I took off for a long weekend to Charleston, South Carolina. For a long time, I had this idea that I was going to move there, without ever having been there. I had (and still have) a lot of romantic notions about the South, thanks to Pat Conroy and Margaret Mitchell. I thought (and still think) that everyone must sip their iced tea while sitting out on a veranda all breathless and sighing, I'll think about that tomorrow.
We wandered around the city of Charleston by foot and saw the gardens, the river, the grandiose homes. To my delight, I did see women with enormous sun bonnets and men in Seersucker suits. I lamented over the heat (96 every day) and sat on park benches fanning myself with my hand thinking where oh where is my lemonade? Someone pass the smelling salts before I faint!
At the very last minute of our day, we took a detour to find this live oak on John's Island. I've seen various reports of it's age (anywhere from 400 to 1500 years old) but I could not believe it's size, the way it sprang from the earth with it's mutant branches as if it could swallow up the sky. No matter how many times I have watched Scarlett O'Hara turn drapes into dresses, nothing could have prepared me for the Angel Oak. It was such an extraordinary sight.