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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Drayton Hall, Charleston South Carolina

Drayton Hall
front of signThe front of the historic sign indicates this plantation house is the only one along the Ashley River that has survived. That's it architecture is that of Georgian Palladian. The nature of that architecture is that the house inside and outside is balanced. What is to the right of door for example visually appears to be the same as that on left. If a bookcase or fireplace is a room with a shelf or window or one side, you'll find the same feature on the other.

back of signSide 2 of the sign talks about how grand, the Drayton families were. That William Henry (1742-1779) was a Revolutionary War Patriot, and Chief Justice in South Carolina, and a member of The Continental Congress. A person who fought for his rights, a person who fought to be free of someone else's control. It goes on to tell us Dr. Charles Drayton (1743-1822) was Lt. Governor, and John Drayton (1767-1822) was Governor of the State of South Carolina. Well yes, on the surface this would seem to be quite a family. It does not tell us about the huge number of slaves they owned. I personally found it ironic that a family who fought for their own freedoms, from the control of others would ignore the rights of others, and not only control England tried to control the colonies; but buy and sell them and hold them in bondage.
Front House ViewThis is the front view of the large plantation house. Notice the number of windows on each side of the door, the stairs lending up both sides. The balance of the design.

Side House ViewA side view gives you a feel for the depth and size of this house. This was indeed a grand house that would have been surrounding with out buildings, slave quarters, crops and the like.
out buildingAnd speaking of out buildings.

family crestNotice again the balance with a doorway on each side of the fire place. The family crest above the fireplace. There were examples in the house where a door might not have been a door, but appeared to be by the way it way painted and the molding etc....this might have been one.

smoke and treeA magnificent tree. It was quite large with moss hanging down. Here it looks rather eery due to very bad smoke the day we were there; due to forest fires in the area.

ceilingBeautiful details even on the ceiling.

escavationExcavation has taken place and plenty more scheduled. This plantation, is a preservation project , not a restoration project. There are 2 distinct schools of thought on learning history from historic areas/houses etc. Preservationists believe things should not be rebuilt, as rebuilding focuses on one time in history. They believe letting something stay in it's natural state is more of a living history. Personally, I disagree. I would rather have seen this place restored, to see it in all it's grandeur. The grandeur is what demanded the use of slaves, and as that was it's peak time, it's place in history such a vital part of our country; I'm not sure what happened to the house afterwards is of much interest. So, one family changed a color in a room, or added shelves or took out a wall...that seems insignificant to me. But, to see this house as it was, with period furnishes would have been a marvel to me

gift shopA small gift shop/museum is on the grounds.

stair caseLooking up to the 2nd story. Again...balance, details in the stairs and the walls.

growth chartDifficult o see, but if you click to enlarge and look where the Guides finger is pointing, you'll see a growth chart. Every year the family's children would measure up.

grand stair caseAnother view of the staircase. Can't you see someone in a fine gown decending...making their appearance as the quest looked up?

Family Grave CircleThough the older generations don't appear to be buried on property there is a small circular grave area. Only 2 burials appear to be here, that of Mary Jervey Drayton (July 13, 1920 through March 22, 2006), and John Garrnett Nelson (March 11, 1939 through Dec 8th, 1999). Obviously these are very recent burials. The hope is that these later generations will have a place at The Drayton Home. The center stone reads Haciter Ad Astra, which was the family motto, meaning; "this way to the stars".
House ModelA model showing 2 additional buildings exists. One of these building footprint is marked from the excavations.

The plantation became part of a National Trust in 1974.

It was very interesting, and I do recommend the tours for adults; definitely not for small children. There's lots of talking and no one is permitted to touch anything, or sit down. Standing still and listening would be very difficult for children. There's also a rather heavy push for contributions to the cause at the end of the tour. I'm all for honoring and remembering history, and giving people the opportunity to participate via contributions. But, you see the sign about that as you drive in; it's on your ticket, and your pamphlet, signs in the gift shop...and so the push at the end of the tour seemed a bit over bearing to my way of thinking.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Golf on Hilton Head Island

There are many who might say Golf is Hilton Head's middle name. They think of golf immediately when they think of Hilton Head. While others might think Beach. I think History, Civil War, Good Food, and more. For some good background on all Hilton Head has to offer, see these two post:
Meanwhile, back to golf. There are 26 golf courses on The Island with many more nearby. 20 of those 26 are championship courses. The Island, Hilton Head isn't all that large measuring 56 square miles, so 26 golf courses is Alot! That many courses gives you much to choice from. There are golf packages sometimes associated with a specific hotel or timeshare; there are packages which group certain courses together also.
These views are from the top of The Harbour Town Light House viewing The famous Harbour Town Golf Links Course where the prestigious Heritage Classic takes place.
The course is right next to the beach and the ocean, on land formerly a plantation. A plantation owned by The Lawton Family. A plantation that had owned slaves. Following the beautiful golf course along the tree line on the left, and you'll find a graveyard presumed to be mostly slaves, or freed slaves and their descendants. The Lawton Plantation then Stables has been moved to a new location within Sea Pines Plantation. The new and the old world with 2 vastly different uses.
It hasn't been a golf course all that long. I've read conflicting information about when the course was opened, one article said in 1969 and one in 1967.
The beautiful course offers views such as this sailing boat, and is open to the public. I'm not a golfer, though hubby is he's not played this course; but perhaps on another trip he will.

