Lady & Sons . . .

This morning got off to a unhappy start. About 10am we had to bid a sad adieu to Nick and Terry. They are heading down to St. Augustine on the first leg of their winter-over in Florida.

Nick and Terry Savannah Goodbye

It maybe March before we get back together next year. It’s going to be a long, boring winter.

A little before 11 I called Paula Deen’s restaurant “The Lady and Sons” to get a reservation for this afternoon. Jan wanted it to be our last meal here in Savannah. About 11 Jan fixed us a light lunch of cheese toast. We didn’t want to be too full for Paula Deen’s.

Nick called about 2:45 to let us know that they’d made it to St. Augustine without any problems except for a lot of wind along the way.

Finally about 3:15 we headed into Savannah for our 4pm reservation at Paula Deen’s. I figured we would need some extra time to find a parking place, and I was right.

But after two trips around the block, I actually found one right across the street from the restaurant.

Lady and Sons

As with our visit here in 2009, we had the buffet once again, with the same delicious results.

Fried Chicken, Basted Short Ribs, Beef Pot, and 10 different southern style veggies, all wonderfully delicious. I would swear they don’t have a can opener in that kitchen. The green beans, collard greens, corn, black-eyed peas, etc., all seemed to be fresh, not frozen or canned.

And then there was dessert.

After a great meal, we checked out the gift shop and I found the perfect shirt for Nick and I.

Paula Deen's Eating Shirt

Note that if you look carefully, you’ll see it comes ‘pre-stained’. Our kind of shirt.

Leaving Paula Deen’s we made a Wal-Mart stopover before heading home. As soon as we got back I went ahead and hooked up the toad to the rig and then put away some things to get ready to travel tomorrow.

We’ll have a 325 mile run to Heflin, AL tomorrow, before we end up in Athens, AL on Thursday, where we’ll stay for 3 or 4 days visiting relatives.

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Thought for the Day:

"Humor is chaos remembered in tranquility." — James Thurber

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Almost Done Here . . .

Today was declared an official Goof-Off Day, and so it was until Nick put me back to work on “Nick Stuff”. “Nick Stuff” are things that Nick figures he can talk me into doing for him because he can’t.

But I’ve begun to believe that it’s really a Tom Sawyer / fence kind of thing. I think that Nick’s probably an excellent mechanic, and a computer whiz. to boot. He just figures that why should he have to do anything if he can talk us into doing it for him.

I’m onto you now, Tom, er, Nick.

About 2:30pm we all headed back into Savannah for some errands, a little shopping, and dinner. So after a Post Office stop, we headed over to Oglethorpe Mall to the Barnes & Noble. All of us love wandering through bookstores, even if we don’t buy much.

Oglethorpe Mall is kind of ‘old home’ to us since we used to come here in 1970 when we lived in Beaufort, SC. It was brand-new then, and it still looks good.

Then, after B&N, Terry and Jan made a quick pilgrimage to Old Navy, we all headed across the parking to eat dinner at Golden Corral.

Finally on our way home we made a quick pass by some of many old homes before heading back to Hardeeville.

Tomorrow may or may not be Nick and Terry’s last day here, depending on the weather. If the winds aren’t too bad they’ll head down to St. Augustine, FL tomorrow, and then we’ll leave for north Alabama on Wednesday.

Otherwise, they’ll stay one more day and we’ll head out in opposite directions on Wednesday.

We’ll see.

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Thought for the Day:

Between 1950 and 2009 the number of K-12 school students increased by almost 100%. At the same time the number of teachers increased by over 250%.

But school staff and administrators increased by over 700%.

Anyone else see the problem here?

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Almost Wrapping Up Savannah . . .

As our visit to Savannah winds down, we all headed about noon back down toward Tybee Island to visit Fort Pulaski.

Fort Pulaski, named for Kazimierz Pulaski, a Polish military commander who fought in the American Revolution with George Washington, it was built between 1829 and 1847 utilizing over 25,000,000 bricks.

