One of my road trips in 2013 took me through Charleston, SC.
Though I didn’t stay in town long I had the opportunity to explore the portion of town near Waterfront Park which lies on the Cooper River.
While at the riverfront I found a few fountains, a place to grab lunch and a number of very colorful row houses that people call Rainbow Row.
While walking past one of the houses, and behind a gate, I spotted a neat little fountain. The courtyard looked like something you might see in the 90’s show Melrose Place. Thinking it was a shared courtyard I decided to duck in and take a few photos. When in doubt, act like you are supposed to be there.
After a few moments I encountered a gentleman who encouraged me to explore the backyard and rest of the courtyard. I was blown away by the sculptures, private pool and plants.
When I came back to fountain the man opened the door to his house and told me to take a look. Usually I am not too suspicious or scared while traveling but this was odd and I can’t deny I was a bit concerned about just walking into a strangers house. I was too deep into my Melrose Place undercover operation to turn back now and after making a quick judgement that this guy was not a threat I proceeded to go into the house.
In the house I found a perfectly decorated interior. It looked like every room had antique furniture and wonderful paintings that took you back in time. It was almost like walking through a museum.
When I returned to talk to the man further he introduced himself as Thomas Taft. I learned that he is actually from North Carolina and this was his vacation home. What I thought was a shared courtyard was actually his own outdoor living space!
It really floored me that someone would be so kind to someone who had just walked into their personal space. I didn’t know if this was what people call southern hospitality, his acceptance of tourists in the area or a combination of both but I am glad I had the opportunity to experience a house in such a famous part of the city.