My husband and I go to South Carolina once a year and we always like to tour old, historic homes and plantations. This year we visited Middleton Place, which is 15 miles from Charleston and along the Ashley River. Middleton was initially a country residence and eventually became an active rice plantation. You can read more about the history here. With the Azaleas in bloom right now, the gardens at Middleton are gorgeous! Azaleas are one of my favorites, but unfortunately I can't seem to grow them. Too much clay in the soil. The only time I get to admire the azaleas is on the annual trip to SC or GA. One other cool thing about this place is the alligators. The gators like to sun themselves along the banks of the ponds here. No they aren't the big guys, just 5 footers or smaller. Here are some pics.
Yikes, but pretty cool huh?
Look at how close this gator is to the path. If we were walking on that path 5 minutes later he would have literally scared the crap out of me!