Tag Archives: South Carolina

“Travel America” and Me

20 Feb

The other day, we were flying to Arizona, and I picked up a magazine to read on the plane. Travel America lists over 250 places to visit in the United States. As I skimmed through the pages, I began to count all of the ones that I have visited. I have been lucky enough to travel to all 50 states and have seen some great stuff. This is a list of places that Travel America and I have in common.

Wait, here is a picture that I took on the trip to get you in the mood. It is in the Superstition Mountains.img_2279

Massachusetts

Paul Revere House

Old North Church

USS Constitution

New York

Central Park

Madison Avenue

Statue of Liberty

Empire State Building

Broadway

Niagara Falls

Pennsylvania

Independence Hall

Liberty Bell

National Constitution Center

Rhode Island

The Breakers

Florida

Walt Disney World

Kennedy Space Center

Everglades National Park

Miami Beach

South Beach

Georgia

River Street

Buckhead

Georgia Aquarium

World of Coca-Cola Museum

Kentucky

University of Kentucky

Louisiana

Garden District

Lafayette Cemetery

French Quarter

Louisiana State University

Mississippi

Ground Zero Blues Club

Delta Blues Museum

Natchez Trace

North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Biltmore

South Carolina

Harbour Town Golf Links

Tennessee

Beale Street

B.B. King’s Blues Club

Graceland

Ryman Auditorium

Country Music Hall of Fame

The Hermitage

Union Station Hotel

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Alum Cave Trail

Cade’s Cove

Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial

Arlington National Cemetery

Old Town Alexandria

Mount Vernon

Illinois

Michigan Avenue

Indiana

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Michigan

University of Michigan

Missouri

Gateway Arch

North Dakota

Badlands

Fort Mandan

Ohio

Progressive Field

Warehouse District

Oklahoma

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Cattleman’s Steakhouse

South Dakota

Badlands National Park

Wall Drug

Mount Rushmore

Crazy Horse Memorial

Custer State Park

Saloon #10

Mt. Moriah Cemetery

Arizona

Tombstone

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Grand Canyon

Canyon de Chelly

Goulding’s Lodge and Trading Post

Sedona

Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Montana

Billings

Pompeys Pillar National Monument

Little Bighorn Battlefield Indian Memorial

Beartooth Highway

Glacier National Park

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Nevada

Death Valley National Park

Luxor

Excalibur

Venetian

New Mexico 

Carlsbad Cavern

Palace of the Governors

Inn of the Anasazi

White Sands National Monument

Texas

Sixth Floor Museum

South Congress Avenue

Sixth Street

River Walk

The Alamo

Utah

Bryce Canyon

Temple Square

Wyoming

Snake River

Grand Tetons National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful Inn

Yellowstone Lake

Old Faithful

Lower Falls

Yellowstone River

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park

Denali National Park

California

Universal Studios

HOLLYWOOD sign

Grauman’s Chinese Theater

Walk of Fame

Rodeo Drive

Golden Gate Bridge

Chinatown

Redwood National Park

General Sherman Tree

Sequoia National Park

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Falls

Pacific Coast Highway

Hawaii

USS Arizona Memorial

Lanikai Beach

Volcanoes National Park

Waimea Canyon

Oregon

Haystack Rock

Columbia River Gorge

Mt. Hood

Historic Columbia River Highway

Crater Lake

Washington

Mount Rainier National Park

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.

Driving in Bizarro World

20 Jul

There is always something going on with South Carolina. The state threatened to secede in the 1830s, and it led secession in the 1860s. More recently, the rebel flag has been taken down from its capitol grounds. Yep, there is always an issue. However, I am not writing about any of those. I am writing about something that I have experienced within the boundaries of South Carolina.

Recently, I drove from one tip of the state to the other. From its most northwestern point to its most southeastern. Along the way, I made an upsetting discovery.

All of the slow people drive in the left lane on the interstate. This is something that it seen all over the country. However, it is an epidemic in South Carolina. It is an affliction that hit people from license plates from different states, and it happened on different interstates. As soon as we crossed into the state, the slow people stayed in the left lane.

The rules of the road state that slow drivers stay on the right side. Those who are going faster and want to pass get on the left side of the road. As I drove through the Palmetto State, I went by more people by passing on the right than on the left. It is not like I was going super fast. My Ford Explorer is not known for its speed.

