The kids are swimming in the hotel pool, and when I moaned about being tired, Patrick said, “Go back to the room and do your blog or something.” So here I am. It’s quiet and calm! Love it. I used to blog on vacation while the kids were napping, but that doesn’t really happen anymore!
We headed out on Saturday, aiming for Raleigh/Durham. My friend suggested meeting at the Durham Life and Science Museum. We made it there in time for lunch, and while it was a bit rainy on and off, the food was delicious and my friend showed up right as we finished. The butterfly exhibit was interesting, even though the kids were far more interested in an interactive light and sand display. There were some extremely disgusting insects! Then we went into the main building. At this point, I’d say we’re connoisseurs of science museums, and this was one of the best we’ve ever seen. It had stuff to engage kids at all ages and abilities. Everyone had fun. For a long time. That’s a win in our books. There were undergrads doing research, so Seamus, Gilbert, and Porter participated in a project about values and kids vs. adult values. Then they got prizes that were recorded by the researchers. So interesting!
Then we checked into our hotel and my friend brought her kids over to swim. The pool was tiny, but it served its purpose. Dinner in the room rounded us out and everyone conked out ready for the next day.
We drove from Durham to Savannah on Sunday, with a longish stop in Florence, SC. We were dismayed to discover that the fancy park in Florence didn’t have a basketball hoop. Rather, it only had a playground, tennis courts, and a baseball field. The kids ran it out for about an hour after lunch, but then the clouds opened up again and we moved on. It felt like a long drive, and when we checked into the hotel, I’m the only one who ventured back out for items to make dinner. Swimming was a hit and the kids were tired.
Monday, we went out to Skidaway Island State Park and hiked a 3-mile loop trail. The scenery and the experience made much of the long haul of the day before worth it. There were palm trees and Spanish moss galore, along with a beautiful lookout, some salt and fresh water sloughs, alligator ponds (although we didn’t see any), an abandoned liquor still, earthworks from the Civil war, and oyster mounds from Native Americans. It was a high-reward hike with lots to see and experience along the way.
Look at these cool trees!
From there we drove out to the aquarium, which would have been far more fun without the school group visiting at the same time. We did enjoy the touch tank and the exhibits, but then we went out on the trail for some real fun.
They saw this boardwalk, and like Forrest Gump, they were RUNNING!
The short hike had a several points of interest, which was good, because they were starting to get hungry and antsy to go back to the hotel.
This 1000 year old oak inspired us to try to ring it, but we didn’t even get close.
We had a delicious lunch at a little place called Sweet Potatoes. Seamus was disgruntled thinking it would only have sweet potatoes on the menu, but we were all delighted with the variety of vegetarian friendly Southern cooking, including the Best Banana Pudding on Earth.
Swimming and playing at the hotel rounded off the day.
Today, we killed it out at Old Fort Jackson (named for the Revolutionary War hero James Jackson–not the other one). It was well-preserved, not very busy, and interesting for all of us. We marveled at the cannons, the privies with a natural flushing system, the game with sticks and hoops, and the barracks. The view from the fort gave us unique insight into Savannah’s harbor.
Harlan could have watched the barges all day.
Porter stuck his head in a cannon.
Seamus gets locked up.
We decided to forgo the cannon firing, as it would have meant 45 minutes in the sun (we did that later, never fear). So we went back into town to walk along the water and see the Waving Girl statue. We grabbed lunch at Moon River brewery on their patio, but that wasn’t our best choice as it got really hot and uncomfortable. We switched tables right before our food came, and it all perked up. We had vaguely suggested ice cream for after lunch, but the famous Leopold’s had a line 80 people deep. Not a single kid made a peep about skipping it. We had ice cream sandwiches in the room, and all were appeased, except, as Gilbert noted, the portions would have been bigger at Leopold’s!
I love that we are able to travel and have fun. Not work quite as hard as we used to in order to make everyone happy and part of the team. Tomorrow, we’re hoping to see Fort Pulaski (we see a lot of forts!) and Tybee Island. On Thursday, our plans are up in the air, but maybe Forsyth Park and more of downtown. The squares are just breathtakingly serene. We’ve been eating out at lunch and having dinner and breakfast at the hotel, and for this trip, it’s working like a charm! Every trip is different, so I wouldn’t swear to it.
Also, there’s something about traveling with kids in southern cities. It just seems easier than doing the northern cities. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the South and am more comfortable there. But I suspect that part of it is that there’s more room and fewer people, so things are a little more forgiving across the board. Some of our best vacations have been Austin, New Orleans, Birmingham, and now Savannah. We’re going to Boston this summer, so we’ll see!