Posts Tagged ‘Play Outside’

This is my 3rd 4th of July spent in the beautiful Low country.

In 2009 I experienced the infamous Folly Beach 4th of July – fueling up at Berts Market for our booze, a long day in the sun, a pit stop at Taco Boy and a downtown firework finale. It is no coincidence that this was my final 4th of July as a college student. In short, it was a fun, exhausting, “one-and-done” experience.

In 2010, I ventured out on a  Cobalt Bowrider for a 4th of July at sea with friends. We ordered boatside takeout at California Dreaming and watched the fireworks show from the middle of the harbor. But getting back to land was stressful, to say the least. Thank you to the DNR and the Coast Guard for keeping us safe from our fellow, less responsible, boaters.

BUT THIS YEAR, on July 4th, 2011, I experienced the ultimate celebration of America, of family and friends – and yes – of a Charleston porch filled with love and laughter. I threw on my swimsuit and joined my boyfriend’s wonderful family for a Lowcountry cookout on their AMAZING marsh front porch.

We flew a kite!

Flying a kite over the marsh

It took off pretty fast.

Rainbow kite over the marshAnd flew high.

Kite flying in Charleston Really high!!

Lets go fly a kite

Then we played some wiffle ball.

Woofer Ball in Charleston

This sport bears its name for good reason.

Wiffing the woofer ball

And then, when our batter connected, he hit it out of the park.

So we searched for the ball.

Woofer ball searching

But gave up.

Charleston friends on 4th of July

We tromped around the creek at low tide.

Charleston saltwater marshes

And laughed on the dock.

Laughing at lowtide

4th of July relaxation in Charleston

The dogs hijacked the boat.

Boat dogs

And then we flew the kite…this time at twilight.

Flying a kite at night

Waited for the night with some guitar strumming.

Olivia Conner strums on guitarAnd finally….

The sparks flew!

Fireworks on 4th of July

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Outside Magazine Cover 2011Okay Charleston Porch friends. Now is your chance to show the love you have for living alfresco in this amazing town!

From Outside Magazine: “For the past 15 years, we’ve scoured the nation to find America’s best places to live – those dream towns that offer the balance of great culture, breathtaking scenery, reasonable home prices, low-stress living, and, of course, easy access to the outdoors.”

The writer of the sentence above was obviously jotting down observations while meandering in and out of King Street’s art galleries and boutiques, relaxing at Battery Park, or surfing on Folly’s waves.

Outside Magazine has narrowed the list down to 10 finalists, and we have made the cut!! Now we all need to vote Charleston as the best town to give our city a great, big pat on the back that is so much deserves. Each town will be ranked based on votes, along with submissions of photography and writing that illustrate what makes it so great. Perhaps I will submit a little something from the ole’ blog?

Charleston SC - Best Town in America

Charleston as Outside Magazines best town in America

Charleston SC for Outside Magazine's best town in America

Charleston SC as Outside Magazines best town in AmericaI wonder if I can submit my entire blog! Because after all, The Charleston Porch celebrates exactly what the contest is trying to find – a city that encourages life outdoors, comprised of diverse, laid-back residents and tourists who appreciate everything that Charleston is. And if my favorite English teacher – Mrs. Kaplan – is reading this, I apologize for the run-on sentence. Charleston is just too great cram between a capital letter and a period.

So click here and VOTE!

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About 20 minutes down Highway 17s, down a road that laces itself through live oaks and loblolly pines lies a 4,678 acre, untouched, vital and thriving ecosystem protected by South Carolina’s DNR in the small, but growing coastal town of Edisto. Driving into the Botany Bay Plantation was reminiscent of more than a few Pat Conroy excerpts and bumping along its dirt path, a line from Lords of Discipline bumped along in my mind – something about never truly being able to escape the pull of Charleston’s semitropical landscape and her marshes.

Botany Bay on Edisto Island SC

I couldn’t help but fall back in time after learning the history of the property – imagining myself as an English settler in the 1600’s stumbling upon the rugged landscape I was experiencing now,  or worse, as a Kusso-Natchez (or Edistow) Indian struggling to keep her land hers. We rested on what it must have been like in the late summer months for the Europeans – swatting away no-see-ums in their wool or canvas suits and smocks – and for their slaves, shut away in quarters where the shoreline breeze does not travel.

Horses on Edisto Island SC

A half mile walk through salt marshes led us to a 2 mile stretch of beach that has been carved only by the tides and thunderstorms of Mother Nature. Being a leave-no-trace beach, shells and starfish and sandollars have no other purpose but to be themselves – as opposed to transforming into porch decor 🙂 – and South Carolina’s endangered Loggerhead sea turtles are free and safe to nest in their natural habitat.

South Carolina beach pathLoggerhead Sea Turtle habitat

Extraordinary natural habitats DO still exist. And this hidden treasure of Edisto Island, SC is unique to the world. The world. It boggles my mind and leaves me full of thanks that the Lowcountry ecosystem I am a part of can be found nowhere else on this planet. So if you ever find yourself wanting to experience a day on the beach without the clamor of the tourists, take a few steps off the porch – you won’t be disappointed.

South Carolina fishermen

South Carolina Marshes

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