All-you-can-eat Japanese and bubble tea

While in Savannah, we took the girls for Japanese since they both love sushi. It was an all-you-could-eat restaurant, which meant every time you finished something you could order another dish.

My daughter ordered so much sushi and appetizers that she forgot to order an entree. And she tried to teach her companion to use chopsticks. She wasn’t a good teacher.

They had a large variety of bubble tea. Gayle got strawberry. I got melon. It was our 16-year-old’s first bubble tea. She didn’t like or dislike it.

Personally I love tapioca in every form.

Day 7… and we’re not killing each other

Today is my daughter’s 14th birthday.

She wasn’t happy when I sailed across the room and leapt on her bed screaming in a falsetto, “it’s my baby’s birthday!”

At 6:30 a.m.

Today we hope to make it to around Richmond, Va., since we are due home tomorrow and I have to be back at work at 7 a.m. Monday.

I wonder if they missed me.

Our exciting plans for today include the bird sanctuary that was closed on Monday and an afternoon visit to the paranormal museum.

And finally… the Quality Inn right off I-95 in Fayetteville, N.C., may have been my favorite hotel balancing price and function. With taxes the room was about $70. The breakfast wasn’t exciting but in included a variety of hot items in addition to the continental selections. And personally, I loved that they offered peanut butter with their bread products.

The room was clean but sparse. Refrigerator a tad busted up but while trying to freeze water bottles into ice cubes for the cooler we almost had one freeze. The water pressure in the toilet was poor. But the pool open 10 a.m. to dusk and it was clean and a nice size for a small hotel. Coffee was decent. And they had a former room on the first floor converted into a fitness center. And a public laundry room.

Day 6. Technically going backwards.

We started the morning by checking out of the Wyndham Garden Inn in Summerville, S.C., at 7:30 a.m.

It took us 20 minutes to get to the IHOP across the street. The shopping centers here are huge and have so many trees you can’t see the stores.

We drove past it and had to backtrack, then we turned into the plaza and drove a mile behind the stores in the prettiest Walmart parking lot ever.

Approaching the IHOP from behind, we recognized it by color.

And, like Waffle House, my meal did not disappoint.

It’s the older teen girl’s 16th birthday today. My girl turns 14 tomorrow. We asked them what they thought about the “fancy” hotel. They didn’t seem to think it was worth all the extra money.

We had to run back to the other shopping plaza across the street to visit Target. I dropped my deodorant in the toilet and my daughter needs some bathroom items.

I made everyone stay in the car. I told them I’d be in and out in five minutes. My teen timed me. 4:50.

Honestly the unfamiliar layout slowed me down, and my cartwheel deals had expired and their store network slowed down my phone… and then I had to choose between rose vanilla and lavender sage deodorant. So it was close.

We are now headed backwards. We’re going to the Bigelow Tea Plantation, the only working tea plantation in the United States. Then we are headed to the Angel Oak on John’s Island (recommended by Alyssa at my place of employment) and hopefully a volkssport walk at Magnolia Plantation back near Charleston.

It is completely possible we won’t gain any mileage today since we are going backwards.

Day… I don’t even know… Savannah to Charleston

I think it’s Thursday. I’m not sure. I’m drinking another bad cup of coffee, but decaf, as it is almost 9:30 p.m. Today was a fun day, we didn’t get that much exercise but the heat is still near 100 degrees. And I have yet to get a sunburn.

It took me about twenty minutes to figure out how to use the single serve Keurig. Hey, it’s been a long day… Because of all the crazy food we ate today, the teens opted for snacks instead of a meal so we stopped at Target (beer and wine. Sigh. Can you imagine beer and wine at Target in Pennsylvania. Gayle wouldn’t split a six pack.) The teens decided on cereal and milk. One got Cocoa pebbles, the other got Honeycomb. That got me craving Life so I got Market Pantry Cinnamon Oat Bites.

In my confusion, I forgot to get myself dinner. (We have a microwave we could have gotten frozen dinners.) But the milk is in the kids’ room. Yes, the kids have their own room. That’s a story for later in this post. So, right now I’m eating a half a box of cereal dry with an alligator slim jim.

But let me start with the beginning of the day…

If I can remember.

After our excursion to Waffle House, we headed to the University of Georgia’s aquarium. I will post more about that later, because even though it was small, it was very well put together and I got lots of photos and video.

Then we went to the Tybee Island lighthouse and climbed 178 stairs. The grounds of the lighthouse were amazing. It had three tenders at one point. And there were some fortifications to explore, but I will break those into another post too.

I want this to be about the journey.

After lunch at Chicken Lickin’, we took the scenic route up to Charleston and stopped at the Carolina Cider Company. Soda, pastry, CIDER in apple, peach, cherry and blueberry. Various fruit butters, I bought sweet potato butter and a bottle of pecan syrup. And the alligator stick. And a butterscotch root beer.

I booked the room via Hotel Tonight again. The deals near Charleston were no where near as cheap as all of our other destinations. So I splurged and picked the “solid” hotel instead of the “basic” one. So we are in a Wyndham Garden hotel tonight. Except I couldn’t request 2 beds, so we ended up with two rooms with king beds. But so far, we have been way under budget with hotel rooms so… you win some, you lose some.

At first I planned on dividing us by family. My daughter didn’t like that idea. So we let the kids have the second room.

We went to Azalea Park and learned driving through town that Summerville is the home of the first tea plantation and where Southern style sweet tea was born.

And the evening was spent at the hotel swimming and eating breakfast cereal.

Finally! A Waffle Ho(u)se and Southern fried chicken

I have never been to a Waffle House. I’ve been curious for years and a road trip down South seemed the perfect time.

Imagine my delight to see a Waffle House across the street from the motel.

That night we noticed the U in the sign was out so we drive around the truck stop to get a photo.

It amused me.

This morning I finally had my first Waffle House experience. Everyone was very concerned I would be disappointed.

I loved it.

The woman running the grill was amazing. The coffee good. And my waffle was thin and crispy.

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And then we had lunch at a hickory house chicken place in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

Chicken Lickin’s.

They made it fresh for us and the sides were out of this world. Best coleslaw ever.

Birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts

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As a journalist, one of the first tricks I learned was to listen closely when people start to whisper.

This served me well at the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low yesterday.

Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low died childless and unmarried of breast cancer.

But what they don’t tell you is WHY she died alone and childless. That she was practically divorced.

I overheard the tour guide telling another couple… Well let me tell you the official story first. The family friendly version.

Juliette was a talented artist… she made sculptures and paintings and ceramics. Her parents didn’t approve of her suitor. Took them three years to believe he could take proper care of her.

She married, moved to England to be with her husband, and several years later her husband started having an affair. Eventually he filed for divorce.

But while the divorce was being arranged, he died. He had written Juliette out of his will in favor of his mistress.

She returned to the States with nothing. Lived in her parents’ house as her brothers helped her fight for her share of her husband’s estate. She ended up with her father-in-law’s house in Savannah, the Andrew Low house.

She died there. And founded Girl Scouts there.