A Charleston Summer: 2015 Wrap-Up

What did you do this summer? Our summer was completely uneventful. I was even going to put the word "boring" in the title of this post, but honestly any summer spent in Charleston is a vacation to remember in my book. Everything is at your fingertips from the beach, the restaurants, shopping, museums, great local parks and even several local farms that offer organic produce.

I lived on a farm growing up, and I find that from time to time, I am nostalgic for the simple things that lifestyle offers. This summer, we decided to use more organic produce from Ambrose Farm, and even take a stab at growing our own herbs and veggies on our deck. Costco sold huge plastic barrels and bags of soil that made this work for us. I have seen people use aluminum water troughs as well, which have a real rustic look. But, we had to drag ours all the way to the second floor deck, so the plastic worked well. I just made a rookie mistake and forgot to punch holes in the bottom for drainage...oops! Figured that out after the first bout of rainy weather.  I really enjoyed caring for my "crops" all summer, and though I'm sad to say that we didn't have much success on producing many veggies, the herb garden was prolific. I think I'm going to start the herbs over for the Fall with different varieties. I might even do one barrel with lettuces! I used petunias for color for the summer, and will keep some of those for Fall, but add some cooler weather flowers in for a seasonal touch.

Pink Petunias in Charleston Summer 2015

Our Butterfly Bush is adjacent to the deck and was essential for attracting the bees we needed for pollination! I have anew appreciation for these guys!

Fresh Homegrown Herbs Charleston, South Carolina 2015

Fresh Homegrown Cucumbers Charleston, South Carolina 2015

Fresh Homegrown Cucumbers Charleston, SC Summer 2015

In the kitchen, I decided to try a cast iron grill pan. I have loved the Le Creuset version forever, but went with the less expensive Lodge version to get my feet wet on indoor grilling. Lesson here: do not use olive oil. It smokes at low temperatures and your smoke alarm will go off. These are organic squash and zucchini from Ambrose Farm.

Local Organic Zucchini Grilled Fresh on an Lodge Indoor Grill

Our little princess celebrated a birthday in June and my favorite mother-in-law came to visit and to help her celebrate!

Charleston, South Carolina Birthday Party Summer 2015 Publix Birthday Cake

June also saw an event that broke our hearts and changed our city forever. I was watching TV when the shooting happened and was glued to the story from that moment forward. Our family visited the memorial at the church a few nights after the shooting and the love in the air was almost tangible. We stood and sang hymns with church members and prayed for peace in their hearts. Later that week, we marched and stood side-by-side with thousands on the bridge to show the world what this beautiful city is really all about. It really was a life-altering event. 

Charleston, South Carolina Ravenel Bridge Unity Walk

Charleston, South Carolina Ravenel Bridge Unity Walk

Fourth of July was pretty quiet.

Riverfront Park North Charleston, SC

The rest of the break was spent at the pool, hitting Zia for Mexican food, or checking out some of the local parks. Riverfront Park in North Charleston is definitely worth a visit, but don't forget the kids' swimsuits for the water feature.

Riverfront Park North Charleston, South Carolina

Riverfront Park North Charleston, South Carolina

Don Holt Bridge Riverfront Park North Charleston, South Carolina

I have to say that I am excited for Fall this year. Bring on the cozy sweaters, boots, pumpkins and cooler weather!!! Most weekends, you'll find me out  "on the pitch" for soccer games.....what does Fall have in store for you?