We were looking forward to camping on the beach. We've heard pros and cons on the different RV threads we follow on the internet. We were anxious to find out for ourselves. After researching several campgrounds with beach access, we decided to try Ocean Lakes Family Campground. We initially reserved 4 days on a site three sites back from the ocean.
some gorgeous sunsets...
It was so relaxing to sit on the beach and watch the waves come rolling in. After Molly was done barking at the waves and got her feet wet, she loved swimming but found the salt water distasteful. :) Her other favorite beach activity is digging in the sand. Check out the Photo Album: 009: South Carolina and Georgia for more pictures of the beach, Molly, and Ocean Lakes. :)
With almost 900 campsites in addition to the 300 rental vacation homes on site, Ocean Lakes was like a small city with their own post office, garbage truck, olympic pool, indoor pool, a 100 washer/dryer laundry, RV center, and 575 golf cart rentals. We had great fun riding our bikes around the eight fresh water lakes and on the beach. With winter rates at $25/night, we will definitely return to Ocean Lakes next November. With temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s, the days were pleasant, the nights not too cold, and the beach uncrowded.
One day we traveled an hour back to Wilmington, North Carolina, to tour the USS North Carolina battleship. Commissioned in 1941, she was the first of ten fast battleships built by the United States which saw service in World War II. The North Carolina set a standard for new shipbuilding technology that combined high speed with powerful armament. She subsequently participated in the South, Central and Western Pacific campaigns during WW II.
It was humbling to see the conditions under which the 1,880 officers and men lived and worked during the seven years she was in service. We could only imagine the decibels of sound the sailors endured when in battle and the cramped conditions under which they lived and served for months at a time. It was evident that many sacrificed much to ensure our freedom.
Both Paul and I have a particular interest in World War II. We never had the opportunity to study the war when we were in high school in the early 60s. We were told we were still too close to it; the history hadn't yet been written. Personally, I think it was a travesty. It was the war that impacted our lives from birth. How much more would we have understood the sacrifices of our parents and appreciated the lives and privileges many of us enjoyed as young adults?
We were sad to leave Myrtle Beach, but all 893 the campsites were reserved for the Thanksgiving weekend! We found that camping was still a viable option in the south in November. We were amazed at the number of RVs we saw on the road.
We debated whether to spend Thanksgiving in Charleston or Savannah. However, never having been to Savannah; knowing Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady and Sons, was there; AND we were able to get reservations, Savannah it was.
Lunch is served at The Lady and Sons from 11:00 - 3:00. You can't make reservations but beginning at 9:30 a.m. you can sign up with the hostess for a seating time. It took us two tries, but we eventually got on the lunch list. Here is the line that forms to register with the hostess beginning at 9:30 a.m.
We enjoyed the buffet lunch at The Lady and Sons. We wanted to try all those Southern recipes she prepares with all that butter! The new-to-us dishes we tried included collard greens and black-eye peas. Paul like the collard greens...I didn't. Neither of us were particularly partial to the black-eyed peas. However, the fried and baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, 3-meat pasta, lima beans, corn meal flapjacks, and cheese biscuits were delicious.
While we waited for our 1:30 seating, we took a 90-minute, narrated trolley tour of Historic Savannah.
Savannah was Georgia's first city and was founded in 1733. Georgia was America’s 13th and final colony. John Oglethorp designed Savannah's physical layout consisting of a series of wards built around central squares, with trust lots on the east and west sides of the squares for public buildings and churches, and tithing lots for the colonists' private homes on the north and south. (Tithing lots were political subdivisions composed of ten families who held freehold estates.)
The architectural styles in Savannah are eclectic making for a charming and interesting destination with many original buildings having been restored. We saw the home of Juliette Gordon Lowe, founder of the Girl Scouts; the square where Forrest Gump sat telling his story; a synagogue that was designed as a Christian church because the architect didn't know what a Jewish house of worship should look like; and the Second African Baptist Church where Martin Luther King included parts of his "I Have a Dream" speech before delivering it in Washington, DC.
Having never lived near water, we're curious about those who are so comfortable with sailing and living on the water. I guess it's not much different from living in a motor home, but traveling long distances on water is a less comfortable idea for us. :)
Visiting the Wormsloe Historic Site was the foundation for us to begin to understand the early history of the Georgia colony.The ruins date from 1733 when a Noble Jones, one of the original colonists who came from England, leased 500 acres from the colony's Trustees. He proceeded to construct a 1 1/2 story fortified tabby house.(Tabby is explained in the photo album.)
The 1.5 mile driveway is lined with more than 400 live oak trees planted in the early 1890s.
Our visit to Fort Frederica on Saint Simon's Island, GA, one of the forts built by Oglethorpe to protect the fledgling Georgia colony from the Spanish attack from Florida, expanded our understanding of the area's history. Our tour of the site was prefaced by an excellent video. It was enhanced by the fact that Paul's Golden Passport got us free admission and my difficulty walking got us an the on-site golf cart provided by the National Park Service for touring the grounds. Paul got to ride and drive for a change!
While on the island, we visited Christ Church. I had first learned about St. Simon's and Christ Church from the historical novels written by Christian author Eugenia Price. Although I have always wanted to visit St. Simon's Island, I never thought I would have the opportunity. Once again, never say "never." :) I'm looking forward to re-reading them now that I've been there.
I agree with a fellow weblog writer... that Thanksgiving this year was not such a big deal. Our new lifestyle causes us to be more grateful every single day.