the girls' pretend play), the downpour commenced.
Little girl (in the middle below) was the first to be done with it. She finally looked up at her mom and said something like, "What are we doing out here? Let's get the heck back to the cars already!" (Or perhaps she just whimpered.) And then the big girls came in and said they were done. Then Z.
AND THEN THE REAL DOWNPOUR HIT US.
As we wrapped up the kiddos in partially soaked towels and started making our way back to the cars, I literally couldn't see straight, it was raining so hard. I had to stop every 4 or 5 steps, re-adjust soaking Soren on my hip, then try and wipe the tears-I-mean-rain from my eyes and blunder forward another few paces. At one point I believe our friend Q started singing mormon pioneer songs, which seemed more than fitting.
Somehow we got back to the cars, laughing and crying and hollering about how to keep the important things dry and cheer up the babies and JUST GET OUT OF THE RAIN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. And here's the best part: after dashing here and there, soaking and soaking and soaking some more, we managed to all get in, pull away, and then............it stopped raining.
Believe it. Welcome to South Carolina in the summertime. My oh my oh my.
That's all I'll say to that besides that perhaps we should consult the doppler radar before trying said beach jaunt again.
I will admit, the rain didn't end forever. After we got home, got warm, and ventured out for some lunch, the heavens opened once more and while we were thankfully inside this time, we laughed together for oh, like another hour and a half, as it rained so hard outside we didn't dare leave the eating establishment. Brandon ordered lunch twice, we were there so long. After THAT adventure, we (I) decided we couldn't take on walking in Charleston without a NAP first, so we headed back to the hotel, chilled for awhile, and finally at about 4pm, found our way to downtown.
And it was so worth it!
We love this town, with these people. And look, this time we had another uncle (not ours, theirs, but we'll take him) on board.
I didn't dare take out my big camera (which had miraculously survived thanks to the BOB) for the rest of the trip due to "a chance of thunderstorms." Still, we'd walk by a place and I couldn't not take a picture or two.
We walked and ate and found new places for the kids to run without traffic and had BELGIAN GELATO (goodness) and shrimp and grits and were even able to stay out later than planned. Also, because of the rainy rain rain, it was a bit cooler during our outside adventuring. Definitely a plus.
And I'm happy to report it never rained on us again. The rest of the weekend was spent doing things very similar to that first night, just with more yummy food and different streets walked down each time.
Another highlight of the weekend was getting to see Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck as part of the Spotelo festival (same occasion, different venue from our trip to see Sarah Jarosz a few years ago). What a fabulous, uplifting night we had, while our children stayed with our buddies. We kinda returned the favor earlier that day while they went to a play, but definitely had the easier end of the deal thanks to a certain uncle.
Sigh. Good live music is soul filling. We've got to do more of it this coming year.
So that was our weekend! What a treat it is to live in the same state as this amazing city!