Thursday, May 26, 2016

So. We went on a road trip and... (Part 4)

...we stopped in Savannah, GA. I had never been to downtown Savannah but Terry had. (Another sewing gig.) I had been to the Savannah airport back in 2001 to pick up Jessica as she flew in to attend Rick's "graduation" from Parris Island two weeks after 9/11. I thought the airport was quaint.

Well so is the city. Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and was a vital port during the Revolution and Civil War. It escaped destruction in the latter when the city fathers negotiated with General Sherman and--well--basically surrendered the city to the Union troops in December of 1864.

The city was laid out by General James Oglethorpe back in 1733 in what is basically a grid pattern with many small public parks or squares. Originally I believe there were some 25 of these squares, today there are 22 remaining in the Savannah Victorian Historic District, one of the largest Historic Landmark Districts in the country.

We hopped an Old Town Trolley Co. tour bus at the visitors' center in the warehouse district and took a tour of the historic part of the city.

Oglethorpe Square

Madison Square
 Those squares with statues of Confederate Soldiers and/or Generals (and there area a few) all have those men facing north. Think about it and you'll understand why.

Monterey Square

In honor of the USMC. I did mention that Parris Island was nearby, right?

A lovely place to sit and think. Anyone have a box of chocolates? (Yeah, Forrest Gump was filmed here...just not in this particular square.)  

Should you decide that a slower pace is required to really enjoy all the beautiful squares in the old city, there's always the carriage ride.

Griffin statue over at the Old Cotton Exchange on the harbor.

And here's a view of the building itself.

We enjoyed our brief visit to the city of Savannah and , like St. Augustine, FL, we'll be back again. Next time I hope to be doing some walking in those places as there's so much to see.

What? I didn't mention the cane I was using for the first week and a half? Seems I jarred something in my back a week before we left home and was considerably hobbled. But a steady administration of Naproxen Sodium and a couple of relaxing hours in Janet's swimming pool and hot tub were eventually doing their job. After this stop, the cane stayed in the truck.

After our tour, we parked ourselves for the night in a motel near Hilton Head and set out the next morning to Charleston.

We stopped at the visitors' center outside of town to get our bearings and were told of a parking garage down town near the old district. We also asked about a particular restaurant we had once visited but couldn't remember the name of over by the U.S.S. Yorktown and were told, "Yes, the Fish House is still there."

Well, the garage was too small for the Tundra and with out a handicapped sticker there was no place to we drove down to the battery, waved at Fort Sumter across the bay, and zig-zagged our way through the cramped little streets of the area ("Don't Even Think About Parking Here!" was a common sign.) Then we hopped on the bridge and went over to the U.S.S. Yorktown to find the place for lunch. (We had visited the U.S.S. Yorktown many years ago with Terry's cousins and didn't feel the need to go again.)

Well, we found the Fish House but it wasn't the place we remembered. More of a yacht club meets country club style building right on the wharf with the Yorktown and we knew this was not the place we remembered. So sitting in the parking lot we added up our recollections (red roof, oyster shell parking lot, two stories, near water) and did a Google Maps search to come up with RB's on Shem's Creek just a short hop, skip and a jump down the road.

Yep! That's the place!
We entered, went upstairs and had a lovely lunch as we overlooked the creek and watched the fishermen come in for lunch and the kayakers paddle back and forth.

After lunch we decided that if Charleston was going to be so unwelcoming we'd drive up the coast to see what all the fuss was about Myrtle Beach.

As a couple from New Jersey familiar with Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island, Cape May, etc. we both agreed about Myrtle Beach: Fahgit about it!

Nothing but huge condos/hotels along the main drag with the beach beyond. While there are numerous (small) parking areas with beach access, there didn't seem to be any such thing as a board walk or amusement area. The closest was right on the main drag with cars driving through the center. Not our cuppa tea at all.

So we kept on driving on up to Roxboro, North Carolina to visit with Janet's daughter, Micki and her family.

We didn't visit long as Micki's daughter, Sarah, was graduating Saturday and she and Caleb (her younger brother were making confirmation on Sunday. As it was, Caleb out taking driver's ed so we never did get to see him and Travis, Micki's husband got home from work while we were there. Even so, we had a nice, if brief, reunion.

(And no, I didn't get any pictures of Charleston--I was driving, or Myrtle Beach--driving again, or of Micki and her family--I'm an idiot, okay? I never take enough pictures of people when we go visiting. Don't know why, but I'm hesitant to ask people to pose or even to snap candids of them. And I always regret it later.)

After a night in the motel in Roxboro, we drove southwest toward Ashville, NC so we could hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the North Carolina Visitors Center in Spruce Pines, NC. (We were going to start at the southernmost terminus but reports of construction and road closures near Craggy Gardens and again further south caused us to change our minds. Again.)

We would spend the next two days slowly making our way north along first the Blue Ridge Parkway and then the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. That will be our fifth and final report or our southern wanderings. Later.

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