Friday, May 27, 2011

Camping in Georgia - Part Deux

So, where did I leave off with my camping story? Oh right, we almost drove straight into a tornado. With all the tornado activity lately, I am certainly thanking my lucky stars on that one.

Let's back up to our trip to South Carolina. We arrived at Dave & Kelly's in Mount Pleasant, SC late morning on day two of travel. We had pulled over at a marina not far from their house to brush our teeth and hair. We had been in the car for two days and were not at our finest. When we pulled up, Dave & Kelly were sitting on their beautiful porch rocking in their chairs...it was a very wecome site, especially since we haven't seen them in almost a year. Tim and Dave met at Fidelity 20+ years ago and our paths crossed many times over the years. What feels like ages ago, Tim and I lived in Wakefield and just as we were moving to Hopkinton to start our married life, Dave & Kelly moved to Wakefield. Then they moved to Westborough years later and then after a stint in Ohio, they moved to Hopkinton right down the street from us. Yes, I DO think they were following us.

They are the kind of friends that we never have a lull in conversation...we can talk about anything...and do at length and with great passion, excitement, and laughter. Perhaps one of our favorite things about them is their love of friends and family. The more the merrier, in their opinion. Somewhere along the way, we informally started stopping by at the last minute for impromptu get togethers. We would be out to dinner and just call them on the way home and say "What are you doing? We are coming by in 5 minutes..." and they would always welcome us in for a glass or two of wine and great conversation. Then when they were out they would do the same. We absolutely loved our impromptu, spur of the moment get togethers. I'm a big fan of taking advantage of the moment and what better way then to spend it with friends who also love that sort of thing. Recently we had a virtual impromptu get together...over Skype! We "called" them and had our glasses of wine in hand. They grabbed their wine and we caught up. It was so fun!

Well, back to our trip....After taking our first shower in two days, we felt like a million bucks, and headed out to Charleston with the Ranney family. I love, love, loved Charleston. So adorable. So much history. Great restaurants. I think it would be a great place for a girl's or couples weekend. We went to a hotel that had a bar/restaurant on the top floor with a pool....absolutely beautiful views and such a fun place. I was also able to buy my hat for the Kentucky Derby there...lots o' hat shops.

Some other friends from Hopkinton arrived that night and we had great fun with everyone. After our visit, we really felt we could move there...the weather was beautiful, so much outdoor living, very relaxing pace of life. However, it was the bugs that almost took me down to my knees. You end up walking around with a pig pen cloud of bugs around your head. I'm not good with the bugs...so this was a "game ender" for me. Love to visit...and we'll be back...but you can keep yo' bugs.

The next day we were off to Savannah...and I think you know how that shook out when we arrived at our "campground". Let's just skip to our first day in the city....we drove in and spent the afternoon on the Riverfront. We ended up at The Bohemian Hotel where they had yet another roof top restaurant. Absolutely beautiful view right along the river - we had such a nice lunch with the kids - they loved watching the tankers going through the river. If you are in the area...you must stop by.

The next day we were off to Tybee Island about 20 minutes away. It sounded like it would be like Cape Cod...well, it was cute, but more like a very small Jersey shore town than Cape Cod...tons of tshirt shops, greasy roadside food stops, but very fun nonetheless. We spent the day at the beach, which was beautiful and the water was warm.

The next day we were off to Tybee Island...about 1 1/2 hrs away. I had arranged for a behind the scenes tour at the George Sea Turtle Center which was a suprise for the kids. Tybee was more like Cape Cod...quiet, less populated, a true beach town. We spent the morning at the beach and then headed out for our tour. It was supposed to be an hour but ended up being almost 2 hours...we got to go into the hospital room where they were working on several rescued sea turtles. We talked to the doctors, learned about each of the turtles' history, and watched as they worked on them. We also went behind the scenes to see all of the turtles they are currently caring for, including about 50 baby diamond back terrapins. If you are ever in the area, we highly recommend this!

After our tour, we went to Driftwood Beach, which is essentially a forest that, for whatever reason, was submerged by the ocean at one point, leaving a forest of driftwood. One of my favorite places ever! While on the island we also discovered a great campground and we decided that we will go back next year for April vacation! There are many other coastal Georgia islands that we didn't get to explore and it is also only a few hours from Disney so we thought we might combine the two for next year. Dave and Kelly...get ready for us again!

On our last full day in Georgia, we spent it in Savannah. We took a trolley tour to really get a sense of the city and then spent the day exploring. We fully enjoyed our trip to Georgia and the coastal islands and would go back in a heart beat! And it turns out, April was "dead" according to the locals. We had almost every beach to ourselves, the weather was in the mid 80's, and the water was warm. I'm not sure why more people weren't there.

Our ride home was just about as bad as our ride there. Let me paint the picture...Easter weekend, rain, end of April vacation...of course there was traffic. We spent a good part of the second travel day on the Jersey turnpike...nuf said. Needless to say, we made it home safe and sound and had a great trip.

And once again, I had the same feeling as soon as I got home...I just wanted to get back in the camper and go someplace else to explore. We won't be able to camp as much as last year (that was a gift), but we will try and camp as much as we possibly can.

In fact, we camped locally last weekend....more to come on that soon!

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