Monday, April 20, 2009

BLUE MONDAY: BLUE SOUTHERN SKIES

Today I am participating in Blue Monday to showcase all the beautiful pictures I took on our trip to South Carolina and Georgia. To see more of Blue Monday offerings, visit Sally, our sweet hostess.

I am finishing up where I left off last week when we were in Charleston. We just had the most wonderful time there, so much to see and do. Three days was just not enough. We arrived on Easter Sunday so the city was very quiet, something I would miss in the days following. As I mentioned, we stayed at the Francis Marion Hotel, named after The Revolutionary War General (also known as "The Swamp Fox"). Our room on the fourth floor faced Marion Square and we could look out over the huge park and see well over the buildings to the harbor. The windows didn't open so I couldn't get a picture, but it was a beautiful view. The following pictures were taken in Marion Square.





As usual, Blondie was able to bring bad weather with her to Charleston as you can see by these pictures! Always looking for a better deal, we were soaked to the skin the second day there before The Husband was able to find a place with $5.00 umbrellas. He wasn't very happy with me either as I stopped every twenty feet to take pictures!


This is the Sweetwater Cafe where we had lunch the second day. This is also where The Husband began his quest for the most perfect "she~crab" soup in the South. In the end he deemed the Sweetwater Cafe of serving the most superb. I no less, had my first taste of shrimp in brown gravy served over grits. There were many names for this dish and just as many variations. Most surprising was the fact that it was often served in some form for breakfast, lunch and dinner! I was in shrimp heaven! And I am now in search of the most perfect recipe!



My sweet blogger friend Sheila, better known as The Quintessential Magpie recommended trying Magnolia's, where she had dined several years before and wasn't sure if it was still there. Well Mrs. Magpie, it sure is. Unfortunately, with all good intentions of having dinner there the second night, the rain and wind picked up so badly that even an umbrella wouldn't have helped. The rain was blowing up, down and sideways! Instead we ate at the hotel restaurant, aptly named The Swamp Fox and it was quite good. So Sheila, rest assured one of your favorite restaurants in Charleston does indeed still exist!!









Before the torrential rains came we moved on to the French Quarter. This is the only area where the original cobblestone streets and sidewalks exist. We walked down this beautiful alleyway. On the right is a former cotton factory and on the left is an estate whose owner preserved this original alley.




We stopped in this gallery which featured the works of many local and transplanted artists. Charleston is great inspiration and many of these artists' works have been featured in large cities both national and international. Oh, how I wish I could afford just one tiny little painting from this gallery!







This is a little park along the harbor where we stopped to rest. If we had had the time I would have loved to have taken a cruise or trip across the water by way of one of the many bridges. I read a few articles in 'Charleston', the magazine in our hotel room about the islands across the way. How much fun would that be?!







This pretty pier had a wonderful seafood restaurant that I tried to coax The Husband into trying until he reminded me that we had just had lunch an hour before. I do think the idea of a warm bowl of she~crab soup was tempting him though!







I love the natural state of the grasses blowing in the wind. It almost looks more picturesque on a rainy day.
















It is now Wednesday and we have driven two hours to Savannah. Below is a picture of The Mansion On Forsyth Street which is now a hotel and where we stayed. It is part hotel, restaurant, art gallery and cooking school. You basically didn't need to leave the place! But we finally had great weather as you can see from the blue skies, so off we went!











Naturally, the hotel faced Forsyth Park which was just an incredible place to visit. Spring was definitely in the air and I had to take some pictures of the beautiful trees.







































This fountain was exceptionally beautiful...


















































Once we stepped out of the park I took some pictures of the beautiful homes. Not many though. We had every intention of visiting Gaston Street with it's stately homes and ornate iron~work but once again, time got away from us.







Many of the homes were hidden by beautiful old trees but the sense of their enormity could not be denied.































Finally we are on the river. The buildings on the left were factories at some time. Now they house mostly restaurants and bars. In this picture you can see the trolley tracks.


























This is a picture of one of the many cruising boats on the river. I love the Southern charm of this boat. She is definitely a queen!





















We saw many of these horse drawn carriages on our trip. I will say on a negative note that the traffic was crazy. Cars sped up and down these residential streets as if they were highways. I was really scared crossing the streets! We also saw a lot of ped~cabs, which are bicycles with a seat for two in the back. And to think I feel bad for horses and sled dogs!





















