Entries in RVing Year1 (35)

Monday
Aug212006

Summer RV Trip - Part 4 (Hilton Head)

After 3 hot days in Charleston - we headed south for more heat - Hilton Head Island. 

Oh what was i thinking when i planned this trip.  I thought it would be better than our original plan to stay in Florida but heck it may have been cooler down there.  Hilton Head is about 35 miles from Savannah - and my new plan was to stay at the Outdoor Resorts and take a day trip to Savannah  - but we never did it.  We made it to the resort - just not Savannah.  We were both wore out from the 3 day tour of Charleston and have already been to Savannah - so we ditched that plan.  We just sat and rode our bikes — sat and rode our bikes - cooked out and rented a few movies and then sat and rode our bikes some more.  The resort is beautiful — it is an ownership park - meaning a majority of the sites are privately owned and several nicely landscaped.  We visited this resort in 2004 on our 1st ever RV trip in a rental unit and rented a site on the pond.  This time we stayed on the opposite side of the pond in site #335.  It is a lovely - a wonderful place to ride bikes  — no hills and tons of trees that make for a nice cool ride. They have good size pool, hot tub - the usual amenities.  Cable TV and free WiFi but the signal was weak. 

Here is a picture of where we did our sitting.

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And a few more if your interested - including a view of the pond from the deck. Just click on a pic to enlarge.
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For RVers who stop by the blog, you may or may not know - i create a review of each campground we visit and include a picture of our site.  Since we started RVing we have visited 7 States and had a short stop in Ontario, Canada.  

The reviews are located in the Campground section found on the side bar menu - and listed by state. There are 27 reviews so far.  I have 3 reviews outstanding (New Bern KOA, NC, Twin Lakes COE, Clemson,SC, Dan Nicholas Park, Salisbury, NC).  At the top of each State you’ll notice a link to the journal i created during those trips.  Sometimes you’ll find more pictures by browsing those entries.  So there you have it — page down and click on Campground or just click here

To be cont’d  -  Next stop Lake Hartwell near Clemson, SC  (aahh that Twin Lakes CG review will get done shortly). 

Saturday
Aug192006

Summer RV Trip - Part 3 (Charleston)

On Monday, July 2nd, we headed out for the big plantations along the Ashley River.  I really hoped to see more than one but the heat was just unbearable so we limited our visit to the one i had selected after seeing this picture on the internet - Middleton Place. middleton place.jpg

As you can see by this picture and the illustration below - the grounds are massive. summer trip_middleton gardens.jpg

This 60+ acre garden was first developed in 1741 by Henry Middleton, President of the First Continental Congress and has survived the Civil War, the great Charleston Earthquake of 1886 and Hurricane Hugo. 

A bit of sticker shock to tour this place - $25 each.  And that does not include the house - which we skipped.  It is not the original home anyway - the original was destroyed during the Civil War. 

Not much was blooming this time of year *sigh* - but Tom and i enjoyed the tour - we got a good workout walking the grounds in 90+ temps.   The  tour takes you through wonderful pathways and includes plenty of signs to ensure you see everything.  

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We kept somewhat cool from shade trees like this 1,000 year old Live Oak.  The branches seem to go on forever so it’s difficult to get a picture of the entire tree - atleast with my camera it is.   There is a nearby bench to rest awhile and enjoy this massive beauty.   Gotta love those benches!

This swamp area was a little eerie to me - i wondered if there were any alligators in there as i crept up to get this shot.  We did not see any here but we did in the flooded rice fields illustrated in the image above.  A bit too far away to get a good shot of those gators - which was fine with me.

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It took us about 1.5 hours to walk the grounds.  I think we would have spent more time if it were cooler and more plants were in bloom.  I’ve seen some pics of this place when the azaleas are in full bloom - quite breathtaking.  This was the right time of year for Crepe Myrtles - but we sure did not see many and the ones we did see were a bit scraggly with very few blooms.

Here is a picture of the current home (distance) and Spring House (smaller building).  The top floor of the Spring House was a school room or worship area used by the slaves.  The basement area contained a Spring to gather cold water and i suppose to  keep some food items cool.  

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We ate a low country lunch at the restaurant ($15 each) then toured the stables and Eliza’s house once occupied by Middleton slaves (pic below).  It was a two family duplex (1 room each with a loft).  The home use to reside where the restaurant exists today.  It is known as “Eliza’s House” in memory of Eliza Leach, an African American born in 1891 and the last person to live in the building.  She died at 94 in 1986 and worked the grounds just as her predecessors did at one time including fetching cool water from the Spring House.  Today, the room on the left side contains a display listing all the slaves who have worked at Middleton Place - the years they worked and whether they were ever set free.

Certainly a long hot day - but how can we complain when you think of how hard life was for the slaves back then.  Very disturbing to think about this to me.


201966-435415-thumbnail.jpgHere is another rare pic of Tom and i together - along one of the pathways.  A young couple took this and we (the older - more tired couple) returned the favor.  After this tour we were pooped and returned to the campground.

 Below is a picture of Tom on one of the bike trails at the James Island County Park campground. While we thought the campsites needed a little bit of TLC (parking pads weedy and trees/bushes needed to be trimmed), the rest of the park and amenities are quite impressive.  A huge water park, a rock climbing wall - for those young folks, 3 large bike trails (1+ miles each) which weave all around the park.  Beautiful marshes.  Each evening we rode through a bike trail and then retreated inside the Bus - it was too dang hot to sit outside.  Yes, once again we were wimps.

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The next day (July 3rd) we drove to the Isle of Palms thinking we could visit some shops, have lunch and see the beach.   That was a huge mistake - the traffic was terrible..so we just drove crawled through the town - never stopping and then headed to the U.S.S. Yorktown.  That Yorktown was HUGE and very interesting, but my camera was low on memory (forgot to download pics the night before — grr)  so i did not get enough pictures to tell a good story.

After 3 days of touring Charleston and the heat - we decided to leave for Hilton Head the next day.   Not that it would be much cooler but we were simply ready to get moving. 

To be cont’d -  Hilton Head and then our stay at Twin Lakes CG on Lake Hartwell near Clemson, SC