Category Archives: Georgia

Georgia Part IV: Atlanta (Norcross)

We really couldn’t scratch Georgia off of our Lower 48 in 48 list without visiting Atlanta, so our last stop in the Peach State was a mobile home and trailer park in an east side hood of Atlanta. The place was clean, the location was convenient, and the rent was about $20 per night. Our reservation was only for one week, and we planned to be busy seeing things in the center of town during out stay, so it worked out just fine.

The Atlanta Symphony hosts an early evening mini-concert on Friday nights. It was the perfect excuse for a date night.

The Atlanta Symphony hosts an early evening mini-concert on Friday nights. It was the perfect excuse for a date night.

There was not much to look at in our trailer park in the 'hood, but our front window faced directly west and we had a good show each night as dusk approached.

There was not much to look at in our trailer park in the ‘hood, but our front window faced directly west and we had a good show each night as dusk approached.

The tulips were just past their peak when we visited The Botanical Gardens.

The tulips were just past their peak when we visited The Botanical Gardens.

I was in LOVE with the Atlanta Botanical Garden's Dale Chihuly sculpture inside the fountain at the center of a tulip display. Every time I drag Mike on a daytrip to a fancy garden, he always asks if he gets credit for being on a 'date'.

I was in LOVE with the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Dale Chihuly sculpture inside the fountain at the center of a tulip display. Every time I drag Mike on a daytrip to a fancy garden, he always asks if he gets credit for being on a ‘date’.

The surprise of the trip was Stone Mountain, Georgia. We ended up visiting 3 or 4 times during our time in Atlanta. It was the whole package: hiking, fishing, golfing, restaurants and more attractions too numerous to list.

The surprise of the trip was Stone Mountain, Georgia. We ended up visiting 3 or 4 times during our time in Atlanta. It was the whole package: hiking, fishing, golfing, restaurants and more attractions too numerous to list.

Stone Mountain sites 1,686 feet above the surrounding area, and it measures a 5-mile circumference at its base. We completed the circle with the dogs one beautiful afternoon.

Stone Mountain sits 1,686 feet above the surrounding area, and it measures a 5-mile circumference at its base. We completed the circle with the dogs one beautiful afternoon.

 

Mike and I took the tram to the top of the mountain one afternoon after he played golf.

Mike and I took the tram to the top of the mountain one afternoon after he played golf.

We drove over to Athens on a Saturday and stumbled upon their annual International Festival.

We drove over to Athens on a Saturday and stumbled upon their annual International Festival.

A view of Stone Mountain and the lake from inside the tram.

A view of Stone Mountain and the lake from inside the tram.

There are two 18-hole golf courses at Stone Mountain. Mike got a tee time one morning, so I rode along with him for the first nine. Then the dogs and I took a long walk over to the campground area while he finished the second nine. In retrospect, Stone Mountain would have been a great place to camp during out stay near Atlanta. They had a large campground with full hook-ups available, but we didn't know anything about the place when we were looking for campgrounds in the area.

There are two 18-hole golf courses at Stone Mountain. Mike got a tee time one morning, so I rode along with him for the first nine. Then the dogs and I took a long walk over to the campground area while he finished the second nine. In retrospect, Stone Mountain would have been a great place to camp during out stay near Atlanta. They had a large campground with full hook-ups available, but we didn’t know anything about the place when we were looking for campgrounds in the area.

Mike took this picture of a giant metal butterfly while we were lost in the children's section of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Mike took this picture of a giant metal butterfly while we were lost in the children’s section of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The carving on the side of Stone Mountain is the largest bas relief sculpture in the world. It features three leaders of the Confederate States of America: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. The entire carved surface measures 3 -acres, and is 400- feet above ground. The measurements are 90' x 190' and it is recessed 42- feet into the mountain.

The carving on the side of Stone Mountain is the largest bas relief sculpture in the world. It features three leaders of the Confederate States of America: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. The entire carved surface measures 3 -acres, and is 400- feet above ground. The measurements are 90′ x 190′ and it is recessed 42- feet into the mountain.

