A Charleston Moment (Aka: Warm Southern Hospitality and Peaceful Serenity)

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

To an outsider, it can be difficult to comprehend the true sense of Southern hospitality that is Charleston.? It is an indescribable feeling of serenity, peace and community.? Like the warm breeze over the marsh or the sounds of the heron flying above, Charleston is a tapestry of natural wonders, caring residents, nurturing cultural and coastal pride.? It is an area proud of its heritage, its natural beauty and its people.

Sometimes you need a Charleston moment to completely understand why we love our home.

Last evening, just off the connector bridge between James Island and Johns Island, I found paved roadway between two private communities.? With marsh on both sides, palmetto’s garnishing the sides of the road and a westward facing view, I was able to witness a breathless sunset.? On the eve of the Summer Solstice, this sunset, followed by a full moon to lose yourself in, created a moment that has left a last imprint.

The peaceful surroundings of this street alone did not make this moment complete.? As I leaned back on my car watching the sun dip below a palmetto in the forefront, stretches of clouds like delicate paint strokes donned the sky and birds chirped as they passed overhead.? During these last few moments, a few cars, a couple of golf carts, a motorcycle and two joggers passed by my parked car.

With each passerby, a wave and a smile. I even had a father and son team in a golf cart asking if I was okay.? But they knew.? No car problems, just an admirer of a Charleston sunset.

The friendly demeanor of one stranger to another spoke volumes.? These interactions, though subtle, mean a great deal to us.

This moment of complete peace and awe, with a sprinkle of that warm friendliness we have come to love, reinforced how special this place is.

If these words don’t inspire, take few minutes to enjoy the visual spectacle of last night in the Lowcountry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue to take pride in this little spot under the sun, we call our Southern home.

Under a Carolina Sunset – Original Poem

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

She wore that yellow sundress
Basking in the Carolina sunset
A sky of orange and red streaming to the notes of a Bach

Not a care or a worry
Just her love waiting in the distance with his denim, a glimmer and a place she calls home
No more goodbye in those sparkling eyes

Dreaming of cornfields and lilies, this little girl has become an angel
Spinning freely on the wet sand of the ocean front
A beauty for the ages; a porcelain sculpture with no imperfection

With her boots in the air she dances to the rhythm of the country
With the memories of ma and pa playing music on the porch, she smiles

They smile back in a warm embrace; reminding her to always look to the stars and know

The horizon is limitless
A world without boundary; a life without limit; a harmony as strong as her heartbeat

The spirit of America rings strong
Powerful and free

flower2Swept by the wind; tickled by the flower petals brushing against the soft curves of her legs
Hair flowing as swiftly as the doves above

She falls, letting gravity pull her down to a bed of green grass

In a deep sigh she reflects on a life of good intentions

Now she closes her eyes and visualizes a world of hopes and dreams wrapped in ribbons and bows

Under a Carolina sunset

Between Waterfront Park and Patriots Point: A Lover’s Hideaway

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

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.

Enter with us.
Enter with us.

 

There is plenty of seating along the way
There is plenty of seating along the way

 

Perfect walking path along the water.
Perfect walking path along the water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many incredible angles of the Cooper River Bridge

 

 

Is that the Yorktown in the distance?

 

Have a seat and let the breeze of the harbor brush your face
Have a seat and let the breeze of the harbor brush your face

 

Lined up at attention just for you
Lined up at attention just for you

 

 

 

Time for a slow stroll
Time for a slow stroll

 

 

Here is a spot just for the two of you
Here is a spot just for the two of you

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.

P.S. The sunset is just breathtaking.

See…

 

Told you so
Told you so

 

 

 

 

 

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Right – Because it’s not too late!

