Tag Archives: Hilton Head

The Orange Side of Savannah, Georgia

26 Jul

Last week, we spent some time in Hilton Head, South Carolina, but, in my mind, the best day consisted of a drive to Savannah, Georgia, the settlement established by James Oglethorpe when he first colonized the area. It is an old city with lots of history, and we rode a trolley through it all.

We saw the squares for which the city is famous filled with Live Oaks with Spanish Moss hanging from the branches. Each square is surrounded by a church and stately homes. One home was the headquarters for William Tecumseh Sherman when he captured the city on the completion of his march to the sea. Another home belonged to the family of Johnny Mercer and was the site of a murder that inspired Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – both the book and the movie.

Since movies were brought up, we saw where Forrest Gump sat on a bench and told his life story but missed an entire square because Adam Sandler was in the process of filming a scene. I was hoping to see where Burt Reynolds filmed parts of Gator, but the tourism folks do not promote that one as much as others.

We saw a lot of interesting places. The location of John Wesley’s first sermon in the New World. The docks where cotton was loaded onto ships bound for England. Of course, no one mentioned the slaves who worked the cotton. To make up for that lack of information, we saw a building used by the Underground Railroad.

Savannah is a beautiful city of architectural wonders and almost three hundred years of history. It was also filled with people trying out for American Idol. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of that stuff. Our trolley ride made photography difficult. No pictures of Live Oaks. No pictures of monuments or statues.

However, I was able to take a picture of this place.image-44

When it was time for lunch, I asked the man at the visitor center counter a simple question.

“If you were going to lunch where would you go?”

He started down the typical list that included Paula Deen’s and other places where tourists are directed. I knew that he would not pick any of those places but could not deviate from the script. We wanted to eat with the locals, and this guy offered no help.

On the trolley ride, we passed a place that looked like what we wanted. Clary’s Cafe had a few outdoor tables and was off the beaten path. It did not take long to choose that over standing in line at one of the other places. We got out the trusty GPS and made our way through the squares and around Adam Sandler.

We pulled into the parking lot and made our way to the door. However, my wife was nowhere to be seen. She was standing behind the car talking to someone. It turned out to be the owner of the restaurant who saw the orange T on the front of my vehicle. For those who are not from around here, that is my signal to everyone that I am a fan of the University of Tennessee. As it turns out, the owner was also a fan of the Big Orange.

We talked for a while about the upcoming football season and the orange shrine her husband built at their home. They are from Tennessee and make it to as many games as they can. She has high hopes for the upcoming season and thinks Butch Jones has the program on the right track.

Eventually, we made our way inside and found what we were looking for. Sweet tea was in the pitcher, and lima beans were part the day’s special. It was a true southern restaurant that did not involve a television personality. However, that was not the best part.

As we finished our meal, the owner told the waitress to give us the Big Orange discount. After all, we were part of her college football family.

Hilton Head – Thematic Relaxation

26 Oct

Instead of giving an hour-by-hour description of our Hilton Head excursion, it has been decided to go with something more thematic. After all, it would take a while to write about everything. With that being established, here are the themes that I have come up with.

Beach – We spent the first afternoon hanging out on the beach. It was relaxing to hear the waves continuously crash. However, my people-watching is my favorite thing about the beach. People walk. People jog. People ride bikes. People play in the surf. People wear things that make you wonder if they thought that looked good when they began their day.

I did not make it back to the beach until the third afternoon. This time, I decided to get into the water and play around with my stepdaughter. I wonder if anyone was watching me like I was watching people a few days before.

Food – I must admit that the restaurant choices at Hilton Head were not that great. I am probably a food snob, but I was not impressed with the places we dined. I guess that I expected some good seafood places like those that can be found at other beach places.

In retrospect, Hilton Head is not a place that caters to tourists. It is a place where people go to retire or spend their leisure time at beach houses. This means that they do what people do all over the country. They eat at home and, occasionally, go out to eat.

The best meal was made by our friends who have a house a few blocks from our hotel. On Saturday night, they cooked pizzas on the grill. It was an awesome meal.

Sightseeing – On Saturday, the ladies went to the beach while the husbands went on a short island tour. We drove into a private resort that was the first to be developed in the area. It was full of big houses, hotels and golf courses. In fact, this is where Hilton Head’s PGA tournament is played. When it is on television, the cameras always show the lighthouse at Harbour Town.image-15

The lighthouse can also be seen on postcards and in photographs. When I think of Hilton Head, this lighthouse is the thing I picture. We climbed the lighthouse and walked around the harbor filled with yachts.

