A Travellerspoint blog

Breeze through Beaufort and Arrive in Summerville

Fort Fisher and the Inns of Charleston

semi-overcast 11 °C
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda & 2004 Migrating by Mercedes on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Continuing on the Ocracoke to Cedar Island Ferry
Ferry going the other way

Ferry going the other way


Coming in to Cedar Island

Coming in to Cedar Island

Ferry landing

Ferry landing

Cedar Island Information and Rest area

Cedar Island Information and Rest area


We landed right after noon and right there at the ferry dock was a motel and restaurant.. I thought we should eat while we had the chance. Bob said he thought that we'd probably go around the corner and find a McDonalds. But I prevailed.
Porthole in the restaurant

Porthole in the restaurant


There seemed to me mostly local folks that were eating there. They didn't have much that was suitable for lunch (it wasn't expensive, it was just that everything was a full dinner type thing - no hamburgers or sandwiches), so I got Core Sound clam chowder and Bob had she crab soup ($2.50 each), and he got chicken bites (appetizer) for $4.95 and couldn't eat them all, and I had the all you can eat salad bar for $5.95.
Core Sound Clam Chowder

Core Sound Clam Chowder


The clam chowder was like the one I got at Roanoke Island, except it had a lot more clams and no bacon. It was still a clear broth with potato cubes in it.
Road

Road


Then we drove out through the Cedar Island wildlife reserve, and there were truly no fast food places for about the next 40 miles- until we got to Beaufort. We saw the turnoff to go and see the Cape Lookout lighthouse (which is a private ferry that you have to pay for), but we were headed for Ft. Fisher, so we didn't stop and we didn't stop to get our passport stamped either.
Beaufort

Beaufort


Morehead City

Morehead City


Bob wanted to get fuel, but most of the places with diesel were closed on Sunday, and many places didn't have diesel. We finally stopped in Hampstead (where we always stop at the Harbour Village Marina on the way up and down the waterway) at a Hess station and got fuel at 3:20
Bob getting fuel

Bob getting fuel


Ft. Fisher is a recreation area that is connected with an AFB nearby. It is out beyond Carolina Beach and Kure (pronounced 'curry') Beach. We crossed the Snow's Cut bridge (didn't see anyone in the waterway), and drove down the peninsula - pretty much a deserted beach town in December.

Ft. Fisher personnel said they were only open between 10 and 2, so they would leave us the key on the door, and they did - along with a map.
Fort Fisher office

Fort Fisher office


After we found the office, we had a bit of a problem because we were looking for a building number and the place we were to stay was named and we thought it was a club or something.

We were in a suite in the back which had a living room with a kitchenette, and a bathroom and a bedroom with another kitchenette. There wasn't anyone else staying there that we could see - there were 6 rooms and one other suite. They also have cabins that sleep 8 or 10.
Christmas Lights at Kure Beach reflected in the lake

Christmas Lights at Kure Beach reflected in the lake


We had to drive back up the road to find a restaurant that was open, and stopped at El Zarape all the way back in Carolina Beach which was about the first place we saw. Bob had tacos, and I had a quesidilla, and we both had fried ice cream.
Fried ice cream

Fried ice cream


Total $23.77 before the tip.

There was a little boy there whose name was Carson (we have a grandson named Carson also) - they were from Mt. Airy NC - they said it was a family name.
Christmas lights on the lake

Christmas lights on the lake

December 6, 2004 - Monday

The note on our packet said to please check in in the morning, so we had to wait until 10. I had some bagels and juice for breakfast, and we left just before 10. The room was $40.
Ferry booth

Ferry booth


If we had hurried, we might have been able to get the 10 o'clock ferry, but Bob did not realize that there was one at 10. In any case, we got to the ferry dock as the ferry was pulling out. This ferry is $5.00
Ferry ticket - Fort Fisher

Ferry ticket - Fort Fisher


We were, of course, first in line.
Approaching ferry

Approaching ferry


Ferry coming toward us

Ferry coming toward us


I went and took some pictures of the dock. It looked like they were dredging the Cape Fear River and it was very shallow where the ferries were. Bob said the ferry was going very slowly - even though they can operate in about 5 feet of water, it still looked very shallow.
River beach

River beach


The day was somewhat overcast and looked like rain. They finally loaded us onto the ferry,
Seagull