  1. Send out Thank You cards.thank you pen
    We know you got at least one awesome Christmas present! Chances are you got more, maybe even more than you needed. Let your loved ones know just how much their hard thought, time and money is appreciated!
  2. Download a new album. –Or for us old school folks, buy a new CD.
    “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” –Berthold Auerbach ?Crank it up, kick off that dust and live life!
  3. Start setting a little money aside each week for that dream vacation.
    Summertime sneaks up and you are left with a wanderlust accompanied by a low bank account. Avoid this disappointment in 2016 by anticipating your getaway.
  4. Get involved.
    With so many opportunities around Charleston to participate in a worthwhile cause, you have no reason not to get involved. It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment; it can be something as simple as hanging out with the animals at one of the local shelters. Need ideas on how to get involved? Check out our article Volunteer Opportunities in the Lowcountry – Get Involved.
  5. Drop the resolution!
    I’ve never really believed in New Year’s resolutions, for a few different reasons. #1) If you really want to make a change in your life, you should do so now, not wait for the beginning of a new year. #2) Chances are you’ll just end up disappointing yourself. Even if you start off with the best of intentions and things are going great, most of the New Year’s resolutions I hear about simply do not stick. By the end of February, if not earlier, they are forgotten about all together. #3) That’s a lot of stress to put yourself, and your loved ones, under. Usually these resolutions involve some massive change and you tend to think the change can come January 1st. Why do that to yourself? #4) They usually involve something completely unoriginal and something that really didn’t have a lot of thought put into it in the first place. You deserve better for yourself than that.
  6. Wash your car.
    Don’t neglect the thing you rely on most everyday. Add it into your organizational plans.
  7. Pick up a book.book
    Books help open our minds and allow us to escape to anywhere our imaginations can go. Make the time to unwind, relax your mind, and snuggle up with a good story.
  8. Decide to love yourself.
    This doesn’t mean simply saying you love yourself, but just like in your relationships with others, you have to show yourself that you do. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking time for yourself, saying “no” when you can’t do something for someone -and feeling okay about it- and any other special way you can prove to yourself that you matter.
  9. Change your air filter.
    Another friendly service reminder courtesy of Charleston Daily. You’ll thank us later!
  10. Meditate.
    There are so many benefits to meditation! It is a stress relief, it helps with focus, it helps to reduce anxiety, it boosts your creativity, and it can aid in relieving depression, but the list goes on! Just devoting ten minutes a day can make a significant difference in your life.
  11. Go watch a movie by yourself.
    It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Trust us on this one and give it a chance.
  12. Make a plan.
    This can include absolutely anything. You’ve just got to get the ball rolling. Totally different than a resolution!?Really put some though into it, set small goals and work on them at your own pace. You’ll have more success with the results sticking this way.?The best ideas start out with a good plan.20151207_171211-01
  13. Spend a sunset at the Battery.
    There are many beautiful spots to watch the sunset around Charleston. The Battery is one of our favorites. You can spend the afternoon enjoying White Point Garden, have a picnic, walk around, or relax on one of the benches, then take in a spectacular sunset before ending your day.
  14. Spend the night at a fancy hotel or bed and breakfast (preferably one with a big tub).
    Just have a change of scenery?for a moment. It can help give you new insights on what’s really going on in your life. Do it locally so you eliminate the stress of traveling. Our recommendation? The Battery Carriage House Inn?located in beautiful downtown Charleston.
  15. Donate to a local charity.
    Of course charities will always welcome a monetary donation. But you actually don’t have to have any money at all to donate to most charities. Clean out your closet, clean out your pantry, clean out your garage. You will find lots of things to donate to different organizations. You can also pick a charity, visit their website for their Wish List and grab something extra next time you are at the store.
  16. Take a sunrise walk on the beach.
    I realize this was included in our “List of things to do before the end of 2015”. Well, did you do it? There’s never a bad time to take a sunrise walk on the beach. -I might recommend waiting for a day when it’s not raining, but other than that you’re pretty golden!-
  17. Pay off your lowest credit card.
    When working on getting out of debt, experts recommend paying off the card that has the lowest balance first. Don’t neglect other cards you may have, but even if you can put an extra $10/month towards that one card, you will start seeing a difference a lot faster. –It also helps if you don’t add anything else to that card! –
  18. Wake up fresh.
    This idea comes with appreciation?from my best 5 year old friend. When asked what I was writing, and I explained it to him, he took it upon himself to contemplate the subject and this was his first idea. I like it, a lot actually. So get your behind in bed at a decent time, snuggle in for more than your usual few hours, and wake up fresh!
  19. Purchase that perfect outfit.
    Start this year off looking and feeling fabulous! –Hey, everything’s on sale right now anyway! –
  20. Have a dinner party.
    This is a great way to connect or re-connect with friends. Plus throwing a party is just fun anyway. Good food, drinks, music, your closest friends…sounds like a great night to me!

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Off Right – Checklist

 

Relax and Let A Fort Moultrie Sunset Take You To Another Place

By Mark A. Leon

Some sunsets are memorable.

Some take your breath away

Some just take you to another place.? A nirvana of peace and tranquility where life is left behind and you are in the most safe haven on Earth.? There are a few places on this Earth that truly take you away and allow you to leave the world behind for just a few minutes while the greatest IMAX in the world takes control of your senses.

Fort Moultrie Beach, hidden just down a dirt road right past the fort is a secluded oceanic paradise where dolphins frolic, ocean life thrives and the sun sets between Sullivan’s and the Cooper River Bridge with precision accuracy.? It is an experience best shared with loved ones.

Come with us as we take you on this photographic journey taken over several Fort Moultrie Beach sunsets.? Let yourself be free in indulge in one of Charleston’s greatest gifts.

Rich blend of colors in the sky with scattered clouds to compliment

Local enjoying the sunlight breaking through the clouds

Blessed with our own version of Stonehenge

fort5The clouds in black and white have a ghostly eeriness

The sun’s center core dropping from the sky behind the row of Palmetto

So tranquil from a distance

Palmetto Sun Dream

Even without color, the view is spectacular

Barge perfectly situated in the water just under the setting sun

Heavenly light shines through the clouds

Blood red/orange sky

The string of clouds and the symmetry in the sky is perfect

A stepping platform of rocks take us far out to the ocean all the way to the setting sun

Take this recommendation to heart, these pictures are memorable and precious, but do not do justice to the feeling of a cool ocean breeze as you watch the sun set to the West and rest for the evening.? If you are lucky, a few friendly dolphins will swim by and say hello.