When I first started college, I never thought I would go away for spring break. I found myself perfectly content spending the week at my house with my parents and siblings, getting sleep and homework done. But that changed a couple of months back when five friends and I booked an Airbnb an hour outside of Charleston, South Carolina. A couple of weeks after that, we booked two different tours and making a packing list. Everything was happening very quickly, but it still didn't feel real until the Saturday before the trip.
The trip started with four of us driving to another friend's house to pick her up, and then driving to Cincinnati to pick up the last member. We spent the night in Cincy, getting the chance to explore downtown and walk on the bridge that connects Ohio and Kentucky. After a quick visit, we all settled into bed and woke up by 6:30 a.m. the next morning to begin the 9-hour drive to Charleston. We traded off drivers every three or four hours, depending on traffic and the gas level. We drove through the curves of Kentucky, the tunnels of Tennessee, and the hills of North and South Carolina. It ended up taking us 11 hours, but that still gave us plenty of time to unpack at the Airbnb and become familiar with our surroundings.
On Monday, we decided to take it easy by lounging around at the beach and around the condo. We were at the beach for less than two hours, and all six of us got terrible sunburns. Like to the point where sleeping, walking, and showering was nearly impossible. My shoulders were redder than tomatoes and one girl's legs were so sunburned that they were super swollen and hard to the touch. It was not a great start to our vacation, but nevertheless, we prevailed.
That Tuesday, we walked around a plantation called Middleton Place. There were acres of gardens, water features, history, and so much more. We saw our first three alligators this day. We were satisfied and happy beyond words. To make things short, we basically paid $15 for an amazing photoshoot. The flowers were in full bloom and the weather was sunny and beautiful. It took us like three hours to look at every spot on the map and make our way through the maze. But it was oh so worth it. Then at 2:30, we had booked a harbor and Atlantic Ocean tour to see Charleston from afar and to learn the history of the town. We also saw a castle and Fort Sumter just floating in the ocean. We spent the evening walking through Charleston, looking at churches and went back to Seabrook Island, where we were staying. We had dinner on the island in their "downtown," which consisted of a grocery store, a handful of cute shops and eateries, and various other touristy places. That night we watched movies and relaxed.
Wednesday was another chill day. We visited the Angel Oak Tree which is this ginormous tree that has branches growing in every way possible with countless leaves. Imagine an octopus with like twenty legs and leaves. The tree trunk was extremely thick, and several branches were suspended with metal wiring to keep them in place and stop them from falling. We also ventured onto Kiawah Island where we went to a nature center and saw more gators, snakes, turtles, and various birds. The rest of the day was spent napping, watching Netflix, doing homework, etc. This was a nice break from running around Charleston and a way to just relax. I was able to just chill in m bed and watch some TV and that was nice.
Thursday was our last full day in Charleston, and this one was pretty busy. We started our day near 2 p.m., where we had the morning to take our time getting ready and to chill before our long day. We started our day off by going to the Charleston City Market, where we walked through these open buildings at tiny shops where people were selling anything from handmade items to jewelry to clothing to food. It is super similar to the French Quarter in New Orleans. We spent some time trying to find T-shirts and sweatshirts and other various souvenirs.
We then went to Waterfront Park where we saw the Pineapple Fountain and looked out into the harbor. The fountain was another photo op, and we looked hella cute. Next, we walked to Rainbow Row. This is an entire street where the houses are painted in vibrant colors with fun doors. Again, another photo op. We all looked cute as we chose houses that accented the colors in our clothing.
We stopped to eat dinner at a place called TBonz Bar and Grille. We wanted to go somewhere fancier one of the nights, so we all dressed up in dresses, rompers, and nicer clothes for this dinner. It was fun walking through the city in a fancier outfit. Afterward, we walked back to the car and just chilled there for a little. We changed into better walking clothes because our night was not over yet. We took a trip to the second largest Forever 21 and at 9:30, we went on our second tour: a ghost tour of Charleston.
On the tour, we learned about several ghosts that live in the city and we got to walk through a graveyard. Which was super creepy and the six of us were terrified. We all held hands and made sure to keep close because we were really scared, and it was pitch black out. We managed to get back to our home for the week at a little past midnight and we quickly showered and went to bed as we had an 11-hour drive to make the next day.
In only six days, I not only got to experience a brand-new city, but I also got to experience it with my friends. Sure, we had some small squabble about stupid things, but nothing too serious. We all bonded on this trip and it definitely brought us closer. It also really pushed me out of my comfort zone as I had never been on a trip longer than three hours without my parents before. It was definitely a new experience, and I loved every minute about it.
And where most people go away for spring break to get drunk every night and party until the am, we had a total of like 10 drinks that only four people drank. But we didn't anything other than each other's company and "Disney" movies to occupy our time. This spring break definitely turned out to be one for the books!