A short sum-up: life was crazy, then I wrapped everything up and headed to South Carolina, so anxious to meet up with all those velvety sisters and mother I adore.
There is nothing like an “MFME” trip with your mom and sisters to buoy you up in every way you can imagine.
I loved feeling the world coming into focus from my fuzzy haze of commotion as we talked and explored and ate and basked in the beauty of the South.
Charleston with all it’s charm:
The Spanish moss catching the sun as it dripped off the trees hanging low riding bikes beneath when we were on Kiwah Island:
The quiet solitude of the beach with pungent air filled with the color of the sunsets, the delight of being able to ride our bikes along the shore, the mirror-wet beach reflecting our sheer enthusiasm.
I love that everyone was right along with me not being able to get enough of that beauty, and got to bask in it every single evening.
But mostly, that I got to be with these women I adore. Who are all so different and yet so united, uniquely teaching me more than I can ever express enough gratitude for.
We missed Kristi and Anita who were unable to make it, but we tried to gather them in through technology when we could.
Before we go on, let’s back up to Charleston for a minute.
A Day in Charleston
We spent the first day there.
I loved having just read “The Invention of Wings,” the stories filling my heart with mourning for how humankind has treated other humankind, their history walking those same Charleston streets with us.
When we went to the market I was drawn to some history books, especially this one that had diagrams of what the treadmill in the Work House looked like that was talked about in the book.
I could go on and on with so many thoughts and feelings walking through that town, but that may have to be a post for another day because there is so much to say.
I think that background made me love that city more, feeling it’s depth and breadth, right along with all the things that were so endearing:
Such an interesting background on that!
Let’s get a better look:
Side porches that looked like this from the front:
Like a front door from the street…
…but that opened up to a side porch to look over beautiful gardens on the side:
So much history everywhere you turned:
The stained glass windows in that gorgeous church (The Roman Catholic Cathedral of John the Baptist):
The gigantic craggy trees:
The windows and flower boxes:
We stopped at “Angel Oak Tree” on our way to our Airbnb, estimated to be the oldest live oak tree East of the Mississippi, they guess 400-500 years old. Holy moly!
And then we arrived to where we were staying:
Kiwah Island, South Carolina
Oh boy, we could hardly believe our eyes when we rode our bikes over to the beach and found this beauty:
And that we could actually RIDE OUR BIKES ON THE BEACH.
…for miles and miles.
One of my sister-in-laws, Julie, brought her baby along and we all loved loving that boy up:
…Intermixed with the sunset bike rides.
At night we just talk, talk, talked…as well as watched some volleyball. So grateful for technology!
Where we stayed we had bikes lined up to take us on adventures.
…to see gorgeous wildlife:
The marshes (loved having read Where the Crawdads Sing to pull me in):
We also had my sister-in-law Aja who knows a little something about everything and she taught us so much (she also drove our huge van around…love you Aja!!)
Every night we raced back out to bask in the glory of the beach sunset.
I don’t know where Julie and Aja were at this moment, but we had to capture that pink.
I love my mother with all my heart. And all of these women. And Kristi and Anita who were there in spirit.
We lined up yoga mats on the porch in the mornings:
My view from my mat:
We made the drive, through miles and miles of tree-lined streets like this:
To visit the McLeod Plantation:
That incredible Spanish moss drenching everything in it’s glory:
We learned so much, married again with all my thoughts from The Invention of Wings, our guide filled with melancholy power in her voice, the sharp cotton plants, the sobering thought of all those unmarked graves along the river, and the wonder of what to do with all that history.
Please click HERE to read more about the history of that place.
Loved that we had little Simon along for all of it who we all got to snuggle up:
More bike rides:
Dinner and good food and so much talking deep into the night.
Yoga on the beach:
On our last night we took our bikes to the very end of the island.
We rode through what is underwater at high tide, and marveled at the world.
Couldn’t get enough.
(Believe me, there are hundreds of other pictures where these ones are coming from!)
It was that night biking on the beach letting myself lag a little bit behind everyone else, I had a special talk with God, my eyes welled up with tears, so filled up with gratitude. For the beauty, for the people, for that experience.
Drenched in all that beauty until the very last drop.
En route to the airport we stopped here:
As if we hadn’t already seen enough beauty…
There is a scene in The Notebook movie that is filmed here, as one of my sister’s pointed out, and it is pretty incredible I have to say.
You can read all about it HERE.
Lots of alligators in that 175-acre swamp:
Aja drove us around and navigated so beautifully (even with all the backseat drivers, ha!), and she knew so much about alligators I figured this was an appropriate pic:
Love that Julie is so easy-going and ready for anything even with baby Simon in tow:
Love them both!
We sure found some incredible Southern food:
…amidst all that beauty.
But most of all, my favorite part was sitting in the family room as we talked through the world, a thick almost over-powering blanket of gratitude that these women are mine.
And this mother is mine.
Love her forever.
Oh there is so much more to say, but I’ll never finish this post if I say it all. And you can thank your lucky stars that I’m quitting now so I don’t drag you through MORE pictures!! haha
Back at home I hugged up my family like nobody’s business. Man alive I feel so lucky to have them too!