But it stood unused until it was seized by the state of Georgia as a prelude to the state seceding from the Union and joining the Confederate States of American.Fort Pulaski Air View

Fort Pulaski

During April 10-11, 1862, Union forces laid siege to the fort in an attempt to recapture it. After a 30 hour bombardment with the new rifled cannons, the previously-thought unassailable walls had been breached.

Fort Pulaski B&W

Knowing that with the collapse of the wall, the 40,000 pounds of gunpowder stored in the magazine were now vulnerable, and would destroy the fort and everyone in it. Colonel Charles H. Olmstead, commander of the Confederate garrison, surrendered to the Union troops.

Within six weeks of the surrender, Union forces repaired the Fort and began the blockade of the port of Savannah which continued through the end of the Civil War.

Fort Pulaski Damage

Later in the war, the fort was used as a prison for captured Confederate officers.

Later a Park Ranger dressed in Confederate gray, demonstrated the loading and firing of a British-made Enfield rifle, used by both sides during the war.

Fort Pulaski Demo 1

Fort Pulaski Demo 2

Leaving Fort Pulaski, we drove out to the end of Tybee Island to check out the local beach.

Tybee Island 1

Tybee Island 2

With the passing of Hurricane Sandy, we expected to see higher waves here, but it was actually pretty tame.

Tybee Island 3

One thing about Tybee Island is that you can’t park anywhere with paying for it. Even the parking spots at the local Arby’s had parking meters on them, so you get to pay for parking and your roast beef sandwich.

About 4:30 we headed back toward Savannah to have dinner at Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House.

Uncle Bubba's

“Uncle Bubba” is Paula Deen’s brother, whose nickname is Bubba, and in fact Paula Deen is a partner in Uncle Bubba’s.

Everyone enjoyed their meal, with my Low Country Boil, consisting of Boiled Shrimp, Smoked Sausage, Boiled New Potatoes, and Corn of the Cob, being definitely better than the same meal I had a few days ago at The Crab Shack.

Don’t get me wrong, the Crab Shack was really good. But Bubba’s version was just better. And Jan said her oysters were fantastic!

On the subject of oysters, I told Nick this shirt on sale at Uncle Bubba’s explains why I love oysters so much (and Jan too.)

Oyster Shirt

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On the way back to the park, we drove by the Mercer-Williams House. Besides being a beautiful example of Civil War architecture, the house is most famous for being the location of the shooting described in the book and the movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”

Since it was almost dark by the time we got there, here’s a photo from the Web.

Mercer-Williams House

And in addition to the “Midnight” death, two more deaths occurred here. In 1913 a previous owner fell over a 2nd floor bannister and died a few days later. And in 1964 a boy chasing pigeons on the roof, fell off and impaled himself on the wrought iron fence.

Ouch!

On that happy note, we headed back to the park for the night. Tomorrow will be a goof-off day before we wrap up our visit to Savannah on Tuesday.

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Thought for the Day:

You ever get the feeling that the music is slowing down and you don’t have a chair?

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Forts, Chapels, and Churches . . .

After Hazelnut coffee and the last slices of Miss Terry’s delicious Pumpkin Cinnamon Bread, we all headed out about noon to visit Beaufort, SC, home of the Marine Corps’ Parris Island, and also their Marine Corps Air Station.

Jan and I lived here in Beaufort from late 1969 to late 1970 when I was working as a DOD contractor at MCAS on F-4’s and A-7’s.

We were able to found the two different houses we lived in while we were here. This duplex was the first one,

Beaufort House 1

and this single family home was the last one.

Beaufort House 2

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After checking out our ex-homes, we spent some time driving around Beaufort, checking out the large, beautiful trees,

Beaufort Trees

along with the many old homes.

Beaufort 1

Beaufort 2

Beaufort 3

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Next we took the bridge over the Beaufort River that leads out of downtown Beaufort (with Nick only sniveling slightly) and headed over to Ladies Island.

Then after a short snack stop at McDonald’s, we drove on down the St. Helena Island. Our main destination was Fort Fremont, the remains of a Spanish-American War era fort.

