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Published: August 5th 2015
21 total hours of drove time and over 1,050 miles in!
I am currently in a motel in Savannha, Georgia. The room is pretty much what you would expect for a side of the highway motel, but I unfortunately did not have much choice as it is pouring outside and camping was not going to happen.
Oh well, it's a good thing I budgeted for this type of the thing in case I was not able to make it to a campground for the night.
Last I left off here, I was battling a hangover which luckily faded away within a few short hours of my previous post. That was Sunday, and today is Tuesday. A lot of awesome stuff has happened between then and now! But first, let's talk about some not so good stuff.
Shortly after publishing post number one on Sunday morning, I took a walk out
side to grab my sunglasses from my car. When I tell you this was straight out of a movie, I could not be anymore serious. I walked outside and shaded my eyes from the sun, scanning the parking lot for my equinox when it occurred to me
that my car was no longer in the spot I had parked it in not even 24 hours prior. I uttered what has come to be a pretty famous and hysterical line (although at this point I was not laughing), "dude, where's my car?!" After a quick freak out, we came to the conclusion my car had been towed for not having a parking pass.
Thanks Matt Bonn....
2 hours and $132 later, I had my car back! It was like being reunited with a lost child who you for whatever reason decided to have hold your phone, wallet, keys and everything else of value to you. Yeah, my car had that much important stuff inside. But I digress.
Sunday was a great day- with a visit to the Lazy 5 Safari I relished in happiness as Matts brand new Mazda had many close encounters with the safari animals that roam free at the park. For $10 a person and $3 for a bucket of feed, we drove through a three hour safari Park that featured zebras, pot belly pigs, water buffalo, bison and a variety of other animals we often only see behind bars at a zoo
or through glass at a museum. Even more entertaining was the feeding of the animals, which if you follow me on snapchat you saw plenty of. I would definitely recommend this spot to anyone visiting North Carolina. In addition to the safari portion, there were other animals in cages scattered throughout the park as well. This was a great way to spend most of Sunday. Sunday evening was quiet, we were all pretty exhausted from the safari.
On Monday, I did quite a bit of solo walking around the city of Charlotte. The morning started with a visit to the (in)famous? Chik-Fil-A, a southern fast food staple. I've only heard good things about the place, you know, other then the blatant homophobia the CEO is well known for. The food itself was not bad for fast food, and I really got a kick when I went to use the bathroom and saw about 25 senior citizens playing bingo in the back.
From there my day continued with a 3 mile trek looping the city. Along the way I stopped in the Charlotte library, which was three floors and gorgeous. From the architecture outside to the vaulted ceilings inside, I
was very impressed. There were a variety of people inside as well, from students to homeless men reading the newspapers quietly in a group. After exploring the library, I took a walk over to Bank Of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers. While I couldn't go inside, it was still really cool checking out the exterior of the state of the art building.
After another quiet night at a local bar, my time in North Carolina had come to a close and it was on to the next day and the next adventure.
My next destination was Charleston, SC. 3-4 hour drive from Charlotte and I arrived just as the sun was highest as well as the thermometer. It was 100 degrees and humid when I stepped out onto Market Street, the tourist hub of South Carolina. Palm trees and sweaty tourist lined the streets while an open air market cut down the middle. Cobble stone streets on either side of the market gave the area the "historic" feeling so many people look forward to seeing. In total, the main area of Market Street was only about half a mile in length and the majority of the
businesses were either selling candy and sweets or tacky tourist items such as the shirts and snow globes. Go figure. I was quite impressed though with the very intricate basket weaving that was being done just about every block. Baskets and flowers were being hand made on the streets by older women while their sons and grandsons tried to sell them to passing tourist. I admired their determination and bought a few of the flowers which I planned to leave at the site of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
After exploring Market Street, I made my way up to Calhoun Street to visit the aforementioned church, the site of the recent racially motivated murders. The pictures I've attached speak for themselves and the experience of actually being there was incredibly moving. This has been a highlight of the trip so far.
Lunch was next on the agenda. On my way from North Carolina to its southern counterpart, I stopped at Shinetown - a sort of Southern chain liquor store that specialized in moonshine. After making a quick purchase (which I will be enjoying tonight!), the cashier told me the Artisan Meat Share was a can't miss restaurant
once I got into town. Wow, was he right. I ordered a Porchetta sandwich on ciabatta with andouille sausage, pork cracklings, watercress, caramelized onions, and chipotle mayo. It was unreal. The picture doesn't even do it justice. Along with that, I had a pea and peanut salad with radish. Interesting to say the least.
At this point, it was time to say goodbye to South Carolina and continue my journey. The next stop was Savannah, Georgia and it's well known river front. A two hour drive south and I was there. With no real agenda in mind for Savannah, I simply enjoyed walking around and reading the many plaques that lined the streets that outlined the cities history. The waterfront was nice and very clean as well. I stopped into a sports bar for a beer and enjoyed speaking with some locals who really enjoyed my accent- almost as much as I silently enjoyed theirs.
I don't know, but there is something about the south. You always hear people talking about southern hospitality, and let me tell you this is an understatement. As soon as I told a small group of people my plans for this trip, it
didn't take long for the bartender to offer me drinks on the house, as did others in the group I had been chatting with. I politely declined, as at this point I was unsure of where I would be spending the night.
For now, the plan is to leave this lovely motel room and to take a quick walk to the sports bar across the road.
Tomorrow, I plan on doing another 10 hours or so of driving until I hit Louisiana! This trip has been incredible so far, and it's only still getting started.
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