Most people would check the calendar before they plan a trip to Charleston for the weekend. A least the ones with any sense would. The Great One and I decided to take Friday off and head to Charleston planning on stopping in Summerville to check out some shops. Well, late Thursday afternoon we realized that Summerville’s Flowertown Festival started on Friday. Okay then, stopping in Summerville would be out of the question. Why, you ask. Summerville usually plays host to about 200,000 festival goers and we didn’t want to make it 200,002.
Recalculating (like our favorite GPS voice) we decided we’d just go back to Six-Mile Antique Mall in Mt Pleasant. Wrong again, the Cooper River Bridge Run was this weekend, too. This year 33,000 participants were signed up to “Get over it,” the bridge that is and I doubt that many of them came solo. Between these two main events, traffic would be congested to put it lightly. Add to that the fact that we got a late start and it rained on us most of the way down, at times in the torrential downpour category and we were off to a less than stellar start. On the bright side – because of all the rain, there were no roadwork delays. With our impeccable timing, we arrived just in time for the skies over Charleston to unleash their contribution to our already waterlogged day. Did I mention it was also high tide? However, Saturday morning, though a bit chilly, brought plenty of sunshine with the only sign of rain being the mud puddles left behind.
Because the Great One and I each have a sweet tooth, when we were greeted with cookies and coffee upon entering Terrace Oaks Antique Mall we knew we had found our kind of place. I had been following their Facebook page for a while and knew this wasn’t going to be a quick trip in and out, so the proffered refreshments were just the nourishment we needed as we navigated our way upstairs, downstairs and on the sun porch. You’d be surprised how many treasures can be displayed in 10,000 square feet and we didn’t want to miss a thing.
In setting up and maintaining Terrace Oaks, Camille Wish and her staff have accomplished what eludes many an antique/vintage mall. There are no dark corners, cobwebs or multi-legged creatures scurrying about here. You won’t find messages scribbled in the dust left behind by earlier shoppers. Instead you will find gleaming cases and inviting nooks filled with jewelry, vintage clothing, antiques, china, bottles, books, artwork, toys, furniture and so much more. While we visited on a beautiful spring day, I’m sure it must be quite cozy here on the rare blustery Charleston winter day and refreshingly cool during the long, hot Lowcountry summer. (I’m assuming sweet tea accompanies those cookies when the temperature rises.)
Sadly the description tapped out on my laptop falls far short of painting a vivid picture of the many treasures we found waiting just around the corner or calling to us from inside the next case. Fellow treasure hunters were full of oohs and ahs as they, too, tried to decide which items were “immediate must haves” and which would have to be relegated to “hopefully it will still be here when I come back.” Of course, you can always use the 60-day layaway plan or even the 24-hour approval sale if you’re not quite sure.
As we explored the last little nook upstairs, we found a set of midcentury modern end tables looking for a new home that we thought would make a perfect 10-year anniversary present for our son and daughter-in-law. Obviously, our over half-a-century-plus brains were not fully functioning and we forgot that our phones can double as cameras. It would have been so simple just to click and show them the photo at lunch.
Sipping sweet tea and enjoying our lunch at The MED in South Windermere, we tried describing the tables, only to realize that basically all we remembered was that they were light in color, the tag said “as found” and there were 2 of them. With such sketchy information to go on, we decided a trip back to Terrace Oaks was in order to see if they were, indeed, as perfect as we had thought. Luckily, they were a hit and have already found their place as bedside tables in the guest room. Happy Anniversary, Jonathan and Joanna! It seems like only yesterday that y’all were just classmates in elementary school.