Charleston, SC…..the place everyone is talking about!

Charelston, SC may have been the most highly anticipated stop for us. For the past 6 months when we told people it was on our “places to see” list, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“It’s my favorite place in the world”
“It is such an artsy, cool area. It is the next best town”
“You guys are going to love it”

image

So, with all of that being said, we made it our longest stay on our way to North Carolina. We stayed at James Island County Park for 4 nights, 5 days. It was less than a 15 minute drive to downtown Charleston, and the park itself was worth a days visit. It was huge, with over 6 miles of running trails, a huge water park, a splash playground, a dog park, a lake, several ponds, and during Christmas they apparently hold a light show that can compete against any in the US.

We spent the first day settling in…going grocery shopping and exploring the park. We bumped into a full timer, who spends her winters Workamping at James Island and summers working at gift shops at different National Parks. One great part of camping is the people you meet and the stuff you learn. Every idea of “normal” is suddenly (pleasantly) stripped away, leaving you with so many ideas, plans, and dreams. And the full timers seem so happy and so eager to help you pursue a similar life.

We spent the next day checking out downtown Charleston. It really was an amazing place. So many different sections.

There was a lot of history.

IMG_20150227_122646

There was a lot of character.

image

Amazing parks.

image

Southern Charm.

image

Beautiful homes.

image

It had anything you would ever want.

The next day we spent exploring different tourist attractions. I have to say that TripAdvisor has been my best friend during this trip.

image

I found a winery/distillery that we visited. It was really awesome and different. Definitely a Southern Style Winery.

Then we visited the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only tea plantation in the USA. My favorite part was the unlimited cold and hot tea ūüôā

image

Our last stop was the Angel Oak Tree. This tree is thought to be the oldest live oak in the nation, possibly the world, estimated at 1500+ years old. While it was pretty crowded, it still had a majestic feel to it. Pretty incredible. Especially for a big tree lover, like myself ūüôā

image

The next day we went back into downtown Charleston to explore..and get poured on :-). Oh well, even through sheets of rain it was a beautiful place!

Advertisements

Beaufort, SC

Beaufort, SC was on my “places to see” list for awhile.¬† It originally sparked my interest back in 2013¬†when I saw it ranked #1 on¬†America’s Happiest Seaside Town List in Coastal Living Magazine.¬† So, as we made our way up the Coast, we booked a stay at Hunting Island State Park located on one of the many Sea Islands in the Low Country.¬† This State Park is the most popular one in South Carolina, offering¬†over 3¬†miles of natural beach, over 5000 acres of undeveloped land, and just 15 minutes East of Historic¬†Beaufort.

1424876261925

When we arrived at the campground it didn’t take long to fall in love.¬†Once crossing a bridge and entering Hunting Island, it seemed as though you were on a secluded island.¬† Then, we quickly realized that the campground was practically on the beach.¬† I’m sure this was something I knew, and had seen in pictures during my research, but we were traveling and exploring so much that at times I don’t even remember what state we were in!

IMG_20150223_142855

Unfortunately, it was raining the day we arrived (common theme lately).¬† However, around 330pm the rain stopped, allowing us to get out of our camper for a walk on the beach…..

IMG_20150223_1438231424721186661

IMG_20150224_221617exploring the Lighthouse….

IMG_20150223_212816

and the trails, which I quickly fell in LOVE with!!

IMG_20150223_193622

And then it rained some more…and more…and more.

So sad!  So much to explore and such a beautiful campground and the COLD and RAIN kept us in the camper. (Which we are still loving!)

I couldn’t stop thinking about the trails…and even tough Beaufort School Systems were closed because of freezing rain, I went out to run 8 miles worth of amazing trails.

IMG_20150224_123321

When it finally stopped raining, we ventured to Historic Beaufort area.¬† While it was still cold (probably in the low 40’s) we bundled up and got out there. And¬†I’m so happy we did.¬† As I have said in the past, the one good thing about the weather being as bad as it has been, it has allowed us to explore all of these areas that would normally be busy, in a way that makes us feel we are the only people on earth.

1424879817233 1424880155025

We sat on these swings as we could hear the gun shots in the distance, coming from close by Marine Corps Training Facility on Parris Island.  This had a specific meaning to me, since it was where my Dad was stationed for bootcamp while in the Marines.

1424878347503 1424878630642

Then we made our way to the side streets, were just like Savannah the old Southern homes, with the Live Oaks with draping Spanish Moss stole the show.  Each corner we turned brought with it a more beautiful home, as well as an unobstructed marsh view.

1424885996327

1424884545604 1424885611344

This campground is definitely one that we will revisit, and hopefully we will be able to explore the area more with nicer weather!

Exploring The Golden Isles of Georgia

We officially departed the sunshine state and it did not go unnoticed by us. ¬†Southern Georgia blessed us with record lows, with the temperature barely making it’s way out of the 30’s during our first 2 nights. ¬†BUT, that did not stop us from exploring like we always do!

We stayed at Blythe Island Regional Park in Brunswick, Ga, just a short distance from St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. The park got great reviews online and we could see why. It was a beautiful park, surrounded by marshes and a huge fishing pier.

image

We visited St. Simons Island our first day which was voted¬†America’s #1 Favorite Romantic Town as well as America’s #1 Favorite Beach Town by Travel + Leisure Magazine. ¬†Even with the freezing temps we could easily see what all the hype was about in this town.

Does this picture not scream BEACH TOWN!?!?

Does this picture not scream BEACH TOWN!?!?

image

image

I was so excited to find the banner that I have had saved in my Shopping Cart at Natural Life at a cute little shop in St Simons. It was half the cost plus I always love purchasing from a store so that it comes with the memory of the day. I wasn’t sure where we would put it in the camper, and it actually didn’t look too good in the spot I had in mind. BUT, it worked perfectly to fit the spot above the bed I was trying to fill. YAY!

image

The next day we went to explore Jekyll Island. This day was crazy. First, the negative….. IT WAS FREEZING!! ¬†This island is perfect for bike riding, as it has the most amazing bike trail that goes around the whole island. I was not willing to give up a bike ride. So….we froze. SO. FREAKING. COLD. That being said, I had an absolutely amazing day. This island was magical for me. I NEED to go back when it is nicer….I may end up living there!

image

image

In the picture above you can see the bike path that winds its way through marshes, live oaks and past the waterways. ¬†Below is the fishing pier where we were able to watch at least four dolphin swim and play until our fingers couldn’t stand the cold any longer. ¬†Again, in nicer weather, Erik would have had to drag me off this island.

image

image

image

image

Jekyll Island, I will see you again.