Magnolia Plantation – just outside of Charleston SC. The oldest garden in the US.

Spawn spent a little bit of time this morning, showing me how to work this camera he’s given me. Now before anyone thinks he bought it for me – quit the opposite – I bought it for him in 2009 for Christmas. He’s put a lot of miles on it. It has reached a point however, where it’s slightly out-dated, for a quasi-serious photographer and as I stated before, the battery hatch has popped. It locks kinda sorta in place, but it doesn’t shut. You can still use it. Sucker drains batteries tho. I put fresh batteries in it yesterday when we arrived at Fort Moultrie. I had to change them again halfway into our tour of the gardens. To be honest, I’ve taken almost 250 pictures…

The gardens are HUGE. We were here 5 hours and didn’t see all of them. We didn’t tour the house, or the slave quarters, or the Audubon Society or the Swamp Garden or the petting zoo. Shoot, we didn’t need to go the petting zoo. There was a peacock who was plenty friendly and greeted all the cars


He wasn’t shy.

We almost didn’t make it today. I missed my turn and ended up 40 miles north of where I wanted to be before I realized I had missed my turn.


The yellow line was where we were supposed to go. The red line is what actually happened.

You know, I needed this trip to Charleston. I really did. For me.


Before you ask, Yes. I took these. All of these.

This is my third trip to Charleston since 2001. The first time I came, I was hiding from my now former fiance. I was fed up with him. He was a free-loader and I was struggling to make ends meet. He wasn’t working and bringing his kids up from Biloxi for spring break. Their spring break was a week after mine and Spawn’s and he wanted me to drive with him that weekend to pick them up and back. We wouldn’t get back until after midnight Monday morning and I had to go to be at work an hour away Monday morning at 7:30. I told him no. He proceeded to lay down a guilt trip. What ended up happening is I decided to take Spawn for a quickie trip to Charleston. Now, mind you, we had next to nothing (I was supporting a slug) and supposedly, we went to see Huntington Light House. We never got there. Instead, we went into Charleston to see Folly Island and Morris lighthouse as well as the Charleston Lighthouse.


I was dragging my feet on returning, because I knew if he hadn’t left yet, the guilt trip he would lay on me for not going would be tremendous. He was good at it. I knew he wouldn’t say anything while his kids (brats) were there, but there would be another round when he took them back (there wasn’t. They were so awful, he took them home early) but I was completely stressed the entire time because I knew I needed to put that man out. And I knew I wasn’t going to Biloxi with him that weekend.


As it stood, we got home, 2 hours after he left. He had turned the AC to 50, turned on every light, opened every window and had every fan going. Did I mention he wasn’t working? We had a row about it after he took his kids back and his response was – well, next time, you’ll come with me.

There was no next time. I put his ass out 3 months later. (The reason why I waited was he FINALLY got a GREAT paying job, he worked one week and then didn’t tell me he quit. The man was a sponge.)


While we were driving around Charleston the first time, We passed Patiot’s Point – where the USS Yorktown is docked. Spawn wanted to go see, but we couldn’t afford it. I promised him someday – we’ll come back.

We came back in 2010. Spring of 2010. We had planned this little 2 day excursion since Christmas break. We were living down on the Florida/Georgia line at the time and we decided come spring break, we’d come into Charleston, spend the day at the USS Yorktown and Fort Sumter, before heading into the Interior.


However, the day before Spring Break, I was called into the office and informed by County HR and the County Superintendent, I didn’t have a job the next year. The entire music department had been axed.

I heavily considered cancelling our trip. ALL of it. I needed to conserve, to spend the entire spring break updating my resume, finding all the online teacher sites. Until I got home and Spawn was already packing. He couldn’t wait! He had taken a week off work, and was excited to see this Aircraft Carrier.


So we went and I squirmed at every dime that was spent.

When the pictures came back, he was ecstatic, so very much enjoyed that aircraft carrier. There are pictures of him in the planes, climbing the siding. He had a blast. It was really worth it. I look worn out, tired, stressed to the max because I was. To top it off, my allergies kicked in major, so I spent the entire time on Benedryl. When we returned from spring break and began testing, I came down with a full blown case of Walking Pneumonia. It wasn’t really a fun trip for me.


A year ago this past week, a man I adored with all my heart took me and my darling one to Boca Raton, where I climbed 2 lighthouses in one day and then went to a Japanese Garden. I fell in love with the garden. He promised me a romantic long weekend in Charleston. I believed him. My bad. When I realized that that trip wasn’t going to happen, I decided to go on it without him. His bad.

So here I am with the most important man in my life. It’s been a sweet, sweet trip. And again, I’ve fallen in love with a garden.


Magnolia Plantation has been in the Drayton Family since the late 1600’s, when the property was gifted to the first generation by the father of the bride. The groom was from England and one of the first things he did was plant a proper, English garden.  The British landed on the property during the Revolutionary War. Like many of the coastal plantations, their fortune crop was rice. Three homes have been built on the property and much has changed.  But there has always been a garden. And it is glorious.


I admit being a tad jealous of the box grand piano in the house.