“Smooth as the hickory wind that blows from Memphis down to Apalachicola…” – Tim McGraw
Miles traveled: 474.2 miles
Alice and I got on the road this morning in Charleston, SC and after stopping to get ice – and witnessing quite the bizarre gas station altercation involving a gentleman intentionally backing up into another car while his kids were in the car (stay classy, sir – bet your kids will grow up to be stellar members of society) – we headed to Savannah, GA for a lunch break.
My sister, Alice, is a lover of great danes and volunteers quite a bit of her time to helping a local rescue called Waters Edge Great Dane Rescue (she is actually on their Board – yes I am bragging about her…she has the biggest heart, and it’s awesome what she does for the danes! I have a ton of respect for those who dedicate so much time speaking for animals who can’t speak for themselves – I’m one proud sister). She’s been super busy working an emergency situation with a large group of danes that are in need of some major TLC – so she was quite busy on the short, 2-hour drive to Savannah. Not busy enough, however, to sing along to “Shake” by The Head and the Heart at both a pitch and volume I’ve never heard before! Leave it to Alice to always provide some valuable entertainment when you least expect it! So happy that she was able to join me on the first leg of my road trip.
Made it to Savannah and stopped for lunch at B. Matthews Eatery on E Bay Street…home of the Tur-Duck-En burger (how can one not try that). After taking down a plethora of sweet tea – I lived in Baltimore for 4 years, so I am making up for lost time on my sweet tea fix…no judgment, please – we took a stroll down ‘historic steps’ to River Street for some so-sweet-your-teeth-hurt pralines at River Street Sweets (per the recommendation of one of my best friends, who happens to be a dentist…hehe). You can also get these delicious Southern delicacies in Charleston, but it was necessary to try the Savannah-based treats! We moseyed down the classic Southern cobblestone streets, allowing our cavities to form in our praline-coated teeth before heading back up more ‘historic steps’, through the park of oak trees and Spanish moss (something I could look at everyday – it is so classically Southern), and back to the Jeep.
Before heading on to Apalachicola, FL…we had one very quick stop to make. Remember what I mentioned about Alice and her love for Great Danes…
Finally on Big Bend Scenic Byway (highway 319/98), the pace of the drive becomes a bit more relaxing and less white-knuckly! This is a beautiful drive through some sleepy little Florida panhandle towns like Clarkville, Medart, Lanark Village, Carrabelle, and my favorite…Sopchoppy. Since we are on the Coastal Trail of the byway, we drove right along the bay at sunset – pretty awesome! If you ever get a chance to take this drive…do it for sure. It’s beautiful and quiet, and at the same time you get the sense that these little coastal towns have lived through many a hurricane over the years.
We finally arrived in Apalachicola, FL about 9:00pm and stopped to get a quick bite of local fare at the Tap Room at The Owl Café…who proudly serve Oyster City Brewing Company brews. Music to my craft-beer loving ears. Yes, I’ll have a porter please. And we’ll split the fried goat cheese. We may have been the youngest patrons in the restaurant by about 30+ years – but we were not the loudest…we had free entertainment by the locals who were loudly discussing dance lessons. Who says Monday nights have to be boring!
We get to the hotel – exactly when I said, “I don’t like to stay at hotels with doors on the exterior” to Alice, we pull up to the Best Western Apalach Inn which…yup…you guessed it…is a hotel with doors on the exterior. HA. Dear foot, meet mouth. I redeemed myself when I announced “but hey – it has free wifi.” Only the best accommodations for my sister – in my defense, there aren’t many options here!
As we grab our bags, I notice that my bag is completely soaked through on the bottom. So is Alice’s…crap bags. Oh would you look at that – the cooler has a drain on the side. Splendid. So tip of the day for you folks – check the drain stopper on the cooler to make sure it is super tight BEFORE putting in the ice. Whoopsie daisy.
Cooler 1 – Sarah 0
So our damp bags are now unpacked with clothes hanging all over the hotel room to dry before the morning! Wow – cotton can really absorb some water. Feels like a case of the Mondays!
Until next time…