Travel Destination: Folly Beach, South Carolina
A pleasant surprise this was! Colbee, Ron and I were already heading towards our next destination as the day was at the beginning of phasing towards nighttime. That fabled destination? Folly Beach. I was curious on how this beach would compare to the one on Sullivan's Island. I imagined there would be a number of hotels or apartments along the shore. Probably a lot more active since it is a popular destination. My creative mind pondered on what I would face as we began to go over one bridge after another, seemingly skipping from island to island like a stone skipping across the water.
Already there was a grand view of the area going over the bridge. Marshland and islands as far as the eye could see, with homes so close to sea level. Each home with either a random bright color or a simple plain white that fits the more tropical laid back theme the area has. On occasion homes were swapped with small apartments that lined along the waterfront. I only watched in awe as Ron, Colbee and I drove eastward towards the fabled shore and pier.
I only knew about it from wedding photo shoots I've seen my photographer friends took along the shores of this island with a lighthouse and pastel sunset colors in the distance. Quite beautiful work! However, it was not that part of the beach that we would visit this time. That came another day. Instead, it was further south towards the main city area of Folly Beach. Of course we were driving past a majority of the shops and restaurants as the sun was beginning to reach towards the horizontal line in the distance. Have to get those signature twilight shots of the beach after all, and what a sight we saw!
We walked towards the pier as the golden rays of the descending sun stretched across the landscape as it sunk into the west. A mix of bright yellows and deep blues blanket the sky. I couldn't help but keep watching the sun setting as well for a moment, just to enjoy that sea breeze once again that chilled the air around us all. Didn't matter to me however.
Feeling that chill brush against my face felt comforting and always manages to put me at ease for reasons beyond me. Only thing that could have been better was that memory of stepping into the ocean on Sullivan's Island. The waves rushing in to greet me as they were then at Folly Beach, with everyone else stepping into the ocean that were there that day. Multiple groups of people and couples alike also came to stare off in the distance. The ocean has that kind of effect on you.
Eventually all of us walked down the creaking steps of the pier and into the sandy dunes below, littered with puddles of salt water provided by the Atlantic. The twilight skies above were being framed by distant clouds offshore that were enveloped in such wonderful variety of pastel colors. It was like observing nature's natural oil painting in progress! Ron was already framing the shot with his hands as he took a couple of portrait shots of Colbee as she gave a gentle smile. Of course I had to get my try with portrait photography as I photographed them both together in an embrace as the colorful display kept getting more and more vibrant per passing minute. Colorful sunset + portrait session = amazing photo opportunities!
This was it! It was only a matter of time before I stepped into the ocean again for what felt like the last in a long while before I would be able to do this again. The wet sand was already squeezing between my toes as they touched the edge of an ending wave, with my jeans rolled up to try and prevent them from getting soaked. A failed attempt funny enough. Each wave of the ocean crashed into my legs and felt a surprising tug towards towards the deep sea. Possibly a rip current in action? I managed to keep my balance and stayed far enough away just in case regardless, yet I didn't FEEL as drawn into the ocean as I was at Sullivan's Island. Why was that?
I wouldn't be surprised if it was because of a more developed area with much more people. I am autistic after all, so it can't be helped. Then again, meditation taught me to be in the present moment and enjoyed as much as I could despite the possibility of sensory overload. It is something for me to think about next time I come here again. Deep breaths, focus on breathing and then simply see the area for what it is instead of what I expect it to be. Each area brings something unique to the table even if both are under the same category.
Even with all of this, I still loved Folly Beach! The final Folly Beach trip the next day further north was more of what I originally envisioned with the Morris Island Lighthouse in the background. The beautiful sunset colors however more than made up for it. It was such a magical sight that you couldn't help but appreciate!
A good chunk of the evening was staying in this spot, immersing myself in that Southern laid-back atmosphere the region was well known for. All the sounds of nature still present regardless of the location. The sea wind coming off the shore. The crashing of large waves. Feeling the wet sand on my feet. It made me wonder how people will react to these photos created for a brief moment in this bliss. Maybe a sense of inspiration to just go out there and travel. Experience the world while we are still here, existing on this small miracle of a rock among an endless sea of space.
Eventually it slipped from twilight into night and we gathered at a local restaurant called Rita's Seaside Grille. Of course I had to get my first try of a pina colada, a quite sweet and delicious cocktail that had me wanting more. I managed to resist the urge however as the warm fire nearby kept us from freezing and gave a nice golden glow. Of course our final shots of the night had to be here. This was a great evening finale to a wonderful trip I use to think would never happen. Shows how anything is possible! After this would be a quite quick visit to relatives in North Carolina. Too short in my opinion. I want to return to the area someday to visit more of downtown Charleston and have a longer visit in Charlotte, North Carolina and record it all through both photos/blog and a vlog. Something else to add in my ever growing list of places to visit on my journey.
Overall I would love to make a return trip here! Besides the mountains, the beach feels more like my home away from home and always look forward to such locations. Who knows though! There could be a future location not consisting of these elements that I might end up liking just as much. Until then, time to plan a return trip in the near future!
Want to discover more hidden treasures around the Charleston area?
View my previous travel blog posts, such as the hidden jewel called Sullivan's Island and the beautiful gardens of Magnolia Plantation!