adventure, Charleston views, exploring new places, flowers, gardens, history, Just do it, learning, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Middleton Place…

When I told my Uber driver that I was planning to go to Magnolia Plantation he immediately said that I should go to Middleton Place. I have friends who would have planned ahead and learned some of the history of both of these places, which of course I didn’t do. Middleton Place was every bit as beautiful as the day before, possibly because the two gardens are only a few miles apart and full of azaleas. This is the country’s oldest landscaped garden, is what the brochure said, and it’s also a National Historic site.

Welcome to Middleton Place.
Landscaped paths, but which way to go?
I affectionately dubbed this Swan Lake, though the brochure calls it the reflection pond.
More paths, definitely landscaped.
Do I know them? No, but she was cute…
I was surprised to see that you open the gate and walk into the sheep’s territory. I was looking at this live oak before I noticed the sheep, but I took the picture before I realized how many more sheep, and live oaks, I’d see.
Maybe I’ll go this way.
If I got the story straight this is the Wood Nymph, and it’s the only statue that survived the Civil War, and it survived because they buried it to keep it safe.
After a while I have no idea where I am, I just explore the view.
A couple spent a long time trying to point this alligator out to me, but I didn’t notice it until I walked a little further along the path. I suspect it’s not real, it’s too perfect. And I remember an incident where my friend and I went out of our way to take pictures of swans that turned out to be made of plastic. The swan in this post is most decidedly real, just sayin’.
The Middleton Oak. It is estimated to be between 900-1000 years old. Three major limbs have had to be removed. That it was allowed to remain in an otherwise formal garden setting was most unusual for the times. The signage said that this oak served as a trail marker for Indians long before our country was founded.
All that remains of the main house. The paved path at the top of the stairs marks the central hallway of the house that was in burned by Union troops in 1865, and then leveled by the Great Earthquake of 1886.
A wedding would take place here later on. What a great venue.
The views never end.
I couldn’t choose the best view.
Beauty everywhere.
Weavers in action.
I took a close up picture of the House Museum, but I liked this view better.
This little boy told me that his father taught him that if you approach a kitty slowly and put your hand out then he’ll know you are his friend.
My last picture of the day. I might have gotten excited to see the horse and not paid attention to where I was walking, or not, but either way no harm was done.

I hope there will be many more visits to this area in the future because both of these gardens deserve another visit or two, and there is more to see in the area also. I bought a tee shirt in the gift shop that says Middleton Place, because that is/was my kids’s last name, and it was mine for 10 years or so. I mentioned that to the clerk and she asked if I was a descendant, if I had said I was I wonder if I’d have gotten a discount…

adventure, birds, butterflies, Charleston views, exploring new places, flowers, fun, gardens, making memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens…

The last time I was in Charleston missed the turn into my cousin’s development, but that meant I drove right past this gem of a place. I knew I’d want to visit when I came back this time. It was founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, and consequently endured and survived our county’s history as the country was born, and as it struggled with the American Revolution as well as the Civil War. It’s said to be the oldest public garden in the county, opening in 1870, and continuing today.

The beautiful wisteria caught my eye when I arrived.
And this bench was a pretty sight also.
But the peacocks were calling me. You could hear them throughout the garden, so I went to the little zoo before I went exploring.
Nature does provide us with beautiful creatures.
Three of them were strutting their stuff, but this gal didn’t seem to be impressed.
Come walk with me.
Such a pretty view.
I loved this pond with it’s beautiful reflections.
And this red bridge with cascades of flowers dripping from it.
I took so many pictures of this bridge.
Come around a bed in the path and you come upon another pretty scene.
I thought of ‘Tiptoe through the tulips’,except they are azaleas. They really were a little past their prime, but still so amazingly beautiful.
You might need a rest by now.
There was a $20 charge for the gardens, in which I walked 2 1/2 miles. But for an extra charge you might want to tour the house, or take this boat tour, or walk the Audubon swamp tour, and/or more. I can return once more using my ticket, so I want to go back, but I don’t know which tour I want to choose.
There were lots of these fat bumble bees around, and I was happy to see them since they’ve seemed scarce anywhere I’ve been lately. And they gave me a reason to concentrate on the flowers themselves.
This was a very long distance shot from the wildlife observation tower. The horses were the only wildlife I saw.
The family tomb.
Another pretty path to lure you in. I’m sure I missed more paths than I actually walked.
And after walking paths with lots of helpful signage, I eventually was off by myself, on paths with no signage, and hopefully not lost, but I found a butterfly…

I’ve hardly put a dent in the pictures I took today. It was a good day.

'scene' along the way, adventure, boats, exploring new places, finding my way, fun, Just do it, learning, making memories, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, weather

Riding the water taxi…

Eventually I realized that the cars weren’t just driving up and road and revving their engines, they were leaving, the cars and coffee event was over. But the water taxi was due to arrive in a half hour or so, and I figured that a round trip on the river might be a fun thing to do before I headed home. You can ride for the day, and get off and on all you’d like, which I’ll have to do another time so that I can explore the stops along the river. I had to google most of this information because I have realized that I know next to nothing about Tampa. But I know more now than I did before I rode the river.