The original fort covered over 170 acres, but these concrete gun emplacements and the attached hospital building are all that remain.

Fort Fremont 2

Fort Fremont 1

Fort Fremont 3

The other buildings, made of wood, have been destroyed or torn down since the fort was deactivated in 1921.

Driving back toward Beaufort we stopped off at these church ruins that we had passed on the way to the fort.

We discovered it was called the Chapel of Ease. It was built around 1740 as part of St. Helena’s Church for planters that had problems traveling to the main church parish in Beaufort.

Chapel of Ease 1

Chapel of Ease 2

It became a separate church after the Revolutionary War, and was burned out in a forest fire in 1886.

Chapel of Ease 3

There is also a partially-destroyed mausoleum on the grounds which may have led to the stories of strange lights and ghosts in the area.

Next we headed back through Beaufort and up the road about 25 mile to the Yemassee, SC area to visit the remains of another church.

Built between 1745-55, the Church of Prince William’s Parish, also known as Sheldon, apparently was a magnet for destructive military attention.

It was first burned by the British Army in 1779. Then after being rebuilt in 1826, it was burned again by the Union Army in 1865. Sometimes you just can’t catch a break.

Sheldon Church 1

Sheldon Church 3

We didn’t want to get any closer to the building because there was a wedding ceremony going on at the time.

Sheldon Church 2

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Leaving the church, we drove on into Yemassee to check out a nearby Mid-Atlantic/Encore/PassPort America park called The Oaks at South Point. Turned out to be a nice park, but with all the tall trees, it would be sheer luck if you could get a satellite signal.

Finally it was time to head back to the park and dinner. We had decided to check out The Pink Pig.

The Pink Pig

Serving BBQ and seafood, they’ve been mentioned on the Food Network and written up in Southern Living magazine. And we really enjoyed it.

For their BBQ they have both tomato-based sauces, and the mustard-based sauces, typical to Georgia and South Carolina, including a hot Gullah sauce.

I had a shrimp and rib combo platter, and the ribs were really good. meaty and moist.

We’ll go back.

Since The Pink Pig was only about a mile from the park, it was a short trip. Which was a good thing, since we were all so full.

Tomorrow it’s on to Fort Pulaski.

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Thought for the Day:

If you believe in yourself, you clearly haven’t calculated the odds against you.

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Bombs Away!

Today started about 11am when we headed down to Pooler, GA to tour the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum 1

We started out by going through a ‘full immersion’ show of a typical 8th Air Force bombing mission.

We begin our flight by sitting in Quonset hut and listening to the flight briefing given through a combination of video and a live presentation from a actual 8th Air Force crew member. Then it was on to an excellent movie about the flight line and preparing the B-17’s for the bombing raid.

The final presentation was multi-media presentation simulating a bombing run over Germany, complete with loud flak explosions, bright flashing lights, and even rushing wind as the bomb bay doors open.

A really moving presentation.

The 8th Air Force Museum is located in Savannah because that’s where it was born. It was activated on January 2th, 1942 at Savannah Air Base, Savannah, GA, less than one month after Pearl Harbor.

During its 3 year operational history, over 350,000 men cycled through the unit. And of that number, there were 26,000 deaths and 28,000 casualties, with the loss of over 4000 planes.

Toward the end of the war the 8th Air Force was sending out raids with over 2000 planes and 1000 fighters on a single mission to multiple targets.

It is said that by early 1945 there was nothing left to bomb in Germany. Every target of strategic or military value had been destroyed.