The second day we headed off the beaten path for two reasons. One being this graceful blonde twisting her ankle on one of the old cobblestone streets the night before and the second being The Husband's search for the perfect pair of pants to wear with the perfect sports coat he bought in Charleston. I'm going to digress a little to say that on this trip The Husband outfitted himself with enough new clothes to warrant another suitcase. Blondie came home with five books. Go figure. Anyway, the sprain wasn't bad but I didn't want to make it worse so we went to a mall. I was dropped off at a bookstore while The Husband went to Belk's. I want to mention here that I have read about some of my Southern blogger girlfriends going to Belk's, Ross and Chik~A~Fil, none of these which we have in the Midwest, so it was sort of cool to see them everywhere. The Husband said that Belk's is very similar to our Carson Pirie Scott store. While hobbling around Waldenbooks I saw a big display of Paula Deen cookbooks. I thought well, of course she is popular in her hometown. Then I saw a sign that read she would be signing books at 5:00! Wow, this was better than going to The Lady And Her Sons! In spite of the fact that I am one of THE most patient people in the world, I was not going to watch my poor ankle swell up for another three hours and then wait in line to see her! Had it been Harrison Ford, my all time dream man, things would have been different!! :-)
Anyhow, I took a picture of the restaurant where we had lunch. I loved the waterfall and the old crabhouse look...
























...but the funniest thing was after the young waitress took our order she asked if we were from around there. We replied no, we are from Chicago and with that she said "I thought so. You talk funny!" We almost spit out our sweet tea!























Does this not look like the honeymoon suite? I normally don't take pictures of hotel rooms but this is our room at "The Mansion"! The Husband said, "Blondie, you sure know how to book a trip!"



























The style of the hotel is traditional with a modern twist. Now get this: After seeing this bathroom with the walk~in shower and separate commode, The Husband actually went out, bought a tape measure and spent a good amount of time on the phone with Resident Carpenter at the house on the lake. You see, his design for the master bath up there very much mimics this bath. I could not believe the sight of him crawling around the bathroom taking measurements! It was straight out of a Woody Allen movie!

























And look at this huge soaking tub! I am normally adverse to taking a bath in a hotel but this baby was beckoning. I wasn't crazy about the shutters opening into the bedroom, but I did enjoy a nice bubble bath and the best thing was I didn't have to clean the tub myself afterwards!


















Finally, or "about time," you say, we are back in Myrtle Beach where we flew in to. We did not go to Hilton Head as originally planned as the airfare flying in to Charleston and out of Savannah was outrageous. We did have a fun two days in Myrtle Beach, it brought back many good memories for The Husband who went on a golf outing there for ten years in a row. He was able to show me some of the great sights and we ate at some top notch restaurants. I will say I have had my fair share of seafood and am looking forward to some great Midwestern beef tonight!
We stayed at the Hilton on the beach. These pictures were taken from our balcony.































I don't know these people getting married but I saw the wedding getting set up that morning and I arrived back at the room just in time for the ceremony. It was beautiful. I cried as I always do at weddings and I truly hope Jennifer and Mark have a wonderful life together!































A few pictures from a shopping trip at the Dockside, a group of shops in and around a lake connected by docks. It was really cute. In this dog bakery (it really smelled quite good inside) I bought bandanas for Milo & Layla that say "My parents want to Myrtle Beach and all I got was this lousy bandana!" Ha Ha. They love them by the way.






























































I leave you with pictures of the beach, the bluest of skies and the bluest of water. I am so sorry if this post has taken you days to read. Just be happy Blondie did not take a European vacation!







































And by the way, after all the gastronomic delights I sampled in the South, I have officially started my diet today. I would have included a picture of the Hilton, but I think I ate that too!
Happy Blue Monday everyone!
xoxo
Jane































40 comments:

Janie's World said...

Hi Janie,

Sounds like Charleston and Savannah were quite fun! Too bad about your ankle, especially when you have a lot of walking planned. We are staying at the Forsythe Mansion too (in June)! I'm was so excited to see your pictures of it! Too bad it rained so hard, I heard this was the best time of the year to go!

