This morning when I walked into the Common Ground Coffee House in Beaufort the owner greeted me like I was a regular, which is what we’ve been for the past several days. Unfortunately this morning’s visit was our last (for this year) as we were ready to move on to Charleston. Arriving midday we parked at the visitor’s center and took one of the free (yes free) trolley to the city market where we had lunch and then did the Charleston tourist thing and took a horse drawn carriage tour. Our guide/carriage driver and our horse Sam were a great team skillfully maneuvering the carriage through the busy streets while keeping up a constant narrative about Charleston history, architecture, culture and residents. Afterwards we walked through the city market before getting back on the trolley. We have two more days here to enjoy the sun and the flowering trees before 3 days of driving back to the frozen north.
It’s been one lovely day after another here in South Carolina. Actually most of today was spent in Georgia but was nonetheless lovely. Since we are only about an hour north of Savannah we decided go to Wormsloe (Named for towns Welsh countryside from which the original settler Noble Jones originated) a Georgia State Park there that we had read about. One of the descendants of the original settlers at Wormsloe had the foresight to plant a 500-tree live oak alee in honor of his son’s birth. Today those oaks are covered with Spanish moss and resurrection ferns and form a continuous arch over Wormsloe’s 1 ½ mile entrance road. There is, however, no white columned plantation house at the end of the road. Instead the spell is broken by the state park visitor’s center, but only slightly. There you see their introductory film and a small museum that delves into the history of the site and the people who inhabited it. Then we walked the trails to various sites on the property including the surviving tabby walls of the original structures. There was also a living history interpretation area with a blacksmith working and reconstructions of a typical house from the 1700’s. The real attraction of the place for us was just slowing walking through the woods and along the shore on a 60 + degree-day.
By the time we were ready to leave Wormsloe it was mid afternoon and we had not had lunch. Since we were in the area we drove to Tybee Island and the local favorite The Crab Shack. I guess it’s also become a favorite of ours as this was our third trip there. It’s over the top with hokey decorations, that include silly signs, plastic snakes, live alligators, live birds, and so much more. The tables have a hole in the center with a trash barrel underneath so that all the shells can immediately be disposed of. The food is no nonsense delicious. Boiled shrimp with a dusting of old bay seasoning, fresh corn, slightly spicy cole slaw, smashed potatoes dripping in butter need I go on. And you are surrounded by lots of good folk, all gazing out over the water. Great place.
Now were back in South Carolina and almost ready for bed and listening to the spring peepers who are making quite a racket outside.
The weather forecasts for Boston and environs make the bright blue sky and 60-degree temperatures here more enjoyable. We feel that we are required to go out and savor the day. So this morning we did an audio tour of one part of Historic Beaufort. It was quite well done. The history of Beaufort was interwoven between the descriptions of the houses and their history. There were even sound effects (sea gulls, booming cannons etc.) and musical interludes of civil war songs. After the tour we had lunch outside in a restaurant overlooking the waterfront park. Our favorite features in the park are the wooden park benches that are suspended as swings. Not kiddy swings these are adult swings. And as adults we love them. Especially after a nice lunch it’s the perfect place to sit in the sun and read as Harry did - or stretch out and turn your face toward the sun as I did. To top off the day we drove to Port Royal and walked along the Sands Beach Boardwalk, which stretches out along the marsh. Lovely day.