A Southern Plantation

Middleton Place Gardens- all the oaks trees were just dripping with Spanish Moss.

Tyler and I visited two plantations in South Carolina and they were both great. I think our favorite was Boone Hall because the house tour was interesting and because the drive leading up to the plantation home is lined with huge, beautiful oak trees. The Avenue of the Oaks was actually one of my favorite things about our entire trip! It was so gorgeous and I still want to go walk down that lane and have a picnic everyday. I also liked that Boone Hall is still a working plantation and there is a farmers market next to the property where you can get whatever fruits and vegetables are in season, freshly picked from the farm that day. Boone Hall also has a large pecan (pee-can) grove, which was once the largest pecan grove in the world! Yummy!

The other plantation we visited was Middleton Place, which has huge beautiful garden and some flooded rice patties. It is also a working plantation and it had lots of farm animals as well as vegetation. The gardens were pretty, but the most exciting thing at Middleton Place was the wild gators swimming around....oh, and snakes. Cue Tyler:

We were walking along the water (top photo), and as I looked out over the water I noticed what I initially thought were a little set of eyes above the surface. I pointed them out to Kate, but we both assumed it was probably just a branch. I decided to throw a stick near it to see if it would react or if it really was just some inanimate object. It was a perfect throw--of course--that landed right in front of what turned out to be the alligator's mouth; it quickly lunged for the stick. The little guy--couldn't have been longer than 4 feet--started moving towards the shore slowly, and immediately Kate was no longer comfortable standing where we were. I proceeded to hear a lot of "Oh my gosh... oh my gosh... oh my gosh..." etc. We tried to get a picture as he came closer, but by the time I had calmed Kate down and convinced her we were in no immediate danger and then tried to get the right lens on the camera, it had disappeared into the reeds. We moved on.

We continued toward the end of the plantation and there happened to be another small pond. Excited from our previous experience I was all eyes for more fun lurking in the water. Sure enough there was another one. This one was easier to spot as it was larger and its eyes and parts of its back were showing above the surface. Again Kate: "Oh my gosh... oh my gosh... oh my gosh..." etc. Again me: "Let me throw a stick at it!" This time I wanted her to get the action shot right when it went for the stick. I threw, but this one didn't even flinch. It started to swim towards us, so we let it be.

As the map didn't show anymore water along our path I figured our fun for the day had ended. Just then as we were walking I hear--you guessed it--more "Oh my gosh... oh my gosh... oh my gosh..." etc. The difference was that as she stopped right in front of me she reached back and before I knew what we were stopping for she had this death grip on my forearm. You'd think my first thought would be to quickly scan our surroundings for whatever imminent danger befell us. Instead I was too busy being impressed by Kate's unexpected strength as she squeezed my arm. Finally, I interpreted her scared mutterings and gestures and looked under a nearby bush and saw a snake sitting still, looking at us. Needless to say we survived and passed on the other side of the path cautiously.

I found the whole experience amusing; Kate, not so much. Though she laughs about the experience now, let's just say she was less than happy any time I made a hissing, snake-like sound the rest of the trip.

Middleton Place- I like this brick wall that ran all throughout the property.

Middleton Place- Mr. Alligator

Middleton Place- the Wood Nymph.

Middleton Place- flooded rice paddies. I love the clouds!

Middleton Place- Tyler's really rocking the Trump hairdo.

Middleton Place

Middleton Place

Middleton Place- most of their farm animals were pretty normal and I'm still not sure why they had a couple of water buffalo. They definitely didn't do much.

Middleton Place- the barnyard. They had some adorable, muddy little piglets, but Tyler didn't love them as much as I did and vetoed their photo going on the blog :(

Avenue of the Oaks (Boone Hall)

Avenue of the Oaks (Boone Hall)- none of these photos do it justice, so you'll just have to trust me when I say it was gorgeous!!

Boone Hall- the old slave cabins.

Boone Hall

Avenue of the Oaks (Boone Hall)

Avenue of the Oaks (Boone Hall)

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