ROAD TRIP!

I’m not back to stay, but seeing as today was a holiday I decided to tell you about my weekend. I have checked a few things off the list, though I still have quite a bit left. Still, I probably will be hanging around a little bit more. (Thanks to those of you who sent me such nice emails and made me want to say, “You like me. You really like me.”)

Katie and I left the house at 5:30 Thursday morning to drive to Hilton Head, South Carolina for Ben’s wedding. As you see, there was an obvious lack of male influence. Let’s just say Taylor couldn’t afford to miss two days of school and leave it at that. So it was a girls’ road trip. The car was stocked with all kinds of consumables in the event we found ourselves faint for lack of sustenance. We had cheese and crackers and frosted animal cookies and candy and water and Starbuck’s bottled frappuccinos… We also wanted to see if we could go through my entire iPod song list of 499 songs.

I don’t think we were even through Philadelphia when I thought about my new camera nestled with care in my new camera case and the beautiful pictures I was going to be able to take on our trip. Unfortunately, it was still sitting on the dining room table where I had packed it all away the day before. Katie forgot her camera, too. You must know how sad this made me. There was a split second when I considered turning around, but good sense won out.

The trip down was pretty uneventful. Good weather, bad traffic through Baltimore and DC, but after that it was smooth sailing. We did get to see the Washington Monument and the Capitol dome from the freeway so that was kind of exciting. [Insert imaginary photo.]

While there are Cracker Barrels here in PA, there isn’t one very close to us. That’s as Arkansan as Sonic so I treated Katie to lunch at a CB in Virginia. When we hit North Carolina we started seeing these big billboards – tons of them – for Pedro’s South of the Border. They touted restaurants, mini-golf, convenience store, gift shop, leather goods, hotel, petting zoo, and every other type of roadside tourist trap imaginable. [*Mom & Dad – kind of like “The Thing” on I-10*] As soon as we passed into South Carolina there it was. Pedro’s South of the Border. Funny stuff! [Insert imaginary photo.]

I-95 through South Carolina looks a lot like Arkansas. A couple of times I forgot where I was. Finally we turned off and headed for the island. We made it to the hotel between 7:30 and 8:00. After unloading the car we went looking for dinner. The hotel had a pool and also a pond. Katie said something about being afraid of alligators and I just sort of blew her off. Especially when she started looking up at the trees looking for tree-climbing-ninja-gators.

We finally landed at a restaurant called “Skillets” with an Elvis impersonator crooning to the outdoor diners. The waiter talked us into ordering an appetizer of fried green tomatoes – Katie’s first – and they were delicious! Served over Creole marinara with bubbly melted mozzarella on top. The best fried green tomatoes I’ve ever had! She ordered shepherd’s pie and I had a chicken stir fry. [Insert imaginary photo.]

Friday morning we woke up when we woke up, showered, dressed, and ate breakfast at the complimentary breakfast bar. That’s where we found out there were a bunch of college kids from Ohio staying at the same place. It wasn’t until later that night when we found out they were a bunch of obnoxious college kids from Ohio, but I’m not to that part yet.

We spent the late morning and early afternoon exploring the island and finding great places to shop. Neither Katie nor I could get the thought of those extraordinary fried green tomatoes out of our heads. So we went back to Skillets for lunch. Unfortunately our cravings weren’t quenched because the appetizers weren’t on the lunch menu. No complaining about the food, though. I had the vegetable crepes – crepes with a wonderful egg, cheese and spinach filling – and rosemary skillet potatoes. Katie had the shepherd’s pie again.

While walking around the shopping center after lunch we ran into some friends from church, Kevin and Terri. We chatted with them for a little bit and they mentioned the alligator in the hotel pond. THE ALLIGATOR IN THE HOTEL POND! You know, the “alligator” that Katie was freaked out about? The one I told her didn’t exist? Yeah. That one. Apparently it did exist.

Katie and I decided to get some disposable cameras and what better place to make that kind of purchase than the local Piggly Wiggly? Besides, she’d never been in a Piggly Wiggly before and I feel like one should have that experience when the opportunity arises. Because how much fun is it to say, “I went to the Piggly Wiggly”?

After that we walked across the street to the beach to see the ocean and then back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding later that evening. The wedding was simply beautiful. Vans shuttled us to the beach house where the wedding and reception were to take place. The ceremony was under a flower laden arbor on the beach with a cellist and violinist accompanying. I was snapping pictures with our Piggly Wiggly disposable cameras and chatting with Terri and Kevin and Mandy and Alex and Amanda, not paying any attention to the noise the film advancing mechanism made. Until the wedding started and everyone stopped talking. Then I had Terri cough or Katie sneeze to mask the sound or I just advanced it one tiny click at a time. And it made us giggle.

