Day 19: Brunswick, Georgia to somewhere, Georgia

After a quick breakfast stop at McDonald’s we headed up I-95 for Savannah. After the relatively short drive, we arrived in town at about 8:30. We killed some time in the Whistle Stop Cafe doing some internet stuff and letting the computer charge before we made a quick stop off at the visitors center. With our map of historical Savannah in hand, we walked through several of the squares that still exist as they were laid out by James Oglethorpe. The squares were beautiful: full of old trees and fountains. The houses around them were also really cool and old.

Sprocket was starting to get kind of hot and tired (and I was getting hungry) so we set out looking for lunch. Forrest went into a coffee shop and asked if there were any breweries in town and we set out in search of Moon River Brewing. After a short detour through the City Market we found the brewery. The hostess was so helpful in finding Sprocket something to drink water out of and he crashed under our table. We were a little disappointed that we couldn’t have a beer sampler (no glass on the street and plastic cups would have caused “too much waste”). Forrest ordered himself a Swamp Fox IPA and talked me into drinking the $1 mint julep–it about made me puke. Forrest ordered their cheeseburger with mac and cheese and I had the black and blue burger with scalloped potatoes. The food was fantastic!

After lunch we had some more time to kill before the Savannah Sand Gnats took the field so we walked down on River Street for a bit. Sprocket continued to get lots of attention but took it in stride (this might have been the city where he attracted the most oohs and ahhs). I had a couple of raw oysters and I think I can safely say that I don’t like oysters from the Gulf and Southern Atlantic…they’re just bland. We ambled back to our car and loaded up our hot panting dog with the AC blasting. We made a brief detour to Walmart to pick up a few things we needed before heading to Daffin Park.

At the park, the three of us checked out the “Hometown Heroes” displays outside the park: the bomb defusing ROV, the pink cancer awareness fire truck (complete with pink turnouts), a Coast Guard helicopter, and a county helicopter. We got to see both helicopters take off which was pretty darn cool. We grabbed our tickets from will call before heading back the car to hang out for a bit.

Inside “Historic Grayson Stadium,” we watched the Savannah Sand Gnats battle the Lexington Legends. It was a really great game to watch. We had front row seats on the third base side which were a little marred by the fact that the whole field is netted in (I hate watching from behind the net!). After the game (the Gnats were victorious, 3-1), we hustled out to the car to watch the post-game fireworks with Sprocket. He was a little freaked out but decided that watching wasn’t so bad (I’m not kidding…he hung on my arms and watched the fireworks).

We thought we’d go to Augusta to hang out with Jason on Monday night but when we found out that he wouldn’t be getting in until eight or later we decided that maybe we should just press on into the Appalachians. In any case, we headed into South Carolina to spend the night. We had devised some screens for the windows that worked well for mosquitos but didn’t do much to stop the no-seeu-ms. At 3:30, Forrest woke up and said he was getting up. We were literally off the side of the road in the middle of nowhere so I wasn’t sure what he was going to do. A few minutes later I was awoken by a wiggly black puppy giving me kisses and the sounds of Forrest moving things around and telling me to go back to sleep. I woke up at about 6:30 about 40 miles outside of Macon, Georgia. So much for South Carolina!

Day 18: Everglades National Park to Brunswick, Georgia

We hopped out of bed in semi-darkness pretty happy to be done with the awful night. We drove the thirty-some miles down the park road to the Flamingo Visitors Center. We drove through lots of grassland and arrived to find that there wasn’t much left of the visitors center. Hurricane Wilma in 2005 had done some serious damage and wiped out the lodge that had been there and the rangers offices and visitors center are due for some serious reconstruction. After Forrest got some coffee at the mariana and we tried to keep Sprocket from chasing the crows and vultures we headed for the Christian Point hiking trail.

Coating ourselves in bug spray we bid Sprocket adieu at the car for a nice hike through the swamp. 25% DEET wasn’t enough to protect us from the mosquitos and horse flies and we gave up the hike after about a mile, although we did see some pretty bromeliads (or “airplants”). Back at the car we decided we’d seen enough of the Everglades and it was time to get out of Florida.

So we drove. And drove. All the way up Florida on I-95. We did take a short break in St. Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine is America’s oldest city, it was founded in 1565! We checked out the old fort (just missed the final tour) and walked around the old buildings. It was cute but very touristy. We finished out the day at a Sonny’s Barbeque near Brunswick, Georgia and stuffed ourselves before heading to bed.