Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Magnolia Plantation to Downtown Charleston

It was great sleeping last night without an added quilt on the bed, and without the furnace running. Moving south was a good idea. We did run the heater this morning to take the chill off, but then it warmed up to be a nice day.

After some discussion with Dortha and Mark, we decided to visit nearby Magnolia Plantation first today. I had no idea what to expect since this is our fist visit to this part of the country. The only plantation I really know anything about is Tara from "Gone with the Wind".

Just a short drive from the rv park is this lovely old plantation, still owned by the Drayton family, as it has been since it was founded in 1676. Through wars, hurricanes, earthquakes and family tragedies, this plantation has survived. It has the oldest gardens open to the public. We arrived and purchased tickets for a tram tour and a house tour as well as the grounds and gardens.

This is the third house built, one was destroyed by fire, the second was burned in the Civil War.

On the tram tour, we got to see some, wildlife, including this great white egret:

I think if I was one of those turtles, I wouldn't be so eager to hang out near this alligator!

We stopped for a picture while we walked the gardens:

Spanish moss hanging everywhere:

Even though there weren't a lot of flowers, we did see some:

Beautiful trees and ponds:

And bridges: More flowers:

And more trees and ponds:

We spent about 4 hours here and finally decided we were getting hungry. We all decided we'd like to go downtown for awhile, so we found a Ruby Tuesday's on the way so Dortha and I could have a good salad. After our late lunch, we drove across the Ashley River and headed through downtown Charleston.

This certainly isn't one of the most attractive buildings in the city, but it does house the market and we were in the mood to do some shopping:

Dortha and I have had our eye on the local artisans' Sweetgrass Baskets, which are made only in this area. The origin of the baskets were African slaves who brought the skill of basketweaving with them. The men were primary basket weavers during the time of slavery. They were used in rice processing. After emancipation, women became the primary weavers and soon baskets were being made for sale. Dortha and I picked out the same style and got a discount on them:

One last flower as we headed back to the car after our shopping excursion:

Back home for a quiet evening in. Tomorrow, more adventure awaits!


Randy and Terry said...

We went to the Magnolia Plantation, too, when we were in Charleston in 2007. It was wonderful walking around the grounds.

Joe and Sherri said...

There is another Plantation home where Gone With the Wind and North and South was filmed. We went to it and it was really nice. Not sure of the name but it is up the coast from Charleston.