Our former youth minister, Matt Silver (he and his family moved to Maryland a few weeks ago), officiated and it was great to see him. Another transplanted friend, Leland, was in the wedding so it was fun to see him, too. All the CCV people sat at the same table for the reception and had a blast! The DJ knew all the right songs to play and we had a great time cutting the rug and just having fun. Ben and Katie (his Katie, not mine) sure know how to entertain!

Remember those Ohio college kids I mentioned earlier? The hotel was infested with them. And while I hate generalizations and would never say they were all horrible – I’m sure there were some nice, unhorrible students there – there were a lot of rude, obnoxious and over-indulgent kids there. And apparently 2:30 to 4:00 in the morning is the best time for playing frisbee, drinking beer and catching up on the day’s events in the hotel hallway.

Saturday morning Katie and I got up and drove to Savannah with the express intention of eating at The Lady and Sons, Paula Dean’s restaurant. Sadly, they were full for both lunch and dinner so we only saw the outside. Not a huge deal, though. We just have to go back, that’s all. We ended up eating cheesy hot spinach dip and cheese pizza at a place on the Riverfront called Spanky’s.

We really wanted to get a picture of the statue in the movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, but it turns out it’s in a museum. We’d even considered going to the museum but we ran out of time. We did go on a house tour, though. [Insert imaginary picture] The house of the people who own the statue, actually. Savannah is a beautiful city – very Pirates of the Caribbeanish. There are “squares” every few blocks which are wonderful when you’ve been walking a lot. Katie and I would figure out where we were going to go next and then walk from square to square, resting on a park bench before moving onto the next one. It was a pretty warm day so our last stop was at a Starbuck’s for some sort of frozen concoction. Just as we were leaving to get back to the car only a few blocks away there was a sudden flash of lightening and a loud boom immediately following. The rain hadn’t started yet so we high tailed it for the parking lot. Half way there it started to sprinkle with more flashes and more booms. And then the sky opened up about a block from the car. I yelled, “Run!”, which Katie took literally. Unfortunately I’m not much of a runner so I told her, “Save yourself!” Except for that I didn’t unlock the car until I got right there. We scrambled inside, laughing the whole time, and realized there was hail mixed in with the rain. Once it slowed down we left and drove back to Hilton Head.

Hungry for dinner when we returned, can you guess where we ate? Skillets!! Can you guess what we had for an appetizer? Fried green tomatoes!! Can you guess what Katie had for dinner? Shepherd’s pie!! So sad that we only ate at one restaurant the entire time we were on the island. But oh so good!

Sunday morning we woke up at 5:00, got dressed, packed the car and were on the road by 5:30. The ride home was even more uneventful than the ride there. Except the GPS took us THROUGH Washington instead of around it. That took us forever! But we did get to see the Pentagon and the Jefferson monument this time.

We pulled into the garage about 6:30. I soaked in a hot bubble bath and read a little bit, then went to bed around 9:00. The trip was a lot of fun – Katie and I ate well and laughed a lot – but it sure was good to be home and sleep in my own bed.

Over the long weekend we were in 7 states and the District of Columbia. I’ve decided my next writing will be Jenster’s Guide to Highway/Interstate Driving.

15 Comments

  1. Lynilu on May 26, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Oh, it’s good to hear from you! And all those mentions of fried green tomatoes has my mouth running like a wide open faucet!! Oh, yummmmmmm!! I’m SO jealous!!I use my GPS, but I also look at the path on Mapquest or at least a road map, because I’ve had several times that the GPS did something similar to me. In fact, when I first got it, I used it to go to places in the community to see how it worked, and when I go to town, it wants me to turn on almost every road, even when it is a private driveway or a farm road that does not go through!! “Turn right in 150 ft.” “Turn right” “TURN RIGHT!” as I sail right past my neighbors’ homes!! If it ever says “Turn around, stupid!” It’s going out the window!! LOL!I’m so glad you had a fun trip. A girls road trip is every bit a good as a girls night out, isn’t it?

  2. His Girl on May 26, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I am so so so glad to ‘hear’ from you. I love your trip commentary, sounds like a grand ol’ time… though the amount of gas you spent must’ve been BIG. almost enough for a plane fare to California (hint, hint)you can get your cheapo cameras developed and sent to you digitally via snapfish or places like that, so you can show off the pics of the alligator or fried green tomatoes…or, am i the only one who takes pictures of my food?missing your presence online, friend. see you in Oct…don’t forget your camera!

  3. Cheryl Wray on May 26, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    I LOVE hearing about your travel adventures!!!!I absolutely LOVE Savannah. It’s one of my favorite places anywhere!!!!!The stories of the Elvis singing at the restaurant, and the alligator in the pool…loved them!!!There’s nothing like food in the South. Fried green tomatoes are like heaven!!!

  4. Monnik on May 27, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I’m so glad you posted! I’ve missed you!! But I TOTALLY understand the need for a break – I’m in that place myself.I second the food in the South comment. YUUUUMMMMM.

