The Eleventh day of Christamas

Beaufort Travel Blog

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The sunset over Parris Island; god bless the Marines

Last night we got about 6 hrs of sleep before getting on the road, which is ok because we only have a 5 hr drive to get to Beaufort SC. I was stationed there when I was in the Marine Corps. We usually visit at least 4 times a year since Devin was born there; we have friends still there also. The weather is colder today than it was in TX, but the sun is shining. We jump back on I-10 and head straight for the end of the highway. Just a few days ago we got on this highway in Santa Monica where it began and will have traveled it all the way to the other side of the U.S. where it ends in Jacksonville. We settle in for the 5hr ride.

The first thing that I notice today is how green everything is, there are trees and grass here. It’s a stark contrast to west Texas and all points west. It’s even a big difference from Maryland where the trees have no leaves and the grass is dead for the winter. Yes this is Florida, in the trees you can see swamp and in the pastures are the cows. The road here is straight also but with more small hills that break up the drive and leave you wondering if there are cops on the other side. Everything in me wants to just press the gas pedal and go. I think the driving is starting to catch up to me, as the anxious feeling of wanting to be home is starting to sink in.

The GPS is urging me to leave I-10 and head north but we are going to see this highway all the way through. Jacksonville is a big city; you can start to see the skyscrapers rise in the distance. I lived here 10yrs ago and it was the fastest growing city in FL then, now it twice the size of what it was. They have been expanding the highways to accommodate so many people but are having a hard time keeping ahead of the population boon. Therefore the road is always under construction and today is evident of that. Through the construction there is a sign that reads “I-10 ends in 2miles” we cover these two miles in no time and start celebrating the accomplishment. The city of Jacksonville seems alive as cars bustle about in the city and the on ramps to the highways are full. Bright blue bridges and colorful waterfront buildings add the attractiveness of the city. I would recommend this city to anyone, the beaches here are beautiful, downtown has great places to eat and if your so inclined the nightlife is electric.

We merge onto I-95 and begin the climb north. Just outside of the city limit the traffic grinds to a halt. Ummm…I guess this is why the GPS told me to go around. We drudge along for about 5 miles until we see the problem, an elderly woman has her car in off in the median on the grass, and apparently she hit the divider after that.

On the beach reaching the other ocean in 5 days.
Its not blocking traffic at all but for some reason traffic seems to enjoy the show because they are all slowing down to look at her…..OK. Now we pass that and we are moving at regular speed again. Well maybe a little over. The Georgia border is coming up and peach billboards are letting everyone know what they can find in the state. Traffic slows again in a major way, it turns out that the stimulus package is hard at work here as Georgia has decided to fix their highway from the bottom to the top of I-95. After an hour and a half in traffic I decide its time to take the scenic route and get off of the highway. The first exit we come to we strike out into the country to back road it. We jump on Ocean Highway in GA and weave through small towns, there are small stores here. Not the kind that has a gas pump either like in the city, just small convenience stores with swinging rusty metallic signs out front, “Dans” and “Eats” to name a couple. This is the south, the coastal south, the people here are far more laid back and accepting than you may find further inland. The best I could tell from living in the area is they have great weather most of the year and the beach all year so whats to complain about. The road snakes back and forth under the highway of stranded motorists and feel lucky to have a sense of adventure. It strikes me of how symbolic this part of the trip is. While most people stick to the main road and follow the crowd, we get off of the beaten path and see so much more, although we will all end up in the same place, I prefer to have enjoyed the ride. Anyway we get close to Savannah and head down Alligator alley or Coastal Highway into South Carolina. Out here the meaning of Savannah is true in every sense. Tall brown weeds rise from the hidden swamp below for hundreds of yard in either direction, Long legged white birds awkwardly land in the grass and fish. Occasionally you can see the swamp floor at low tide and rivers of water in the main streams. And you just know by the name that somewhere there are plenty of Alligators out there.

Before we head into Beaufort we go to Hilton Head, park and head for the beach. Its cold windy but we excitedly get wet and there you have it. We have touched both Oceans on this trip. With a sense of accomplishment we head to Beaufort.

I was stationed here for 5yrs, I was married, had a child and divorced while living here. We have lifelong friends that live here and this is almost like our second home. We grab a celebratory meal from Ruby Tuesdays and head over to take pictures of Parris Island to send to my brother. He’s in boot camp there and I can’t help but feel a little guilty knowing he’s suffering there and we are right here enjoying the day. But I went through it and he’ll be fine, it’s the sacrifice you make when you want to be a Marine.  We then head to the hotel to shower and get some rest for the 9hr drive home tomorrow.

Another satisfying day.

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The sunset over Parris Island; god…
The sunset over Parris Island; go…
Devin finally the Atlantic Ocean
Devin finally the Atlantic Ocean
On the beach reaching the other oc…
On the beach reaching the other o…
From coast to coast we made it to …
From coast to coast we made it to…
A view of my brothers barracks on …
A view of my brothers barracks on…
South Carolina sunset
South Carolina sunset
Parris Island; Where I was trained…
Parris Island; Where I was traine…
South Carolina Palm trees, I miss …
South Carolina Palm trees, I miss…
Beaufort Hotels & Accommodations review
The hotel is an older hotel, the front desk closes at 6pm so all business has to be done through the window. Not many people staying here. Someones ki… read entire review
Beaufort
photo by: Gregorys90