Category: South Carolina

Animals Across the Globe

Earth day is fast approaching and during each trip we see many animals. The little critters we come across can be someone’s pet, a poor stray one, or an exotic creature that requires a second or third glance. The first photo is one of my favorites from our trip to Costa Rica. The bulging eyes just make me laugh. We came across this little guy during a raining and humid walk through a Costa Rican Rain Forest. Dividing the photos into countries and regions is challenges and of course, this is just a sample of what I have seen through my travels from North America, Central America, and South America; and the African continent. I hope you enjoy.

Central America & South America

The Red-Eyed Tree Frog

The Poison Dart Frog

Costa Rica has 8 known species of poison dart frogs or poison arrow frogs. We heard this misconception during our tour that if touch these frogs you will be poisoned and die. This little amphibians of Costa Rica do not carry enough toxin that is strong (poisonous enough) to penetrate unbroken skin. I do caution not risking picking them up if you think any tiny cuts. In addition, these frogs are small, fragile species. They are best left unhandled and viewed from a distance.

Hummingbird of Costa Rica

A Keel Billed Toucan

Iguana on A Bridge

Ecuador is a small South American country that is offers a paradise feel nearly the very near paradise feel and an amazingly relaxed culture expressed by the people. You can visit many historic churches, buildings, and heritage sites and cities. The animals I saw during my first trip here varied and this included bats, snakes, reptiles, and birds. I missed visiting the Galapagos Islands. This is not to be of a too much a concern as it offers me an excuse to return and see other parts of Quito and the country during my next visit.

A Bat in Ecuador or Perhaps Two (Hard to Tell)

Watch Out for the This Little Guy…

Llama in the Field in Ecuador


Enjoying the Sun- A Lioness in Tanzania

Perhaps one of my favorite places to visit is Africa and this wonderful continent is on my backlist for a the next international trip soon. I just need to find the time and plan this next adventure. Love seeing the animals in their nature environments. Zoos are wonderful and offer the opportunity for those who may never be able to see the animals, but there is nothing like seeing the pride of lions, wildebeest, or a baby elephant with its mother at a watering hole. Go and explore this planet. 

Stork in Africa

Giraffes -Traffic Jam Not Often Seen

North America– The House-pet Review 

Enjoying the Morning in South Carolina

Little One Seems Sad

A Couple of Wild Critters in North America on Land and Sea

Humpback Whales

A Rabbit Enjoying an AM Snake

Kure Beach Pier—Don’t feed the birds!

I just realized that this could go on and on as I keep finding photos of animals. Seeing animal friends in photos gives me a different perspective of my travels. Until the next adventure and please do share your thoughts…. 

A final photo from India here. 

A Goat to the Slaughter


Historic Columbia, SC


Robert Mills House

During a recent work-related visit to Columbia, I took advantage of visiting Historic Columbia to learn and see more the history of the capital of South Carolina. If history especially pre and post civil war history is something of interest to you, you would not be disappointed with a visit to Historic Columbia 

This non-profit organization offers a variety of tours both guides and self-guided options. They also can host special events including weddings. I chose to take advantage of the combo historic house museum tour pass and use the AAA discount costing $28 per person (originally $36 pp).

The four historic house museums are now known as: The Robert Mills House & Gardens, The Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens, Mann-Simons Site, and the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. Historic Columbia is working on restoring a fifth home, but it is not currently home for tours.  In addition, the homes are open for docent tours at various times. I recommend going to the Historic Columbia  to plan your visit.

The Robert Mills House (circa 1823)

In brief,  this Classical Revival home has had been known by locals and in history by a couple of names from its original owners townhouse-The Hall House to its present name Robert Mills House; its designer.  This home was to three religious schools before the historic preservation society saved it from destruction. I recommend seeing this museum visit as this is where you will purchase your tickets to any of the tours in the gift shops on the ground floor (see image below). There is free parking at the site. Just pull in through the open brown gates or park in any of the spaces without meters directly in front of the home.


Building of Gift Shop…Robert Mills House


Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens

The Hampton-Preston Manson & Garden (circa 1818)

Stepping back 200 years, this pre-civil home has probably seen quite a lot throughout the last two Centuries. The home survived Sherman’s march to the sea leading to most of Columbia’s Business district being burned.  This is each walk from the Robert Mills House as it is directly across the street and was built by Sarah Hall, who lived in the home for until 1823.  The Hampton’s owned the home for the next 50 years. Hence, the first name and then, the Preston families who owned this home both owned the gardens and land around the home. The historic society does a excellent job detailing the historic depiction of the many enslaved individuals prior to the Civil War from the records that they can find and verbal accounts.  Other owners including colleges and hotel-like home was also part of this homes history.


Stairways in Hampton-Preston



Restored Historic Fountain


Interesting Root System in Hampton-Preston Gardens


The Mann-Simons Site (circa early 1840’s)

Mann Simons Site

The Mann-Simons House/Site

This site is setup more like a museum with videos, old images, graphs, videos, etc. This little gem of a home and site is over 130 years and was owned by the same African-American. You can trace the family from enslavement through urban renewal as they were one of the first families to combine commercial and domestic spaces together. Another historic house on the Historic Columbia worth visiting.

