Amazing Grocery Stores – Appreciating Charleston

On day 2 of appreciating Charleston, I began by thinking of the lovely scenery and maybe I would write something about that. Then it hit me, this place has amazing grocery stores!

When I was living in Florida, I became spoiled with Publix. Publix had everything, and the prices were really good! No matter what I wanted, Publix served it up! You can imagine my distress, then, whereupon landing in Charleston, I realized I did not have a Publix near me. Fortunately, there is one down the street from one of my jobs, so I can still get my fix weekly.

It has only been over time that Charleston has offered up these amazing stores to my consciousness. It began with the realization that there was a Trader Joe’s about 15 minutes away from me. I had always heard of Trader Joe’s, spoken about in half whispers, almost like a treasured secret to share. Sadly, I had never had the honor of visiting one. let me just say, Trader Joe’s is all that is promised and more! They have amazing food from all over the world, organic products, high-quality offerings, and incredible prices! I love this place!

The next amazing grocery store that I found was Earth Fare. I have to travel about 25 minutes to get to this place, so I don’t get to visit as often as I do Trader Joe’s, but it is another amazing store. I found this place when I was visiting my honey. He lived right down the street from it. They offer many of the same things that Trader Joe’s does, with a real focus on healthy foods and organic products. They are a bit pricier, but they have a great rewards program, so it is easy to find deals.

My sweetheart was the one who introduced me to Lidl. He is German and was excited to find a German store here locally. He particularly loved this place because they sell his bread. Apparently, American bread – particularly white bread, does not actually qualify as bread to the Germans. It is too soft and sweet. Lidl sells the dark German sourdough bread, and he was in heaven. I would regularly swing by there on the way to his place to pick up a loaf for him. Lidl also has some amazingly low prices, but they are not a cheap place at all. They also offer high-quality products.

Another German import is Aldi. I had heard about them from time to time, but they were never really on my radar. I finally had the opportunity to check this place out. They are known as a discount chain, but I would hardly consider them cheap quality. I found great prices on my mineral water and favorite cheeses. In looking them up to link for this post, I also just discovered that they own Trader Joe’s! I swear, I did not mean to turn this into a post of all things German, but they do an excellent job with grocery stores, apparently!   

So, there it is. Charleston has some great grocery stores. I have a feeling that will be one thing I miss when I am living the island life. I suppose I will need to renew my Amazon Prime membership to get my favorite products shipped to me. I’m already building my wishlist!


Wannamaker State Park – Appreciating Charleston

For my first day of appreciating Charleston, I decided to revisit Wannamaker State Park.

The reason was perhaps a bit subconscious at first, but it was where my darling and I would spend our Sunday mornings going for nature walks. He has been on my mind a lot, lately, and it was sweet and sad to revisit the trails that we once walked together.

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Wannamaker is a lovely little park near the Charleston Southern University in North Charleston. My sweet man had purchased an annual pass last year, and when it expired, I did the same. I love going to the beach, and the pass has long since paid for itself. With that said, the price of admittance is only $2. There is a dog park, a water park, playgrounds, picnic areas and a giant lake, but my favorite is the long, winding nature trails through the woods.

It is always such a treat to find these treasures as I am walking along. I can’t help but feel like I have wandered into a fairy realm.


When my man and I would wander down these paths, we were often silent, holding hands, me looking at the sky and the way the green of the trees contrasted with the blue of the sky. He would be searching the ground for little critters like this guy.

It was easy for my imagination to take me to a fantasy land of fairies and elves. I would be enchanted by the butterflies dancing along the breeze. The chattering antics and acrobatics of the squirrels were always amusing.

The moments I enjoyed best, though, were when I would stumble upon a deer. Today, I was fortunate enough to run into a herd of about 5 of them. I know they were as startled by me as I was by them, but it was a magical treat. I’m so happy I went back there.

Overall, day one of appreciating Charleston went well. I am happy that I will bring lovely memories with me when I leave. I’m glad I decided to do this, and I look forward to what I will cover next.

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I love the contrast of the green moss against the tree.


Do you see the deer hiding in the trees?
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I walked up on several does that were grazing. They kept staring at me as I was staring back.
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The red berry was just so pretty!
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My favorite game is to try to spy the fairies hiding in the little holes of the trees.


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The bright red splash of color is always startling and welcome!
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The bark of this tree grew strangely. I tried to see what must have shaped it as it grew to make such a squared look.
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Another view of the tree.
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Another portal to the fairy realm

Saying Goodbye to Charleston

Saying Goodbye to Charleston

My time in Charleston is finally coming to an end. It has been a time of joy, of pain, of healing, of love and of personal growth and transformation.

Coming home is always bittersweet. I suppose I needed a place to recover and reset my life. In so many ways, I am nothing like the person I used to be, and yet, I will always be me. Through my trials and the relationships that I have developed here, I have grown in new and unexpected ways.

I have just about a month left before boarding a flight to my new adventure. I know that Charleston will always be here if I need her, but I am ready to move on. Whether this next place is my final destination is unknown. I have discovered that all of life is transient and impermanent, and that is ok.

There are so many places I want to see. There are still adventures to be had. I have learned to be comfortable with uncertainty, and know that life will unfold as it is meant to.

In the few weeks that I have left here, I plan to find something to savor and appreciate about Charleston every day. For so long, I fought against it, and could only appreciate parts of it through the veil of my dissatisfaction. So, Charleston, I will give you the respect that you deserve.

I’m closing here, so I may venture out and find something to love about this place.

The Value of Being Selfish

If I have learned nothing over the past year, and particularly in the last 6 months, it is the value of defining your own identity and crafting your own life. Having a partner is a wonderful thing, but you must have your own identity independent of them. A partner does not complete you, a partner enhances, complements and enriches your life.

Many people are too willing to give up who they are for the sake of a relationship. When they lose their sense of adventure and joy in life, they wonder what happened. Their partner wonders what happened to the amazing person they fell in love with. Do not fall into this trap. Embrace and love yourself.