A semi-clear view of the land below Stone Mountain.

A semi-clear view of the land below Stone Mountain.

Mike enjoyed the flowers on our 'date', and even snapped some shots himself. I told him I appreciated him coming with me on the daytrip, even though the attraction wouldn't have been his first choice. He told me it was better than sitting on the couch home alone. Such the romantic one that I married.

Mike enjoyed the flowers on our ‘date’, and even snapped some shots himself. I told him I appreciated him coming with me on the daytrip, even though the attraction wouldn’t have been his first choice. He told me it was better than sitting on the couch home alone. Such the romantic one that I married.

I swear this blimp was following us during the first part of our week in Atlanta. It was hovering over Stone Mountain when we took the dogs to walk around its base. Then the next day it was hovering over the Atlanta Botanical Gardens as we strolled along the grounds. On the third day of our stop we went back to Stone Mountain for golfing, and there it was again. We think the pilots were practicing before the Masters Tournament in Augusta started on the upcoming weekend.

I swear this blimp was following us during the first part of our week in Atlanta. It was hovering over Stone Mountain when we took the dogs to walk around its base. Then the next day it was hovering over the Atlanta Botanical Gardens as we strolled along the grounds. On the third day of our stop we went back to Stone Mountain for golfing, and there it was again. We think the pilots were practicing before the Masters Tournament in Augusta started on the upcoming weekend.

The orchid display at Atlanta Botanical Gardens was amazing.

The orchid display at Atlanta Botanical Gardens was amazing.

Georgia Part III: Ashburn

We intended to stay in Macon during our third stop in Georgia. It just so happens that our financial advisors are located there, and we wanted to have a meeting to review our investment accounts. However, as Mike started researching possible campgrounds in the area, we learned everything was booked. We found out later that was because the dates of our visit coincided with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. We settled on a Golf and RV Resort in Ashburn, which is about 90 miles south of Macon. The park was nothing to write home about, but the rates were good and Mike could play golf on the 9-hole course for free.

We drove into Macon one day for our meeting with the wealth management people, then found our way to downtown to have a late lunch before making the drive back home. We wanted to walk the dogs around the streets of the city center to get some exercise and see the area, but most of the buildings were dilapidated and the large numbers of homeless people made it seem not-so-safe. After exploring only a few blocks, we selected one of the two restaurants with an outdoor patio and had some bar food.

On another day, I drove over to a salon in Albany. Mike had given me a spa day for my birthday, so I redeemed my gift by getting a manicure, pedicure, facial and haircut. While chatting with the owner- hair stylist I asked if Mike and I should make the drive back over to explore their downtown or anything. Her response was that in reality, it wouldn’t even be safe for us to do that. Wow!

Jimmy Carter’s birthplace was also nearby in Plains, but we didn’t go there either. We basically just stayed near our camp and kept busy with golfing and campfires. It was a very low key week.

The cherry blossoms were bright with blooms in downtown Macon.

The cherry blossoms were bright with blooms in downtown Macon.

A view of our site at the Golf & RV Park. Not much to look at... but the price was right, the golf was free, and the dogs got a good walk each morning.

A view of our site at the Golf & RV Park. Not much to look at… but the price was right, the golf was free, and the dogs got a good walk each morning.

A view from one of our morning walks before any golfers got out on the course.

A view from one of our morning walks before any golfers got out on the course.

Mike tried to catch a couple of fish in the pond when he wasn't golfing, but no luck.

Mike tried to catch a couple of fish in the pond when he wasn’t golfing, but no luck.

 

Georgia Part II: Brunswick

After Savannah, we planned to make our way north through Georgia, and end up in Tennessee after we crossed this state off of our list. However, we really weren’t ready to leave the shore just yet… especially when spring weather was finally warming things up a bit. We studied the map and  decided to stay near the beach for a little while longer. After several phone calls, Mike found us a reservation at Coastal Georgia RV Park in Brunswick. We kept our compass on a southern heading and made a short easy drive down I-95.

