Laura said she really needed a weekend away before school got ramped up. Her only requirements were (1) that it had a decent outdoor pool and (2) that it be in a town where where we hardly know anyone. My suggestion of the Newberry YMCA didn’t go over very well.
We went online and searched for possibilities within a reasonable drive – Asheville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Maggie Valley, Myrtle Beach, etc. For a spur-of-the-moment get away, things were looking pretty full up. I guess the weekend before school starts is a popular time for one last fling. The Charleston area was also looking pretty dim until we came upon the Middleton Inn. It was pricier than what we had planned, but we decided on a splurge.
With my recent trips to the Edisto, it seems like I’ve driven this stretch of I-26 quite a bit lately. The bulk of the trip passed without incident. We exited at Summerville and briefly got off track, but soon were on the Ashley River Road. A nearly-full moon barely illuminated the moss overhung road. Southern spookiness dripped from the trees.
Middleton Inn is located right next to Middleton Place Gardens on the Ashley River. The entrance was marked by two low stone pillars and a discreet sign. The entrance road itself was dirt, and wound past more moss-covered trees. We weren’t sure what we were were in for. Finally we reached the registration building, separate from the inn, and got our room and our very old-fashioned keys.
The room itself was spartan elegance, with a fireplace, wooden chairs, a tiny TV, and plain wooden desk. The most impressive feature was two walls completely of windows with floor-to-ceiling plantation shutters. The windows looked out over the river. We could have be open to the world, had we wanted. The bath was unusual, too, with sliding doors and a huge, shower/tub combo.
There was an extensive list of activities, which included kayaking, swimming, bird watching, and free passes to the gardens. It was obvious that there was much more to do than just hang around in a hotel room. However, those would have to wait. We were tired, and after watching a few more Olympics, crashed.