Six Parks Down and Bob's Your Uncle - All good!

  Charleston walking tour scene

Charleston walking tour scene

We have embarked on a six-week trip to visit beaches in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. As "Beach Nana" I figured it only fitting that I have some knowledge about the beaches within a reasonable distance from my home, and spring is the perfect season to discover sandy strands in my neighboring states. So far, we met with friends, explored a few towns, escaped to a maritime forest, and walked a few beaches. 

  Best Shrimp and Grits in Charleston!

Best Shrimp and Grits in Charleston!

By the end of our trip, we will have visited 22 destinations and stayed in 17 parks.  I have already enjoyed the city of Charleston, South Carolina with 32 friends from my RV travel club, moved on to explore the mysterious Atalaya at Huntington Beach, feasted on seafood at Myrtle Beach, stopped for a writing retreat by the Edisto River, discovered the secrets of Skidaway Island, and assessed the development of Jekyll Island.  

Road-tripping is an enjoyable way to travel and, in the process, you discover your "travel pace". For us, that pace is a minimum of two days in a destination, a maximum of two hours driving before stopping for a break, and about 200 miles to cover in a day. Now, you may think that is a slow pace for getting somewhere, but the slower pace allows us to enjoy many stops along the way. And those stops often provide interesting experiences that a faster pace of travel would miss. With just two days at each stop, we look for the right combination of time and activity that makes for an enjoyable weekend getaway and then research activity options to extend a getaway into a vacation. 

  Gardens of Magnolia Plantation

Gardens of Magnolia Plantation

With the first section of the trip almost completed, this point marks the transition from Georgia to Florida. This is kind of a big deal for us because we have never had much luck getting a State Park campsite reservation in Florida. The parks seem pretty nice online, but they are perpetually booked. Fate must have smiled down on us because we were able to find a spot at six out of the seven Florida destinations on our itinerary. We are missing only one at our final destination and, since that will be Memorial Day weekend, I suppose we will end up in a Walmart parking lot for one night until the beach house is ready. I'll report back on how that goes!

  Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach, SC

Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach, SC

We prefer State Parks for camping and cabins. They are economical, safe, and almost always have a variety of activities and programs for families. Although we are moving into the sixteenth month of our one-year sabbatical, we still appreciate places that offer peace and natural beauty so State and National Parks check that box on our list. Private RV parks can be great or just parking lots. It requires some investigation to find good ones. Each of our destination profiles offers information on the campgrounds we choose and we are compiling a full list with ratings for each of them. 

  Huntington Beach State Park Twilight

Huntington Beach State Park Twilight

Anyway, with this much of the trip accomplished, I already have a full notebook of material for the blog and, with the next part of the trip, I figure on at least another notebook of destinations, experiences, and food. And that is good for you too my dear reader. I'll do the legwork to find destinations and experiences within a three-hour drive from Atlanta, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Nashville, and Savannah. Over the next year, we will work our way North and West. For my friends outside the South, these destination profiles will be opportunities to glimpse vacation possibilities if not weekend getaways. My motto is to find slow-paced travel for fast-paced lives and I keep that in mind as I am researching destinations and activities. What I report back for you in Beach Nana Travels should give you a few ideas for a relaxing weekend getaway or a family vacation that offers a collectible experience. 

So, six parks down, Bob's your uncle*, and the rest is all good!

*What's up with Uncle Bob?

Watching a Britcom a few weeks ago we heard the phrase "Bob's your uncle" and wondered where it came from. We had never heard it before and were not familiar with the reference. Then a week later we heard it again from a friend helping us fix our check engine light! So we looked it up: The saying originated from an Irish fellow (Arthur Balfour) who was unexpectedly promoted to Chief Secretary for Ireland by the Prime Minister Lord Robert Salisbury. Salisbury was Arthur's uncle. Work all week, come back on Monday to a big promotion, Bob's your uncle and it's all good!" Apparently, it is quite commonly used to indicate everything's fine. With that said, Beach Nana Travels does the research, Bob's your uncle, and you have a great vacation!