Our next stops were in Low Country USA in South Carolina. What made the stays extra special, however, was the visit of my dear friend Dittas, a top-notch IT business consultant in the Philippines, who was vacationing for a month in the US.
Low Country USA is the identifier of a unique culture and geography that extends from the Sandhills of South Carolina, just east of Columbia, its capital, to its coast and outlying islands. Our campgrounds are conveniently located in the midst of beautiful Savannah, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort, Charleston, and Columbia. This area is mostly near or below sea level; thus the term "low country". As far as your eyes can see are marshes filled with low grasses and swampy water. It is perfect country for shrimping (remember Forrest Gump?).
Hilton Head Island is an island unto itself. It was conceptualized around 1765 by Charles Fraser, a
visionary at 27. He pioneered gated communities in America as he transformed the island’s many plantations. Sea Pines is the only one open to the public for a $5 access fee and it features the South Beach (If Searelax in the beauty of the marina and its nearby shops. Elsewhere on the island are the Coligny Beach, the public beach where hundreds of colorful beach umbrellas and towels conceal the lovely tanned bodies of scantily clad men and women. On Shelter Cove stands a giant statue of Neptune whose spear tells time on one of the largest sundials in the world.
The Oaks campground was largely uneventful (although the clubhouse was the place where I finally beat Bill in pool!) except for the 3 ponds at the back around which we took brisk walks for our afternoon exercise. There were 3 alligators there and we did not realize one of them was camouflaged as he lay lounging on the banks. Thank heavens he jumped back into the water in surprise when I asked Bill to move closer to the edge for a photo of the beautiful red, green, and yellow trees that were mirrored in the pond.
Around our campground are small towns with unique attractions. We found a Carolina Cherry (My name is actually Carolina and I have a sister named Cherry) Store where we found benne wafers (sesame seed cookies) and pecan pinches, tasty Southern snack bites. There were old church ruins in Sheldon that were almost razed to the ground by the British during the American Revolution but left elegant columns that looked like a small brickParthenon. We also discovered an authentic African Village (as seen on TV) where, upon entry, you are considered to have left the USA! Coosawatchie, a
Dittas treated us to lunch at a Scottish pub in downtown Savannah on the day of her departure. We wanted to go to Paula Deen's, on the advice o a friend from Seattle, but the line was so looooong. Bill loooooved the food (he had Guiness beef stew) and Dittas loooooved the waiter's utility kilt. The unfortunate thing was I left my purse there when we hurried to catch Dittas' flight. So the next day we had to go back one more time to Savannah and decided to hear Easter mass at the lovelyCathedral of St. John the Baptist. On the way out of town we saw two huge cute elephants, one pink, one blue in front of a souvenir shop.
Next Stops: Salisbury and Advance, NC, Lynchburg, Va, and Lenoir, NC