Ever since my parents moved down to South Carolina three years ago, I have been obsessed with a the small neighboring town of Port Royal. This is a magical place where small town charm has remained intact completely.
When you drive the streets of Port Royal, you enter a time machine. The gas station, the barber shop, the old BBQ shack and the houses of Paris Avenue all make you feel as if you have entered a parallel universe. You could easily feel the need to throw on a hoop skirt and a cardigan and ask the nearest local where you could find a counter to sit for a milkshake. That is all said not to belittle the magic of the town, but rather to praise the people who have preserved everything so beautifully over the years as Port Royal has indeed seen its share of action over the years.
For those of you that are movie buffs, you may recognize the port of Port Royal from the hurricane scene in Forrest Gump. If you are a history buff, you’ll appreciate that in 1863, the Emancipation Proclaimation was read for the first time in Port Royal under the Proclaimation tree on Christmas day. For easy beach loungers, you’ll love that the beach on Port Royal is a drive up and park type of establishment. You drive up to the beach and unload right on the sand. This takes tailgating to a whole new level.
While I am partial to Paris Ave in Port Royal, it’s London Ave has a special place in my heart, as you can imagine. The houses on these side streets in the Old Village are quite simply spectacular. There are houses begging for new life, where the rocking chairs are covered with ivy and the front steps have long ago rotted away to nearly nothing. You can’t help but see the southern grandeur in each and every space, despite the way in which things have fallen in disrepair. But for every house needing a lick of paint, there are five that have been beautifully restored and beg for attention.
It’s now on my bucket list to own a house in Port Royal. I dream of lazy days in the sun listening the sounds of the south and letting the sun catch me sparingly under the spanish moss that floats in the breeze. London, you may have just lost this southern heart.
All Photos taken with the Olympus Pen E-P5.