I must admit that the climb to the top of the lighthouse was disappointing. The lighthouse is not a real lighthouse. It was built to be the symbol of the development. It is filled with a museum about local history, which was interesting, but I was still disappointed that the lighthouse is not a real lighthouse. Heck, there is not even a light at the top. There is a souvenir shop that is not unlike the souvenir shop at the base.

With all of that being said, the view from the lighthouse is great.image-13

On Sunday, my wife and I tried to ride bicycles to the lighthouse, but they would not let us through the gate. We had to go back and get the car. This time, we found relaxing place to eat. Wait, should that go under the food category?

Engine Light – Late Saturday afternoon, the engine light glowed on the dashboard of the car. It was too late to take it to the dealership, and we decided that we would let them look at it on Monday, which was the day that we were going home. We got to the dealership when they opened, and they were good about looking at it quickly. Unfortunately, the had to order a replacement part. That meant we were going to spend another day in Hilton Head.

There are worse places to be stuck, but we had our minds set on heading home. I kept thinking they would give this to us as a loaner.image-14

Instead, they provided a less expensive car. Luckily, we did not have to sleep in it because we had the keys to the house of our friends. They had already gone home but were good enough to allow us to crash at their pad. My wife went back to the beach. My stepdaughter got back on the bike. I laid around the house and thought about the greatness of our vacation.

 

Saturday Morning Ramble

25 Oct

I was going to write about our trip to Hilton Head, but, frankly, I am not ready to write about that. The post needs to be as fun as the trip, and that feeling is still working its way through my mind.

Everyone has left the house, which means that the only sounds are the keys of the laptop and the neighbor cutting the grass. Most of the lights are off, which means all of the light is filtering through the windows. My desk is a disaster, which means that I need to, once again, straighten it up. It is amazing how much stuff can collect on top of desk.

One of the things that cannot get thrown away is an answer sheet for an assignment that I assigned. It will be coming back to me in a few days, and the trusty purple pen will be put back to work. It was put to great use when we returned from Hilton Head. As soon as we got home, I was heading to campus to grab a stack of tests.

Speaking of tests, my nephew is taking the SAT this morning. I am certain that he will do well, but it must be tense to take a test that higher academics takes that seriously. When I was in school, it was not that big of a deal. They told us that we would be taking a test in a couple of weeks. When the day arrived, the put us in the cafeteria and let us work. It turned out that we were taking the ACT.

These days, kids are put into courses to prepare them for the test, and they also take it several times. My stepdaughter is taking it in December, and she is in the seventh grade. I know that we must have some measurement for college acceptance, but, to me, this seems to be a lot of stress at a young age. They will have enough stress in their lives. Do they really need this?Stress

Speaking of stress, I will have plenty of the self-made kind by the end of the day. In a few hours, we are driving to Knoxville to watch the University of Tennessee play football against the University of Alabama. I have already written about this rivalry, but, honestly, it is not much of a rivalry at this time. My team, Tennessee, is going through one of the worst times in its history. Alabama is going through one of its best. That does not make for a good game or a good rivalry. It may be crazy, but watching my team struggle stresses me out. However, it is not just me. I know a lot of people who cannot wait for better days.

Writing about stress makes me think about our trip to Hilton Head, a time of relaxation. Now that I am getting the inspiration to write about that, the next post will be about our South Carolina adventures.

Hilton Head – Driving Down the Musical Highway

23 Oct

We got a late start on our trip to Hilton Head because I had a midday meeting. This meant that we would be driving through the late afternoon and into the night. On top of that, we had to hit five different interstates to get there.

Whenever I am on a long drive, my mind starts to entertain itself. This means that useless trivia moves from the back of my brain and dominates my mind. It is a good way to stay awake and a good way to go crazy. On this drive, music was the category of choice, and it all started as we made our way over Monteagle.

For those who do not know, Monteagle is a ridge that has to be crossed just north of Chattanooga. The grade is steep and trucks have a hard time making their way up one side and down the other. Each time I drive over Monteagle, I think about the opening song of Smokey and the Bandit and start singing it under my breath.

In case you do not remember the opening to one of the greatest movies in cinema history, the song recounts how the Bandit became famous in the truck driving world. I wrote an entire post about it, but, simply, it talks about how he lost control of his rig on Monteagle. With heroic driving skills, he was able to make it to the bottom.

