Tracy and I left this past Thursday and headed for Charleston for our very first alone time vacation since before Davis was born. We arrived in Mount Pleasant around lunch time and stopped for a fabulous bite at the Mustard Seed. Tracy had the mushroom risotto while I devoured the special of the day – grilled mahi over a bed of lentils with spinach and tomatoes.
After leaving the Mustard Seed with stuffed bellies, we ventured on to Middleton Place, the oldest plantation in America. We couldn’t check in until after 3:30, so we stopped and got maps to lead us on a tour of the grounds. We started out walking along the Ashley River, then traveled around one of the rice field loops. The flooded rice field was full of various waterfowl – herons, ducks, coots, ibis, and anhingas. The coots were hysterical. When you get a tiny bit close to them, the take off running across the water. They don’t lift their wings and fly, they actually walk on water – like Jesus.
After our rice field tour, we journeyed through the labryinth and finally made it back to get the keys to our room. Our room was rustic modern – not a lot of decorations, but lots of windows that afforded us a spectacular view of the Ashley River.
Once we unpacked, we headed over to the lodge for the evening reception. We did this both evenings we were there and both evenings we were joined by other guests. Two families happened to be staying at the inn. Both families had 3 kids each, almost all of whom were under the age of 6. Tracy and I sat on the couch and watched the chaos. Amazingly, we weren’t agitated to be surrounded by all these kids on our “alone” vacation. We actually loved it. It made us miss Davis. It made Tracy want more babies. He said he loved the chaos. I explained the he loved it because it was someone else’s chaos. He insisted that he wanted us to have chaos in the form of more babies. I am not convinced.
The remainder of our Charleston trip was spent at Middleton Place. The only time we left was to go to dinner one night at SNOB in downtown Charleston. Even though we left the plantation with directions in hand, Tracy and I got lost, were late for our reservations and ended up having to call the restaurant. After getting more directions, we still ended up finding on our own via a completely different route. Thank goodness the food was delicious and worth the trouble.
The next two days at Middleton involved taking an African American tour, a house tour, and our own walking tour of the gardens and surrounding areas. My favorite part was the stableyard where we visited the chickens, pigs that smelled like butterscotch, goats, sheep, and the cow which we milked. On this trip, I was definitely a country girl. All I needed was to be able to squish my toes in the mud.
Our trip was a much-needed time for Tracy and I to slow down, hold hands, reconnect, and just be together. It was awesome.