Enjoy the present, come and enjoy and play; but please remember and honor the past. They had a heavy burden and deserve our remembrance.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Harbour Town Hilton Head

Beautiful landscape, and The Lighthouse off in the distance. This is the view I had from the sidewalks edge from my accommodations at The Heritage Club. A short walk or ride on a bike through this path and you're smack dab in the middle of the shopping and dining area of Harbour Town.

crazy crabOne of the many restaurants. There are many, and most are opened both in and off season. Some have both inside and outside seating, many have great views. There's casual as well as more up scale dining options. Harbour Town Grill, C's, Harbour Town Bakery & Cafe, Quarterdeck to name a few. Want to combine dinner and entertainment, schedule a sunset dinner cruise on The Spirit of Harbour Town.

dog in boatEnjoy the many sites as you walk, ride or sit and enjoy. Watch the boats, the fishermen, the golfers off in a distance. In season there are many activities such as The Junior Golfer's Program, Ghost Stories, and free concerts by Gregg Russell to enjoy in Harbour Town. This particular scene made me think of Captain John and his Salty Dog. (if you missed that post, click here).
Plenty of beautiful homes, condo's and ships to view. Lots of shopping options too.

Another famous photo opt, probably almost as notable as The Lighthouse is this statue, "Out to Lunch", by J. Seward Johnson installed in 1975. Amongst the beautiful scenery are rows of rocking chairs where you can just sit and enjoy the sites.

On trip is not enough. In fact, I've been to Harbour Town on 3 different vacations, and am looking forward to a return trip.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Harbour Town Lighthouse, Hilton Head Island

Due to the number of photo's in this post, I opted for small photo's, but do click to enlarge them. All pictures are always clickable so you can see them better. But, using smaller photo's helps bandwidth and blog loading issues.
A very famous lighthouse, that's really NOT a lighthouse. The red and white 90 foot lighthouse was built in 1970, never served as a lighthouse...not a beacon to welcome weary ships in from their dangerous journeys at sea. It was built at Braddocks Point after Lawton Stables (formerly Lawton Plantation) was moved; as development for the area was in full swing. Shops, lodging, boat docks and of course The famous golf course, Harbour Town Golf Links where the famous Heritage Golf Classic takes place. If you've ever viewed this on TV, you've seen this lighthouse. It's the most recognized and photographed item on Hilton Head Island.
In the inside of the Lighthouse is a museum with historic pictures and memorabilia, as well as 2 gift shops. A gift shop on the bottom where you purchase your tickets, and a larger gift shop at the top. One u-tube video claims there are 114 steps to the top. Pete Dye with the help of Jack Nicklaus (the one I recognize in the picture) helped design the course.

Tried to get a photo through the glass without the glare of the flash didn't quite work. But, light is limited inside the Lighthouse and time to take photo's with lots of folks on the steps coming and going is difficult. I count 45 stars on this flag. Our flag got it's 45th star when Utah was added in 1896. The 45 stars remained until 1908, 12 years later. 3 US Presidents served under that flag, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was the only one not from Ohio.
The views from the top include the shopping area, some forest area, and some lodging.It's quite windy on top, so flag is always blowing.Looking towards the golf course you can see the long boat dock area.This boat dock area is right off the front side of Lighthouse
To the right of above boat dock area is a parking lot and wonderful beach area. As you can kayaking is popular.
And at the very point, almost looking straight down from The lighthouse an outside eating area from one of the many eating establishments in Harbour Town.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Robert Irvine's Eat Hilton Head

Red, hot, and dark. Those were the first things that came to mind when we sat down in our private circle booth for 2 at Robert Irvine's Eat! It's small and in a little shopping mall; a bit hard to find...but then many restaurants are in Hilton Head. That's apparently by design. The restaurant is quite dark, which is why the quality of the pictures is poor. I was surprised to see it so dark as our reservations were at 7 and it was through the week. Plus watching him on his many TV shows, he's often talked about the importance of not having a restaurant so dark it's patrons can't see the menu or wonder how clean the place is. Everything is red and black, very um-comfortably dark. Even the food looks red which isn't as appealing visually as it could be.

These pictures would be even more red had I not made some adjustments on the computer to the picture. We were there during restaurant week, so that made the pricing less of an issue then it otherwise might have been. It was pricey, and quite pretentious. The tables are nicely spaced but still it was loud, causes me to have to lean in to hear my hubby. I don't like the new trend of loud being equated with hip and good. The restaurant was only half full, which made me wonder how loud and uncomfortable it would be on a good night.

Since they weren't busy, and we had reservations we expected much better service then we got. There seemed to be a prevailing opinion in the air. Because they're owned by a celebrity they don't have to perform, that you'll be wow'd by them, by the food, and by the experience. We weren't. I had red pork chops as you can see. Actually do wonder what they really looked like. It was Fennel brined double cut pork chops with asparagus. I'm afraid I don't remember hubby's meal which is the previous picture. The food was good. The atmosphere and the service, not so much.

We were full and took our deserts with us to have back at our condo. This was a Carmel something. We each had a bite or two and pitched. Really not good.

Chocolate, peanut butter raspberry something...don't recall the exact name. Again we each had a bite or two, but found it easy not to finish it.

Summary, glad we went during Restaurant week, makes the sting less. Would I return or recommend? No and No. It is suitable for family's with children? NO

Be sure and pop back in next Monday, for Monday Menu on the 21st.
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