Friday, July 5, 2013

The Southern Journey 2013

Just got home from what we have called our "historical tour" of the South.

We had planned this trip for some time with my sister, Linda, coming along for the tour.  She is a walking history book (a history teacher) and gave many insights to the landmarks we visited.

Our first stop was Charleston, South Carolina, where we toured many historical homes. I'll not give you the whole "lecture" on each home but just show you some pictures of the sights we saw!

This was the John Calhoun house.  Such a beautiful house on the outside but we were terribly disappointed about the inside.  Apparently the present owner lives there part of the time and is a collector of all kinds of artifacts and art. The house was filled with so many "what-nots" that to me it took away from the beauty of the period of the house.  Wild-looking....not tastefully done from my perspective.  Others may love it but I thought it was "tacky". Plus, it cost more than all the other historical homes to visit.

Here we are on a wind-swept day by the Charleston Bay. The weather co-operated so very nicely and rained only when we were touring!

The two homes above are typical residences in the historical area of Charleston!

I think my very favorite things are the lush landscaping around the area.  Love the little garden gates that lead to a small garden between houses.  We saw nearly every plant imaginable and all so healthy and in bloom!

We took a boat ride out to the island that Fort Sumter is on.  It was very interesting and certainly made you stop and realize how difficult soldiers' lives were in those days.

After two days in Charleston, we left via the interesting-looking Ravenel Bridge to drive to North Carolina and Virginia.

We made a quick pit-stop at Myrtle Beach to let Sister put her feet in the Atlantic Ocean.  Yes, we were the only people on the beach fully clothed!

We drove to one of my all-time favorite places: Williamsburg, Virginia.
This was an all day adventure and we loved every minute.

I love the grounds there.  So well-kept and even has vegetable gardens and flowers of all varieties.

The day we were there they were having a re-enactment of "The British are coming, the British are coming!!"

I love the authenticity of all the clothes they wear.  Even in the hot weather!

From Williamsburg we traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia to visit Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.

Monticello sits up on top of a beautiful mountain.  The land surrounding the house are breath-taking! A full garden was planted for many acres.

Of course, they do not allow pictures to be made in any of these homes but they were each unique as the builder himself(Jefferson) planned.  

Such interesting trunks on this tree.

Sister posing with Thomas Jefferson at the end of our tour.

Our next stop was in Charlotte, North Carolina to visit Billy Graham's childhood home and museum.  The pictures do not do it justice.  It was so beautiful!

The museum itself is in this barn.  It was very professionally done down to the unique "barn" bathrooms!  It was one of the highlights of our whole trip.  So much history about Billy and his family but everything said and shown pointed to the great God we serve and how He used Billy for His purposes.  It was very moving.  Well done!

Ruth Bell Graham is buried on the property.  She had the most simple flat stone marker that simply said her name and this: " End of construction. Thank you for your patience."  She had quite the sense of humor.  But, to think of it, that describes the end of life, doesn't it?

Hubs and I are sitting in front of the gravesite of George Beverly Shea who recently passed away and is also buried in the garden area.

After we left Charlotte, we headed for Tennessee.  We drove through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and had planned to stop and visit.  The traffic was so bad that we decided we weren't interested in shows, miniature golf or shopping so that left us with eating and moving on. We were there less than 2 hours!

We hadn't planned to go to Nashville but we decided to drive there and go through Andrew Jackson's home, The Hermitage.

Out of all the historical homes we visited, The Hermitage was one that I would have loved to live in, well, providing someone would build a modern bathroom near the bedrooms!  It really wouldn't matter to me that the kitchen was in another building away from the house!

The bedrooms were HUGE and the entryway had the original wallpaper which I loved!  

The grounds were just spacious and the landscapes were awesome.  You could take a ride around the property in a horse-drawn wagon. 

People have different opinions, I'm sure, about the presidency of Andrew Jackson but I know this one thing about him....he loved his wife.
He built this tomb honoring her where he expressed his great love for her. He was buried next to her with hardly any words on his tombstone.

We went downtown Nashville just to show Sister the sights.

There is always lots of "live" music on the streets and many wannabe country singers.

But you know you will always run into this guy everywhere you turn! So I made Sister stand next to him so I could make her picture!

We put nearly 3,000 miles on the car, ate in 10 (at least) Cracker Barrels (that's 'cause we are fancy people) but had the BEST time!

Coming home just in time for the Fourth of July and fresh in our minds the sight and sounds of our beloved country!

We talked so many times of how blessed we are!

God Bless America!
Land that I Love!

Where are you heading out to (or have been to) this summer?


Charity said...

I love touring historical homes! Here in Indiana we don't have many, but I remember travelling with my Grams as a child and touring Antebellum's. those are my favorite!

That being said, that bridge gives me the heebie jeebies. I think I would have met Jesus about 7 feet into the bridge.

Melanie Keffer said...

Oh Judy! I really just wish we knew one another better! We like so many of the same things! I have seen almost all of the sights you talked about . . . I wish I could tell you the funny story about my visit to Charleston, SC!

My oldest daughter went to law school in Virginia and is about to move back to Chesapeake this August to begin her new job! We love all the history in Virginia. So does Kathleen. We almost always try to see something when we go there to visit her.

As for Billy Graham's home . . . I watched the dedication of the barn/ library/museum . . . That is somewhere I would love to visit. I really admired Ruth Graham and loved reading what she wrote.

I could go on commenting but am most amazed that for two completely random strangers, we have such similar tastes . . It makes me smile and reminds me just how good God is.

Keep on writing. I really enjoy your blog, like a pleasant visit from a friend. I am sure I am not the only one.

