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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 Comments (2)

Finally Florida

Flying out of Miami after a side trip to Orlando

sunny 26 °C
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda & 2004 Migrating by Mercedes on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

December 8, 2004

We crossed into Florida a little after 10,
Entering Florida

Entering Florida


and started looking for a place to have lunch when we were approaching Daytona about noon. I hoped we could find a place where we could get fuel at the same time as we ate. I had seen such a place at one of the earlier interchanges, but now of course we couldn't find anything. After we got onto I-4, we got off and ate at Bob Evans in Orange City. Bob had the soup (beef vegetable) and half sandwich (BLT) with rolls for $4.99 and I had spinach salad and 2 biscuits for $5.99.
my lunch

my lunch


It was quite hot in the car. Bob didn't like driving with the windows open because the noise made it hard to hear the radio - we were listening to NPR. We got to the Orlando area a little before 2 p.m. I had gotten out the stash of maps, in which I had one of Orlando, but it dropped un-noticed to the floor, so I couldn't find it and had to go by the computer map which is hard to see with the sun coming in the windshield so strongly.

We stopped just before we reached the resort at a Hess station and got fuel. We went 262 miles today. Then we checked in at the Cypress Palms Condo. I got this off the internet as a special good deal for service men, but Bob thought it was way overkill for one night and felt that we could get something much less expensive and wouldn't have to come inland.
Brinks truck at the hotel

Brinks truck at the hotel


Anyway, at this resort we had a living room with a cleaning closet (little sweeper and ironing board, plus place to hang stuff), a full kitchen, a washer and a dryer right in the unit, a vanity area (with sink), a toilet/bath room, and a bedroom. We had two TVs and a king sized bed. It was $66.67
Signpost at motel

Signpost at motel


The girl checking us in was new and a bit flustered, and she forgot to give us a parking pass, so when we went out to eat dinner, we had to stop by the reception desk again to get one. They had those deer statues made of lights in the lobby, and they moved.
Moving deer in the lobby

Moving deer in the lobby


We had a choice of a lot of different places including a place with an all you could eat seafood buffet, but I wasn't really interested in doing seafood although I think that would have been Bob's choice. There was also a Longhorn Steakhouse, Chili's, Macaroni Grill, Uno Pizza and even an Orange World across the street.
Orange World

Orange World


But we ended up at Cracker Barrel.

This chain seems like it should be very nostalgic, and they did have portraits and daguerreotypes and 30s fashion prints and old kitchen implement decorations on the walls.
Decoration at Cracker Barrel

Decoration at Cracker Barrel


The girl who seated us kind of dowsed us to our seats. She walked ahead of us holding the menus in front of her, and she would seem to be going toward a table, and then veer off and go in another direction. She finally put us at a table in no-man's-land which none of the servers knew that they were responsible for. So some of the service was done by the manager, and some by a waitress who was responsible for a lot of other tables in the section. She might have been Russian - she had an accent and her name was Svetlana.
Dumplings

Dumplings


I was not that impressed with the food. I ordered chicken and dumplings, and the dumplings were kind of flat like bow pasta, and they were covered with thick white gravy. (I found out later that this is one of the worst things one can order at Cracker Barrel.) I couldn't finish it. I also had greens (which were good), broccoli and cheese (you could hardly see the broccoli), and corn muffins. Bob had fried chicken livers, corn, cole slaw and rolls. Both of these were $6.99. We both had dessert - I had berry cobbler ($2.39), and Bob had apple pecan streusel pie.($2.59) - both a la mode.

Bob bought some candy in the store afterwards - I looked around there but nothing I'd want to have.
Facade

Facade


I waited about an hour, and then I put on my bathing suit and went swimming. The pool was nice and warm - almost body temperature. A lot of others were using it too. After I did a bit of swimming, I went and washed my hair. Bob thought that we should make some use of the facilities, so he washed all our dirty clothes.

December 9, 2004

We left the resort about 9:15 and went down 192 towards the Florida Turnpike. While we were driving we considered getting a Sun Pass. Apparently the transponder is $25, and you get 1/4 off on the toll. So if you used $100 worth of tolls it would only cost $75. I called the toll people on the phone to find this out, and I asked him (checking to see if I had it right), that you'd have to use $100 worth of tolls in order to break even and pay for the transponder.
Florida Turnpike ticket

Florida Turnpike ticket


The amount of toll on our ticket was $13.70, but if we bought one in the rest stop (which we could have done), it wouldn't have gone into effect until 4 p.m. We did stop at a rest stop about noon and ate at Burger King. They also had Miami Subs, and Nathan's with Arthur Treachers and TCBY. After 40 minutes, we were on the road again.
Stripped billboard

Stripped billboard


A lot of the billboards in this section of the state are just skeletons with the billboard part having been blown away by the hurricanes, and there are also lots of houses with blue tarp roofs. I discovered that I could spot the dumps by the circling vultures overhead. I'd look up in the sky ahead and see birds. When we got closer, sure enough there was a big dump.
Vultures

Vultures


We also started having toll booths on the turnpike rather than having a ticket with one fee to pay. We got to our daughter's about 2:15 p.m. and Eudelia (her nanny) let us in.

Our daughter took her son to practice,
Grandson

Grandson


and then her daughter went to soccer.
Granddaughter

Granddaughter


Bob went with them. It's about the end of the soccer season.
son-in-law

son-in-law


Then Carol and David and Charley (their friends) came over and we all drove to El Toro Taco. They put 3 tables together for us - there were 9 of us. Our daughter and Carol brought coolers with their own drinks. I had zopes, which were corn tortillas with chicken and lettuce and a white dry crumbly cheese. Bob had tacos which were about $5.00. Our daughter also got a cheese mixture and put some of the tomato into it and they gave her flour tortillas to put it on. That was very good too.

When we got home, I tried to pack for a ten days in Louisiana. We can leave Bob's plant here to be put in our daughter's yard, and we can also leave their Christmas presents here in our car.

I figure the last 6 days have cost under $600 for lodging and food, and that includes taking our son and his wife and our daughter and her friends out dinner, the cost of two ferries, and the toll roads in Florida. (I didn't write down the cost of the diesel fuel for the car.) Two nights we stayed in military lodgings and one night it was a special military rate.

December 10, 2004

We were flying to New Orleans on a ticket that was purchased at a 20% discount through our daughter who is a pilot. We drove to the airport about 9:15 and we curbside checked one bag each. The baggage person gave us our boarding passes, but we didn't realize it so we checked in again and ended up with 4 boarding passes for 2 of us (I'm surprised they let us do that). Then we got into the wrong line to go through security (apparently there is a line for people who are checking baggage instead of curbside checking but don't want to go to the regular desk because they've printed out their boarding pass at the machine.
Miami airport

Miami airport


Someone pulled us out of line and sent us to another area. Bob was totally unaware that he had to take off his shoes, so that caused a small delay, plus his tie clip set off the machine. And I had to have my computer swabbed for explosives I guess. But we were through security in plenty of time to make the long walk down to the plane.
Tower

Tower


There were at least four captains on the plane, but two of them were apparently dead heading in 1st class. And the plane had to wait to board us for a flight attendant to get there from another flight. But we still got off on time,
Taking off from Miami

Taking off from Miami


and also landed on time. We got drink service but only pretzels in the main cabin.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 21:16 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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