Teaching on a college schedule and having a son in a year-round middle school can make for an interesting vacation schedule. As a result, our week at the beach this year came in mid-December — for the first time, in Garden City, between Myrtle Beach and Murrel’s Inlet.
Our time included some interesting experiences — like the okra pancakes I tried at the Chive Blossom Cafe in Pawley’s Island — and also some illuminating ones — like a delightful evening we spent at Brookgreen Gardens‘ “Nights of a Thousand Candles” display.
I’ve been to more than my share of drive-through light shows, most of which have been disappointing. This one was different — the gardens themselves are an elegant mix of low country flora and high minded sculpture. They are a quiet corner of beauty during the day, but for a few evenings each year, they are transformed via thousands of candles and colored lights into a fantasyland where choirs sing, musicians play, and visitors wander in wonder beneath ancient live oaks and bubbling fountains.
We got to the gardens before dark so we could enjoy them in natural light first. That gave me a chance to take quick shot of what I think was my favorite sculpture. More than the huge statue of Pegasus (above) or the many Greek inspired nymphs and sylvans, I liked the statue of a monkey called “The Thinker.” Rodin it’s not, but thoughtful it is — an appropriate attitude for the Christmas season.