God bless you Judy. Thanks for sharing your trip.

Melanie Keffer
Olive Branch, MS

Love Being A Nonny said...

Oh Judy, how fun! I WISH I had known you were going to be in Charlotte! I would have LOVED to have met you even for a brief moment! I have been to most or all of the places you visited....awesome sites! Let me know if you visit NC again! Much love, the other Nonny

Maryellen said...

Judy what a wonderful trip.
I have been blessed to travel to many of those historical places myself.
So funny in school I hated history.
But now as an adult I so enjoy it.
Wish I had applied myself more back than.
Some things you just don't appreciate until you are older ; )

Cherry said...

Judy, I was SO excited to see a post from you! Like M.K. said, "like a pleasant visit from a friend"! What a wonderful trip you 3 had! My husband & I saw the Billy Graham home/grounds on a "stop when you see something" trip we made 2 years ago. We got there about an hour before they closed, but it was also the highlight of our trip and I/we were touched by the same things you were! Thanks for sharing your trip! And thanks for the "pleasant visit":) Cherry(from Jax, FL)

sl said...

What a great trip! Sounds like such fun! The next time you are in the Smokey Mts. go to Townsend TN. It is called the quiet side of the smokies. We love it. So much quiter and less crowded. It is by Cades Cobves. Love Cades Cove. We go every yr.

Missy said...

great "southern journey" - we did monticello a few years ago and were amazed. last year we visited mount vernon and were sadly disappointed in comparison. funny how different the homes were set up given the time periods. love your pictures! thanks for sharing!

Kimberley said...

now this is my kind of trip!! I can't wait to do this with the boys, but I'm sure they won't appreciate the history!! ha! I would LOVE to go into those homes!! Hopefully someday!

I giggled when you referred to Linda as sister! :)

We just got back last week from Gulf Shores, AL. And my boys, along with my niece and nephew, only wanted to get in the pool! Go figure! Glad we drove that far for a pool! :)

Cathy's World said...

Hi Judy, What beautiful pictures. I have always wanted to visit SC and NC. I hope someday my husband and I will be able to take that trip.I love all of the pictures!

I wanted to ask if you could please pray for my mom. She has been in a rehab facility for 3 months now. If she can get out of bed on her own I will be able to take her back home. She had a GI bleed and since they gave her narcotics for the pain, she tried to stand up and fell. Now it has been a roller coaster ride.

Thank you.

Much love,

Casey said...

I love reading blogs where people have visited my city, Charleston, SC. I hope you enjoyed it. Wish I had run into you :)

Kelley said...

What a wonderful trip! We haven't traveled to those areas. I would love to do that next summer. I loved seeing your pictures!

Candis Berge said...

Oh, great pictures, thanks for the tour! I would have enjoyed every bit of that trip too. I remember going to Williamsburg as a young girl with my family (from NJ) and my mom saying "you could go to college here" (we were on the campus of W & M). It was the gift of a "future" that I was given with that statement. I'll never forget how I felt. And we love Cracker Barrel and have a well-worn Cracker Barrel map when we travel. None around here where we live, so it's a big treat. Maybe we'll have to meet in a Cracker Barrel some day! ha ha.

Johanne said...

Wow, such beauty!! I can tell by the wonderful places you have been to and seen that you had a wonderful trip. I hope someday to see all the beautiful places in the USA :) I have only been to a couple places but someday I will see more :) Thank you for sharing.

Betsy said...

Well, that sounds like SO much fun, Judy!! It is right up my alley in so many ways. I am a total history nerd, so I love all the history you saw. Plus you were right in all my stomping grounds! I can't believe you were here in Charlotte and I didn't know! I would have loved to see you, but I'm sure you were very busy and on a tight schedule. I also love Charleston, and Nashville is the home of my childhood so I am so familiar with everything you did and saw. I really want to go to Williamsburg at some point, though. Somehow, I have never managed to get there! glad you had a good time. It looks like it was lots of fun! :)

linda in georgia said...

Love seeing the pics of your travels! I have been to Williamsburg and loved it! Have pics of hubby and me in shackles! Since I live close to Nashville, I have been to the Hermitage. Great place to visit. Wonderful history lesson. I live in NW AL now. The Shoals area offers alot for tourist.(and residents!) The Helen Keller home is a most interesting tour. I took some friends visiting from AR and we enjoyed learning about her. It is amazing what our great country has to see and do! Enjoy the rest of your's almost football season! WPS.....

The Garners said...

I loved getting a little glimpse of your amazing trip! Thanks for sharing your pictures!

me said...

History is an obsession of mine! When we plan family vacation's, we try to sneak in a part of history as well. I want my children to appreciate it. I am extremely proud to call the south my home. Charleston is our go to every summer. Kiawaih Island, Isle of Palm, Seabrook Island...the beaches here never get old. Glad you enjoyed your visit! One more to study up on Andrew Jackson! One of my favs for sure.

Stephanie said...

Such a fun vacation! I am lucky to live about 45 minutes from Williamsburg and as a VA resident we can get a year pass. My 8 year old daughter is a real history buff so we make the most of it. Glad you enjoyed your time in my beautiful state!

Sarah said...

Is Williamsburg the best?! I love it!

Elizabeth Day said...

Judy, I really enjoyed revisiting some of our favorite vacation spots and discovering some new ones. Looks like you had a wonderful trip. We have decided to wait until winter to leave northwest La. and make our trip up through Ga. and into the Carolina's to visit friends on our way up to Indiana for Christmas with our son and family. Thanks again for sharing your trip with us.