After the beach, which turned out nicer than we thought it would (I finally got to ride the waves), we were going to go to Cypress Gardens and take a swamp boat ride. If this place doesn't sound familiar, it is where they filmed one signature scene in The Notebook, where Allie and Noah are riding in a canoe in a swamp filled with swans. You pay $10 to get into the Gardens, and if you choose to do the boat ride unguided, then it's no extra charge. So we drive about an hour and 20 minutes from Kiawah Island, into the middle of nowhere. At first, my apple GPS took us to the wrong spot. Then, once we finally find the location, it's CLOSED!!! Not just for today, but because of flooding. So basically, permanently closed. We were soooo disappointed. I swear, when I looked on the website last night, it said nothing about this. It still has up all the information about tours. We planned to get there around 2, before the last entry at 4. But no. It was closed. I felt like such an idiot. So learn from my mistakes. Do your research. Make sure the things you want to do are available to be done!
But we tried to make the most of the day. Emily and I were both tired after driving about two hours there and back. However, we did get the chance to stop at the Angel Oak Tree, which is this amazing Live Oak that's over 400 years old. It has wooden posts holding up some of the gigantic branches. Some of the branches go down into the ground and back up again. I wanted to climb on it so badly, but I made sure to pay attention to the signs: "Please don't carve the tree or climb on the tree." But y'all...it's literally the perfect tree to climb on. I could've found a place to sit and read for just hours and hours. It's such a beautiful place, and I promise, there's the magic of an angel in that tree. It's definitely a Charleston treasure--a must see.
We came back to the room, and I'll admit, I took a nap. I got a little more sun than I thought I did, and driving is exhausting. So, yes, I took a nap, preparing myself for dinner. And for some reason, when we were driving back into the city for dinner my GPS took us through the most trafficky area imaginable. Another lesson--use google maps, not apple maps. I've decided that if I ever live here (which I would love), I'm going to have to become very proficient at riding a bike. I just won't be able to deal with this traffic. Dinner ended up at Charleston Crab House, which is delicious. Definitely another suggestion. They have a cute little patio now, and the shrimp and grits are great. It's also one of the more affordable seafood places in the city.
Since we weren't on the beach for the sunset, we walked down the pier, and it was still beautiful watching the sun fall over the city. PLUS, we saw two dolphins swimming real close to the pier. I love dolphins--it's definitely on my bucket list to swim with dolphins. Or sea turtles. But more likely dolphins.
And now we've settled back into the condo watching the finale of "The Bachelor." So it wasn't the best day ever, but it was still a good day. I'm going to learn from my mistakes. But it was a beautiful day. I got some sun, saw a beautiful, old tree, ate some yummy food, and saw dolphins! Tomorrow, our last official day :( will be awesome! Plantations and a trip to Sullivan's Island. Stay tuned!!