The city was everything that we had expected and more. We pictured it at least a hundred times in our minds before ever crossing the bridge.
Our mental images of course were only constructs of what others had seen and told us about when they visited. Except this time we would see it with our own eyes.
And, then we arrived.
A low city scape filled with storytale streets and buildings.
We saw it all….
The white wrap around porches; the thick wooden window shutters;
the exposed brick;
the geraniums; the entangled gardens;
the oak trees;
the palm trees;
the hanging Spanish moss;
the narrow, gobble stone alleyways; the tall Romanesque columns;
the prominent iron gates;
the mansions and the villas.
It was all there and it was truly breathtaking.
Amidst this beautiful collage, we stumbled upon lunch. It was a French-style cafe, and it was made up of fresh breads, vegetables, meats and of course French wine and cheese.
The day was complete.
We sat for over an hour in a narrow but cozy kitchen filling up with ham and brie (on a baguette). A cool glass of French white wine was the “side dish” to our main. We delivered a final and delicious blow to our food-comatose bodies with a buttery crosiotte covered in dark chocolate spread.
When our eyes and bellies were filled, we reluctantly eased ourselves into the car and parted with the city .
Our thoughts and conversations, though, never went far during the remaining hours of our drive. They kept coming back to the wrap around porches, the exposed brick, the beautiful gardens, the geraniums, the oak trees, the palm trees, the hanging Spanish moss, the gobblestone alleyways, the tall columns, the iron gates, the mansions, the villas, the brie, the ham, the baguette, the croissant and of course the side of French wine.
That to us was Charleston, as we would from that moment always know it.