Every drive I take seems better than the last, and the key ingredient to start the trip off with a bang is to driving to my destination as the sun rises. I love sunrises more than any part of the day. You can always expect a sunrise to put on an art show. No matter if the sky is cloudy, partly cloudy, clear, rainy, or whatever, the sometimes contrast and blending of colors and leaves me wanting more every time. Yellows oranges, and reds of day merge with black, navy, and purples of night, and slowly the winner between light vs. dark prevails. The sleepy eyed day finds focus gradually until suddenly its eyes burn bright with clarity and confidence.
Four hours later, I lazily walked with my friends around the streets of Charleston, and I couldn’t help but feel the buzz of it being New Year’s Weekend. It wasn’t a frantic gotta get everything ready like a Times Square energy, but more of an elegantly smoothed flowing southern type of an energy. I liked the vibe, and it made me feel like “yeah, relax, smell the ocean, take in our history while the sun is up, and after the sun has set, come back out and embrace more of our southern charm.
But what made downtown memorable for me was when I walked in front of this white brick building with PEOPLE MATTERS displayed in bright royal blue letters. It resonated deeply within me, because it has always been the people within each community that I have met to have taken my travels to new levels of joy. And without fail, I met someone in lovely Charleston that showed me what southern charm was all about. Of all of the places to meet someone, it had to have been in a park bathroom. I know! Crazy, but she was the restroom attendant. “Close the door!”, she yelled. “I get it honey. It’s cold outside.”, I said. From that moment, she realized someone felt her pain, and we cackled like a bunch of hens. And you know what? Our conversation wasn’t about anything, but she felt like an old friend. By the end of, what seemed like an hour long conversation, Ms. I-don’t-take-pictures, was cheesin it up with me. I left that tiny restroom with a smile on my face and a memory that couldn’t ever be erased.