Woodrow Wilson Family Home (circa 1871)

Woodrow Wilson Home

Woodrow Wilson Family Home

I have been to Augusta and seen our 28th President’s boyhood home. So, why not see this one during the visit to Columbia? This Italian Villa looking home was recently renovated and now, is setup similar to the Mann-Simmons Site like a museum with little historic items within the home. The home offers an interpretation of the racial, social, and political landscape during the time of the Wilson’s in Columbia before the moved to Wilmington, NC. Some interesting finds are in the next couple of images.

Red Shirt

Red Shirt- Replaced KKK for Period

woodrow for

Political Stuff


Where I Stayed

Mary Chesnut B & B 

This five room bed & breakfast about directly across the street from the Woodrow Wilson family home is worth a stay. The owners Gale and Sherwood will make your stay as comfortable as possible. They is plenty of parking, fresh coffee, and Sherwood makes an outstanding breakfast each morning during our two night stay. Highly recommended.

Hotel Trundle 

The newest offering in the Main Street District of Columbia offers 41 boutique-style rooms that are uniquely decorated in a retro-style feel. The warmth of a brick wall on one side makes for historic feel and love the pillow quote (see below).  The staff was welcoming and warm. They offer a small breakfast of juice, fruits, cake and coffee.  This is reasonability priced and an easy walk to Main Street. Check it out on


Hotel Trundle Room


Hotel Trundle-House Phone


Hotel Trundle Frig.


Butterflies…Butterflies… Butterflies

SC Botanical Gardens

We explored the SC Botanical Gardens in Clemson and loved the many butterflies enjoying the flower in full bloom. These gardens are a must visit and worthy of a day or half-day visit exploring the many gardens, trails, and historic homes taking in the beautiful scenery.  Of course, one must mention that these beautiful gardens were once a former plantation property donated by Thomas Green Clemson to develop an educational institution and Clemson University was first known as Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina.


The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail


The Black Swallowtail



Hanover House (built b/t 1714-16)

Hanover House is a French Huguenot house built in 1714-1716 and also located in the SC Botanical Gardens. The house has been moved a couple of times from its original location as a means to preserve it (see image below). Hanover house is also known as the St. Julien-Ravenel House and is truly a unique visit as gives a glimpses to life in the New World before the revolutionary war.




Hanover House

Old Stone Church, Clemson, SC (circa, 1802)


Old Stone Church

We came across this interesting structure and had to stop for a quick visit. This pre-antebellum example of life is beautiful and represents the ending of the frontier period in SC. Constructed (per recorded between 1797-1802), we enjoyed this short visit to both the church and cemetery. The historic church is also a venue for wedding ceremonies. Learn more about the Old Stone Church



Reedy River Falls-

Reedy River Falls-Greenville, SC

One can’t believe that for over 40 years, these beautiful falls were overshadowed by a four lane bridge. It was the vision of the Carolina Foothills Garden Club who saw the potential of the landscape under and around the bridge. It was removed and replaced with a far less obtrusive walking bridge known as “Liberty Bridge.”


Reedy River Falls


The Forgotten Falls-Before and After


Liberty Bridge


Reedy River Falls

A short post here as we were driving through this lovely downtown of Greenville, South Carolina. We enjoyed a wonderful meal at Smoke on the Water. It is located near the bridge and quite enjoyable to either sit outside or dine inside depending on the weather.


Redcliffe Plantation-Worth A Visit

About 10 minutes outside of Augusta you will find Redcliffe Plantation 

Redcliffe Plantation

We have begun our journey on the Antebellum Trail with a stay in Augusta. First, we explored one of several of James Henry Hammond’s plantation. At one time, he had over 15,000 acres of land and hundreds of slaves. He was a cotton planter, congressman, over, and senator who spent his live defending the southern plantation system. Four generations of his family lived on this plantation and six generations of African-American descendants to this terrible part of our his have lived here.


This 360 + acre property is now a state park and part of the SC Parks system. I highly recommend a visit to this off the historical site.

Do keep in mind there is no A/C in the house. So, with the heat of our Summer days here in the South, one can expect some quite hot and humid conditions. Plan you visit accordingly. There are three tours offered daily on Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

The address for Redcliffe is 181 Redcliffe Rd, Beech Island, SC

Please be sure to have lunch before you go exploring here as there is not much to offer on this little island beyond the plantation; only a few fast-food options.

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Charleston-Old Southern Charm

A recent visit to Charleston, South Carolina and a stay in its historical district left us wishing for more culture and history of the south.  So, expect another exploration of charming city in the south in April. I have already booked the weekend trip.


View from Battery Park


The Stain Glass of St. Michael’s

The Pink House.jpeg

The Pink House Historic Downtown Charleston

These are three of my most favorite areas of Charleston to visit: Battery Park, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, and the Historic Distric of Charleston.  Of course, there are are so much more to see, explore, and take in while visiting this oldest and largest city of South Carolina. We often stay at the Indigo Inn located the heart of the Historic District.  This little B & B can be you jumping off point for your visit to Charleston. I always use:

Please check out Charleston-Eater for the latest areas or cocktails

Another good option is to request a free visitor guide from Explore Charleston (if you are planning your trip a few weeks in advance).

In any event, you are sure to enjoy this charming southern city.