May 18, 2012

Visting the Carolinas, part 2

The next part of our trip we drove from Charlotte to Manning, South Carolina. My husbands family recently moved there from Charlotte. You know you've arrived in Manning because there is a big sign that welcomes you, unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of it, but it made me smile every time I saw it. The sign says, "Welcome to Manning matchless for beauty and hospitality." They really held up to their motto too! What a lovely small town Manning is. We enjoyed exploring it and getting some local doughnuts.

I miss seeing so many churches.

 I also miss giant pine cones.

My husbands family has a backyard that backs right up onto a field. We had fun walking through it to the woods.

 My husband and his brother were target practicing, lets just say they missed a few times. 

 It was a field unlike the many here in Nebraska. It was full of life, color and diversity. It was pretty.

Their dog Sienna as you can see really enjoys the freedom of the country life too.

Just a short drive from Manning is Santee National Wildlife Refuge. There is a section that they call Alligator Alley. We were excited to go exploring and see some gators.

As we got closer to Alligator Alley the forest kept getting more and more dense.

As you can see we had a lot of fun spending time with my husbands younger siblings.

The entire time we explored Alligator Alley we only saw one warning sign. It didn't even really tell you what to do in case one is aggressive. I suppose there isn't too much to worry about.

Then we spotted are first gator. Ironically very close to the warning sign.  You didn't actually think we would see any did you?

Then there were two.

With all the excitement of spotting our first gators we decided to go for a hike down Otter Trail in hopes of finding more.

The first thing we spotted when we set foot on the trail was a small pile of bones. How creepy is that!?!

It was easy to imagine gators in the murky water on either side of the trail. We definitely heard something big splashing around a couple times.

We encountered lots of spider webs.

And some very pretty views.

On our way out we saw this guy. When we stopped to observe him we realized there was an entire gator family just a few feet away. The Cookie Monster got close enough to get this picture.

I kept my distance. I know not to mess with a mother and her babies!

After a long day of exploring there's nothing better than sitting down to a good meal.

We were treated with a full southern experience at Redbone Alley. How fitting?

This inside of the restaurant is designed to actually look like it's all outside. It was too fun! I highly recommend eating there if you ever get the chance.

It was a tough decision but we settled on Cajun Shrimp and Fried Green Tomatoes for an appetizer. My husband ordered Cajun Fried Shrimp with Blue Cheese Bacon Slaw for his entree and I got Blackened Salmon on top of Pimento Cheese Grits. We of course had sweet tea to drink. Yes if you're wondering it was roll your eyes in the back of your head good!

A South Carolina sunset was the perfect end to the day! Make sure you come back to find out what else we did while we visited the Carolinas.

P.S. Did you hear I'm doing a Giveaway and that it ends May 19th at Midnight? Click HERE to find out about it. Times a tickin' folks!


  1. I enjoyed your trip via photos through the Carolinas. My son just finished his master's degree at U of SC and we have enjoyed doing a little exploring while he's been there. It's definitely different looking country than Kansas and Nebraska, isn't it?! I especially liked the spider web and the sunset photos.

  2. I can't believe they let people just walk around the alligators! Are they afraid of people?


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