IMG_5670 Callum's had to say goodbye to a lot of friends this summer.  Before our neighbors moved, friends from school headed south, away from us, but last week he and I piled in the car for a quick road trip to pay them a visit in their new digs.

IMG_5665 It's funny how much I dreaded the drive.  I have a half hour commute each way to work every day, and somehow the prospect of six hours in the car filled me with nothing but ill feeling.  It was fine though, far better than I expected, and so worth it to see our friends.

IMG_5745 Can you believe Neel's never been to Charleston?  I love this part of the world.  I grew up splitting vacations between the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Lowcountry of South Carolina.  South Carolina sings to my soul.  The ocean, the marshes, the salty smell and the old old oaks bejewled with Spanish moss.  My mom comes back to this part of the country twice a year, and I can see why.  I'm grateful to have a reason to visit.  

IMG_5667 Of course we went to the beach every day.  This sweet house has access to chairs and towels and umbrellas, when the wind's not whipping.  The beach itself ain't bad either.

IMG_5728 On our first night, we went to Brookgreen Gardens.

IMG_5689 I love curvy trails that could reveal hidden surprises.

IMG_5706 Like this. (Gator, not croc.)

IMG_5691 And this.

IMG_5712 And this.

IMG_5699 Otters get itches too.

IMG_5747 After the animals, we moved on to the sculpture garden for some live music. 

IMG_5743 I'm a dork and I know it, but coming upon scenes like this can move me to tears. Simply the beauty of the place, combined with the sound of live music filtered through the night and the burble of happy voices.  Those are the times you know you're touched by happiness.


IMG_5750 We got through one song, fortunately a favorite of mine, before the skies opened up.  After that it was a dash to find kids and then back to the car.

IMG_5761 After dinner, we had drinks on the upstairs porch as we watched the dark settle around us, earlier there so much further south.

IMG_5765 This photo is for my mom.  We did not have lunch here.  I thought I'd save it for when we're all in town together.

IMG_5767 We did have lunch here, and I can't even remember the name.  Avocado soup that tasted more like cucumber, and we split crab and pimento dip and shrimp salad...all southern comfort food.

IMG_5779 Drinks again that night, this time a walk away at The Carriage House.  I had a Sapphire and tonic, of course.  Did you really have to ask?

IMG_5808 The whole weekend was like that.  Go to the beach. Do something fun.  Have a cocktail. Eat an amazing meal, whether it was $5 crab cakes delivered by Crab Cake Man or Shrimp and Corn Chowder.  Easy to be with old familiar friends (Although let's face it, they haven't been gone that long.)  The only hitch was not having Neel there with us.  I think we'll have to bring him next time we come.  It's funny, I thought I took so many pictures of the house and the kids, but I guess I didn't.  Sometimes you just have to live your life instead of photographing it.