It was meant to be
Baby, you and me
We are in it for the ride with you by my side
I’m a small-town boy, looking at my small-town girl who said yes to a dance
Now, I never want it to end
Let the music play every minute of every day
Just to hear your voice in my dreams
To see your face just as your lips touch mine
When you asked, “Where have you been all my life?”
I’ve always been there right beside you
In your prayers
A sound in the wind
An energy exchange pure to the heart of two souls wandering with purpose; with meaning
We shared a love in our growing hearts
From the youthful tone of a field of lilies on those northern plains
To the southern breeze so safe and familiar
I grew to know you one syllable at a time
Each piece of the puzzle one step to completing me
Now we are one
A dance in the clouds on a red letter
Free to fly above the reality to a fantasy built for two
A silly thought, but one we share
A promise made by a fortune teller so long ago
A prediction in the stars
A red carpet welcoming us to the ball
Take my hand, my princess
Let me have the first dance all over again
A miracle in heals
A savior in lace
Warm wet fierce rapids racing for the waterfall
Hold on tight
Romance comes in many different forms.
Some through small gestures and others in unexpected surprises.
It rarely takes more than a few words, a hug, a kiss or a look to reveal the truest form of romance and affection.
Perhaps because it doesn’t happen often enough, but in that moment, time stops briefly and a spiritual enlightenment fills you soul with the warm juices of contentment.
Isn’t that what life is about, contentment and love.
Knowing and experiencing those that bring you to the height of acceptance is what we live for each and every day.
We don’t need to wait for miracles or wait for something special to happen.
All we need to do is focus on those that care about us and embrace those rare moments of romance.
You come home after an extended trip, feeling under the weather and warn out.
You sift through the mail to find a hand written envelope from another country and inside a simple white card with these words:
“You have no idea how you still affect me.
One email from you and my heart makes a little jump.
I guess this will be forever so.
I know know I have no claims on you, but what I wouldn’t give for one more day/night with you.
Thank you for being who you are.
Talk to you soon. I mean it.
Big hug to you, wonderful man.”
This is unconditional eternal love.
Think about it.
A few words
A picnic in Hampton Park
A kiss on the cheek
A warm bath
A surprise champagne toast at Sunset in the remote part of Folly Beach or Sullivan’s Island
Sharing an ice cream cone on the Mount Pleasant pier watching boats go by
A morning jog and then kisses in an open field
It doesn’t take more than a gesture to remind someone that you love them
Charleston is known throughout the region, country and the world as a quaint historic coastal city where the people are friendly, the homes provide a stunning backdrop, history howls with the haunting sounds of ghosts in the alleys, the culinary artistry is mouth-watering and the romantic ambiance showers you with a rainbow of hearts.
Being one of the top wedding destinations in the United States, it is no wonder love is always in the air.? Whether it is fine dining, a walk in the park or Gelato on King Street, Charleston offers couples a romantic retreat.
Sometimes even romance has a budget.? We wanted to provide some tips on how you can bring out your romantic side, without finding yourself with an empty wallet or maxed out credit card.
Buy a bouquet of flowers atTiger Lily.? Voted best Charleston florist since 2000, Tiger Lily offers some of the freshest and most unique flowers in the area with a staff that is always smiling and ready to please.? Their expertise and careful crafting of bouquets makes you want to come back over and over and shower your special someone with the gift of nature.? Here is a little secret.? All walk in customers get half price on all purchases.? A beautiful bouquet that may run $20 if ordered by phone or online, will cost you $10 and you can watch the TLC right before your very eyes.
Movie in the Park or on the beach – Couple Style – This is more of a Spring/Summer event:? Marion Square does movies in the park in the Spring and The Tides on Folly Beach in the Summer and Belle Hall Shopping Center Parking Lot as well, but what about a movie in the park for just the two of you?? Most of the Charleston Parks offer free wifi.? We have that out of the way.? One evening, take your IPad, Tablet, etc, get some ice cream or thai take out and a blanket and get comfortable under the stars.? Set up camp on the grass and watch a movie on Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu.? Watch out, people may see you and steal your idea.? It is pretty romantic.
