Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Chapter 3 - St. Augustine to Hilton Head Island

May 30th, Day3:  After a restful sleep, we hooked up our travel trailer to our car and by 8 am we left our campsite headed north for Hilton Head Island.  Fortunately despite the fact that it was Memorial Day (and my birthday) our drive was uneventful and we arrived at our new campsite shortly after the noon hour. Surprisingly the only heavy traffic that we did encounter although it was moving right along, was the drive from I-95 over to Hilton Head. We both wondered what everyone was doing headed for Hilton Head at the end of a holiday weekend.

The campground where we choose to stay for the next two nights was one of the best we have encountered in our many years of RV traveling.  We also "shot the buck" and rented one of their highest priced spaces located right on the water.  The pad was concrete and we had all of the usual hookups plus a fast internet system and cable TV hookup. The photograph to the right was taken in our "front yard". Not a bad present for my birthday!

Besides our excellent location within the campground, the campground had extensive and excellent amenities.  The swimming pool as you can see in the photograph was beautiful.  Also on site was a full service restaurant, a fitness room, and of course a laundry.  Kathy and I (and Cabo) other than going to Publix for a few supplies, chose to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening right at our campsite.  Very relaxing.  Tomorrow we will be tourists. It rained tohight for around 15 minutes.  Not that unpleasant considering that a tropical storm passed through this area only hours before we arrived.

May 31, Day 4: As usual we were both up early. For awhile I sat outside in the cool morning air reading online the Wall Street Journal, while Kathy inside fed Cabo and straightened up our tiny home.  This morning our plan was to again leave around 8 am to first visit the Harbour Town Lighthouse area followed by a leisurely drive over to historic Beaufort, South Carolina, located north of Hilton Head. We had previously visited Harbour Town back in 2002 just before I retired and we were living in a motorhome on Hilton Head Island.  Our decision to visit Harbour Town early was a good one since parking is limited and between the lighthouse, all of the shops, and the boats in the harbor, the area is very popular and can get quite crowded.

We spent around one hour walking and then driving around the area before finally deciding to head out to Beaufort.  Hilton Head Island is very popular both for tourists as well as for winter and full time residents.  Both Kathy and I agreed however, that we prefer to live in areas less crowded and visit areas with a little more character than we see on Hilton Head.  One thing that did attract my attention however, are the numerous golf courses all over the island. We were fortunate back while living on Hilton Head to get to see the Heritage Classic Golf Tournament.

Beaufort, South Carolina is an old town founded by the British back in 1711.  Unfortunately, while there are many old beautiful homes and churches in the city, the city's somewhat out-of-the-way location has made it a less popular location to live and invest than other nearby cities like Savannah and Charleston. Historic preservation has not been quite as strict an issue as has taken place in these other cities.  Hence, we see beautiful old homes next door to more modern homes.  The same problem has occurred within the commercial area where for the most part the older buildings have been replaced with newer construction.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed our drive through the city.  Our first stop was at St.Helena's Episcopal Church and the surrounding graveyard both of which were originally constructed in 1724.  This was one of three or four old churches that we drove by this morning.

We also drove by and stopped in a few cases in front of dozens of old homes that were built around the early to mid-1800s.  We have included only two of the many photos that we took of the old homes while driving through this lovely old southern city.  

While the unbelievable beauty of this old southern home is not captured well in this photograph to the right, both Kathy and I agreed that this was the best of the homes that we saw today complete with its glowing gas lanterns welcoming visitors to the front gate, the brick wall surrounding the property, and the incredible landscaping and large and mature oak trees.

We returned back to our campsite by around 2:30 pm after stopping for a few supplies and gas (priced at $2.049 per gallon, ten cents less than at our home in Florida.)  Tonight we will relax as always and get ready for our long drive up to Wilmington, North Carolina for a visit with Kathy's sister Rose whom we have not seen in about a year.  We shall continue . . . .

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