7/2 Charleston, SC 1684 miles

Woke up in Savannah and I could still smell the ocean all around me. I fought the urge to cancel the rest of the trip and just stay there by the inviting shore. The thing most attractive about Tybee Island is how empty it was. Later I will be in Virginia Beach, and I know that will just be mobbed with hormone-crazed college boys, harassed mothers and vapid girlies with poor bikini choices.
But I pressed on.
At this point, I was getting pretty damned tired of getting out of the car in various southern spots and trying not to scream “what is that SMELL?”. I am reminded that the eastern US is built on a green O-Cello sponge, warm and moist, without a winter to inhibit the growth of things that smell.
First stop in the morning (after coffee, which shouldn’t have to be mentioned, as it is as functional as washing my face), was the Savannah historical museum and visitors center. It smelled funny and there was a movie that I did not watch. I spent much time in the gift shop and purchased a book of pirate stickers that now adorn the postcards being sent. If you want a postcard, send me your address. If I get it while I am still on the road, I will send you one.
A walking tour of Savannah was next and we hit most of the major historical houses and squares. We drove by the Factor’s Walk on the river front, but the humidity had beaten us down sufficiently and we let it go.
Our next stop was Hilton Head. The place was mobbed, but we just drove through to get an idea of what it is like. Stopped at a deli on the mainland, Vino and Vitto, and picked up a sandwich as big as my forearm. Damned tasty sandwich. Hilton Head was not anything to write home about, so I didn’t.
We swung through Beaufort, SC, and took pictures of historical things and read about wars and defiance and pondered again the amazing smells borne of the unbelievable humidity.
We got lost trying to get out of Beaufort and ended up by Parris Island. We had been island-hopping all day, and decided to check this one out, too. We followed the signs to Parris Island and whipped off the highway and into a giant military base. Something in my head clicked and I sort of remembered something about military and Parris Island (or was it an insane asylum?), but I just couldn’t make the connection. Because of the holiday, all military bases were on Alert: Bravo. This meant that they checked all ID’s coming in and had absolutely no sense of humor about tourists accidentally showing up on base. Rodriguez was polite but humorless about the whole thing and directed me back to the highway.
Finally, we arrived in Charleston, exhausted and sweaty. Our hotel room smelled of urine and had a sticky quality hard to come by in your own home. We rested for a minute, gathered our thoughts and headed out downtown for a walking tour of the historic houses.The AAA guide for Charleston warned us against driving in this city because its roads are a clusterfuck maze of narrow one-way streets that inexplicably end in the middle of a block. You will find one direction repeated multiple times before you get a chance to go the other way. We got lost and cursed all who designed this city. Then we found parking and started our little tour. Each of the historic houses, though a private residence, is clearly labelled with the name of the house and the history attached to it. We walked down to the waterfront to watch seagulls and pelicans and the coast guard do their things. White Point Park was full of pigeons quietly waiting for me to feed them, but they never got the chance as a family erroneously decided the best activity for the evening was to run around with the pigeons and pretend to fly like them, scaring them half out of their wits. First it’s two pleasant Minnesotans crumbling Keebler Club Crackers on the ground, then a swarm of giant avi-humans swoop in with the sole purpose of making them go away. Pigeons have it tough.
Back to the car and off to dinner. Too tired and hungry to really try to think about dinner, we ended up at a chain rib place that fed us well and kept me supplied with beer.
Tomorrow Georgetown, SC, South of the Border and Morehead City.