Continuing with our trip coverage to Georgia, the Carolinas and East Tennessee… We arrived at our next destination, which was Charleston, South Carolina. I had taken my mother to Middleton Plantation several years before and when I saw that they had an inn with lodging, I made last-minute reservations for us to stay there through Hotels.com.
The Middleton Inn is at a separate entrance from the Plantation and you drive past the stables and paddocks before reaching the check-in building. We checked in, got our keys and headed to our building. It’s rather like a state park setting, with big dormitory-type buildings that house the rooms, with big windows looking out to the Ashley River.
Unfortunately you don’t get much of a view from the rooms due to the big trees. We were on the second floor and the stairs were steep with no elevator, but the room was nice and big with hardwood floors and a desk. The Windsor chairs are a nice touch visually, but not really comfortable for long-term lounging.
There are some nice benches, chairs, picnic tables and even hammocks out by the river which is a big plus for sitting and having an evening cocktail or your morning coffee. In the evening they served wine and cheese in the lodge by the river and morning breakfast was in the lake house – although I didn’t see a lake from the windows. The pool area was really neat as it sat right next to the river – a family was happily splashing and playing the afternoon we arrived.
This would be the perfect place to bring your family – especially if you wanted to ride horses or bring your bikes and have lots of outdoor things for the children.
The highlight for me was waking up at dawn and slipping out to drink my coffee by the river as the sun rose. Wally was worn out from driving so I let him sleep. I then grabbed my camera and made the short walk through the woods to the Middleton Plantation to wander the grounds. The admission is included with the Inn lodging, so I had free range on the manicured grounds and no one in sight.
The sun cast a warm glow on the Ashley River and a light fog was burning off as I wandered up to the reflecting ponds at the base of the famous Middleton terraces. Several alligators were in search of breakfast and I crept up to capture this one’s watchful gaze.
I then walked along the path by the river, which was dead calm, providing a perfect reflection of the trees and sky.
The path led me up the hill and through the formal garden area. The roses weren’t blooming but the fog and light was pretty.
The path then led past the reflecting pond where a pair of swans came over to say good morning. See, his mouth is even open!
A peacock began to cue up it’s distinctive morning call and I knew I would have to go find him next. He continued to beckon, so I set off towards the farmyard area. And there he was, preening in the morning sun!
The horse stables were next and I could hear the sounds of the morning feeding – Buckets clattering and impatient stamps as the horses awaited their turn to be fed and the industrious noise of grain being consumed.
The fire had just been lit in the blacksmith shop and the combination of a smoky fireplace and the strong morning light created a wonderful photo.
The walled garden was just beyond the stable and was neatly planted. I love their pottery plant markers.
And in the next area…
LAMBS!!!! Week-old little lambs – my favorite! They were just waking up and as I stood there, their sheep volunteer worker arrived to feed them.
And play with them! Isn’t that the sweetest face you’ve ever seen??? And then she shared… (shhh – guests aren’t supposed to handle the livestock!). And yes, I look like I rolled out of bed at dawn without looking in the mirror…
By this time I knew Wally would be wondering where I was, so I started moving faster, even though I didn’t want to!
I arrived back at the room, we had breakfast, packed up and checked out, and it was on to our next adventure…