April 23, 2010

southern living


For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the South. Southern movies, Southern food, Southern towns, cities and countrysides. It has always appealed to me.

(Out of my deep respect for the South, and perhaps more importantly, my weakness in the area of capitalization rules, I am making the executive decision to capitalize South and Southern. After Googling the rules, I am further entrenched in my capitalization confusion, and decided to err on the side of over capitalization. If I stew over it any more, this post will never see the light of day. Please send capitalization help.)


While I've been to Mississippi to help out after Hurricane Katrina, and Fort Jackson, SC for my son's boot camp graduation, this was my first true Southern vacation.


It lived up to all my expectations.


Beautiful scenery.


Gorgeous weather just perfect for strolls down flower lined walkways.


Tree lined avenues.


Live oaks.


Spanish moss.


The South dressed in all its finery. What could be better.

In a week, I only saw one drawback.

One potential downside to Southern living.

Do you see it?

Or should I say do you see him? (Could be a her, but it seems like it should be a him.)


How about here?




That's right.

Now this may be a normal sight for you Southern girls, but to me, it's kind of a big deal. I'm used to being on the lookout for bears/moose/wolves/mountain lions when I'm in the woods, but these slithery ankle biters quickly topped my list of animals I don't want participating in my demise. Being eaten by a wild animal is one of my biggest fears. Just going on a hike in the Montana mountains is an act of courage and bravery for me. My hubby once pointed out bear grass on a hike, saying "Oh look, bear grass", and in the time between the word BEAR and the word grass, I managed to scream and jump and my heart rate sky-rocketed. We now have a list of words that are banned while hiking. He promises if he spies a real bear or other threat to my existence, he will get between us, be my protector, and if need be, sacrifice himself and take one for the team. That scenario doesn't really appeal to me a whole lot either. Besides, what if he's walking in front of me, and the wild beast sneaks up behind me? What then? Or, what if..... Needless to say, he hikes by himself a lot.

Wow, I really didn't mean to go down the wild animal carnage rabbit trail.

Back to the trip.

It was amazing, truly perfect. Many more photos to come, but in the mean time, I will be watching Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias, and Gone With the Wind.

(Pictures taken in the Charleston, South Carolina area. For specifics, click the highlighted links throughout the post.)

Have a great weekend, y'all!

p.s. For those who asked questions on the last post, I answered in the comments there.

48 comments:

  1. I want to go to there!!! Beautiful photos! And I love me some Southern accent!!!

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  2. Yay for us Southern girls! For me, it's snakes, not alligators. (There aren't many 'gators in our part of the region.)
    Love me some azaleas.

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  3. Oh my gosh...I too am in LOVE with the South. Except for the alligators and huge bugs, that is. I am hoping for a trip to Savannah in August so hope it will be beautiful that time of year. Your photos are stunning as always...so glad you had a fabulous time! ~mary~

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  4. Your pictures are GORGEOUS!!!! I love the South, was born there, have family there, feel like I should be there...I got lost in the pretty pictures.
    However my stomach fell to my knees when I saw the gators. Mmm, no. That is not working for me.

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  5. Mhmmmm....girl, you've got it BAD! Gorgeous, I'm thinking you went to Georgia or Florida? We love Dixie, ourselves...family connections, ya know! You got some great shots, and I can't wait to hear more!
    XOXO
    Joni

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  6. This post is for me.
    I'm a born and raised Southern girl and my hubby is from Choteau, Montana.
    I'm used to alligators--they don't even faze me. Just watch out for them and keep your distance when you see one.
    Bears, on the other hand, freak me out. We went hiking in Montana, up above Columbia Falls, just SW of Glacier National Park (can't remember the name of the mtn.), with 7 kids and I was a wreck the whole time, after I heard a bear huffing just around a bend from where we stood on the edge of the mountaintop.
    Freaked my guts out.
    Of course, my hubby had a gun/ bear spray, so he was fine with it. He's hiked all over the Bob Marshall wilderness and Glacier.
    We've lived in Colorado for 12 years, and I have seen bears--one in our own neighborhood--but I don't think I will ever get used to them, like I did alligators.
    I do miss Florida, the Carolinas and all those beautiful azaleas, dogwoods, live oaks, and beautiful spanish moss. One thing I don't miss in the south? Bugs. Roaches. Mosquitos the size of a VW. Creepy crawlers. {shudder} no, I don't miss those.

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  7. Welcome home! It looks like you had great weather for your vacation. We're not far enough South here in Virginia to have aligators, but we have the heat and humidity later in the year. I'll take it, though, because there's no place I'd rather live.
    Connie

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  8. Gorgeous! I love LOVE love the South!! These photos are amazing!!! Glad you had a good time!

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  9. Real Floridian chiming in here :) Those pictures are gorgeous. Our family still has a cottage on the lake here in Winter Park FL, and those creatures have been known to sun themselves right by our porch. Plus, i think they were looking around for small dogs and cats for a bite of lunch. I learned to water ski at 5yrs and it only took one try to get me out of the water - and i owe to those green gods of the water. I was too afraid to be in the water too long!

