Two weeks ago I traveled with Matt to Charleston, South Carolina, while he attended a class there. This was our first trip ever away overnight alone together. Big thanks to my parents for coming all the way across Pennsylvania to watch the boys while we were away!

We went straight from the airport to Middleton Place. January is not a busy time for tourism in Charleston, so we nearly had the entire estate to ourselves. The original plantation house was destroyed by fire near the end of the civil war. This is all that remains.

There were many, many huge trees like this one. Matt’s not small, so you can get an idea of how big this tree is. Many of them were also draped with this gorgeous Spanish moss. So even though much of the gardens weren’t in bloom, they were still quite striking. Camera propped on camera bag + self-timer. I think my favorite part of the plantation was this cypress swamp. The little stubs sticking out of the water are called cypress knees. I learned that they come up to help bring oxygen to the tree since most of the roots are under water.Sunrise looking out our hotel window, taken while lying in bed.

On Day Two, while Matt was at class, I wandered around the downtown area. It’s an interesting combination of tourists and college students, and is very clean and colorful. This is Rainbow Row.

I spent most of this day shooting video, which I edited into this three-minute piece.

On the last day, on our way to tour a historic house, we passed St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, which had these fabulous red doors. We toured the Aiken-Rhett house, which is preserved rather than restored. Photography isn’t allowed inside, but you are permitted to take pictures outside in the yard. The building on the left was the slave quarters. The tour was a self-guided audio tour. Here’s one of the fleeting moments of sun.

Our final stop before heading to the airport was to tour Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. This is another large estate with acres of gardens, trees, little lakes, bridges and some swampy areas. It was a bit cold and overcast. But then we had this miracle quick blast of sun, and Matt, a little bit ahead of me told me to hurry up and get over here! I’m so glad he did, or I wouldn’t have this photo, which is my favorite from the trip. I just need to figure out where in our house we can put a large mounted print of it. Maybe even canvas. I had just enough time for about five more rapid fire shots, and then the sun was gone, and soon so were we.