(Brief Interlude: While writing that post, I looked up the lyrics of the song. All of the sites had him crossing something called Montvale. It is not Montvale. One of my life’s goals is to get those lyrics corrected and give Monteagle is rightful place in Smokey and the Bandit history.)

Of course, driving through Chattanooga brought to mind “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, but the route through north Georgia made my mind go musically dead. Atlanta played a big role in that. It does not matter what time you drive through Atlanta. The traffic is always bad, and your focus needs to be on the road. However, I still heard Ronnie Van Zant telling Billy Powell to “play it pretty for Atlanta.”

Eventually, we made our way to Macon and hit a desolate stretch of road toward Savannah. It was getting later. It was getting darker. That is when I saw a sign for Statesboro, Georgia, the subject of “Statesboro Blues” by the Allman Brothers. That meant that the next several miles were filled with an internal soundtrack of their tunes.

After several days in Hilton Head, which I will write about in the next post, we retraced our journey. This time, the excitement of a vacation was behind us, and we were making that long, tired drive toward home. That does not mean that the musical journey was over. As the miles passed, I tried to think of songs that have Georgia in their titles.Georgia

I ended up with the following.

“Sweet Georgia Brown” (I can see Curly Neal dribbling around Meadowlark Lemon.)

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (Charlie D. lives not too far down the road.)

“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” (Yep, Vicki Lawrence can sing, too.)

“Midnight Train to Georgia” (The Pips make this song stand out.)

“Rainy Night in Georgia” (The Tony Joe White version is the best.)

“Georgia on My Mind” (It is hard to beat Ray Charles.)

“Marching Through Georgia” (I only know this one because it was mentioned in a John Wayne movie.)

“Walkin’ Back to Georgia” (One of Jim Croce’s lesser known songs.)

Before I knew it, we were back at Monteagle, but it was not before I thought of something else. Does anyone remember a television show called Carter Country?

 

 

 

My iPod Has Issues – Heading to Hilton Head

16 Oct

It has been a busy week, and I have not been able to spend as much time blogging as I would like. The posts have been few and far between. That trend is going to continue because we are heading to Hilton Head, South Carolina over the weekend. Certainly, there will be some good stuff to write about when we return.Hilton Head

In the meantime, here are some selections from the old iPod.

“Ole Slewfoot” by BR-549

“I Won’t Mention It Again” by Ray Price

“Hello Darlin'” by Conway Twitty

“Good Times” by Chic

“In the Still of the Night” by The Five Satins

“Sweet Sixteen” by Big Joe Turner

“Miss You” by The Rolling Stones

“Baby Get Lost” by B.B. King

“You Left a Long, Long Time Ago” by Willie Nelson

“Heartbeat” by Red 7

“Children Go Where I Send Thee” by The Fairfield Four

“Steamroller Blues” by Elvis Presley

“Jezzebella” by Vintage Trouble

“I Ain’t the One” by Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter

“Baby Let’s Play House” by Arthur Gunter

“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

“Too Close” by Clair Marlo

“Sirius” by The Alan Parsons Project

“Fat Albert Theme” by Dig

“Enter Sandman” by Metallica

As a famous general once said, “I shall return.”

My iPod Has Issues – Reunited and It Feels So Good Edition

18 Mar

As you have read, I spent a few days with my parents in northwest Mississippi. At the same time, my wife and stepdaughter were in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We all had great times, but I missed them. I hope that they missed me. Heck, even Daisy Dog was somewhere completely different.Peaches

Now, the family is back together, and I do not want to spend a lot of time holed up in my office. With that in mind, I am going to take the easy way out and dig into the depths of my iPod. Remember how it goes. I put it on shuffle and list the first 20 songs that play.

“Angry Cockroaches” by Tito and Tarantula

“Round Midnight” by Thelonious Monk

“Sing Me Back Home” by Merle Haggard

“Sons and Daughters” by The Neville Brothers

“You Left a Long, Long Time Ago” by Willie Nelson

“Escape on Horseback” by Ennio¬†Morricone

“The Jack” by AC/DC

“I Put a Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

“Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

“Melt Down” by Albert Collins

“Get Back” by The Beatles

“Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean” by Ruth Brown

“Sleeping Bag” by ZZ Top

“Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” by Dean Martin

“You Are Too Beautiful” by Curtis Stigers

“Too Close” by Clair Marlo

“Nobody Knows Me” by Lyle Lovett

“Cortez the Killer” by Neil Young

“Joy” by Apollo 100

“What Do You Want From Me” by Pink Floyd

Now, back to the family reunion.