Every December is a guarantee that I head back to the Carolinas for the holidays. This year was a bit of a first — because my grandmother recently passed away, we did not have the huge family gathering with aunts, uncles and cousins. Instead it was my parents, sister and I, which was kind of nice in a way too, because it was much more relaxed.
We ended up heading down to the Charleston area for a few days. Specifically to an island called Kiawah. Now, growing up we would go to Kiawah at least one week out of the summer – and sometimes on weekends. We would spend entire days on the beach, riding bikes, crabbing, etc. When I started looking at colleges, College of Charleston was an immediate choice. I knew and loved the area. I was ecstatic when I found out that I was accepted – and it was a no-brainer for me. I loved Charleston, and I loved my college experience, but by the time I graduated, I was ready to explore new places – hence my moving to South Florida.
This was my first time back to Charleston in about 6 years. When I had visited before, I was disappointed by how much things had changed – by how corporate it seemed compared to my college days. I swore I wasn’t interested in ever really going back. But here’s the thing about the lowcountry, it gets in your blood and nothing ever replaces it. Pat Conroy has expressed this in several of his books and while it sounds cheesy, it’s absolutely the truth. There’s some inexplicable draw about the vibe of Charleston. Sure it’s historic and it’s beautiful, but it’s more than that. It’s warm and cozy and friendly. It’s comfortable and familiar, but still alluring and you don’t know why and it makes you crazy. I can’t wait to go back. Dammit Charleston, you got me.
Carolina Holidays 2012, a set on Flickr.