Seagull


Cars on the Fort Fisher Ferry

Cars on the Fort Fisher Ferry

Our car - chocked on the ferry

Our car - chocked on the ferry


and this ferry did not turn around like the others did. I don't know if it backs all the way to Southport, or if the ferry is just double ended.
Green marker

Green marker

Red side of the channel

Red side of the channel


Yellow cranes at the Sunny Point Munition depot

Yellow cranes at the Sunny Point Munition depot


Front range in the Cape Fear River

Front range in the Cape Fear River

Barge with a crane - spuds up

Barge with a crane - spuds up

Sand bank

Sand bank


Bob watches the passing ferry

Bob watches the passing ferry

Ferries pass

Ferries pass


I tried to take a photo of the Oak Island light with the light flashing in my direction but did not succeed.
Oak Island Light

Oak Island Light

Gulls

Gulls


Ferry dock

Ferry dock


Ferry dock

Ferry dock


We saw again the brick kiln-like building, and one of the men on the ferry said that was the old Pocasin (sp?) lighthouse. So I took some photos. I found out later that it was the
Price's Creek Range Front

Price's Creek Range Front


Docking

Docking


Docking

Docking


After we got off the ferry (a 30 minute ride), I wanted to stop at Barefoot landing or somewhere we could see the ICW to eat. I thought the highway would cross either the Little River or the Barefoot Landing swing bridges. But the highway goes over a fixed bridge.
Fixed bridge

Fixed bridge


We saw the big marina by the lighthouse, and then went by Dock Holidays. But Bob did not understand what I wanted and we went whistling past Barefoot and the golf course overhead railway and a breakfast place that was open (again a lot of stuff closed off season). We eventually stopped near Calabash Seafood (which is not in Calabash) at the Chinese place with the 102 piece buffet. It was $5.25 for all you could eat for seniors. (Regular people pay $1 more)
Calabash Seafood

Calabash Seafood


Afterwards we walked back and looked at the Intercoastal Waterway which was behind the restaurant.
Pine Island Cut of the ICW

Pine Island Cut of the ICW


No boats in it at this time of year.
Rock Pile (aka Pine Island Cut)

Rock Pile (aka Pine Island Cut)


It had been raining a little and then cleared up. We drove on down US 17 -
Georgetown

Georgetown


through Georgetown (by the paper mills), and through the Francis Marion Forest and past the Hampton historic house. When we got to the Isle of Palms, Bob refused to take I-526 bypass over to SC 642 because he said that he couldn't go in the back door of the base because he'd get lost. So we slogged along US 17
Crossing the Cooper River

Crossing the Cooper River


and up I-26 and then up Dorchester Rd (SC route 642). When we finally got to the AF base about 1600 (4 o'clock), the main gate was completely torn up with construction (I mean no road at all - down to mud) so we couldn't go in that gate and we had to go in the gate by the exchange.

Bob wanted to know where the Inns of Charleston at Charleston Air Force Base office was. Although I'd asked him when I phoned for the reservation (which can only be made 72 hours in advance for retirees), and he said he knew where that was (they said they were next to or behind the clinic) - he really didn't know.

So we stopped in the parking lot of the housing office, and I phoned. The initial phone message comes on with a lady with a VERY thick southern accent who says that they don't accept collect calls (which always takes me aback because I'm not making a collect call). When I actually get someone alive on the phone, we find out that the Inn office is just around the corner.

We signed in. Retirees can only stay 3 nights. Then we drove over to our room.
Inns of Charleston

Inns of Charleston


The buildings are old, and have no elevators. It was really quite nice. The standard rooms include a queen sized bed, a private bath, a kitchenette with a microwave and mini refrigerator/freezer combo, a coffee pot, an alarm clock, and a TV with an attached DVD player. Our room had TWO kitchenettes although one of the refrigerators was out of order.
Kitchenette

Kitchenette


There was also a very nice bathroom between the bedroom and the living room. The room was $36.50/night We could have had a cheaper room if we had wanted to share a bathroom, but I didn't want to do that.