Leaving the presentation we walked through the many exhibits. They even had a couple of fantastic dioramas. This one depicted a raid on a German refinery. Very realistic.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum Ollfield Raid

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And this one shows the 8th Air Force field at East Anglia, England.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum East Anglia

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They also have a number of planes on display, including this B-17, “The City of Savannah”,

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum B-17 1

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which was the 5000th plane processed through Hunter Field in Savannah in 1944.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum B-17 2

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Here’s the P-51 Mustang, the most successful long ranger fighter of WWII. Its introduction allowed, for the first time, fighters to escort the bombers all the way into Germany and back out on even the longest missions.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum P51

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And here’s one the P-51’s adversaries, the German bf 109.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum bf 109

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They also had a few more modern planes outside. Here’s a F-4C Phantom.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum F-4C

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A MiG 17A.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum MiG 17

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And finally, a Boeing B-47 Stratojet, our first swept wing all-jet bomber.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum B-47

We all really enjoyed the 8th Air Force Museum, especially Jan and Terry, who were both Air Force Brats.

This is a must-see when you visit Savannah.

Leaving the museum, we made a couple of Post Office and bank stops before spending some time just driving around old Savannah taking in all the old homes. Then we made a couple of trips down along the waterfront checking all the neat shops and restaurants.

By this time it was after 4pm, and with everyone hungry, we headed back to Jalapeno’s Mexican Restaurant, where we ate a couple of days ago.

It was that good. So good that everyone ordered exactly the same thing we got last time.

Heading back toward home, we made a Wal-Mart stop along the way. We also made a few more passes up and down some more of Savannah’s streets.

Getting back to our rig, we put away our groceries, and then headed over to Nick and Terry’s for some more of Jan’s birthday cake, and a few more laughs.

The perfect end to a great day.

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Thought for the Day:

If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don’t understand, no explanation is possible.

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Cakes and Crabs . . .

Jan’s birthday morning started out with Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice coffee, along with the last two of their Pumpkin Munchkins (holes) that we bought last week in Williamsburg, VA.

I had planned to get Jan the new Kindle Paperwhite, but when I went to order it from Amazon last weekend I found they were on a 4 to 6 week wait.

Bummer!

So she got a raincheck. Maybe she’ll get it by Christmas.

Speaking about Amazon, yesterday I ordered a couple of things from them to be delivered Friday under their Amazon Prime Two Day Free Shipping. However the confirmation email said it would be delivered today, after only one day. It turns out that both items were shipped from their Columbia, SC warehouse. about 150 miles up the road.

And the UPS guy brought the package right to our site. Neat!

I’ve still been thinking about our Snap, Crackle, Pop, electrical problem yesterday. One thing occurred to me was that it might be something with the slide since it’s right there under Jan. So, since I’d rather find out we had a problem with the slide today, rather than next week right before we’re supposed to pull out.

But as it turns out, and luckily for us, the slide seems to work fine. So it’s on to something else.

During the day Jan got birthday calls from our daughter Brandi, our son Chris, and Jan’s sister Debbie, so she was a happy camper.

About 4pm Nick and Terry, and Jan and I headed down to Tybee Island, GA for Jan’s birthday dinner at The Crab Shack, all well-known local seafood place on the banks of Tybee Creek.

The Crab Shack 1

We ate outside on the deck,

The Crab Shack 2

looking out over the waters of the creek.

The Crab Shack 3

The food was fantastic, even though we had to share with several feline visitors. Strangely, they’re very well behaved. They don’t try to jump up, they don’t fight over the food you drop. They just sit there patiently and stare up at you. A real guilt trip.

The Crab Shack 4

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Accompanying us to dinner tonight were Peggy and Dave, who are parked a couple of sites down from Nick and Terry. They’ve been full-timing since 2009 and have run into Nick and Terry several times in the past.

The Crab Shack 5

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If you’re in the Savannah area, The Crab Shack is another must-eat place to visit.

We do the hard work finding these places so you don’t have to.

Getting back to the park a little before 8pm, we went over to Nick and Terry’s rig to find that Terry had baked Jan a birthday cake – a Red Velvet birthday cake.

Red Velvet Cake

And it was delicious, so much so we all had two pieces. Jan and I really appreciate Terry going to this trouble. It really means a lot to us.

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Thought for the Day;

“May we always be happy, and may our enemies always know it.” – Famous Irish toast

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Happy Birthday to My Sweetie!

Happy Birthay to Jan

            Jan, You’ve Made My Life Complete!

                             Love, Greg