I had been looking forward to my trip to Charleston for MONTHS. I spent hours researching restaurants, tourist attractions, shopping and plantations. I counted down the days and heard from everyone I talked to how much I’d fall in love with it. I have to say, it definitely lived up to the hype. Unfortunately from a photography standpoint, Charleston weather wasn’t very nice to me. I stepped off of the plane to sunny skies and gorgeous clouds, took about 10 steps, and the rain started. It would let up here and there for small stretches at a time, during which I would snap feverishly. Then the rain would start and I’d tuck my sweet camera away and just enjoy the sites in peace. My poor lenses took a beating, lots of water & fog being wiped away (she’s definitely gotta get shipped in to Canon for cleaning). But I guess it was a bit of a blessing in disguise. I ended up just enjoying my little girls’ getaway and doing some much needed R&R.
The first stop I made was to the Middleton Place. Since it was a Friday at 2pm there wasn’t a soul around. It was before my friend, Alyssa, landed so I ventured out on my own. I have to say it was really quite a perfect start to my relaxing weekend away. Again, I’d walk the grounds in total awe, snapping away, then those pesky clouds would hover and I’d get dumped on. It actually turned out to be the perfect place to get caught in the rain. The massive live oak trees served as fantastic umbrellas, and the raindrops rustling in the trees and water all around was very serene. I’d run to cover, and sit below the tree just soaking it all in. This was my first experience with the live oaks dripping in Spanish moss. To say these trees were breathtaking is an understatement. I was a little bummed I didn’t have Alyssa with me so I could have a scale to show you how insanely large these trees were. And one crazy trunk had a warped piece of wood that I thought looked like a ghost.
I think the word to describe Middleton place was green. So much greenery, between the trees, lush grass and swamps covered in algae and moss, it was a green attack. The next day I was SUPER pumped to get away from the monotone and into Rainbow Row. An entire area of town where each house is a bright vivid color?! Have you seen my artwork? It’s a color addict’s paradise. We took a Palmetto horse carriage ride that included a small historical tour. I wasn’t paying much attention to it as I was in awe of the sites. And I was THAT person who was reaching my head out of the covered trailer to try and get a good shot of the gorgeous architecture.
I did listen long enough to learn that this stunning white mansion with vivid blue door (ring a bell anyone??) was actually a wedding gift from a grandmother to a grandchild. My nana clearly has some catching up to do.
I also have to mention my two nerdy freak out stops. One of which was the Calhoun mansion which was the scene of Aly’s home in the movie The Notebook. We also visited the Boone Hall Plantation, which was her summer home in the film as well. We finally were able to hop out of our carriage just in time to snap a few windowsills and homes before (you guessed it), the heavens decided to open up for day TWO of raining on Jess’s photography parade.
Talk about curb appeal. I don’t even have windows like this, but it immediately made me want to added flower window boxes to the front of my home.
So I know I have my adorable no soliciting sign on my front door, but when I saw this it made me think I should make one like this. It just seems so much more dignified. And to the point.
Enter, pouring rain. So we decided to drink copious amounts of wine and shop our way through the city with umbrellas. Just as the day was winding down we saw there was a break in the weather so we made our way to Mt. Pleasant to the Boone Hall Plantation. Yes, the home from the Notebook (Aly’s summer home, lots of Ryan Gosling make out sessions) and location of the most insanely beautiful drive-up entry ever. I have two live oaks in my front yard, and it made me want to plant Spanish moss in them and let their limbs grow until they touch the ground. I really wanted a shot of the house at the end of the long driveway but there was a wedding being set up and the trucks and tables and chairs blocked the whole front entry of the house. There was this amazing black rod iron gate that opened up to the home. It was so ornate and grand, I wish I could have seen it in all it’s glory without catering trucks blocking it. I’m telling you, this trip was not feeling my photographic wishes.
Just as we were getting in our cars from the Boone Hall, you guessed it, the rain came back for the remainder of the evening. Determined to cram in just a little more outdoors I got up early Sunday morning before my flight and high tailed it to Folly Beach. I took approximately a 20 minute walk, just enough to feel the sand beneath my toes and snap a few shots of the beautiful skies I’d been waiting to see all weekend.
After my short stroll I hopped back in the car to cram one final destination into my trip before heading back to the airport. This time I went to the Magnolia plantation. Have you ever even heard of a town with more gardens and plantations in your life? Me either. All 3 were unique and, with the exception for the live oaks in abundance, they had a different feel and story of their own. If I had to sum up the Magnolia planation in one word, I’d say bridges. They really dig bridges, of all colors and sizes. They were everywhere. I’m only posting a few from that spot, but trust me, bridges bridges everywhere.