As I write, I cannot find the words to describe the situation. There were long lines of slow cars in the left lane as people went faster in the right lane. It was like driving in Bizarro World where everything is backwards.Bizarro

All I know is that there are a lot of people who need driving lessons. When I get passed on the right, I know that I need to get over and get out of the way. When these other people get passed on the right, they keep driving like nothing is wrong.

Historically, South Carolina has had some issues. Chalk this up as another one. When people get on its interstates, they automatically forget how to drive.

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.

Listeria – Travelogue Edition

17 Oct

The latest issue of Travel and Leisure has an article called “101 Places Every Traveler Should Know”. As you know, I am a freak for lists, so I scanned the article to see which ones I have visited. The following is my personal list from the 101, along with a three word synopsis of each.

The Road to Somewhere

2. Maine – lots of lobster

7. Las Vegas – please read this

14. New York City – too many people

17. Kauai, Hawaii – most beautiful island

24. London – where’s the queen?

26. Jackson Hole, Wyoming – outdoor adventures galore

27. Salmon River, Idaho – riding rapids rapidly

33. San Francisco – tour Alcatraz Island

40. Miami – hot women everywhere

41. Los Angeles – seeing fallen stars

45. Napa Valley – vine to bottle

49. British Virgin Islands – hitting the bars

51. Chicago – my favorite city

54. Charleston, South Carolina – history and food

55. Amsterdam – red light district

59. Big Island, Hawaii – lots of lava

60. Sedona, Arizona – get some crystals

68. Venice – birdshit never dries

78. Yosemite National Park – beauty beyond belief

89. Rome – ancient and modern

95. New Orleans – varieties of decadence

The State of Music – Part 4

23 Apr

The analysis of states and their musical equivalents continues, but I must throw out some thank you’s before moving ahead. The Snob and Trask have offered some great alternatives to my choices, and I appreciate their input. You can find their favorites at One, Two, Three – Turn it Up.

New Mexico – This is one of my favorite states, and I will be heading into “The Land of Enchantment” in a few weeks. There is a different feeling that comes over me when I cross its state line and wanted to find a song that embraced that feeling. I am not sure that I found it with Michael Hearne’s “New Mexico Rain” because I’ve never really seen it rain there.

New York – Countless songs have been written about New York, but most of them are about the city and not the state. However, that really isn’t the point of this project. Songs do not have to be ABOUT the state. They only need to be named for the state. With that in mind, I choose a song from my iPod called “New York’s Not My Home”. Jim Croce’s song does not provide a positive view of New York, but that really isn’t the point, either.

North Carolina – Do you realize how many songs have been written about Carolina? They are everywhere. After a long search, I finally found “North Carolina Line” by Gene Vincent. Weirdly, it’s more about Norfolk, Virginia.

North Dakota – Another state that provided a difficult search, North Dakota does not lend itself to easily penned songs. It’s a good state and provides a lot more enjoyment that most may realize, but the only decent song I could find is Lyle Lovett’s “North Dakota”. Please allow me to apologize for creating a list with Lyle Lovett on it.

Ohio – With the first state in the alphabet, Alabama, I used a song that replied to a song by Neil Young. With Ohio, I use a Neil Young song…well, a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song. “Ohio”, one of the most famous protest songs, was inspired by the tragic shooting of protesters at Kent State University.

Oklahoma – There’s a musical. There are cowboy songs. Then, there is a native son, Leon Russell, singing about “Home Sweet Oklahoma”.

Oregon“Portland, Oregon” is the result of one of the coolest collaborations I know of. Jack White, who owns a record store in Nashville, teamed up with Loretta Lynn, “the Queen of Country Music”, to create an award-winning body of work. I know it seems weird, but it sounds great.

Pennsylvania – Remember when I said that a song does not have to be ABOUT the state. This pick is a great example of that. “Pennsylvania 6-5000” is named for the phone number of a New York hotel. It is a classic by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. For those who may not know, Glenn Miller’s plane was shot down during World War II and was never found.

Rhode Island – I was hoping to go with the theme song from Family Guy, but my efforts were thwarted. If it hadn’t been for those meddling kids I would have gotten away with it. Instead, I went with “Exeter, Rhode Island” by Jennifer O’Conner.

South Carolina – South Carolina provides the same complications as North Carolina. Everybody wants to sing about Carolina and not specify which one they are talking about. Perhaps, it would have been easier if the colonies/states had never developed separately in the first place. With that in mind, the Outlaws recorded “South Carolina”.

That’s it for forty states. I’ll be back next time with the last ten. Until then, remember what they say down at the fire hall. Always shake off your hose before you roll it back up.