Near the fishing pier at Jekyll Island State Park.

Near the fishing pier at Jekyll Island State Park.

I would love to see the house behind this private entrance off the beach on Jekyll Island!

I would love to see the house behind this private entrance off the beach on Jekyll Island!

One of the two marinas on Jekyll Island. Mike and I discussed which ones would be livable over happy hour one afternoon. He is not as intrigued as I am about carrying our adventure over onto the water. Too much maintenance on a boat, he says.

One of the two marinas on Jekyll Island. Mike and I discussed which ones would be livable over happy hour one afternoon. He is not as intrigued as I am about carrying our adventure over onto the water. Too much maintenance on a boat, he says.

As our trip has unfolded I have added a few choice hotels to my "want to stay" list. The Jekyll Island Club Hotel is the latest entry to that list.

As our trip has unfolded I have added a few choice hotels to my “want to stay” list. The Jekyll Island Club Hotel is the latest entry to that list.

A portion of the beach in the state park section of Jekyll Island.

A portion of the beach in the state park section of Jekyll Island.

There were some fancy jets lined up for departure on the runway as we passed by the airport on St. Simon's Island.

There were some fancy jets lined up for departure on the runway as we passed by the airport on St. Simon’s Island.

Mike played 9 holes at one of the courses on Jekyll Island. The dogs and I dropped him off, then we walked on the beach and did some shopping before meeting him back at the course.

Mike played 9 holes at one of the courses on Jekyll Island. The dogs and I dropped him off, then we walked on the beach and did some shopping before meeting him back at the course.

The first time Mike caught a speckled catfish in the tiny lake near our campground in Brunswick, he threw it back because it looked too ugly to eat. After he talked to an old-timer in the area, he learned they were tasty... so he kept and cleaned the next batch!

The first time Mike caught a speckled catfish in the tiny lake near our campground in Brunswick, he threw it back because it looked too ugly to eat. After he talked to an old-timer in the area, he learned they were tasty… so he kept and cleaned the next batch!

This shady park on St. Simon's Island was once a native American burial ground.

This shady park on St. Simon’s Island was once a native American burial ground.

piper on deck

There were baby hatchling turtles in the dunes near the beach on Jekyll Island. Piper was keeping his eye out to spot one.

It was gloomy and grey during our daytrip to St. Simon's Island, but I still wanted to see what the beach looked like while we were there.

It was gloomy and grey during our daytrip to St. Simon’s Island, but I still wanted to see what the beach looked like while we were there.

The sky was crystal clear with a bright warm sun shining, so we thought that was perfect for a beach day. Uuhhmmm... The breeze was quite chilly down by the water.

The sky was crystal clear with a bright warm sun shining, so we thought that was perfect for a beach day. Uuhhmmm… The breeze was quite chilly down by the water.

Jekyll Island selfie.

Jekyll Island selfie.

We were spoiled after our last two stops at James Island County Park and Skidaway Island State Park. Not much of a view, and the spots were VERY tight at this RV 'resort'. However, it was clean, they had a pool and a dog park, and Mike could fish - so it worked out just fine.

We were spoiled after our last two stops at James Island County Park and Skidaway Island State Park. Not much of a view, and the spots were VERY tight at this RV ‘resort’. However, it was clean, they had a pool and a dog park, and Mike could fish – so it worked out just fine.

The sunset on Jekyll Island as we enjoyed a Low Country Shrimp boil after a fun day at the beach.

The sunset on Jekyll Island as we enjoyed a Low Country Shrimp boil after a fun day at the beach.

Georgia Part I: Skidaway Island

I’ve wanted to visit Savannah since I read ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ many years ago. When we left Charleston, we stayed in the Low Country and moved south down Highway 17 until we reached the oldest city in the Peach State. When we arrived at Skidaway Island State Park, I knew it was going to be a great week. The park was beautiful, our site was super roomy, and we were only about 25 minutes from the center of Savannah. We were also fairly close to Tybee Island and Hilton Head Island (back in South Carolina). Between our lazy days exploring the park trails and day trips to the city and the shore, our 8 days that made up our first stop in Georgia flew by in the blink of an eye.

