Charleston Charm: Plantation Living

I am walking down memory lane today, with high hopes of finishing my Charleston posts from my trip back in March...yes, March. I never promised to be timely, ha ha! 

On a serious note, I would be remiss to post about Charleston after all they've been through in the last two weeks and to not address the unbelievable tragedy they have faced. It is amazing to me how horrific and unjust the loss of 9 lives was (and is), all within the walls of a Church no less.  And yet, in supernatural strength that could only come from the Lord in them, those families extended their forgiveness, demonstrating to the whole nation how evil can be overcome by good. It was a stunning reaction and one that has reminded me of their difficult and courageous choice. A choice they will likely repeat for the rest of their lives as the pain of loss takes over their lives and finds itself rearing its' ugly head time and time again. 

This is a city that has seen adversity and injustice, both in the ugliness of slavery and its' fallout, long after the Civil War was won. They have risen out of the ashes of that sorrow and don't deny the sobering history that is theirs. But to think there is no residual affect after all those years, is foolish. And as we've seen play out in the national media, there is healing to be done here.  I think the AME Church has set the stage for that healing and forgiveness and I am so grateful for their amazing example. 

These pictures are from our visit to one of the historic plantations in the area, Magnolia Plantation. It is overwhelming in it's beauty and there aren't many words I need to add.  The pictures are self-explanatory. There is a tension in visiting and in even in enjoying it, knowing this was largely established, built and run on the backs of slaves.  Still, it is worth visiting and seeing. It is part of our nation's history and it tells the story of Charleston from an era gone by. We visited on an overcast day, right before the azaleas were at their peak but it was so gorgeous to behold! 
This is the classic South, right here...

In a stroke of great luck, we stumbled upon a wedding site that was being set-up on the grounds of the plantation. It was one of the most gorgeous locations I've seen and we were able to watch it come to life. I wish we could have been there for the real thing! The floral designer in me was almost giddy with inspiration!  Enjoy!!

Hard to capture in the daylight but this is the bar...can you see the gorgeous chandelier hanging overhead in that tree? 
Amazing detail!

Just breathtaking, wasn't it??

The iconic bridge at Magnolia, just stunning and straight out of a movie! 

Just gorgeous!!
What we didn't have time to do, and what my Mom was hoping to do without us, was the slave cabin tour. These photos are from the slave quarters and we got there too late to make the tour so we didn't get to experience that part. 

I'm not sure if I would have wanted to take that tour, my Mom sure did but it makes me very sad and it's sobering to see. I do know that as of a few years ago, there was still a descendant living on property simply because he wanted to. It was home to him and he didn't want to be anywhere else. That breaks my heart too.  It's history and the tour is probably very informative but I struggle with the very idea of slavery, let alone the very real reminders of it in the flesh. 

We loved our time at Magnolia! It was a gorgeous day and an amazing thing to see. 
I highly recommend it, should you find yourself in Charleston someday. 

We didn't have time to squeeze this amazing home tour in, but we did stop for a minute and I grabbed my zoom lens to see what I could capture from the car...

Beautiful!  All of that brick and those old windows and that front door??  So amazing. If I remember correctly, this is a home that has been preserved and not restored. So it is as it was, hundreds of years ago. I think I'm remembering that right? Don't quote me, it's late at night and I'm too lazy to google it :) 
Horse-drawn carriage rides and sheep grazing, not sure it get's more picturesque than that? 
Charleston, you are an amazing city~

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