Janie

Domestic Designer said...

Oh it sounds like you had a wonderful time! Now I am jealous. I have always wanted to go to Charleston and now I must go! Sorry it rained so much, but it looks like you ended on a sunny note! Glad you had such a good time and are home safe and sound!

April said...

Wowza...that was some kind of trip you went on! Great pics of some beautiful cities! That last hotel you stayed at looks amazing! I agree with your hubby...you sure know how to book a trip! Just wish the weather had been a bit nicer for you...welcome to the South! So glad you had a fun time...sorry about your ankle sprain! You did try some sweet tea from Chick Fil-A, didn't you? PLEASE tell me you didn't pass that up!

You'd probably think I sound like a hick from the sticks if you heard my accent! LOL!

Deb said...

Your Charleston and Savannah trip looks fabulous - such beautiful photos!

Lorrie said...

What a wonderful trip--your pictures are beautiful. I've been to Charleston twice and would love to go again--such a picturesque city!

Carrie said...

Very pretty pictures...

Happy Blue Monday

Smilingsal said...

I'm glad that you finally manged to escape the rain to find some fun and blue skies. But you should not have eaten The Hilton! Thanks for sharing. Happy Blue Monday.

Sandi@ My Yellow Door said...

Hi Janie,
The pictures were wonderful and very interesting. Thanks for sharing and have a Happy Blue Monday.

Blessings,
Sandi

Cynthia said...

Hi Janie,
This looks like a perfect little trip! Sounds so beautiful and romantic and what a lovely hotel you booked. The pics were so much fun to see,.... Cindy

Beth at Aunties said...

Absolutely gorgeous pictures and I find the history so facinating It also humbles me.
I am sorry about your ankle and that the weather did not cooperate. and hope it is bright I do hope the sun is shining next month when we make our first trip to beautiful NC. I am so glad you posted pictures of Charleston & the southern part of that beautiful state. We will not make it down that far. I enjoyed your post!

I also tagged you! ;-)

Welcome home and I hope your ankle heals fast!:-)

Beth

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Hi Jane,
What a wonderful tour of beautiful Charleston. I am glad you all got to get back to Myrtle Beach, it has certainly grown over the past few years. Your hotel room was absolutely beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing.
Sue

Happy To Be said...

Wonderful tour Blondie...thanks for taking us along girl..Happy BLUE Monday to you...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

mbkatc230 said...

Janie, it looks and sounds like you had a wonderful trip, sprained ankle and all. And I had to laugh about bringing home books from vacation, I do the same thing. And the picture in my head of hubby crawling around with the tape measure - just too funny. Beautiful pictures, these are two places that are definitely on my "bucket list" Thanks for sharing them! Hugs, Kathy

Kathleen Ellis said...

Oh, Jane, it looks/sounds like you had a fabulous trip (minus the rain!) That room is fabulous...I love Charleston and Savannah...it's been way too long since I've been...hmmmm...!
thanks for stopping by and your sweet comment....I do hope I inspire otehrs to live with more fullness, beauty and love!
;-D

Ms. Tee said...

Hi Janie :)
Your trip looks like it was wonderful! I would have loved to have gone. Sorry you had bad weather in Charleston. You still got some amazing photos, though!
I hope that your ankle is doing better. I sprained mine on a cobblestone stree in Mexico on my honeymoon, and limped around the whole time. :) After seeing all of these photos, I'm dying to see the ocean again. Welcome home!

bj said...

OOO, Blondie..I am just about to die to go to SAVANNAH...I hope I get to go before I get too much older! I would love it!!
Thanks for sharing all these great photos...so glad you had such a good time...

recipes for the life said...

Hi Jane; looks like you've had a very memorable trip.And what beautiful pictures!Thanks for giving us a virtual tour of Chrleston.

Happy blue monday :D

Love chaitra

ellen b. said...

Hello Janie! This is a part of our great country that I hope to be able to visit someday. It has so much history and lovely architecture! Thanks for sharing all these great photos!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Your blog is wonderful. I love the colors and the pictures....This is my first visit and I will be back soon. I am a new blogger and would love for you to visit me.

Boogieboard Cottage said...

What a fun trip, love your photos! :O) Mary

Lisa said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time!