  5. The Daily "B" on May 27, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    You’re back… for a short while at least. =)Sounds like you had a blast. I have always wanted to go to Washington. Your post makes me want to go even more. My Grandpas cousin is the retired Assistant Director of the CIA and he invited us to come stay with him in the fall… kinda a first class view of the pentagon. lol. I so need to blog about that.

  6. Sherry/Cherie on May 27, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    So good to hear from you Jen!! This trip sounded fabulous — alligator and all!! You brought back a lot of fond memories I have of making that trip south when my kids were little (we went to Myrtle Beach a few times, and Florida). Piggly Wiggly, Pedros South of the Border (!), Savannah, Cracker Barrel, fried green tomatoes…good times. Glad you and Katie will have some wonderful memories (I imagined the photos as I read along!). Be well!!!

  7. Gretchen on May 28, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Wow, my friend! You had a bit of bloggorhea there! Not that I’m not delighted at the offering, though. I’m glad you enjoyed your r.t. w/Katie. We went to Charleston for 2 days, HH for 3.5 days and Savannah for about 1 day on our spring break. Just a tad too cool for real ocean enjoyment of surf and tide; however, loved walking (training, you know ;)) on the nice flat beach, seeing the odd dolphin fin and pelican dive-bomb here and there. I liked the market better in Charleston, but Savannah was the cuter, more pedestrian city by far IMHO.Glad you’re back–at least somewhat. xxxooogretchen. P.S. Thanks for all the pictures. They really made the post. 😉

  8. Becky on May 28, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Great pictures, lol!Sounds like you and Katie had a FAB road trip. It was great to hear from you again (even if temporarily). I have to know, was that ‘stick-in-the-brainer’ song, Band of Gold part of your iPod lineup, lol?Fried green tomaters (as my grandma used to call them) are a FAVE. And I’ve always wanted to try Paula Deen’s place, too! And frosted Animal Cookies? Oh, man…your book should be “Jenster’s Guide to FAB road trips”, with lots of restaurant stops, and mouthwatering descriptions of the food…but alas, the traffic would suddenly triple through those areas on weekends, so maybe not. ;)By the way…our town just built a SONIC. When I saw it, I immediately thought of you!See ya round, world traveler.

  9. Lainey-Paney on May 28, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Oh, how I love Savannah. Oh, how I love road trips!We didn’t eat at Paula Dean’s either…there was a line around the block just to get in. House Tour @ Mercer Williams house. Gorgeous. I was disappointed that they wouldn’t let us take pics in there. Oh well.

  10. mer on May 28, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Piggly Wiggly? Man, that brings back some memories. Hey, I clicked over her from His Girl’s Blog…and it looks like we have some common bloggy friends. Oh, and I’m from Arkansas too. Where are you from exactly???Meredith

  11. Jenster on May 28, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Lynilu – I had my Mapquest map AND my highway atlas with me. But the GPS had done a marvelous job on the way down to HH that I figured it would do a good job on the way back. lolHisGirl – I TOTALLY take pictures of my food! Except that I usually get so excited about the food that I forget to take a picture until after I’ve eated half of it. And I never had the Piggly Wiggly disposable at the restaurant.Cheryl – I agree. Southern cooking can’t be beat.Monnik – I think this break is turning out to be more of a pseudo-break. lolDeb – I hope you’re going to go! Hey. Philly is a really interesting city and it’s only a couple hours from DC. Just sayin’..Sherry – I’m glad you could imagine the photos. You know there would have been a ton of them if I’d remembered the camera!Gretchen – You silly, silly girl! LOLBecky – You have a Sonic?? Cheddar Peppers and a cherry coke are the bomb!That song was on my iPod, but we never heard it. We heard 480 out of 499 songs. Doesn’t it just figure!?I think Katie and I should do a food/trip book together!!Lainey – I really hope to go back and get our name in the Paula Dean pot early!Mer – That HisGirl is something else, no?? :o)And Woooooooooooooo Pig! Sooooie!!

  12. Dev on May 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I swear I thought I commented here yesterday. Probably just my sinility kicking in. Anyway, the gist of it was how jealous I was that you were there and I’m stuck here. It’s only been a month since I was in Savannah, but I just wish I were still there. I had a lot of stuff I wanted to do that I hadn’t gotten the chance to.

  13. Barrie on May 28, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    I do love a road trip. And yours sounds fun! Thanks for checking in.

  14. Eileen on May 28, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Jen,It is so nice to see you posting again. I missed you! Your road trip sounded like a blast. What special memories you are making for Katie. I know South of the Border well! On our trip to Disney, we actually stopped. Huge tourist trap, for sure. Love Cracker Barrels and Piggly Wiggly. The skillet sounds wonderful.Love hearing your adventures. Feel like I was there.

  15. Becoming Me on May 28, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I enjoyed reading about your trip. I am from PA and now live in SC!

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