Lance and I started off day two of our trip nice and early for a kayaking tour.
The kayak tour was on the Black River – the water is actually a dark blockish inky color. It looks like it would be gross and dirty, but the water is actually clean.
The river is black because of the tannins that leech into the water from the leaves and other material that fall into the river from the trees in the surrounding swamp. The huge bald cypress trees are one of the main culprits ;)
Our guide told us lots of cool stories about how the water from this river was valuable way back when, since the water wouldn’t spoil when they would set sail for 3+ weeks at a time. He also said that pirates would sink their sails to the bottom of the river to die them a dark color (that’s where the stories of “black” sails came from!)
I also learned that the root of the river lilies is edible. Years ago the people in this area would use it as a thickener for soups and whatnot. Our guide went all MacGyver and cut a piece off for us all to try. It tasted awful. He claimed that it tastes better if you boil it, but I dunno…
At one point during the tour our guide decided it was a good idea to catch a snake. I wish I was kidding. Mind you, this is the second time he jumped out of his kayak to grab something to show us. Best guide ever.
He ended up taking it back to the landing with us to show the next tour group since we were so close.
After a huge amount of peer pressure they somehow convinced me to hold it.
That look on my face is pure fear. The smile is a façade..
I loved this kayak tour – it was so peaceful and beautiful! Plus we had awesome weather. It was probably my favorite thing we did on our trip!
After the kayak tour we stopped by Socastee Station to try some Bog Balls.
So what the heck is a bog ball?! It’s a mixture of chicken, rice and sausage tossed in a beer batter and fried until crispy. The name sounds a little frightening, but they quite delicious and full of flavor. Socastee Station serves theirs with a yummy spicy dipping sauce that kind of reminded me of a remoulade. These were definitely a unique food item that is specific to this area.
After lunch we made the drive to Hopsewee Plantation. It was an hour+ drive from where we were but decided it would be a fun adventure to see an old rice plantation.
The house backs up to the Santee River and the rice plantations were located just on the other side of the river.
The Hopsewee plantation was originally part of land owned by Thomas Lynch – and Thomas Lynch Jr actually signed the Declaration of Independence.
This is the old carriage block – all of those bricks were hand made on the plantation too
Don’t you just love southern porches?! It makes me want a big glass of sweet tea
We weren’t allowed to take any photographs inside the house, since the current owners live there. But it was filled with antiques and photographs from around the time the plantation was active. The owners of the home really put a lot into it.
Their house cat was causing trouble throughout our tour…he appears to be sneaking off to catch another lizard.
They also had a couple of the old slave houses that we could walk around in.
Four families would share the same house.
Hopsewee Plantation also has a tea room where they have a classic Southern tea. We all know how fond I am of tea so I was all about this, but Lance despises it so we skipped it. I did take home a box of their Hopsewee tea blend as a souvenier tho!
Our dinner spot for the night was in Murrells Inlet at Gulfstream Café.
The sunset over the inlet was really beautiful and the whole restaurant is surrounded with windows so you can take in the view.
The restaurant had a really romantic ambiance with candlelight at each table – which is perfect for bringing adding a little passion to your dinner, but not so good for food photos For my meal I had the Grouper Francaise. I loved how lemony this was, it complimented the grouper perfectly.
Lance had the blackened flounder. The seasoning on his flounder was delicious – I pretty much love anything blackened.
After dinner we called it a night since we had a pretty packed day of adventures.
Day 3 to come! To read about day 1 click here.
**Disclaimer: Some portions of this trip were sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Area Conventions and Visitors Bureau. I am not being compensated for anything written in this post. All thoughts and views included in this post about Myrtle Beach and associated places/activities are my own.**