Double Sunset Magical Show of Nature – This one is a little tricky to pull off, but achievable.? Just past Omar Shrine Auditorium in Mount Pleasant, take a right on Bridgeside Blvd and take it all the way to the end and park.? Once there, you will witness the most spectacular view of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.? Walk down the steps through the grassy courtyard and find a perfect spot to watch the sun set over the bridge.? If you have time, stop by Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s to get a six pack or bottle of wine.? Once the sun sets over the suspension wires, jump in your car and go one street over (Harry M. Hallman Jr Blvd).? This will take you to the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Pier.? Go to the end of the pier and you will see the final moments of sunset and if you are lucky a blue, orange or amber sky.? Bring your camera; you will get spectacular shots.? If it is warm out, make sure you stop in the store afterward for some ice cream.
Free Salsa Lessons and Cuban Salsa Dancing/Music with Gino Castillo at Prohibition – Every Tuesday at Prohibition at 547 King Street is Havana Nights.? From 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM, local expert salsa dancers offer free lessons.? If you are an amateur dancing couple, but want to spice it up on the dance floor, come out for a lesson or two and bring a new level of heat.? After the lesson, Gino Castillo and his band will bring energy to the restaurant with some action packed tunes to keep your feet moving.
Open Mic Poetry at East Bay Meeting House – Have you ever written your special someone a poem, but were afraid to read it?? Do you have a special anniversary and really want to impress the love of your life?? Come to Open Mic Poetry on Monday nights and express your feelings in this accepting open forum.? This small intimate setting is one where you can be free to open up your heart.? While you are there, have a cup of tea or champagne.? The location is 160 East Bay Street.? The event starts at 8:00 PM but sign ups to perform begin at 7:00 PM.
Sunrise on the Beach – There is nothing more romantic than a sunrise walk on the beach.? There are a number of options, but the coastal angle of Folly Beach makes this an ideal sight.? Plus, Roasted (coffeeshop in the Tides Hotel) is open ridiculously early if you want to grab coffee or a frappe.? Hold each others hand, let the sand caress your feet and watch the sun rise from the ocean and lift itself into the sky welcoming an new day.? It is breathtaking and makes for an perfect start of your day, no matter what follows.? If you plan on staying a while, set up a hammock under the pier.
Reflect on some culture/art – The Halsey Art Institute offers modern and culturally relevant exhibits that test the mind and open your eyes to the world around you.? It is a wonderful way to learn about each other and challenge each others minds.? You are also a hop, skip and jump from Kudu or Starbucks to get a hot chocolate to enjoy while you walk around.? If you are really feeling educational, head to the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History Just on the other side of Calhoun Street.
Fishing – This is who we are.? Whether it is the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park pier or just a small bridge on James Island or John’s Island, fishing in the South is as romantic as it gets.? Get your loved one, a bottle of wine or six pack, those fishing poles and enjoy a quiet outdoor moment together.? If you happen to catch dinner, let the night continue at home.
Dance to the music of a street performer – If you think Second Sunday or the Charleston Farmer’s Market is the only place to see street performers, you are so wrong.? There is a beautiful brass performer on East Bay and even an amazing folks singer.? Find a great performer, slip a few bucks and enjoy a romantic dance on the side walk.? You will make everyone around you jealous.? Or just sit outside Carmella’s, rev up the IPhone with some Sinatra and make your moment together.
“Love you” in case I die.? A phrase so modern; so true; so filled with the purity of a millennial on the run.
I heard that recently while watching some mindless, yet profound Netflix programming thinking about an earlier conversation about the challenges of relationships.? There is a phrase for journalists that sums it all up so nicely, “journalists are just novelists in a hurry.”? It got me thinking about why dating is so difficult here in the Lowcountry.
We date in the sound bite world where immediate affirmation is the normal way of thinking.
After one date, do we:
Change our relationship status
Become text friends
It isn’t that simple.? Like a great wine, a great relationship must age and be given time to breath.
Often, we blame everything else instead of looking for the core root of the problem when a date goes sour or you just can’t find one.
“Online dating sucks”
“Girls are teases”
“Guys just want to get laid”
“There are so many more girls than guys that it sucks to be a guy in Charleston.”
“I hate putting the effort into a date if it most likely not even workout.”
“After I cyber stalked her, she seems a little crazy.”
“Their picture online is so not them.”
“All he/she wants to do is drink on the date.”
These phrases are like the wind blowing from town to town and finding new meaning with each interaction.? The strength of anything worthwhile will never be found in excuses, haste or shortcuts.? A great relationship must be treated with respect, nourished and given light to grow.