As we crossed over the Diamond Causeway on the outskirts of Savannah, we knew we were headed to Skidaway Island State Park. We did not know that Skidaway Island is listed as one of the most affluent communities in the United States. All of the homes there are located in a gated community called The Legends - one of the largest gated communities in the country. Mike did some research and found out that membership in the neighborhood will get you access to six 18-hole golf courses. As we rode our bikes along the streets, taking in the scenery of beautiful homes and lush landscapes, I continued to assure Mike that this is somewhere I could end up living. His response: too many gnats.

As we crossed over the Diamond Causeway on the outskirts of Savannah, we knew we were headed to Skidaway Island State Park. We did not know that Skidaway Island is listed as one of the most affluent communities in the United States. All of the homes there are located in a gated community called The Legends – one of the largest gated communities in the country. Mike did some research and found out that membership in the neighborhood will get you access to six 18-hole golf courses. As we rode our bikes along the streets, taking in the scenery of beautiful homes and lush landscapes, I continued to assure Mike that this is somewhere I could end up living. His response: too many gnats.

This is our little corner of the 10-top table during our lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. There were 22 different dishes to pile onto our plates. If we ran out of anything the cheerful servers brought new piping hot bowls of replacements. Off the top of my head I recall we were served: fried chicken, bbq pork roast, beef stew, mashed potatoes, gravy, rice, creamed corn, baked beans, squash casserole, sweet potatoes, collard greens, lima beans, black eyed peas, fresh buttermilk biscuits or corn bread squares with sorghum syrup, mac & cheese, rice, cucumber salad, banana pudding, peach cobbler, sweet tea...We obviously went home for a nap after lunch.

This is our little corner of the 10-top table during our lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. There were 22 different dishes to pile onto our plates. If we ran out of anything the cheerful servers brought new piping hot bowls of replacements. Off the top of my head I recall we were served: fried chicken, bbq pork roast, beef stew, mashed potatoes, gravy, rice, creamed corn, baked beans, squash casserole, sweet potatoes, collard greens, lima beans, black eyed peas, fresh buttermilk biscuits or corn bread squares with sorghum syrup, mac & cheese, rice, cucumber salad, banana pudding, peach cobbler, sweet tea…We obviously went home for a nap after lunch.

We were happy in this photo because we had only been standing in Mrs. Wilkes dinner line for about an hour and 15 minutes... and we could finally see the door!

We were happy in this photo because we had only been standing in Mrs. Wilkes dinner line for about an hour and 15 minutes… and we could finally see the door!

My mom's friend Sugar suggested we eat at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room while we were in Savannah. After some online research, it was obvious it was a 'not to miss' destination during our time in this part of Georgia. We ended up sharing lunch with four people from Indiana (who really didn't have any proper manners at all), two local school teachers on spring break, and another couple who were also visitors in the area.

My mom’s friend Sugar suggested we eat at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room while we were in Savannah. After some online research, it was obvious it was a ‘not to miss’ destination during our time in this part of Georgia. We ended up sharing lunch with four people from Indiana (who really didn’t have any proper manners at all), two local school teachers on spring break, and another couple who were also visitors in the area.

The multitude of parks in Savannah are certainly what gives the city so much of its personality. Forsyth Park is the largest of all the central community parks. I dropped Mike to the Army Air Base Golf Course and came here to wander around and people watch. It was lovely.

The multitude of parks in Savannah are certainly what gives the city so much of its personality. Forsyth Park is the largest of all the central community parks. I dropped Mike to the Army Air Base Golf Course and came here to wander around and people watch. It was lovely.

I was mesmerized by the Spanish Moss in the Low Country. It was eerie and soothing all at the same time. The landscape almost shimmered around us as the gentle breezes helped the lacy strands sway from the tree limbs. It also seemed to change colors based on the time of day or what the sky was doing.

