The Secret Garden…Day 3 of Charleston

Day 3 of our Charleston trip started out with our sights set on seeing a real plantation. Until we realized how pricey seeing these things were! One plantation charged a base price of $25 for one adult just to see the grounds, that didn’t include seeing the actual house! So, we went a little further down the road, to Middleton Place. They still charged to see the house and still charged $25 buck-a-roos to see the grounds. But seeing as how we weren’t too keen on driving around all day, and the admission did include a tour of the gardens and stable yards we bit the bullet and shelled over the $50. (The Bubs and I are a little cheapskate-y at times.)

The grounds were beautiful, I wouldn’t say they were worth the $25 each, but they were still enjoyed by all…

There were birds…

And pretty statues…

This one reminded me of the cherubs from Night at the Museum 2, I kept expecting them to break into boy band song. (mmmBop anyone?)

Aside from all the statues and monuments, they had a giant Great Oak…

The trunk was nearly as big as my livingroom, ok, maybe it wasn’t that big, but it was still pretty dang large. Here’s Bubba standing next to it for scale…

The branches were so heavy, they had to be supported to keep from falling over…

Since we didn’t pay the extra $12 a piece to see inside the house, I at least had to take a picture of the outside.

Of course, this isn’t the original plantation house that was first developed in the late 17th century. This house was occupied by Middleton decedents during the 1920’s, if I had taken the tour I could probably tell you more interesting tidbits. But if you are interested, please visit the Middleton Place website here.

Here is what remains of the original mansion…

Between being set on fire during the Civil War and an earthquake there really isn’t much of original house.

But boy did it have a nice view of the river…

There were a few out buildings we could enter, this one is where they processed rice. (The cash crop at Middleton Place was once rice, before it became tourism.)

I loved the old windows…

The grounds were so beautiful they deserve to be mentioned again…

I couldn’t believe the amount of butterflies that fluttered around the joint…

After marveling at the butterfly population we mosied on over to visit the farm animals…

Where we found this friendly goat who insisted that the grass really was greener on the other side.

And this happy duck who cheerfully quacked his way around the yard…

Check out this birdie apartment complex…

There was also an old house that used to house slaves and later former slaves.The last occupant lived there from her birth in 1891 until her death in 1986. The house is called Eliza’s House in her honor. In the house is an exhibit that includes nearly 2600 names of slaves that served at Middleton place in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was quite a compelling exhibit, and this seems to be the only photo I took.

After wandering around the plantation grounds a bit more, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed back downtown to ohh and ahh over some of the architecture of these old and historic buildings.

(Never mind the garbage can, it was a crowed busy street, I did the best I could.)

There were so many churches…

With old cemeteries…

(Maybe we should have named Annie-dog Mary-Annie Dog)

And this secret garden, I loved the stone work used for the driveway.

And finally, this shot of the restaurant where we had the yummy french toast.

After visiting busy downtown, we made one final visit to the beach at sunset. Said goodbye to the sandy shore and roaring ocean, watched a couple become engaged, and marveled at the starry night, as we searched for our car once again.

Our trip to Charleston was so much fun, I’d do it again in heartbeat. But next time I would stay a little closer to town. We ended up staying in North Charleston, which we thought was just the northern part of Old Charleston but turned out to be an entirely different town nearly 20 miles away from where we wanted to be. So, each day required a rather lengthy car ride just to get to the tourist spots. I would also, plan ahead. When we arrived in Charleston we thought we knew what we wanted to see, but once there we couldn’t find any of the attractions. Just poor planning on our part I suppose.

But all in all, a great trip. It was nice to come home though, isn’t that the best part of leaving, the coming back?

Put a ring on it…Day 2 of Charelston

In this post I showed you what the Bubs and I did on day 1 of our get-a-way to Charleston.  Today, let’s re-visit what happened on day 2…

We got a late start on day 2, so we only had the afternoon to tourist around Charleston. We started out at the Citadel, a military college right smack in the middle of town.

Apparently it was a big weekend for the cadets, as the ring ceremony was to be held the following day. There were parents and family of cadets milling about everywhere. Especially around this…

Yes, it’s a giant class ring. I’m not sure who donated it, but I do know that it was made out of the same materials as the actual rings that the cadets receive. The giant ring has a place of honor right at the entrance of the Citadel. See those empty spaces where a year would go? Those will be changed out whenever they have a graduation or a special former cadet pays a visit to his or her alma mater.

Around the parade grounds were displayed several flying objects that I found pretty cool…

Here’s Bubba to give you a better idea of how big these things were…

They also had a tank, for some reason it reminded me of my mom’s car…

Except her car isn’t painted green with white stars…

Aside from cool things that go boom, they also had a really pretty chapel. I couldn’t get enough of the stained glass.

Then we visited the museum on campus, after reading all the placards and looking at all the pictures, I took a photo of this fireplace. But isn’t the stone work pretty?

After grabbing  a couple of sandwiches and some sweet tea at the snack bar, we went to the beach again.

Here’s proof that not only my feet were there…

I still can’t believe I talked him into taking his shoes off in public! He refused to take them off at the car, but insisted on taking shoes and socks off once in the sand, hence the plastic bag.

We happened to be there at the perfect glowy-est time of day…

Being the house crazed gal I am I couldn’t resist capturing a few of the coastal houses as Bubba and I searched for the car. We later learned that each public beach access is numbered. So you must take note of which access you entered.

Check out the screened in porch on this sucker. I’ve never seen a bi-level porch before.

Upon finding the car, we got wonderfully lost again and came upon a sweet country road next to a marsh. There were lots of dog walkers, and everyone said hello. And may have looked at me funny for taking a picture of their road. But look, they have trees!

And a pretty marsh…

After finding our way back to town, we grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant downtown called Toast. It was by far the best meal we’d had since arriving in Charleston. If  I hadn’t been so hungry I would have stopped my noshing to take a picture of my steak sandwich and Bubba’s French Toast. But dinner was too good be bothered with putting my fork down to shoot a few foodie shots.

With our tummies full and our minds set on exploration, we walked around downtown. But again, I didn’t take one single shot of our night time exploring. It was nice to just sit back and enjoy the moment.  And enjoy I did, I didn’t realize how different the South would be compared to the SouthWEST. For instance we came across, a man playing the trumpet in front of a grand looking office building, it was quite romantic. We also came across some pretty awesome houses, I can’t believe they’ve been standing for so long. But you’ll see those later when I cover what we saw on day 3 of our trip to Charleston. Relax, we were only there for 3 full days, so the next installment of April’s virtual vacation slide show will be the last.

Hope you enjoy!!!