Next Stop: Somewhere New

9 04 2013

After four years of traveling around the US, I have made it to 41 states, and have realized that the country truly isn’t that big.  But with that being said, 4 years of travel included a lot of the same roads travelled to a lot of the same places.

So  it was a great opportunity to travel some highways and byways and get…not lost…but rather find some new places to explore.  Traveling up the Eastcoast from Jacksonville, FL to Newark, NJ we managed to stretch out the 900 mile drive into three days of travel.  And I discovered a couple places that I had never been to before.

First Stop:  Savannah, GA (and when you say it, you have to say it like you’re from the south)

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A cute little downtown area that has a downtown shopping/outdoor plaza that reminds me of Faneuil Hall in Boston.  Lots of outdoor parks and some great eating opportunities.

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Our intention was to have some good ol’ southern home cooking at Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons restaurant.

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But after seeing the line up, and not being able to get a reservation for another three hours, we started asking around, to see if it was worth the wait.  Turns out, the locals don’t think too highly of the place and at the first mention of the restaurant, their faces started pinching up like they had eaten a sour grape.  So I can’t give the restaurant or its food a fair review, but I can say that the locals love their BBQ, and sent us to a little hole in the wall place called Angel’s BBQ that you might have passed by if not for the little BBQ flag that hung outside its door.  And for dessert, tiny morsels of tart sweetness with key lime cookies from Byrds.  

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The best part, they have a sampling station at the front of the store so you can try out flavours from chocolate chip and chocolate macaroon to lemon, key lime, peach and apple crunch.

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Second Stop:  Myrtle Beach, SC

What can I say, it was dinner time.  And before we even made it to the Myrtle Beach city limits we started seeing signs for roasted oysters, stuffed clams and other delightful treats.  We made it as far as The Hot Fish Club in Murrells Inlet, a restaurant that has a history dating back before the civil war and who’s first club house was located on a place called Drunken Jack Island (who doesn’t love that!).  Fresh gulf shrimp, Alabama oysters (coming for a Pacific NW’er, I can say they had a great taste), Seafood Paella, Lobster Pot Pie and key lime pie for dessert.  Yum!

So needless to say, by the time we rolled into Myrtle Beach, SC it was dark and I’d had a couple glasses of wine, so I can tell you nothing about the beach.  I assume it is glorious and the reason why so many people were walking the streets that were filled with All-U-Can-Eat Seafood Buffets (some of them boasting up to 200 items) and surprisingly, one after another, giant neon/fluorescent lit beachwear stores and each time there was a store so bright it hurt your eyes, it was followed by a huge, elaborately built mini golf course.  What is going on Myrtle Beach?  It was nothing like I expected, and kind of reminded me of Niagara Falls (the Canadian side), which considering it has been named the ‘Honeymoon Capital’, surprisingly has a lot of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not type places, wax museums, and gaudy souvenir shops.

Third Stop:  North East, MD

I don’t know that this little east coast town would have ever been a destination for me, if Nathan hadn’t stumbled upon it 7 years ago.  He always thought he’d make it back around, it just took him a little while.  Cute main street and a great casual seafood place, called Woody’s Crab House.  Their specialty:  Hard Shell Blue Fin Crabs – pride of the Chesapeake Bay.  Too bad they’re scared of cold water and the waters are cold in Maryland right now….brrrr.  So, we’ll have to find another opportunity to visit North East, Maryland, hopefully in less than seven years.

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All in all, a great little road trip.  Fun to see new places and to have those places surprise you.  I love to plan things, but there’s no way that I could have planned the meandering trip that we had along the coast.  Sometimes it’s best to just let things happen and let the trip find you.

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