South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida 2009


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Note: This travelog was written in 2018, so many details have long been forgotten since we took the trip.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009: We flew into Orlando via Atlanta shortly after 11:00 AM. Our original plans were to spend several days on the Florida coast to see a space shuttle launch, but the launch was postponed a few days before our arrival.

So we cancelled our Florida hotel reservation and decided to sightsee our way up the Florida and South Carolina coast.
We drove to Flagler Beach because it was the fastest, easiest way to get to the ocean.
We didn't dip our feet in the water but we got pretty close.
Aw, Tom can be romantic at times.
See the pretty barnacles.
The ocean is a magical place when you live in a land-locked place like Indiana, but we couldn't stay because we had more to see.
We saw the Ft. Augustine Lighthouse ...
... but a good photo of it proved elusive.
Next, we headed to Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, which dates back to 1672.
It has lots and lots of cannons, ...
... plus a great view of Matanzas Bay.
Ahoy! Pelican!
A raised bridge was just to the south of us.
Here's Tom enjoying the warm weather.
Close inspection of the fort walls reveals that the compound used to build the walls involved lots and lots of tiny shells.
Here's a very ornate cannon.
Here's another.
Here's a third one.
Orchy posed on the third one.
Here's the fourth.
Here's the interior of the fort.
Cool drawbridge.
This coat of arms make it all official.
A few minutes later, we made the short drive through the moss-draped trees to ...
... the Fountain of Youth.
Here it is.
Yup. Look at all that youth there.
We each took a sip. It tastes like very mineral-rich water. At no time did we get visibly younger though.
You have to pay to get in, and after spending a couple of minutes walking into the Fountain of Youth building, you wonder what else there is to do. Answer: be entertained by the birds in residence, like this emu.
Albino and colorful peacocks roam the grounds. This white peacock was unsuccessful in charming this colorful peahen, ...
... so he turned his attention to us.
You know these two are going to fall in love in the second act, but for now, they just aren't into each other.
This guy didn't want to be outdone by his albino buddy, so he put on a show for us too.
We can all agree that peacock feathers are the most beautiful feathers on earth.
Here's a statue of Juan Ponce de León, the guy who is credited with finding this place. He was joined by our little mascot buddy, Orchy.
Here's a pretty combination of flowers and spanish moss.
Debbie got a text from a friend and we're including this photo here only because it is many years later and this picture makes us laugh to see how much technology has changed in that time.
We got dinner at IHOP on our way out of town, ...
... then we drove north into Georgia and checked into Cambria Suites Savannah Airport for three nights.

Thursday, February 12, 2009: The next morning, we drove a very short distance to the South Carolina border, ...
... on our way to Sun City Hilton Head, to visit Debbie's Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Jon.
After visiting with them for a while, the four of us headed to Harbour Town on Hilton Head to look around a bit, ...
... then we drove to South Beach Marina, ...
... and had lunch at the Salty Dog Cafe.
Evelyn and Jon joined us for an afternoon of sightseeing in Savannah.
We boarded a Savannah trolley tour to get a look at this pretty town. Here was our first sighting of a Savannah College of Art and Design campus building.
This is the steeple of the Independent Presbyterian Church.
Check out this cool drain spout.
Here's the Six Pence Pub, ...
... and a store in a cool building on Bull Street.
This is the Sorrel Weed House.
Here's another Savannah College of Art and Design building.
This is the Mercer Williams House Museum, of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" fame.
This little shack is the George Ferguson Armstrong House.
This is Casa Amanpola. Google Maps tells us that it is no longer bright pink. Instead it is now a subdued shade of rose. Such a shame.
This is just one corner of the huge Mansion on Forsyth Park.
Here's a little detail on the side of the building.
This is the huge Candler Oak Tree on the property of Savannah Law School.
Some stores were obviously trying to cash in on "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," as evidenced by the famous statue.
We got off the trolley at the Cathedral of John the Baptist, ...
... and took a look inside. Here's the back of the cathedral, ...
... and the front, ...
... and the impressive ceiling.
Vintage cars are parked in front of the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Barracks building.
Attempts to find an official name for this building failed, so let's just refer to it as "that house with all the ivy on it."
This genteel old building is the Owens-Thomas House.
The SCAD movie theater, obviously named after the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Yet another Savannah College of Art and Design building.
Look closely - that asphalt is filled with shells.
This is the Pirate's House. Look elsewhere online if you want any more details about it.
This is Savannah's Rainbow Row, not to be confused with Charleston's Rainbow Row (see below).
And still another Savannah College of Art and Design building. They're everywhere!
This shiny silver dome sits on top of City Hall.
Buildings along the riverfront contain shops and restaurants.
We got a photo of Evelyn and Jon as we passed the Waving Girl statue on the Savannah River.
We neared the end of our tour as we passed the City Exchange Bell around 4:15.
We drove back to Evelyn and Jon's, got our car, and headed back toward Savannah.
We had considered having dinner in Savannah, but headed to the ocean instead ...
... to visit Tybee Island.
We arrived at the beach just after sunset, ...
... so we had it all to ourselves.
Look at that gorgeous sky, ...
... and it's reflection in the low tide sand below it.
It was 6:30 by now and we were starving, so we we stopped at MacElwee's Seafood House.
Oh, what a joy it is to have fresh seafood, oysters, and fried okra all in one meal!

Friday, February 13, 2009: It was a two-hour drive north to Charleston. We stopped at the Charleston Visitor Center and left our car there.
How we got to the Charleston Waterfront Park remains a mystery because we don't remember. Maybe a shuttle? Maybe a trolley? No idea.
Regardless of how we got there, we enjoyed a view of the Cooper River, with the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in the distance.
Bird.
The lovely Pineapple Fountain graces the entrance to the park. From here, we walked south along East Bay Street.
This is Charleston's Rainbow Row, not to be confused with Savannah's Rainbow Row (see above). Orchy snuck into this photo.
We continued south on East Battery, ...
... past what should really be our future home.
Here is White Point Garden on Oyster Point.
This is the view down Murray Boulevard from the Point.
Here's a big cannon and a monument to the Confederate Defenders of Charleston hidden in the background.
This beauty is the Two Meeting Street Inn.
Here's a closer look at one of those gorgeous blooms.
We walked to Saint Michael's Church Cemetery.
The gravestones here are very pretty and very old.
We had lunch at Toast and rested our weary legs for a bit.
We shopped our way back to the parking garage at the Charleston Visitor Center. We may have taken a shuttle or we may have walked, but we don't remember. Oh well. There's the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in the distance again, ...
... and here it is up close.
Piggly Wiggly!
We drove to Daniel Island on the Wando River, ...
... and got a nice photo of this beautiful Maersk ship.
Back on the road again, we had another Maersk sighting, one of many on this trip.
Then we drove south again to our hotel near Savannah.

Saturday, February 14, 2009: We drove all the way to Spring Hill, Florida (near Tampa) the next day, where we visited Debbie's Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob. We had a nice visit with them and enjoyed some of Mary's famous Oreo cookie dessert, but we didn't take a single photo, so please enjoy this screen capture of the back of their neighborhood, courtesy of Google Maps.
That evening, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport.
Our room had a balcony with a view into ...
... the gigantic atrium, ...
... and the pretty fountain below. We stayed at the airport because our direct flight home left at 8:05 AM the next day.

** THE END **


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