By now you’ve probably realized that our family finally took our first real vacation this summer.
This all started in the late spring, when I was telling Ryan that I really needed to see the ocean. I had never seen it before, and it was really bothering me. So, he challenged me to pick a place, and we’d go.
I looked at several locations (including some on the Gulf of Mexico, until I was informed that didn’t really count as the ocean), and almost settled on Savannah, Georgia, before it occurred to me that I’d always wanted to go to Charleston, and…it’s on the ocean!
Why Charleston? In addition to the ocean, I wanted a place with a lot of history, which Charleston has in abundance, from the Revolutionary War period on, and a place with beautiful architecture, which, again, Charleston has no shortage of, from her churches, to Rainbow Row, to The Battery. Once I realized Charleston fit the bill, I began planning our trip, which was both fun and intimidating.
Honestly, I spent most of the summer figuring we wouldn’t actually go through with it. I thought we’d either come to our senses about spending the money, or our minivan would rebel, and need repairs costing time and thousands of dollars or something, so I didn’t really get excited about the trip until about a week before we left. It was only then that I allowed myself to indulge in my “We’re going to see the ocean!” dance! I was also a little apprehensive about leaving home, since I never do that, but I got over it.
The trip planning really came together, and the timing worked out for us to fit in a few non-Charleston stops along the way. Here’s a summary of our days on the road:
- Day One–Driving, family time, and the children had a fun evening of bowling, bumper cars, and skee ball!
- Day Two–A visit to the National Corvette Museum, a tour of the Corsair Distillery, a walk around Fountain Square, and a trip to Western Kentucky University.
- Day Three–Driving (through mountains…eek!), a Braves game, and even more driving before finally arriving in Charleston.
- Day Four–A boat ride to Fort Sumter, a visit to the Historic Charleston City Market, a stroll through Washington Square, a long, hot walk to admire the historic buildings and churches, a tour of the Dock Street Theatre, dinner at Fleet Landing, a visit to Rainbow Row, and a quick drive past The Battery.
- Day Five–A trip to THE BEACH, a tour of Fort Moultrie, wading in the Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park, a drive down King Street, and a walk around Whitepoint Garden and The Battery.
- Day Six–Driving, driving, and more driving (and more mountains). Plus breakfast at Waffle House. And lots of laundry and car cleaning upon our return to Bowling Green.
- Day Seven–Church, and then back on the road, and back home!
The trip wasn’t perfect. As a matter of fact, almost every bad thing I had imagined ending up happening, from a bed bug sighting in our hotel room the first night to car trouble along the way, not once, but twice. No one got sick in the car or eaten by a shark, though, so that was something! Anyway, in the end, I realized that it didn’t have to be perfect, because the troubles are part of the memories, and will eventually became a part of our family legends, along with all of the amazing parts of the trip, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!