Friday, July 6, 2012

I'm in love with Charleston, part two

We started our second day, June 29th, with breakfast on the back porch of our bed & breakfast. The Barksdale House Inn cooked up a lovely breakfast every day we were there, and we came to look forward to our early morning meals on the porch.

When we were planning our trip, I told Kate that one thing I really wanted to see was a plantation house somewhere out in the country. I also wanted it to have one of those really impressive drives with a "tree tunnel" dripping with Spanish moss. Drayton Hall proved to be just the place.

Kate's friend Trish works at Drayton Hall and treated us to a private tour. The interesting thing about Drayton Hall is that it's preserved, not restored. I'd never seen a home like this. The preservation team makes sure the home is structurally sound and not falling apart, but they have no plans to "gussy it up". Very cool to see. This is surely one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen.

{a signing uncovered on the fireplace surround...the date is July 4, 1824} 

 {all hand-carved}

{hand-carved mahogany swags} 

{Drayton family growth chart...even though the Draytons no longer own the home, they are still able to come in and mark the height of their little Draytons on this chart}

{not sure why this one appeals to me so much, but I absolutely love it}

{In my highly self-critical opinion, this is one of the best pictures I've ever taken. In love.}

 {I was excited to take a picture of this real, Lowcountry swamp. As I turned to walk away, I stepped on what I thought was solid ground...}

{...which led to this...which led to a pit stop at the bathroom where I, while wearing a dress, had to wash my foot in a sink. My middle name should be Grace.}

To escape the 417 degree temperatures for a bit, we ate a wonderful lunch at the Sunflower Cafe. We then drove out to the Angel Oak on Johns Island, another of my "must-sees". I have always wanted to see one of those towering, Southern live oak trees with the branches that seem to go on for miles. Enter, the Angel Oak:

 {the only picture Kate and I took together the entire trip...I need to get WAY better about stepping out from behind the camera and getting in front of it!}

Absolutely spectacular. If you're ever in the Charleston area, you must go see this tree. I promise, it's worth it!

Kate and I drove back to Charleston and met her friends Jossy, Trish, and Amelia for happy hour at Fleet Landing, right on the harbor. I enjoyed getting to spend time with Kate's grad school friends. I'd heard so much about them over the last few years that I felt like I already knew them!

After two pomegranate martinis and nearly three hours of nonstop chatter, we were in need of some food. Jossy, Kate, and I had supper on the porch at Cru Cafe. My goat cheese salad and fried brie with fig compote was ridiculously good. Like, I had to just stop talking for a few minutes to become one with my food...that good.

Since the temperature had dropped 200 degrees after the sun went away, Kate and I opted to walk back to our bed & breakfast. She took me through some of the more quiet residential streets in Charleston, and I was still in awe of the beauty all around me. Simply gorgeous.

Good thing we got plenty of sleep this night, because the next day brought more activity than we had ever envisioned!

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