Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

10/27/12 11/3/12
Snow falling as we drove through Virginia - this
turned into a blizzard in West VA
Electrical trucks headed for area waiting for
Hurricane Sandy to hit tomorrow and next day.
We saw hundreds and hundreds of trucks from
all over the country.
Atlanta, GA - state capitol
Inside capitol building
Columbia, South Carolina
A dream came true so off my list it goes
You can order a whole cake shipped anywhere
in USA for $100.00 - that includes postage!!!!
Forsyth Park
Turtles in rehabilitation tanks
at Jekyll Island
We left our little nest in Wells, Maine on Friday, the 27th. We talked about Hurricane Sandy and we decided that we better cancel our New York trip. We had a 3 night reservation right by the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey that ended up being the epicenter.   We had planned on touring NYC on Monday and Tuesday (the day and day after Sandy hit). We decided we can go back up that way in Spring and see coastal cities.

We spent Friday in Providence, RI, with the plan to stay Saturday night too. We watched the news and decided that we had better get on the road and move more out of the way of the hurricane. We drove all day Saturday and spent the night in Harrisburg, PA.

Sunday we spent the day in the car again and drove to Roanoke, VA. Along the way we saw hundred of electrical trucks going on the road toward NYC, along with some tree trimming trucks. Amazing to see so many people heading to help.

On our drive Monday (the day Hurricane Sandy hit NYC) we actually were driving in light snow flurries. This is the snow that turned into a blizzard in West Virginia, so we were glad we were getting South and West. Spent Monday night in Chattanooga, TN. The next morning we stopped by the Tennessee Riverpark to see the river and bike/walking paths but it was cold and windy so we decided that we best just be on our way.

Tuesday we arrived in Atlanta, Georgia. We visited the state capitol and it was pretty impressive. We also drove by the area where the Olympics where held back in 1996 and took a picture of the Olympic circles and torch. Huge city, so we just hit the road and spent the night in Augusta, GA.

Halloween, we went on to South Carolina with a stop in Columbia, the state capitol. We toured the state house, nothing great inside. More interesting history was outside with their statutes and memorials. That was about it for this city. Looked interesting, but just no energy to explore more. 

My Halloween treat was coconut cake from the Peninsula Grill. I'd seen a Bobby Flay throw down (challenge) on this famous cake back in 2008, and had wanted a piece since then. Well, I had my cake and ate it too. Not what I expected and I had bought 3 pieces 1 for John and 2 for me. I had to share my second piece with the hotel auditor. The 3 pieces of cake cost $33.75 amazing. Now I can mark that off my list of must haves.

On the road again, heading for Savannah on Thursday. We stopped by and spent the day on Hilton Head Island where we saw six or more dolphins playing in the water as we walked along the beach.  Finding a beach or parking is a major ordeal here with so many totally ritzy areas having the of beach blocked off -- resorts and gated private homes. I'm glad I saw the island, but it isn't a place that I want to rush back and visit.

Friday, up and ate breakfast. Stopped and picked up a map of downtown Savannah. Went to our appointment to get oil changed and tires rotated. Car is doing great and we have driven 10,000 miles on this trip. Drove around some of the historic area. The main street we were on is very unusual in that you drive down it about 5 blocks, then make a right turn, left turn, left, right and then straight because you are going around small neighborhood parks. It is wonderful to see all these spaces and every little park had people in them. The big park called squares.  We went to one huge square, Forsythia Park,  and they were preparing for the Rock 'n Roll Marathon the next day.  Saw them putting up tons of ports potties, setting up beer gardens and the music stage. Looks like a big production and this brings lots of people to town. There is a huge, beautiful fountain in the middle of the park (see photo).

We ended our day down on the River Front. This is the old area where they used to load cotton onto the ships for transport. It is now tourist heaven, eateries, good and fun shops. Temp was around 71 degrees, with no breeze, so it felt wonderful to be out in the sun.

There was a Tall Ship in port, the Peacemaker, that we were able to board. There was no admission, just donations. Quite a beautiful, huge sailing ship. Interesting in that it is owned by the Twelve Tribes, a cult-like religious group that I read about online. They crew the entire ship with their members who learn to sail from the smallest job to piloting the ship as part of their apprenticeship program. They use the ship as an outreach and do sail all around with the Tall Ships tour.

We had a wonderful lunch and tried fried green tomatoes  (famous Southern dish), and beignets (square fried donuts served hot with powered sugar on top  - a standard New Orleans treat). John and I both really enjoyed Savannah and hope to return for a much longer time to see all that is there. The only city so far that I have felt was so special.

Last day in the area and we decided that we needed a rest from all the walking. We headed over to Tybee Island with our packed lunch, beach towels and folding chairs. Just a day to chill. Along the way we stopped at Fort Pulaski National Monument, an amazingly renovated coastal fort and we were lucky enough to see two different cannon firing demonstrations. The fort cost $1M to build in 1829 and it contains 25 million bricks. The fort has a moat and even a drawbridge. A fascinating part of Civil War history. We ended up walking around for about three hours. Did get to the beach, looked around a bit, walked on the beach and then headed to our room. 

Sunday and our drive down to Daytona Beach. We stopped along the way at Jekyll Island (we seem to be on lots of islands lately). Drove through some coastal marshland to get to the island. Sat down and had our lunch at a picnic table and looked out at a big bridge and about 10 sail boats. So picturesque. My back started itching badly, and after we ate I asked John to scratch my back, and he said he was going to ask me the same. Guess we were in some mosquito area and they were smart because we never saw them in front. We both got attacked on our backs and had many bites that itched like mad for a little while. Went down and looked at the fishing pier and there were lots of people catching fish.

We then went to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center a nice little museum, and a rescue center. We got to see turtles that are there for rehabilitation and heard about their rescue and status. We also got to see the area where the veterinarian works on the turtles. Lots of neat displays and videos about various turtle topics. I love sea turtles so this was a very fun time for me. I got a neat T-shirt that I will treasure.

Off the island and finally headed down to Daytona. We messed about too long and it was dark when we arrived at our condo. We are trying to do all our driving during the day for safety. There are moose, turtles, deer, so best to be in at night. At least we will get to stay in one place for a week. We plan on sleeping in and trying to get a bit of rest without so much sightseeing. Our condo is right on the Atlantic Ocean, steps to the beach, and we have an ocean front view which is a nice change for us. 

Sorry this is so long, just lots happened.  I'm sure my next blog will be short and sweet.