The Cultural Clash
As the population grows and evolves, Charleston is becoming a melting pot of new cultures, personalities and ways of thinking.? This shift is slowly creating an evolutionary shift in traditional Southern behavior.
Historically, women and men with traditional Southern upbringings went into dating with the premise of finding a life mate.? This belief system based on respect and conservative values holds significance today, but that shift is changing.
As the melting pot sizzles, the integration of Northerners and Southerners in traditional dating situations is destined to collide.
When the “go out on a few dates and get to know each other” meets the “you are not the right one for me so take care of yourself” passive brush off, the hostility will grow.
When the “I just want to have fun and fuck my way through this city,” meets the Southern belle that wants expensive food and drinks, doors opened for them and a kiss on the cheek at the end of the night, fires will spread.
How often have you heard the phrase, “men and women aren’t so different”?? It is built on truth, but there are other variables at play that we must not ignore.
Culture is a beast far more powerful than you and me.? West Coast thinking and East Coast thinking get along, but will never find a true happy medium.? Northern liberal aggressive behavior vs Southern conservative charms will always be at odds.
Idealistically, when two souls meet that exchange an energy that fuses together for a feeling of yearning and bliss, that union is forever.? That true rings true from China to Maine.
Yet, the Lowcountry offers a set of obstacles that must be understood, broken down and pieced back together to paint a picture pure and true.
We live in a day and age where opportunities are more abundant than ever before, where love can be found at every turn over a beer, in a dog park, or in a digital app.? Knowing what to do once you find it, is the key to any chance of success.
Go in with a grain of salt, listen to your date and be respectful of their moral fibers.
This will ease the pain if you aren’t the right fit.
“People have a habit of blinking and missing the moment” – Hank Moody
Have you looked deep into someone’s eyes and saw right to their soul? The moment when you relinquish the hold you have on your heart and let it escape to the protective custody of another. It is the ultimate risk of putting your life in someone else’s hands that is the ultimate happiness and pain all wrapped in one.
Why would we leave the comfort of our inner skin to enter into an unknown abyss with the promise of perfection or the torture of a thousand needles penetrating our skin and reminding us of the chance we took; the chance that brought us down?
Because it is worth it! Death is the most studied, analyzed, interpreted, fear and yearned for entity we ever face and it is sitting on a pedestal of blackness defying gravity and reality. It is that moment when for all eternity, our being changes. What we become is not for us to judge, nor is it science, nor is it faith. It is a moment of eternal redemption.
Some believe life is a test; a test of the strength of our spirit. From the moment of conscious thought to the final breath, we are faced with the opportunity to choose a path. Destiny is not written in the stars, but the words we chose, the actions we face and the path we walk on. We are the gift of creation and the end product of death. We have the rarest of gifts bestowed on the truest of beings and that is the free will to live.
I fell hard three times. A few years since I had those feelings. Was there a common factor that drained my soul and left a deep embedded emptiness? No, there wasn’t. That is the mystery of love that no book, magazine or therapist can answer. It is that feeling you have when you close your eyes and see a slide show in your mind of every moment you spent together, every touch of each other’s skin, every gaze into their eyes and every emotion magnified by a thousand percent.
We so often read books or articles trying to explain love, that we fail to realize there is no right or wrong and in most cases feelings and emotions do not have a definition. Without definition, there is no meaning and explanation. We enter love as a blank canvas, but are equipped with the paint and brushes to make an artistic masterpiece.
Love is a promise. Not of eternal partnership, but one of committing mind, body and soul to someone that pumps life into you, makes you believe in something bigger than yourself, gives you the inspiration to achieve greatness and is always there with a hug and a moment of comfort. It is that moment when you want to make that promise, that you know your heart found it’s match.
Love is not something that you grow into nor is it earned. It finds you like a bullet finds its victim. With a force of a hundred horses, it penetrates your skin and tears letting blood flow out of you, making you vulnerable and weak. In a way, when love finds you, you become a victim to the most amazing roller coaster ride of your life.
If you haven’t taken the ultimate risk, there is no reason to wait…
Don’t seek out a catalyst or life changing event to give you a reason.? Take your state of mind and body and if you find someone that shares that mutual thrust of emotion, dive into the deep end and let yourself drown. If it is right, you will be rescued.
