August is one of my favorite months because it’s in the prime hiking season, and more importantly, it includes a week-long trip to the beach with Dan’s side of the family. This is my favorite continuous week of the year, and has been since I starting going NINE YEARS AGO. We’ve been together for ten. We usually go to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, but decided on Folly Beach in South Carolina because it was in the solar eclipse’s path of totality. Yay!
The highlight of the trip was SOLAR ECLIPSE 2K17!! We drove to a park in Orangeburg, SC and got to see 2 minutes of totality. What a cool experience. The eerie quality of light in the 15 minutes pre- and post-totality, the crescent shadows, the crickets chorusing, seeing the stars at 2:40 in the afternoon…and of course the eclipse itself. I hope we can go to Maine or Texas for the next one, 7 years away.
We flew in Friday night and upon exiting the airport my glasses fogged up. It was real hot and humid. Seems obvious now, but for whatever reason I thought that as one half of “the Carolinas,” they would basically feel like the same state. Nope, SC is way more hot and humid this time of year. When we were in Charleston the “real feel” was 110 degrees.
The next day we went to Denny’s for breakfast and I was immediately won over by the food cartoon characters. Works on children and adults alike!!
We went to Charleston and as a consequence of the “real feel” mentioned above I felt like I was going to pass out. There were lots of old houses and references to slavery. We walked through an open market, drank iced tea, and hopped in and out of air conditioned shops.
In the afternoon we drove 30 minutes to Folly Beach and got excited about the house that was ours for the week.
That night we went to Bowen’s Island Restaurant, a recommendation from our Lyft driver the night before. We waited ~45 minutes in line to order, and the food was OK. I got the shrimp and grits. It was ultra salty. Dan got the 1/2 fried 1/2 boiled shrimp platter and that was pretty good. We did get to see a beautiful sunset!
Most days went like this: wake up around 8 –> run/walk on the beach for about an hour –> eat breakfast –> get swimsuit on –> go swimming or sit on the beach for a few hours –> eat lunch –> read/relax/talk/drink Coronas with lime –> shower –> make dinner or go out to dinner. The last few nights we also played games like salad bowl (except we reverse round 2 and 3).
Swimming was fun and the water was really warm – 85 degrees per the Weather Channel. Dan prefers the cooler Outer Banks water but I was OK with this.
One night we went down to Charleston for happy hour. We had drinks and appetizers at Pearlz Oyster Bar which was fun. And I had my first oyster shooter.
Later we went to the rooftop patio of Vendue for some great views and mediocre happy hour guacamole. Can’t win them all.
Another day we went to the Art Institute of Charleston for their student-run restaurant. Dan’s dad heard about it from a friend, and it was great – $12 for a fancy three-course meal.
That afternoon we went to Fort Sumter, a sea fort significant to the Civil War. I think the family consensus was that it was a 1/10 experience. Hah. It was boiling hot on that God-forsaken island.
Family picture on the last night:
On the last day we went with Dan’s parents to Charleston to walk around their farmer’s market. We also took a visit to the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, which was much more interesting than I was expecting. Dan and I descended into the USS Clamarore, a submarine that awakened my claustrophobic tendencies. We ate at the nextdoor Fish House before driving to the airport.
Eight hours later we were home in the blessed cool, dry evening. As I do every year, I mourn the end of the beach and will now commence my building excitement for next year’s trip.