Sweet Southern Spring Break - Charleston to Savannah (March 12, 2013)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
It was raining this morning, so we had trouble deciding if we were going to stick to our original plan for the day. We abbreviated it but decided to go to Boone Hall Plantation and Garden.

We headed out after a free, standard breakfast at the hotel.

Boone Hall is one of America's oldest working, living plantations continuously growing and producing crops for over 320 years. While ownership has changed hands over time, every owner seemed to care about keeping the plantation largely intact.

The original three wooden plantation homes (first one dating to 1790) were destroyed by fire, disaster, and Canadians respectively. Those same Canadians (Thomas Stone) replaced the wooden plantation home with the gorgeous mansion sitting on the property today in the 1930s. The McRae Family purchased the plantation in 1955 and began giving tours.

Tours take place on the first floor with the other floors still being used as a residence today. The house tour is definitely worthwhile. It was even featured as Allie's summer home in The Notebook.

When driving up to the home, you drive through the "Avenue of Oaks", nearly a mile of live oaks planted in 1743. You pass nine of the original slave cabins dating back to 1790-1810, a smoke house dating back to 1750, and the Cotton Gin house from 1853. Some of the buildings are undergoing serious repair.

We started with the house tour with a very good, fast-talking tour guide. The most strikingly sad part of the tour is a shopping list that is framed on a wall. Item number one is "one negro girl - $950" followed by other things they are buying from the store...flour, cloth, etc. It helps you understand just how little valued slaves were.

Boone Hall does have nine remaining slave cabins in a row in good repair. They were really unique cabins as they were made of brick. The brick was made at Boone Hall. These cabins were likely the homes of the most skilled slaves on the plantation. They likely had cramped wooden slave homes as well, but these, like most slave quarters, would not have weathered the elements.

We visited during high tide. The tour guide said later in the day all you'd see were high grasses. They have harnessed the power of the water for centuries for transport and - shockingly - even to generate their own electricity back in the 1930s.

We enjoyed a walk to the waterfront and peeking in the various buildings on property.

We went to the Gullah presentation on slave row and visited the displays in each cabin too.

The host of the Gullah presentation strolls down the lane.

We also walked around some parts of the garden - focusing on the cotton - before it started raining again and we decided to leave.

Lunch was an AMAZING place in Charleston called Jestine's. If you are ever near Charleston, stop here to eat. It was delicious! They are so serious about their food, they give full sized hand-towels as napkins.

Adam and I each got the meatloaf. The gravy the have with the meatloaf was unique and superb. Adam usually insists on having ketchup with everything, but he skipped the ketchup in favor of the gravy. That'll tell you how darn tasty it was.

Kris got the fried chicken. I got to try a bite, and I am not exaggerating when I say that this was the crispiest (yet non-greasy) and juiciest chicken ever. Kris was extraordinarily pleased with his meal.

As if we hadn't had enough, we had to get two pieces of the simply fantastic Coca-Cola cake they have on the menu. We could have licked the plates.

Across the street, we enjoyed seeing the local firehouse complete with Dalmatian statue.

Then we were off to the Angel Oak - a 400 year old massive tree.

Back on the road heading to Savannah, we hit up a pink and gray elephant in front of a fireworks store (strangely open for business).

When driving into Savannah to our Cottage A at Sanctuary Place, we saw the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.

We made it to our rental for the next three nights. Another winner found on AirBnB. The outside courtyard is pretty.

Built in the 1930's as a dining hall for the adjacent church, the cottage was remolded in the 1980s and was primarily student housing before being restored in 2010. In 2010, they started a restoration and remodel. The original floors were exposed and the base and window trim reworked to fit the period. New thresholds were built to accommodate new tile in the kitchen and bath and the units were reequipped with modern appliances, hardware and heating and air conditioning systems.

It's another place that I could definitely live in. All of the comforts of home and lots of space.

The Cottage is super close to Forsyth Park, where we went for a nighttime stroll. We saw lots of people playing basketball, tennis, soccer, frisbee tag, and with their dogs. We saw hippie musicians, artists, joggers, and tourists.

The flowers were blooming, trees were waving, and fountains were flowing green for St. Patrick's Day.

What a dreamy park!

We walked to a local Kroger to pick up provisions to make penne and meatballs and cooked back in the cottage while we did some laundry.

Before making it back to the cottage, we saw a SCAD student making an elephant for a final on his porch.

0 Responses