“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” —–Judy Garland
“I’m lucky to have known you.? I’m lucky to have loved you.” – Karen, Californication
So, you are head over heels in love.
He looks into her eyes and know she is the one.? She gazes back and all worries go away.
The one you dreamed about all your life and now that your dreams are complete, paranoia sets in.
Thoughts running through his mind:?
How do I keep her interested?
Will she get bored and move on?
She is way to beautiful to be with me.
I am doing okay financially, but I how can I afford to buy her expensive things and take her on high priced dinners and trips?
I can’t win.
Wait, wait wait, there are other options.
We are here to help. You are surrounded by 26000 miles of earth who’s beauty and opportunity are waiting at your feet.? Plus, you are in one of the most romantic cities in the United States, Charleston, South Carolina.
Here are a few surefire and FREE ideas of great things to do with your partner (in crime).
As long as you understand her interests, keep the relationship exciting, diverse and spicy and continue to show her the affection and love she deserves, you will have a long and amazing life together.
1. Wash the car or clean the bathroom together. It is an activity you can do together and more importantly you will both get wet and soapy. I hope I don’t have to explain anymore about this activity.
2. Keep an eye on your local bars and restaurants online and on Facebook. Some offer free food or drinks if you like them or sign up for their newsletter. Free drinks…Bonus!
3. Look around your kitchen. Round up all the food and spices you have, Google what you have and you may just find a great recipe or two you can make that will make her smile and full enough to want to cuddle in bed.
4. Volunteer together. Look for a running event, fund-raiser, music or arts festival and work it together. That way you are helping a good cause and getting some free entertainment.
5. Go camping under the stars or stretch out a hammock under the pier. How romantic is that?
6. Throw a Potluck Party!!! Call, text, Evite, Facebook all your friends and have an impromptu party where everyone brings a bottle, mixer or snack. Instant party and all you need to provide is the front door.
7. Why not a little education? Go to a museum or art gallery. Many only ask for a small donation at the door or have totally free admission.
8. There is a model in all of us. Break out your point and shoot, SLR or IPhone and have a couple photo shoot. Go to the beach, bedroom, river, gazebo or anywhere fun and scenic and take photos of each other and then you can make a virtual or physical collage.? Clearly, we are not lacking in photo locations in the Lowcountry.
9. Hit the rivers, ponds, marsh, harbor….. Go cliff or rock diving (Not in the crazy Acapulco kind of way) or swim and frolic together.
10. Go people watching and storytelling. Sit at the park with a coffee, tea or latte and try to create a story about all the people that walk by. Be imaginative. It can be better than the movies.
11. Learn a new skill. Can you sing or play guitar or even hula hoop? Teach each other your special skills.
12. Find a free music or comedy showcase. In Charleston, there are many free shows from young up-and-coming performers that are free of charge. You may even have a friend or two in a band. Go support them.
13. Get silly with a flash mob. You know you’ve always wanted to try it. Learn more at improveverywhere.com
15. Join clubs that offer free trips or group events (www.meetup.com). Many have biking or running clubs that you can do together and maybe make some new friends.
16. Watch the sunrise or sunset. It is a classic but always one that reminds you of how important you are to each other.? Not to brag, but nothing beats a Charleston sunset.? Nothing.
17. Play indoor card games…You know what I mean.
18. Walk the dog. Perhaps one of you has a dog. If not, borrow a friend’s dog and offer to take Fido out for a walk.? Or go to the dog park and make new puppy couple friends.
19. Put your health first. Find a farmers market and browse all the vendors. If you are feeling the urge, buy an apple or peach and have a little light fruit or veggie snack together.? From John’s Island to James Island, to Charleston, to Mount Pleasant, to Folly Beach, we have you covered there.
20. Go to an open mic night and do a reading or play a song. Showcase your talents and witness others showing their skills and confidence.
21. Sit on a street corner or in the park with a sign that says “Information” and offer advice and tips to tourists who are looking for things to do locally.? Believe it or not, we almost had tourists offer us money for a carriage ride thinking we were real information/booking agents.
22. Make a music video. With flip video cameras, IPhones, IFilm, YouTube and so many other free software options, you can let out your creative side and make a funky music video as a couple.
23. Samples, samples samples – Hop over to Costco, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods or Earthfare one Saturday, browse and take advantage of all the samples offered throughout the store.