I was mesmerized by the Spanish Moss in the Low Country. It was eerie and soothing all at the same time. The landscape almost shimmered around us as the gentle breezes helped the lacy strands sway from the tree limbs. It also seemed to change colors based on the time of day or what the sky was doing.

We stumbled upon this fountain down by Savannah's riverfront. You might be able to see it features green water. Almost all of the fountains in the central part of the city had green water flowing from them, as we were there the week before St. Patrick's Day.

We stumbled upon this fountain down by Savannah’s riverfront. You might be able to see it features green water. Almost all of the fountains in the central part of the city had green water flowing from them, as we were there the week before St. Patrick’s Day.

The marsh lands around Skidaway from a hike on one of the park's numerous nature trails.

The marsh lands around Skidaway from a hike on one of the park’s numerous nature trails.

Tybee Island is 'Savannah's Beach', about 20 minutes from the center of town. Tybee is a small beach community with a small inventory of single family homes. There were no high rise condos to be found, which made the place seem like someone's home town instead of a tourist destination. While were there, we had a couple of drinks and snacks on the patio of Sting Ray's Seafood Restaurant. Then we moved down the street to AJ's Dockside Restaurant (where this photo was taken) for a fresh fish and shrimp dinner.

Tybee Island is ‘Savannah’s Beach’, about 20 minutes from the center of town. Tybee is a small beach community with a small inventory of single family homes. There were no high rise condos to be found, which made the place seem like someone’s home town instead of a tourist destination. While were there, we had a couple of drinks and snacks on the patio of Sting Ray’s Seafood Restaurant. Then we moved down the street to AJ’s Dockside Restaurant (where this photo was taken) for a fresh fish and shrimp dinner.

The Spanish Moss using the sun and shadows to paint abstract images on the lawn below in another one of Savannah's beautiful parks.

The Spanish Moss using the sun and shadows to paint abstract images on the lawn below in another one of Savannah’s beautiful parks.

The spring break season was getting underway during our beach day on Hilton Head Island.

The spring break season was getting underway during our beach day on Hilton Head Island.

This was a wonderful state park and we are so happy we were able to get a reservation there. Due to their reservation calendar, we could only stay 8 nights. We would have happily stayed the maximum two weeks - if the calendar would have allowed. Any one who loves camping (from tents to motor coaches) should put this spot on their list of intended destinations.

This was a wonderful state park and we are so happy we were able to get a reservation there. Due to their reservation calendar, we could only stay 8 nights. We would have happily stayed the maximum two weeks – if the calendar would have allowed. Any one who loves camping (from tents to motor coaches) should put this spot on their list of intended destinations.

I promise this is my last picture of the oaks and palms draped in moss. Isn't it beautiful, though!

I promise this is my last picture of the oaks and palms draped in moss. Isn’t it beautiful, though!

I was surprised that we were allowed to take photos of Savannah's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, but also very happy about it. The central altar was magnificent. As was the rest of the interior with its bright colors, natural stones, stained glass, and an enormous organ in the choir loft. I'm sorry I didn't make time to attend a mass there. It would have been very inspiring.

I was surprised that we were allowed to take photos of Savannah’s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, but also very happy about it. The central altar was magnificent. As was the rest of the interior with its bright colors, natural stones, stained glass, and an enormous organ in the choir loft. I’m sorry I didn’t make time to attend a mass there. It would have been very inspiring.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist seems to be gigantic as it sits across from a park on the tiny streets of Savannah.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist seems to be gigantic as it sits across from a park on the tiny streets of Savannah.

The camping spots at Skidaway Island State Park were so spacious. There was plenty of space between us and our neighbors. This might have been the largest camping spot we have had since the Lower 48 in 48 Tour began.

The camping spots at Skidaway Island State Park were so spacious. There was plenty of space between us and our neighbors. This might have been the largest camping spot we have had since the Lower 48 in 48 Tour began.