Thursday, December 12, 2019

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Christmas Season Celebration, Part 1

Do you have a bucket list travel destination? Ever since first reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a "nonfiction novel" about the murder of Danny Hansford by Jim Williams, written by John Berendt in 1994, Savannah has been number one on my personal travel bucket list.
I longed to see the beautiful squares of Savannah, the Mercer-Williams home, the Bird Girl statue that was on the cover of the novel, and the Bonaventure Cemetery.

I have dreamed about it for years. And then I saw this Road Scholar trip occurring the first week of December. Mark is busy with basketfall refereeing, so he told me to find a travel partner. I called my dearest friend of more than 46 years, Trudy, and she jumped on board right away.
We decided to add a couple of extra days and see Charleston on our own.

Expect to see a lot of pictures of beautiful homes, windows and doors, with random Christmas decorations sprinkled throughout.

I landed in Charleston a couple of hours after Trudy, and by then she had picked up our rental car and checked into our hotel. This was the tree in the airport lobby.
For our first dinner in Charleston, we had shrimp and cheesy grits. So good...
We stayed at the Embassy Suites, which we later found out was the original citadel.
This was the view from our room at night.
And during the day.

The beautiful tree in the hotel lobby.
On Tuesday morning, we decided to take a bus tour of Charleston. Trudy and I were the only ones on the bus! And our guide was very good.

Rainbow Row.
We walked through the Shops at Belmond Charleston Place, where there was this stunning chandelier and train below it.
I went up those steps and took another picture looking down.
For lunch, we had soup (I had lobster bisque) and hush puppies.

This is very typical of many of the homes in Charleston. They are situated sideways. What looks like the front door actually just opens to a porch on the street level, and then you enter the house through a door on the porch.
In the afternoon, we drove to Isle of Palms. Trudy and I had read several novels by Mary Alice Monroe, which take place on the Isle of Palms, with a lot of information about loggerhead turtles. There was not much activity in early December and we had the beach to ourselves.
It actually reminded me very much of the beach at Pismo, on the central coast of California.
There are a lot of vacation rentals on Isle of Palms. I couldn't pass up taking pictures of these three.

Casa Banana.
Casa Flamingo.
Casa Margarita.
And this lovely home (probably also a rental property) was situated between between Flamingo and Margarita. I'm pretty sure it has a different owner--it looks very muted compared to the others.
Sunset at Fort Moultrie.
We headed back to Charleston, crossing the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.
On Wednesday, we toured the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.After a quick lunch on the grounds, we took a tour around the estate. First of all, we learned that Spanish moss is not Spanish and it is not moss. The French called it "Spanish beard," while the Spanish called it "French hair." And it is actually more like an air fern, and not a parasite.
South Carolina is very swampy, and we saw a lot of wildlife, including several alligators.
Thankfully we did not see any of the 35 different varieties of snakes. Yikes...

The house does not look (to me, at least) like a typical southern plantation home, although two other houses had burned down before this one was built.
There was a beautiful bridge. I love the reflection of the bridge in the water.
A nice couple took a picture of us.
The next morning, we headed to Savannah. Goodbye, Charleston. Your city captured my heart.


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Elaine M said... #

Looks like a great trip so far. Thanks for sharing.

Charlotte M. said... #

Charleston is so beautiful. I'm glad you included it in your trip.

Cathy O said... #

‘ Midnight on the Garden of good and Evil’ is a book I totally enjoyed and also peeked my interest to travel to Savannah. Someday......

French 75 said... #

Your photos have captured the spirit of Charleston. I feel like I just had a mini tour. And, now I've added Charleston to my bucket list. BTW, I absolutely love the pic of you walking up from the beach.

OPQuilt said... #

Okay, you should be a tour guide! Dave and I almost went there for Christmas last year, and with your post, I can see it would have been a great thing to do. On to the next!