24. Do yoga on the beach or in the park. All you need is a mat and some technique, and you have a mental and physical task you can do together.
25. Be a child. Get a group of friends together and play “Duck, Duck Goose” or “Hide and Seek”.
Where is a perfect spot to get a bottle of wine and strawberries from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and hide out in one of the most scenic spots in all of Mount Pleasant yet still not be bothered by tourists, cameras, silliness and mayhem?? Where can you escape with a picturesque view of the Cooper River Bridge and the USS Yorktown?? Where can you sit back on a bench and watch a rainbow of color burst from the sky as the sun sets over the harbor?? Where can you smell the bounty of fragrances from the trees and flowers as rabbits hop by?
We aren’t going to tell you, but we will show you.? If we laid a map out, then hundreds will flock to this site and ruin the uninhabited beauty it bestows.? I think after you follow us along this photographic path, you will begin to put the pieces together.
Tag along and find out what few already know and the rest are going to find out.
A secluded lovers hideaway just minutes from home awaits you in the friendly city of Mount Pleasant.
You bring the hand holding, the romantic music streaming on your IPhone, the wine and we will bring the natural beauty that awaits you on your perfect escape.
Have you ever scene such serenity and beauty untainted?? I dare say there are few spots so remote and so accessible to truly find yourself and your loved one.
Are you ready for a little adventure?? Get out there and make your own private memories.
“You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back, or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left. Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her, or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. You can remember her only that she is gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back. Or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
“If you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.” – Unknown
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” – Mother Teresa
“Do I love you because you’re beautiful, Or are you beautiful because I love you?”
– Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Cinderella
“Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.” – Author Unknown
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” – Peter Ustinov
“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert Heinlein
“Take away love and our earth is a tomb.” – Robert Browning
“Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.” – David Byrne
“You have someone that you think is The One, don’t just sort of think in your ordinary mind, ‘OK, let’s pick a date. Let’s plan this and make a party and get married.’ Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if, when you come back to JFK … you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport.” – Bill Murray
“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” – Robert Frost
“You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss
We see love all around in many ways in Charleston.? Some simple; while others grand.? We reached out and asked you what love is to you through imagery because a picture says a thousand words.? Let us take you on a short journey with millions of words unspoken, but speaking volumes.
To the lovers, families, friends and strangers who find love all around Charleston, this is for you.
Love is being with your high school and college sweetheart and having every day still feel like the day you met.
Love is honoring your special someone and dedicating your life to protecting the freedoms of America.
Love is sharing a kiss with the backdrop of an infinite ocean and feeling like you are the only two people on Earth.
Love is sharing a kiss in a place where couples have walked for 350 years.
Love is putting your feet up, toe to toe and watching the day pass your by.
Love is mysterious.
Love is playful.
Love is adventurous.
Love is looking into each others eyes and knowing nothing else matters.
Love is knowing you will hold each other up no matter how bad things ever get.
Love is bigger than mountains.
Love is sharing a soft gentle kiss surrounded by a gorgeous historic and romantic setting.
Love is beginning and ending each day together.
Love is staying in bed much longer than you need to together.
Love is knowing you can raise a family in an amazing community.
Love is all around Charleston!!!
Thank you to the generosity of all those that contributed to making this possible.
One thing about being a resident of Charleston is that you never stop discovering new and wonderful places if you let your curiosity take you off the beaten path.? We are a complex set of waterways, inlets, peninsulas and park systems that allow us to lose ourselves in wonder.
Just a half a mile off of Folly Road and just 3 1/2 miles from downtown Charleston, there is a small piece of land that will take you away and let you be you.
On an evening just this week, we went to the end of the dock, where there is a picnic bench, enjoyed a bottle of Italian red wine and took photographs of the sunset over the marsh.? In the distance, a teen in a white tee-shirt played guitar, two women shared the dock with us and later as the sun set to the west a couple sat on the rocking bench as their dogs wandered the park.
This small hideaway offers so much in so little space:
You can fish off the pier into the marsh
View of the sunrise and sunset
View of Harbor View Road, James Island Connector and the Cooper River Bridge
Romantic rocking bench
Picnic tables and a small grill
Secluded and safe
Let us go on a photographic journey together and you too will fall in love.
If you are looking for a quiet escape, a romantic swing, great photo opportunity, a picnic or some personal serenity time, find your way to Dock Street Park.? It will leave a lasting impression.