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  10. Lol! You just went too far south! Here in northern Georgia we have tons of gorgeous scenery, and not one alligator! Come back soon, Becky

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  11. To me that's like something out of Wild Kingdom. Do you remember that show? The only aligators I like are the ones on my shoes, belts, boots and handbags. Sorry, not a fan, but the South. LOVE IT!

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  12. What part of the South were you in? I enjoyed a wonderful trip to New Orleans, just before Katrina with my family. We loved it. Took a tour on an air boat, got up close and personal with gattors and snakes, and all sorts of wildlife. Lovely photos!!

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  13. It makes me miss it that much more. I know we'll be back one day with the abundance of Marine Bases in NC, but I can still miss it, and NOT the mosquitos the size of spam cans!
    I am glad you enjoyed the south.

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  14. I second what Life At Camellia Cottage said, you went too far South--no alligators here in TN either! But we have the beautiful Smoky Mts, TN River and a ton of gorgeous scenery.

    Ahh, but I do love the coastal South, too! I lived in Florida for a while and I remember my first experience with an alligator. I came home one day to find a note on my apartment door stating that an alligator was living in the retention pond on the property. Animal control would only remove it if it was over five feet and this one was not so we were advised to not take children or small dogs to the pond area. Yeah, let me tell you--after reading that my roommate and I would jump and run every time the sprinklers came on. They hissed a bit before hand and I had visions of the gator waiting behind the bushes ready to attack and eat me! haha, fun times, fun times! It took a couple of weeks before we realized that it wasn't a big deal and we finally relaxed.

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  15. What an enjoyable post! Loved the photographs and the chuckles over your understandable fears. Wish this RI girl could be at that beautiful Southern location.

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  16. Just beautiful!! To bad about the alligators. I always wondered too, when you get eaten, what get bit first? Very beautiful post.

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  17. Oh I just KNEW your photos would make me swoon and want me to load up The Squirrel and head south. My roots are in The South, Tennessee, North Carolina....I love a Southern accent. Mom had one til the day she died, so did Dad. Here in Indiana I feel safe from critters. No poisonous snakes, no bears, no alligators. I think I'll stay. Mom always talked about Cotton Mouths in the rivers and lakes down there.....yikes. I'm going to drink some sweet tea and live vicariously through your photos today. Glad you are home. xoxo

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  18. Oh man, we are possibly moving to Charleston and this for me is one of my biggest fears! My husband tries to convince me that it's not likely to come across one--he says it would be like me being afraid of bears in the suburbs...but it still freaks me out!

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  19. Your pictures are lovely. The other thing...humidity. My hair...what a disaster it would be!

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  20. Ah, as a Southerner (born in Charleston, now living in Columbia) I love reading that visitors enjoy and appreciate our great state and culture. We get made fun of a lot, you know!? And the gators? You get used to them. Just remember to run zigzag if you find one chasing you! ;)

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  21. Spanish moss makes my heart ache.

    And that huge rambly scrambly oak looks so much like the one we saw at the plantation...

    But more importantly - I need to hear about the food! Give it up, lady.

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  22. Yay! Thanks for the Southern Post! I was born and raised in Louisiana now living in Georgia.
    I love your blog :)

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  23. You were so NEAR to me!! Somehow I knew you would be. And we love Charleston. One of our favorite spots. Did you get to a beach or one of the islands?

    Alligators and snakes. We have our share. There's a state park near me where the alligators have taken over the pond we used to spend summers swimming in. We've named the big one Elvis. He's been there quite a while now.

    Southern and South are caps when you're referring to a place and not a direction. That's my rule and I'm stickin' to it.

    Glad you loved the South. I think I'm blessed to live here.

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  24. Woo Hoo! I knew by the second picture you had been to MY fair city! Charleston truly is one of the most beautiful cities on this planet and I feel so fortunate to live here, alligators, cockroaches and all. Too bad I didn't know you were coming down my way. I would have fixed you a mess of shrimp and grits and we could have sipped sweet tea on the front porch. Can't wait to see more pics!

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  25. I'm one of those Southern gals...all though I'm from the North GA Mountains. Like you, I never see gators unless I'm on vacation. However, we are frequented by black bears! One came to my backdoor last summer and peered in my kitchen. I believe he wanted a handout! Can't wait to see more pics.

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  26. Love, love, love those pictures. The spanish moss hanging from the branches is something I think of when I here the South, along with peaches, for some reason.

    Annelie

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  27. OOoohhh the azaleas sure look gorgeous! Flowers just seem to grow bigger in the South. don't they? I think the humidity would get to me long before any gators. :-)

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  28. Absolutely beautiful! I grew up all over the South (FL, AL, GA, VA, AR) but sadly had to move last year. Your photos made me homesick!
    Nothing in the world can compare to spanish moss or a live oak-lined driveway.
    I made the drive with my mother a few years back from Savannah to Charleston. I will never forget.
    But I just have to ask...did you make it to Fort Sumter? As a history fanatic, it was one of my favorite stops on the trip.

