After having spent well over a month in Florida, it felt so strange to finally leave! It had been so hot that last week, that we were desperate to go north looking for a little taste of the winter/spring weather that we had been avoiding. We found though, that it was still pretty damn hot in Georgia. Our first stop here was in Georgia’s southeast and found an incredible camping spot out in the absolute sticks! I decided to do a video so you guys can get a better sense of what some of these boondocking sites look like.
These areas are typically designated for hunting activities and as I mentioned in the video – there were a couple of hunts going on while we were camping there. Because of this, we rarely feel comfortable doing much exploring, hiking, or biking in these areas. So while we get to camp in these beautiful forests – we don’t normally get to see more than our camp area and the drive in 😦 We regularly hear gun shots off in the distance and this makes a casual hike off-limits.
On our first day trip, we headed into the town of Brunswick. It had a cute little downtown area – but it was completely shuttered (so it goes on a Sunday in the south). This city is right on the water, so we headed down to the marina area to see what we could find. We came across this huge, beautiful, boat. They had a sign outfront welcoming folks in and offering up freshly baked items for sale. It seemed odd, but with really nothing else to do – we climbed aboard. Turns out this boat (and bakery) is owned and operated by what some internet sources say is a cult. LOL! They were nice enough and the cinnamon roll we bought was delicious. Plus they made no attempt to bring us into their cult, so all was well. With a Boston Bruins game ready to start, we found a bar & grill outside of the downtown area where we could grab some grub and watch the game! On top of watching the game (we won!), we also met a ton of locals who were so awesome (James, Karen, Carol, Ben, Lacey, Tora, Heather, etc.). This turned into a great Sunday-Funday!!
For the remainder of our days here, we visited Jekyll Island, did laundry, explored another campground on the river nearby, worked on a Merlin project, had a visit with a snake in the bathroom (SCARY!!!), and rode out an insane night of severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings (up all night – glued to the radio, with bags packed, kitty carrier out, ready to run to the cinderblock bathhouse across the camp at the 1st sign of a tornando).
What a difference a day makes! We woke up out in the boonies camping miles away from any form of civilization and wrapped up that same day sitting on a rooftop bar in Savannah drinking cocktails! This trip is so crazy – in case it wasn’t already obvious. We could have “camped” in Savannah’s visitor center parking lot – but we had heard that it could get really tight and crowded and since we had another option through Harvest Host – we went for that instead. However, after checking out that parking lot – we would definitely stay there if we were here again. We LOVED Savannah and getting to stay in the heart of the city would have been ideal! We camped at a flea market about 12 miles outside of town. It was an interesting place and had hook-up options for a low price, so it worked out overall. Savannah is awesome! It’s really small, so we were able to see a good chunk of it with several hours of walking around over two days. You can take your drinks to go and walk around with cocktail in hand – this was also fantastic! The city is full of beautiful green space squares, history, and gorgeous architecture. It was definitely a busy tourist time, but if you walked just one block from a popular area you could escape the hordes and be on a beautiful, peaceful street. Down on the waterfront was the worst though – crowds and crowds of tourists and the crappy shops that cater to those folks. We escaped from this area pretty quickly and found a nice little Scottish pub to rest our feet and have lunch. Savannah is definitely a place we’d like to visit again and could be a fun and interesting place to live for a short while.
Next stop was Charleston, South Carolina. This time we jumped at the chance to urban “camp” by parking/staying in the parking garage adjacent to the Charleston visitor center. This was an experience! First off, parking garages and RVs don’t usually go well together. So the thought of first having to navigate Merlin with Smarty in tow through the narrow and cramped little streets of Charleston and then pulling our beast into a parking garage was nothing short of terrifying! But all my fretting was for nothing – the whole event went off without a hitch! We were pulled in, setup, and living the parking garage dream in no time!
After a quick lunch, we were off to explore the city right outside Merlin’s door! We walked through the city, down to the waterfront, and back up to our home, the parking garage. Similar to Savannah, Charleston is rich in history and beautiful architecture. That evening we decided to head over to a Riverdogs baseball game (Charleston’s minor-leauge team). The stadium was right on the water and made for a super fun night out! Plus it was “bring your dog night” so the place was overun with the cutest doggies and it was $1 beer and $1 hot dog night too – wooo hoooo! To top it off, we met some new friends (several from Redondo Beach, CA) and even got a ride home (saving us from having to leave the game early to catch the last free bus).
We spent our next day in Charleston taking full advantage of the city’s free bus system! We visited the Fort Sumter interpretive center (location of the first Civil War battle) and learned a lot about Charleston’s history. While we were taking a snack break at a park nearby we met an AWESOME gal Stef who is taking a 3 month bike ride up the east coast with her dog Murf. These two were so fun to talk to and we wish them the BEST on their journey. You can follow them here: http://www.4pawsandabicycle.com. It was so great having Merlin/home so close – we were able to stop in a few times a day to grab lunch, a snack, freshen up, or just take a break. This afternoon, we walked around our friend Becca’s alma mater, College of Charleston. This was a amazingly beautiful campus! At happy hour that evening, we made more new friends: Andrea and Ray. They are from PA but work as tour guides and spend a lot of time in this area with their tour groups. They were so kind and secretly paid for our happy hour snacks! If you guys are reading this, thank you so much!! We wrapped up our night at a local dive bar (thanks for the recommendation Becca) and hung out with a Charleston local, John. We were not lacking for friends in Charleston and this made our time here a lot more fun!