cypress gardens.

rowboats at cypress gardens
supertall trees and hidden pathways

The clear blue skies and seventy-five degree weather in Charleston on Saturday made the decision to go to Cypress Gardens an obvious one.  Rowing around the quiet swamp surrounded by century-old trees and endless lily pads was so calming, almost dream-like. We walked and sat and drifted and lingered for hours, in awe of such natural beauty.

lily pads
rowboat at cypress gardens
reflections
bridge

After eventually mastering the art of in-sync paddling, we had a moment of sheer terror as an alligator swam right by us (after we were repeatedly reassured that the alligators were dormant and would not be in the water). I didn't feel quite as calm then.

 But ominous gators aside, it was perfect. I needed this day. I left feeling restored and hopeful -- and what is more important than maintaining hope?

P.S. As a few people noted yesterday, this is where they filmed that hopelessly romantic boat scene from The Notebook. Also, a post about Cypress Gardens from two years ago.