Sunday, April 4, 2010


Established in the late 1600's, Charleston has survived attacks by France, Spain & Native Americans; survived the American Revolution and the Civil War to become an icon of Old Southern Culture. It has even survived a 7.5 earthquake!! Yep, earthquake! In August 1886! If the church steeple in the above photo looks crooked, it is. Not our photography. It tilted during the earthquake and serves as a reminder of that day. Having lived in California and through more than a few earthquakes, I can't even imagine what people thought that day in 1886...

We spent a couple of hours riding in a mule drawn carriage winding up and down old streets oohing and ahhing at all the beautiful old homes. Most graced with large porches and incredible wrought-iron work. One house prettier than the last!! Of course, the prices reflect their history and beauty. Some were built for hundreds of thousands of dollars back in the 1800's! Pricey then and even more so today!

Afterwards we strolled the old area around the Straw Market and had a nice dinner at a corner pub. Nice day! Liked Charleston!! Would go back and spend longer.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


What a beautiful place! We spent hours and it still wasn't time enough! At one time (pre-Civil War) it was a large, grand 3 building manse. Then, General Sherman started his march through the South. Some of his troops spent the night on February 22, 1865; looted and burned all but one of the flank houses. The family restored the remaining flanker house and lived in it until modern times. Many, many items on display are actual family items that have found their way "home". Of course, the outstanding thing about Middleton Place is its gardens. Absolutely breathtaking! And, the day of our visit, they were resplendent with Spring blooms and color - crepe myrtle, camellias, azaleas, flowers. Just amazing!! Oh, the Middleton Oak - 85 feet tall with a circumference of over 37 feet and one limb that spreads out for 145 feet! Magnificent! It was designated a "Constitution Tree" in 1989. The plantation is located on Ashley River and, from the rolling front lawn, has a sweeping view of the river. Lots of water features - reflection pool, butterfly lakes, etc. Just don't stick your toe in!! Not just pretty swans swimming there. Alligators!! Yep, alligators! We have to go back... just have to!!