11 - MONDAY 13TH AUGUST
The first really
long sleep of the holiday. I wake at 7.00am, but then go back to
sleep until 8.30am. Tam is already on the balcony reading her
book, so she and I leave the girls asleep and go to the shop to
get cereal and milk. I also buy a Disney Vacation Member shirt,
which is reduced from $49 to $24.
The girls get up and we have breakfast before leaving for Savannah around 9.30am. So much for my happy day at the pool drinking beer.
As we are driving off Hilton Head Island I see something slithering across the road in front of us. ItIt s a shiny black snake about 4 feet long. moves pretty quickly and just about avoids ending up as squished snake.
Its only about 35 miles to Savannah and we pass a Piggley Wiggleys on the way. Weve never shopped in one of these, but decide we ought to at some point because its such a cool name.
The girls, rather unkindly, ask Tam if shes pregnant as her stomach has expanded somewhat due to all the food weve eaten. We decide to name the child Nolichucky Piggley Wiggley Stringer.
We cross a large bridge into Savannah and park up by the visitors centre. There are several different tram tours that leave from here, so we get a map and some info from the centre before joining one of the tours. Its only $10 per person and the tour lasts over an hour, you can then use the hop on/hop off facility for the rest of the day.
To be honest much of the historic area of Savannah is accessible by foot, but the tour is very informative and gives you a lot of history.
There are many squares laid out in a sort of grid and these are filled with statues, fountains and trees, many of which are covered with Spanish moss.
Many of the houses are very beautiful with wrought iron railings and balconies along with sweeping steps leading to the front door.
At one point in the tour we pass the Pirates House Restaurant and this is one of the oldest buildings in Savannah. For many years they lured unsuspecting passers-by into the premises, plied them with rum then bopped them on the head. An underground passage then led to where a nearby ship was moored and the poor geezer ended up with a sore head and a lifetime of piracy ahead of him.
This went on for many years until a local official got suspicious and went to investigate. One head bopping later, hes suddenly got a new career a plunderin and a pillagin. It took him 2 years to work his way back to Savannah whereupon the rascals doing the bopping received their comeuppance.
Savannah is a beautiful place, I could imagine spending a few days here doing the various tours and enjoying the many bars and restaurants. The old squares must be very pretty at night.
After the tour we walk to the riverfront and get a beer at the Warehouse Bar and Grill. Its a shame Im driving, another hour or two could have been happily spent here.
We then take a stroll through many of the squares, taking photos and video as we go. Its scorching hot again today, in the high 90s. I cant imagine how the Southern belles survived in their voluminous dresses and undergarments, they must have been made of stern stuff in those days.
Back at the visitor centre they have a few old train carriages that have been turned into a sort of diner. Its called The Whistle Stop Café and of course we have to try the fried green tomatoes. These taste more like apple than tomato and come with a sauce made from cranberry and jalapenos. We also have sandwiches of various sorts.
The lady that serves us is very nice, in fact all the people we have met in Savannah have been pleasant and seem to take a real pride in their hometown.
One other thing Ive noticed no McDonalds thank goodness. Or at least, none that smack you in the face. Maybe theyve made a good job of hiding them away.
After lunch we drive 20 miles to the coast and Tybee Island. We park up and walk to the beach. If Im honest, Im not overwhelmed by this place. The beach is huge, but the sea is not very clear, I guess we have been spoiled by the lovely waters of the Gulf Coast of Florida. I really dont think its worth the extra 30-minute drive from Savannah.
We have to drive back into Savannah to pick up the road back to Hilton Head, but somehow end back up in the historic district, which is fine until Tams map reading skills are found wanting. This place is really easy to navigate with a map in front of you, but we somehow end up going around the same little square 3 times. Im nearly getting dizzy. Tam is turning the map this way and that and Im ashamed to admit I lose my temper somewhat.
For goodness sake woman, its easy enough I shout as I park the car and grab the map off her. Dont worry Ill spank her bottom later for being naughty.
We eventually find the right road and head back to Hilton Head, stopping to get more provisions. How come whenever we stop to buy one or two bits and pieces the bill comes to a minimum of $50?
As we leave the supermarket at 7.00pm its still 92°F.
Back at the room we all shower and change. There are 4 towels on the rack and the girls have sorted out a type of code to determine which towel belongs to which person. The towels are on a rack top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. Ind and Georgia have decided it should be left breasty dumpling, right breasty dumpling, left buttock and right buttock. Im a right buttock. Dont even think of commenting.
Its gone 9.00pm by the time we get to go out. At this time we virtually have to take what we can get in terms of places to eat as everything shuts so early in Shelter Cove.
We decide to eat just over the bridge in Scotts Fish Market. This works out ok as the food is pretty good. Tam and India have the salmon, while I have tuna salad and Georgia has chicken caesar salad. All are very nice and the bill comes to $115. This includes drinks and tip.
The only problem I have with the meal is that we are presented with the bill as soon as we have finished our main course. No would you like a dessert Sir? I get the distinct impression we are being pushed out the door, as they want to close.
We walk around the marina at 10.15pm. Virtually everywhere, including San Miguel where we ate last night, is closed. Good lord, does nobody stay awake until 10.30pm in this town?
On our way back to the room we notice the bar outside the Kingfisher Restaurant, just across the bridge from The Disney resort, is still open. Woohoo! Ind and George decide to go back to the room, so Tam and I sit at the bar and order a couple of margaritas. We immediately get chatting to a couple from Blufton (just up the road from Hilton Head) whose sister in law is working behind the bar. It turns out the lady is a big Disney fan and they go to WDW as often as they can.
Tam also gets chatting to a guy who used to live in New York. We pass a fun couple of hours sat in the balmy Carolina night chatting with some very friendly Americans. Thats the thing about Americans; they are generally out going and friendly. Despite my rather brash persona in my trip reports, I am British and therefore intrinsically reserved. I (and Tam) sometimes hold back from starting a conversation. The old yanks dont have that problem; they can meet people for the first time and be chatting like old friends within the first few minutes and I love them for it.
It turns out that the lady I am talking to owns her own company distributing vending machines. One of the products the company I work for manufactures, is vending machines. Life is full of fun, isnt it?
Anyway, I really enjoy our evening and my faith is restored in the Shelter Cove nightlife. I guess there are many swinging nightspots on Hilton Head Island, but I want to walk to somewhere where I can drink. Maybe more correctly, I want to be able to find somewhere I can stagger back from.
Whichever way you look at it, its been another fine day. I cannot believe how lucky we have been with the weather. 9 days covering New York, Tennessee and South Carolina and we havent seen a drop of rain.
I was really concerned before we came that the hot weather would be a big problem. Despite the heat wave they are having, we have all coped with it reasonably well. The evenings are just beautiful. Of course, air conditioning helps the whole experience.
Perhaps I shouldnt push my luck, we still have Florida to come.
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