Southern Comfort

March 19, 2017

Nature Calls! In a very rare move, we woke early at 6:00 am and got the RV road-ready, we are headed out of Florida. Our hearts are drawn to nature, so after spending a week in a mobile home park, mustering motivation to hit the road was not difficult. Our plans are to be at Cortney’s parents in South Carolina in time for Nolan’s birthday and Easter. The process for packing up the RV typically has taken at least a couple of hours. We are getting better at it and when you do lots of the packing the night before, it only takes about an hour. Which was the case this morning. We were on the road by 7:00 am.

We are headed to Fort McAllister State Park, about an hour south of Savannah Georgia, located along south bank of the Ogeechee River with parts of the park bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The park is home to Fort McAllister, one of the best-preserved fortifications of the Confederacy. (My appreciation of history gets me very excited to explore this park!)

On the way north we traveled Interstate 95 along the eastern part of Florida. As we drove we were swarmed by bikers, motorcycles of every make and model. Cortney had mentioned how it reminded her of a childhood summer vacation to Custer State Park in South Dakota that coincided with Sturgis, a massive biker rally. Without knowing it, we had just crossed paths with its sister rally, Daytona Bike Week, nearly 500,000 people making their way home from the rally after the 10-day event. Imagine the amount of bikes on the road! Nolan was in heaven with the sights and sounds.

(NOTE: Eventually near the end of our trip we found ourselves near Sturgis, South Dakota. At that time as we were finishing up our stay and heading away from the Black Hills, the motorcycles were starting to stream in – we missed the rally by just a few days – lucky us!)

We arrived at Fort McAllister SP at about 12:30pm. We set up camp – a process like tear down – always takes at least an hour if not a little bit more time – depending on several factors. Such as the overall slope of the site and how much we have to level out the RV, what the amenities (hookups) include. The more hookups the longer it takes.

The kids are usually pretty good about helping set up where they can help. But usually as soon as the bikes come off the car – they are done and off they ride. Which was the case today.

The campground is a nice large loop, which makes for safe rides as they assert their independence, which for Hadley our little starfish, who never left our sides prior to this adventure, is huge!! Hurricane Matthew came through last October, sadly much of the underbrush is gone along with many felled trees, making the line of sight for us to watch the kids was uninhibited. One of the other duties when unpacking and setting up the RV & campsite is to get the camp chairs out from the under storage setting them up, so the relaxing can begin!

Nolan loves having his picture taken can you tell?! A mid-day fire to keep the biting no-see-ums at bay.

March 20, 2017

No school today – took the day off. Whenever we do that – the kids play from sun up to sun down. We cannot get them to do much else.

They got to building a fort with may of the branches from all the felled trees, using three trees in our campsite as their framing. Cortney and Nolan went on bike to the Ranger Station which is about a mile away. The campground is located out on a peninsula and is ‘out there’ away from everything else, which made it quiet and seem like in the middle of nowhere.

We honestly spent most of the day ‘recovering’ from Florida. We had late nights at Disney, followed by the long day of spring training and a rocket launch, coupled with waking early and the drive yesterday – we needed a day to ‘recover’. We did not have plans to visit Savannah until the upcoming weekend, therefore we settled into camp life.

(NOTE: Fort McAllister SP was fantastic overall – yes, there was an issue with the showers, very limited hot water and then there was the issue of the tiny tiny no-see-ums that swarmed and bit all day long, so tiny they could get through a screen door. That was nearly solved with a on-going camp fire – the heat and smoke kept them at bay so we could be outside and play. Our bug repellant oils did okay to combat them – so long as we wore closed toed shoes, pants, long sleeve shirt and a hat. Wow – as I write this – it sounds terrible – but really it wasn’t too bad. The site was quiet, especially during the week – we nearly had the place to ourselves and as an added bonus the site was a pull through – which in RV world tends to be a fantastic feature – as it saves you from back the rig in!)

March 21, 2017

Spent the first part of the day touring Fort McAllister, the confederate earthen-work fort used to defend Savannah, Georgia during the American Civil War. We participated in a guided tour of the site learning about the parts of the fort, their functions as well as the men and women who served here. We also learned about the history of the fort and the battle that occurred when General Sherman showed up in 1864. He and his men took the fort during his infamous March to the Sea.

Following the tour we visited the museum, studying civil war artifacts and learning more about the fort, it’s history and the history of the general area. Interesting fact: In the late 1930s, Henry Ford bought the property and began restoring it. The International Paper Company later purchased the property from Ford’s estate and gave it to the State of Georgia in 1958.

And to top it off – making friends with a resident cat!

March 22, 2017

Today we visited the city of Savannah. The first stop was upon a recommendation from Cortney’s sister and parents. We were up early and in line at Mrs Wilkes Dining Room, at the Wilkes House. The dining room is family owned since 1943.

It is known for good ole southern comfort food: platters of fried chicken and cornbread dressing, sweet potato souffle, black-eyed peas, sweet tea, you name it they had it! Meals are served family style at large tables with people you have just met. Not my ‘style’ of food or my preference, however I really enjoy the experience and the communal sit down meal. Which if you go – no hats!

Afterwards we had no plans other than to stroll around the town. There are free buses to help you get around, so we (in what seems to be our trip mantra) found water. We walked and explored along the waterfront.

We also visited a couple of small park squares and Forsyth Park a 30 acre park in the heart (and heat!) of the historic district. The kids enjoyed the playground, lots of sprawling trees and large stretch of lawn taken over mostly by dogs and their owners.

March 23 + 24, 2017

Spent these two days at the SP. The days were filled with riding bikes, playing in the fort or on the playground and campfires (to keep those bugs away and to cook by). I think the exciting ventures into cities or adventure filled endeavors – those unexpected things – are fantastic. But the ordinary has it value too and we often enjoyed those days when nothing much occurred maybe even more.

This post is part of our Live Like No One Else series, a retelling, through journal entries kept along the way, of all the sights and memories we made during our 2017 #getlivingadventure. We were so busy living the adventure we missed sharing many of the experiences with you. Just happy to have you along as we relive many of the great memories that we hope one day our kids will have to read and remember!


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