Saturday, February 8, 2014

{travel} day 4 road trippin' USA... or at least the lowcountry


My handsome guy is taking over my blog for the day to talk about his favorite day on our road trip. :) I've edited in the pictures and links, but the writing is all Alex. Say hi, everyone!

Hello all. My name is Alex. This is my first venture into the blogging universe. Jennifer asked if I would like to be a guest-writer. I am going to write about one of the days of the road-trip that she and I took last December.  Jennifer thought it would be interesting to get my perspective and point of view about the trip (between you and me, I think she is just too busy living big-city, fancy-girl, European life so she wanted me to take a little load off). Regardless, I am happy to do it and contribute to her great blog. So coming to you from my modest old Gainesville house is Day 4 of the road trip.



Time to channel my inner Melville and Coleridge.

It was about nine in the morning when the heavy raindrops on our window gently woke us up. Natural light filled the room and I knew our time was limited; check-out was at ten. The desire to sleep-in was overcome by the will to explore and eat. We both got ready and packed in record time, well for her I’m always quick, and we were out the door at ten on the dot for a meal at High Cotton. High Cotton had a very distinct d├ęcor. It exuded an atmosphere that made you feel like you could be dining with the elite of Charleston, yet neither of us received any negative stares for our dressed down appearances. It was certainly the place to be on a Sunday morning for breakfast or lunch. High Cotton provided a full menu with a variety of choices, but Jennifer and I left with a feeling that we expected more. We had standard breakfast dishes and an appetizer, which had nothing wrong with them.  Unfortunately, the expectations were set too high after reading positive reviews and getting a personal recommendation so we felt it did not live up to the hype. Nonetheless, we had our energizing meal that would carry us through the next five hours of driving.


Now to me, driving in the car on a road trip is one of the best parts. I was looking forward to jamming out, conversation, southern scenery and finding adventures at some exits.  99% of the time Jennifer was the best partner-in-crime for this. She enjoyed these things as well and we facilitated well for each other. The other 1%, however, was dedicated to sleep (for her). Obviously, the chauffer can’t sleep at the wheel. But, I feel it should always be her needs over mine so I did not mind if my P.I.C. had to get a nap in because she was tired. Plus, it allowed me to practice my air guitar skills sans judgment.

I mentioned adventures on random exits earlier.  No matter how much I attempt to channel my inner writer my words cannot do the thrill of discovering hidden small town attractions justice. We found three amazing and random stops that everyone should see. The Carolina Cider Company, The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum and Fort King George. I’m going to give you very brief descriptions of each of these places just to prop them up so you can go see them for yourselves. 


The Carolina Cider Company was a tiny store off of Charleston Highway. The size would fool you because this place was bustling with travelers. I bought some peach cider and Jennifer bought some jalapeno honey mustard sauce. Both delicious, as did appear the rest of the items in the store. Heck, they even had homemade fresh pie for sale. 



The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum was an even bigger surprise. We were looking for something else and then stumbled upon this off a random exit on I-95. The museum tells the story of WWII fighter pilots. The museum was very nice and very large. It was a great presentation and did the WWII pilots justice. Besides learning the history, the best part was the life-sized replica fighter planes outside of the museum. The eight year old boy in me was giddy at the sight of those. 



The last random stop was Fort KingGeorge. We saw some modest signs off the highway advertising the state park so we had to stop and see it. The drive to the park and the location was a little underwhelming. We thought we would find a toothless guy with just a poster-board at the end of the road. What we came upon was a gem. As I said I cannot do it justice to how cool this park was. Great information, great presentation culminating with a life-size complete replica of what the old fort looked like in the 1700s. I could literally climb old wood ladders, lie in a hay bed and pretend fire a cannon out to the water. A must see.


After that last stop we finally pushed on straight through to St. Augustine, our last overnight stay.  We had plans to meet up with one of Jennifer’s many many friends. I can never keep up with all the people she meets, knows, and mentions.  She lives in the fast lane. So we met up with her sorority sister, Haley and her boyfriend, Alex, for dinner at Cruisers Grill in St. Augustine. Cruisers was great and exactly what one expects from a small town beach-side restaurant. The conversation and company was great and I was having a good time. We moved the shindig to some bars up the street, where another one of Jennifer’s friends, Jess, met us. We drank PBRs, sangria and craft beers and listened to live music for a few hours. Unfortunately, Jennifer’s friends had reality to tend to the next day, Monday, so they left and the soiree was over. Jennifer and I headed to another bar, Scarlett O’Hara’s, for a final drink together before we called it a night and a very long day.  St. Augustine has a very casual and entertaining bar scene, even on a Sunday night. I was surprised because I had only previously visited St. Augustine as a bratty pre-teen. I never noticed the formidable bar scene that the city had to offer. As well as the nightlife, I discovered St. Augustine had much more to it than I remembered. But, that is a post for another day. 

I hope you all enjoyed the entry. I think I may fall into the "too long, didn't read" category but I had a lot to say, so it could have been even longer. Thanks for reading.

Alex

Thanks for writing babe. :)

xx, Jen

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