By Sam Burnham
We spent the week leading up to Thanksgiving in the Charleston area. It was a typical Iron Skillet Travels style getaway. Our base of operations this time was too notable to not get it's own special post. Oh it wasn't a luxurious spa, a stately plantation mansion, or a re-purposed cotton mill. No this one is quite special in its own way.
The managing editor found this little gem on Airbnb. It is located in the Shem Creek area of Mt. Pleasant. It is a recently renovated duplex and we we're staying in one side. The other side appears to still be in the renovation process but there was not a single minute that any work there disturbed our quiet or relaxation. The neighborhood is in a bit of a transition with most of the homes either recently renovated or in the process. The work seems to be following a traditional theme. It is tasteful and lovely. The "main drag" through that part of town features local business and restaurants. It is probably much busier during the summer season but it was a The location is very convenient to downtown Charleston, Sullivan's Island, and Isle of Palms.
The home itself holds a simple beauty. The decor is not overblown or obnoxious as you might find in many vacation homes. While the home is not huge, it was plenty big enough for our tight-knit group of five.
In the living area there is cozy furniture and ample lamplight for an evening read. The window shades allow for a view of outside or privacy. There is a large television which we used to catch most of the Georgia game. But most of the time there was spent reading, planning, or relaxing.
The bath is small, as is the entire unit. But the use of a shower is a good optimization of space. You see shelving and a sink with vanity. Plush towels and tasteful decor are definitely a nice touch. Again, small and simple but adequate and realistic.
The bottom sash of the window is frosted to offer privacy. But the window can also be opened to allow the fresh fall air to come if on a November evening.
The outdoor areas offer a bit of home away from home. There is a small but adequate backyard where the boys got to enjoy some fresh air and at least one time throwing a ball around. I already mentioned the picnic table on the patio which we dined at a few times. There is a charcoal grill as well. On Saturday evening you could hear others along the street enjoying grilling and games - nothing bothersome or out of the way, just a friendly and festive neighborhood atmosphere. That seemed to enhance the backyard that evening.
The front yard is dominated by an oak tree surrounded by a mulched area. It is a welcome sight after a long day of touring the area. The front porch is screened in and offers some lovely vintage seating. It's a great spot of an evening of porch sitting.
Overall, it is a beautiful stop. We loved the simplicity, the comfort, even the closeness of it all was nice for a family holiday outing. This is an excellent choice for a small family or perhaps a couple. Comfortable and convenient.
By Sam Burnham
Sometimes we get too caught up in the race. We get focused on poltics or cultural struggles or work or any numerous other distractions. Too often I get so caught up in fighting for Southern culture that I miss out on actually being Southern. That's what I'm seeing right now. I'm starting this post after a much needed porch sitting during a storm.
I needed it
By Sam Burnham
The recent trip to Virginia gave me many ideas for stories to share here. I think there are many ideas that go with our small town theory we've been discussing and we'll get to that soon. But Before we do, I'd like to focus on one of the more beautiful sites I encountered along the way.
In the South, the great houses are a thing of legend. In all likelihood, this particular home was the first among them. Completed in 1722. the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg served as the the seat of power and the home of the king's designated colonial governor of Virginia. The governor that is discussed the most in the Revolutionary City was the final royal governor, John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore typically called Lord Dunmore.
The original structure was destroyed by fire in 1781, just months after the capital was moved to Richmond. John D. Rockefeller made the commitment to restore the city as a historic landmark and the Governor's Palace was reconstructed using plans discovered at Monticello. Thomas Jefferson had drawn up detailed plans on the structure while planning some renovations during his tenure as governor. While the plans were not used by Jefferson himself, they proved invaluable to the reconstruction effort.
The color in the gardens is beautiful even during the onset of fall. There's a resident cat, "Sir Thomas Grey" who roams the gardens much like his predecessors would have. Among the other life are squirrels and more than a few birds.
While such rooms and gardens are not practical in most of our homes today, this was not an ordinary home. This is a gem from yet another bygone era. An fitting reproduction of an elegant home of yesteryear and a recommended stop for anyone finding themselves in the area.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire