Friday, August 11, 2017

In My Mind I'm Going to (North) Carolina

I kicked off the summer on June 2, 2017 with a road trip! Destination C on my Google Maps App was to the #stokedtobeastoney wedding in Hendersonville, NC. Destination A was Savannah, GA and Destination B was Tybee Island, GA. My fellow mom friend and co-worker, M-Squared (that's her rapper name), joined me for this 4-day venture!

This is M-Squared, Crista and myself. Crista's daughter was the beautiful woman getting married. #stokedtobeastoney
Friday - We set out early on National Donut Day 2017 and headed up I-75N to I-95N towards Savannah, GA. Our first stop was at a Florida Citrus Center in Ocala. We had to see what all the hype (giant billboards) was about. I'm here to expose the truth about this souvenir shop on steroids! There is a giant 13-foot alligator but it is not breathing, it's stuffed! They never say LIVE gator so I'll let you decide if you want to patron a place that boasts of giant beasts... that are actually dead! It wasn't a completely worthless stop, especially if you were wanting to purchase the crucifix in a coconut shell, bags of shelled pecans, magnets, turtles and cheap mugs!

I am a TripAdvisor reviewer and categorized this next spontaneous roadside spot as a hidden gem. Tom's Cypress has been in Waldo, FL for 40 years. UF alum, Woodhawk, carves unique cypress sculptures (mostly fish and animals). I bought an angel fish in honor of my grandpa who cared for them in his fishtanks. I won't tell you about our first horrific and haunting Airbnb experience, but I will say this, "live and learn" came to mind. Ask me about it if you are a newbie Airbnber.

Walked around Forsyth Park in Savannah and ate at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. I place this in the "MUST DO" category. Table seats 9 strangers and the food is excellent, family-style, down home Southern cooking'. The value and deliciousness is a combination that is hard to find, anywhere! It was well worth the toasty wait outside to experience what we were about to devour on the inside.

Dessert not pictured above, but was included.
Checked in at the Historic Holiday Inn, explored the City Market (I recommend a quaint little shop named Twinkle), saw a lot of historic monuments (M-Squared was a little obsessed with them), walked the Riverwalk (fireworks at 9:30 pm) and topped off the night at Corleone's Trattoria, a fantastic little Italian ristorante!

Saturday - This is the day that I first learned that there are combined Animal/People Vet Clinics. It's true! Think you have pink eye? Tybee Island in GA can help you, whether you have 2 or 4 legs. However, I suggest that you do as M-Squared did and go to a human only clinic. We did the tour of the Tybee Lighthouse and Museum. We walked the pier where a scene from The Last Song movie was filmed and learned of 4 other epic movies filmed at TI: The Spongebob Movie, The Conspirator, Dirty Grandpa and Baywatch.

After we felt we had adequately explored the island and M-Squared had tried boiled peanuts we journeyed toward Hendersonville, NC where we checked into our Airbnb. This time we were pleasantly satisfied with our home away from home and got ready to go to see our friends at the after (rehearsal) party at Habitat Brewing Tavern and Commons. From there we went to Mellow Mushroom in Asheville. Saw the filming of a new show from the makers of Bumble Bee, the Police Car and the DeLorean. It was neat (and really loud) to see the Transformers vehicles parked in front of the outdoor eating area where we sat.

Sunday - Stopped for some caffeine at Appalachian Coffee Company and enjoyed the local feel to the little coffee shop. We drove to Dupont State Forest and hiked Hooker and Triple Falls what a beautiful way to praise God for his amazing creation on a Sunday morning!

Found a place to eat lunch called HenDough Chicken & Donuts in Hendersonville. Good eats! Explored the downtown area, saw many painted bear statues and discovered Mast General Store (because of rain) for the first time. 5 stars for Mast! Got ready for the wedding and drove to Jeter Mountain Farm in Hendersonville. The venue was so stunningly magnificent I cannot begin to do it justice with words. Such a superb evening spent with the finest of people. #stokedtobeastoney

Jeter Mountain Farm in Hendersonville, NC.

Monday - Ordered a sweet and savory bagel at Joeys New York Bagels and loved every bite. Began our descent home with a quick stop in Spartanburg, SC at Glendale Shoals, a remote and scenic bridge and damn. M-Squared comparison-tasted Zaxby's vs. Chick-fil-a. We stopped at an Ingles Market and saw lots of cotton ball products for sale in SC. Nothing more to document about the long ride home, except that we arrived alive (through the rainstorms) and had an exciting time celebrating the marriage of two wonderful people who love the Lord and each other!

Glendale Shoals Damn in Spartanburg, SC.