You've given me the bug to go somewhere - maybe once school is out we can have a little getaway. It's been a long time since we've visited Savannah, and I'm only a few hours away.

Thanks for sharing!

The Whispering Poppies said...

What beautiful photos! Charleston looks like a wonderful place. I've never been to South Carolina before... now I think I'd like to! =) Thank you for your note on my blog today! =)

xinex said...

Oh Janie, I love looking at the pictures you took, makes me feel like I was there too. I am sorry you ran into a wet weather but in spite of that, I think you still had a lot of fun. I can picture you stopping to take pictures everywhere and your hubby pulling you and saying C'mon, let's go! LOL! Your hotel room was beautiful!...Christine

Rose Brier Studio said...

Your travel photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them.
~Marilee

Carrie said...

Oh, I would love to visit Charleston...it is such a beautiful and historical city!

Melissa Miller said...

Amazing and stunning!

Happy Earth Day Jane.
~Melissa :)

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Janie, beautiful pictures. Thanks for your visit to Bella Vista. Lovely to meet you.

Barb

Shelia said...

Hi Jane! Oh, what a trip! I've never been to Savannah and want to go so badly! Loved your little romantic room and especially your husband measuring the bathroom! :P
Thanks for popping in to see me!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Good Morning, Janie! It sounds like you enjoyed your trip. We love Savannah. We did a lot.. of walking there. We did not rent a car. I am sorry you hurt your ankle. That making touring a lot more difficult. We also went to Charleston. The two cities are not that far apart. But, they are so different. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Hugs, Terrie

Lori E said...

The picture in the cobblestone alley is my favorite. You could probably feel the history emanating from the buildings and cobblestones.

Lori E said...

Thanks for the visit to my site too.
You commented in the guest book which is exactly right. You can also comment on the individual posts if one in particular speaks to you. Any where is fine just as long as you visit ;-}
The area you stayed in is Kitsilano, also referred to as Kits. It is a great area and in the 1960's was a complete hippie haven. Now the homes are worth a ton of money.
I'm glad you enjoyed it here.

Kasey said...

beautiful pics.
i wanted to let you know i am having another "open house" in 2 weeks if you would like to come.
just email me.
xo

Chandy said...

Great pictures, Blondie! Love it all!

Amongst The Oaks said...

Hi Blondie,
Your trip to Charleston looks wonderful. Too bad about the weather, but I see you didn't let it keep you inside. Good for you. I know what you mean about stopping for a photo and getting "the look". I get it too.
And shrimp with brown gravy over grits?! I've never heard of that. Glad you had fun and thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.
Laura

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, I'm so glad you had fun, and I so sorry you didn't get to go to Magnolia's! Loved going on this trip with you and seeing your pics. :-)

XO,

Sheila

Cynthia said...

Janie,
What a great reply to my bat post! You are the expert girl! I loved the story you told but all those bats flying at you, well I may have had a heart attack. You're braver than me. I am going to have hubby read your reply, thanks so much and have a wonderful week-end my friend. ( my hubby doesn't seem to get real concerned about bats, he's not a chicken like me) LOL, Cindy

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog. I found it when I did a Google search on cottage style. I have enjoyed reading but REALLY got a kick out of this one because I live in Savannah. It was so interesting to read someone else's perspective on our beautiful city. I am glad that you enjoyed your visit. AND....I apologize for our terrible drivers......but you are absolutely correct...you literally take your life in your hands in Savannah when you try to cross a street.

Linda said...

Janie, I just read your comment to Cindy about the bats, and you had me laughing out loud. I know that was not funny at the time, but your account of the episodes was hysterical! I might even have to go over to Cindy's and read it again! Thanks for the laugh (although I'm sorry for the experience!). Linda

Cathy said...

I love this part of the country...so beautiful and rich with history!!! It looks like you had a wonderful time. Your photos make me feel like I was there with you!!!

Have a wonderful day!!!
XOXO
Cathy

Tee said...

Hey Miss Janie! Glad you enjoyed your trip down here. Your pics are beautiful. My fave is the French Quarter alley. I didn't realize that Chick Fil A was not national. My 13 year old will starve to death if they ever go out of business (but that's probably not gonna happen, thank goodness). I have another award for you. Come on over and get it!