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  29. Yea for SC! I'm from Greenville and we vacation at Hilton Head each summer, and we have our fair share of alligators. I guess I've gotten used to them.

    What did you think about the Angel Oak? It's fantastic, isn't it? My sis-in-law had a family place at Kiawah Island just down the road from the Angel Oak. I used to love going by there. It's so majestic!

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  30. I share your fear of being eaten :P
    I grew up in FL, on waterfront - I would watch lookout while my Dad built our seawall because the 10 foot alligator would slide off the bank across the canal and try to sneak up on my Dad so I'd have to tell him to climb up the bank when he went under water. I often went canoing in alligator infested water - within a few feet of them, over top of them, and they terrified me, but fascinated me too. I'm happy to be in central NC where we don't see alligators, and soon to be moving to Virginia - even further away! But I will always love the beautiful moss covered oaks and so many other true "south" experiences I had while growing up...but I won't even mention the snake stories I could share :)

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  31. I love your photos--you really are an artist. And, as a high school English teacher, I'm with Southern Gal in her advice to capitalize the South when you're referencing it as a place and to go lowercase when giving directions. I enjoy reading about your life in the Northwest. I myself am from the Midwest but I'd love to travel west and see more of your world... see?

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  32. Love all your photos! I have had the pleasure of living all over this beautiful country and seeing your photos brought back the sweetest memories of our old neighborhood and the friends that we met. I think that Middleton Place is so charming...were you able to see it from the river as well? You do get use to the alligators, but the Snakes and the HUGE bugs are a different story :)

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  33. So pretty! It looks like you all had a wonderful time! :)

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  34. Beautiful scenery! But, I'm with you on the alligator thing. More than any other animal they completely creep me out!

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  35. You should come to Iowa.....theres really nothing to eat you...a cow might get out and lick you, but no wild eating around here! I SO share your love with the south...I want to go for a drive in a '57 International pick up truck-preferrably red- soaking in the tree moss and looooooong tree lined drives to the houses. Oh, with the radio blarring CCR :) LOVE your blog AND your farm!

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  36. OMG..your photos are unbelievable and I have added a trip to the South (it deserves to be capitalized...believe me)to my Bucket List!!! Do you have all your pictures on a Flickr group that we can look at them? They are just stunning!!!

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  37. Hmmm, I was scrolling through your lovely photos of the South thinking "this looks familiar." Then your link - Middleton Place - took seven gazillion photos there a couple of years ago. Gorgeous place and I remember thinking how fabulous it would be to see it in the spring instead of the stifling heat of July. So, thanks for sharing! Every time I go to Charleston, I consider moving into one of the historic homes on the Battery...and then I wake up and calculate the mortgage! Agree with you - gators are freaky scary, like grizz in Glacier.

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  38. Isn't that funny, I have a romance in my head with the south and the farthest I have ever been is Washington, D.C.
    I am a Connecticut Yankee living in Maine, which as you know, is as far north as you can get on the east coast. So...why do I have this tug for Dixie? Maybe, just maybe, there is something to reincarnation...just a thought people. (I even have a relative who fought for the Union...)
    It sure is a lovely looking place, the food sounds super yummy and the nice manners and hospitality are all things I will experience some day.
    Oh, and just so you know, NO poisonous snakes up here. Guess they can't take the cold?

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  39. SIGH and YIKES! so beautiful... there's always a catch, huh ;)

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  40. Only along the coast. The rest of the South is safe! Come join us!
    -Trish

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  41. Awesome pictures, I am a big fan of the south too. Luv live oaks!! wish they would grow in my area.

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  42. Southern gal right here! Born in Tennessee, raised in Mississippi and living my life in Alabama. No gators here in 'Bama but there are snakes. The worst thing though? The humidity in the summer is killer. It feels like someone has draped you in a wet blanket and is roasting you alive. But, it is so worth it for the rest of the year!

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  43. Hi - just found your blog, and I love it! Great photos.. magnificent tree shots!!... and I have always loved the South too, even though I was born in New York and live as an adult in New England. I am hoping to retire down there, trying to narrow the choices down to exactly WHERE. and when.

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  44. Another Florida girl here. You really dont see gators much in everyday life (unless you live on the water). You will see them on water holes on a golf course though....and when you do, keep your distance. Stay away especially in May/June which is mating season. And yes, there are Palmetto Bugs (ginormous roaches, that FLY!) And the summers are beastly with the humidity. Still, there is nowhere I'd rather live, especially in the WINTER!....Oh yes, and we have peacocks that frequent our yard....gorgeous, but messy, and LOUD at 6:00am.

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  45. I would love to go to Charleston. I'm a northerner for sure. I actually haven't been south of Virginia though. The down side can be the humidity. But I miss green where I live. Mountains are wonderful but I miss the deep green of the east. I like southern things, too. The slower pace attracts me.

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  46. So beautiful T! You make it look so romantic. I'm glad you had such a wonderful trip. You've caused me to put Charleston on my top 10 destinations list!

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  47. Great post. I totally know what you mean. I'm almost always smitten by the South when I visit. I always think why don't trees seem to grow in like that on the West?

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