Then we left and went over to our son's house. It was almost 4:30 and because of traffic, it took us 50 minutes to drive the 15 miles. Our son had made spaghetti and we had a nice dinner. Afterwards I used the movie section of the camera to record our grandson playing the violin and trumpet, and our younger granddaughter reading the comics. I also took pictures of his parakeets, the dogs, one of the cats and her lop-eared piebald rabbit.
3320.jpgLop-eared rabbit

Lop-eared rabbit

Sneakers the cat

Sneakers the cat


3337.jpgCopper

Copper


Our grandson brought out the family heirloom pitcher
Family heirloom

Family heirloom


and asked me about the family tree stuff inside, and I found a photo of Hewett Anderson Beasley as a boy which I think looks remarkably like another grandson. I tried to take a photo of it.
Bob's grandfather Hewett Anderson Beasley as a boy

Bob's grandfather Hewett Anderson Beasley as a boy


We left their Christmas presents with them, and about 10 after 9 we drove back to the base. It only took us about half an hour to get back to the base.

December 7, 2004

We checked out of the Inn (they charged us $1.00 for the internet access). Then Bob went to the exchange and got a check cashed and went to the commissary and got cranberry juice. We stopped for fuel at the Hess station on Dorchester Rd. We then went to our son's house and took our son and daughter-in-law out to lunch at El Rosarito which is a Mexican restaurant which has a buffet lunch line.
El Rosarito restaurant

El Rosarito restaurant


We never found out exactly what the price was for this buffet, but I think it was about $7.50 each.
Fried Ice Cream

Fried Ice Cream


For dessert, I had fried ice cream again,
flan

flan


and our son and daughter-in-law both had flan which they apparently love and which was part of the buffet. (But I ate so much flan when I was traveling in Spain, that I'm not so fond of it now)
Son and daughter-in-law

Son and daughter-in-law


We talked until almost 2, and then we left and drove out Alternate US 17 to I-95. I had made a reservation at the EconoLodge at exit 87 just past Savannah at Richmond Hill. Originally I had considered a Budget Motel which was a bit closer to Savannah, but this was farther along. We got there about 4 p.m. and it was $44.75/night. We saw signs advertising cheaper rates along the road, but this was a AAA motel and I wasn't sure without looking at them in person how good a motel would be where you could stay for less than $30/night. We've never stayed in an Econo Lodge before. The rate is not the cheapest one I saw for other interchanges off I-95 in this area, but it was cheaper than the Hampton Inn which was next door. This is a motel with outside room access (no center corridor). There was a lot of plumbing noise. Otherwise it wasn't too bad. They did have free local calls and there were places to eat dinner nearby.

I was interested in Richmond Hill because the marina at Kilkenny Creek was in Richmond Hill. Also there was an interesting battle during the Revolution here, and Ford had a great interest in the town. So when we left to go out to dinner about 6 (after dark at this time of year of course), I thought instead of stopping at the Waffle House (which there was one of on each side of the interstate) or the Southern Restaurant, we should try to drive into Richmond Hill to see some of the town.

As we proceeded down the road, we looked for restaurants. After we got to the other side of Richmond Hill, we came to a really bad accident on the other side of the road which had traffic tied up for several miles. So now we couldn't turn around and go back. Eventually we went around and got back on I-95 back up at exit 94, and drove back around.

When we'd been driving for 45 minutes looking for a place to eat, we got off at exit 90 and ate dinner at Perkins. Actually we both had breakfast. I had 2 eggs, bacon, hash browns and a blueberry muffin ($5.99),
My meal

My meal


and Bob had one egg, sausage and pancakes ($4.49). Then he said because of all the driving around, he needed to have a hot fudge sundae, so I had a scoop of ice cream with hot fudge too. The bill before tip was $20.18. We got back to the motel about 8.
Motel

Motel



December 8, 2004

The EconoLodge offered free continental breakfast which was barely acceptable. Certainly not as good as the Hampton Inn or the Sleep Inn. It had two kinds of juice (apple and orange), donuts and a kind of bun, two kinds of cold cereal (frosted flakes and raisin bran), toast, and toaster waffles, and bagels

After we checked out, we got fuel at "El Cheapo" gas station where the fuel was $1.979/gal. Bob had intended to go to the TA next door, but El Cheapo was cheaper. We left to drive to Orlando about 8:45 a.m.
El cheapo

El cheapo

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:37 Archived in USA

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Comments

I've never come across fried ice cream!

by ToonSarah

Fried ice cream is a staple of Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurants. There are variations on the way they do it, but it always includes ice cream :)

by greatgrandmaR

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