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.