This is the Howard W. Blake high school and it sits right across the river from the Armature Works where I first boarded the water taxi. What a location. This high school has a strong academic program with an emphasis on the arts.
On a photo walk a couple of years ago a ‘beer can building’ was pointed out to me. I think this is it!
Henry B. Plant built this fabulous building as The Tampa Bay Hotel in the 1880s. It had 511 rooms, and all were electrified by by Thomas Edison himself. It was to be a palace to go with his railroad empire, but the Great Depression eventually led to the property being sold to the city of Tampa, and a rent of $1/year is still being paid today. At least I think that’s what the taxi operator said.
The American Victory Ship and Museum is one of only 4 WWII ships still in operation. During the war it supplied troops and supplies wherever they were needed by all branches of the service.
The guide said that this port usually looks like an airport terminal with cruise ships lined up at the docks here.
The time to see the Jose Gasparilla is at night with the sails unfurled.
If you want ride the water taxi to all of it’s stops you must change boats here.
This sculpture is called The Form of Wander, and is supposed to represent trees overhead.
T’cars and coffee’ ampa hosts rowing teams from universities in color climates, and they are encouraged to add their artwork here along the river, in honor if their schools

The clouds seemed to be on the verge of breaking up, or so I told myself as I rode the taxi. But it was still a pretty day to be out on the water.

adventure, Charleston views, exploring new places, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, weather

Folly Beach…

The next stop on my Charleston mini-tour took me to Folly Beach. After investigating the area and discovering that you must walk a path to get a view of the Morris Island lighthouse I got myself some lunch, which included having a beer, which tasted SO good after all the wind and blowing sand I’d experienced so far that day. After that I found a place to park for beach access, but the kiteboarders and their colorful kites proved too much to resist, so my first stop was the beach.

I attempted to walk onto the beach but the blowing sand was relentless and I wanted to protect the camera as well as myself. So I shot from the top of the beach access platform.
The dogs didn’t appear to mind the wind and sand, they just wanted her to throw that ball.
He is such a tiny figure in the shot if I include his kite. I wasn’t so sure that that rough surf looked like fun.
If you try hard you can see him in this shot. At one point a gust of wind blew him way up in the air, but it brought a wall of sand with it and I got a picture of a sandstorm and nothing else.
And then came the walkway. The restaurant server told me about the artwork on the path. I think you could spend a day just reading the notes and messages, but I still hadn’t seen the lighthouse.
Finally, the Morris Island light.
Driftwood on the beach proved to be the perfect foreground for some photos. I wonder if it was there just naturally.
A natural frame.
I could zoom with the lens if not with my feet.

I wonder how many more lovely things there are to see in Charleston? Guess I’ll have to go back and see…

a second look, Charleston views, exploring new places, finding my way, following the rules, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, weather

A waterfront park and a lighthouse…

Lucky for me Charleston’s lovely waterfront park was just at the end of the block where I had found parking when I first arrived. It was very pretty out, though quite windy, but people didn’t seem to mind. I walked along the park to the pier, and I would eventually find myself traveling over the Ravenel Bridge, twice, before my tour ended that day. As I walked I took pictures of the view.

Holding the camera steady against the ‘breeze’ was a challenge.
I would have loved to sit and swing a while, but the meter was running. Parking meter.
And here you see the Pineapple Fountain, you can probably figure out how it got it’s name.
Not sure what this building houses…
The distant view as I was walking away.
Then I was back to walking on Rainbow Row..
Such a cute Froggie, I would have loved to have sat down on the bench with him and had a drink, but alas, it wasn’t 5 o’clock yet, or even noon.
These ladies at the custom House caught my eye. But I was back to the car and I decided to ask the GPS where I could find a lighthouse.
The GPS deposited me here, in a residential neighborhood with no signage, but it said I had arrived. I was on private property when took this picture through the shrubs.
And then I saw this little walkway and decided to see if it gave me a better view.
It did.
A close up.
And the beach was lovely, but the wind was picking up the sand and it wasn’t pleasant enough to stick around. Besides, I had another lighthouse to find, and I was starving, and I decided that a beer would really hit the spot!

To be continued…

'scene' along the way, connections, family, finding my way, fun, Just do it, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Rainbow Row…

With expanded family now in Charleston, SC I will probably be dropping in from time to time. Which is what I did the last couple of days, and I took a day for photo ops, of course. I knew I’d love the architecture, and the over-all feel of the city, and I did. This was a first of what I hope will be many trips to this area, there is so much more to see. And friends who live nearby to (hopefully) visit. Planning ahead isn’t my strong suit, but I’ll be working on it.

Finding a place to park was a challenge, and if I had wanted to I could have rented one of these bikes to tour the city. I remembered now old I am and decided against it though.
Cobblestones look so charming, is what I always thought. Walking on them is another story all together though.
My very first view of Rainbow Row included this horse and carriage. I was hooked on the city already.
I tried another angle for photos in order to avoid the dumpsters that are present in the feature photo, but then I noticed the trash cans.
I had parked a block away from the waterfront park, so I walked there while I had time on my meter.
The Ravenel Bridge is a landmark that connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. My guess is that there is a more scenic view of the bridge from some other vantage point.