Monday, March 16, 2009

Southern Spring Breaking

For my Spring Break, Alex and I headed down to Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, North Carolina. The trip was full of beautiful landscapes, American history, delicious food, and lots of walking. I could write tons about it, but instead I will do what Alex and I did to pass the time on our eight-hour drives: top five lists. Also below is my flickr slide show of the trip (pictures are also on facebook).

Five Favorite Moments from the Trip
  1. Walking through the Historic District of Savannah at dusk. Between seeing all the people out enjoying the town squares, knowing the Civil War history, and the historic architecture, I felt like I was on a movie set.
  2. Eating a full Southern lunch with 8 strangers from across the country at Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room.
  3. Exploring the Maritime Museum above the USS Yorktown carrier and getting to see what it is like on a military boat built to house 4,000 soldiers.
  4. Swinging on a bench on the Tybee Island beach with Alex and watching the Atlantic Ocean.
  5. Strolling through the cobblestone streets of Charleston and coveting all the beautiful pastel colored mansions with columns along the harbor.

Five Ways to Save Money on a Roadtrip
  1. Find a "Manager's Special" at a Bed and Breakfast so you get first-rate service, home-cooked breakfast, a cozy room, and traveling advice from fellow lodgers all at an affordable price.
  2. Stock-up on snacks from Costco like beef jerky, shelled-peanuts, raisins, and oranges. I shelled a lot of peanuts.
  3. Drive a Honda Civic. Hooray for good gas mileage.
  4. Share meals, especially in the South where the portions are huge. (See Seafood Platter "for one" at the Crab Shack)
  5. Do research on what is worth the time and money. Special thanks to WikiTravel Pages, AAA books, Yelp, and advice from friends.
Five Things I Learned About the South
  1. Most importantly, the people there are not that different from the rest of the country. Most people were friendly and helpful and did not fit the negative stereotypes except for the racist auto mechanic we met. Admittedly, I was in the more metropolitan and diverse cities.
  2. There is an interesting dichotomy between religion and debauchery. For example, in North Carolina, there were billboards advertising strip clubs and "trucker showers" right next to billboards with biblical verses. Similarly, in Georgia, college kids with open containers of beer walked by the guy with the "Jesus Saves" signs at noon.
  3. 40,000 people come to Savannah to celebrate St. Patrick's day and they love drinking in the city. We saw tshirt souvenir stores convert into bars just for the weekend.
  4. Every building has historic significance.
  5. People from South Carolina are especially full of state pride. Tons of people had South Carolina flags--no, not Confederate flags, we only saw one of those.

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