A short travel day. Those are the best. We wanted to escape the cold that was moving into Myrtle Beach but it caught up with us anyway in Charleston. We are counting our blessings though. Our friends and families in Michigan and Indiana are having it so much worse.
We visited Charleston back in 2009. That time we stayed at James Island County Park and loved it, so I tried to get us a site there this time through but I couldn’t make it happen. It’s a very popular campground and difficult to get into without making reservations well in advance to begin with, but it’s even more of a challenge at this time of year. No, it’s not because of Snowbirds, it’s because this is the opening weekend of James Island County Park’s Holiday Festival of Lights, and it’s a big to do. With over 700 displays and two million lights, they start decorating as early as September, right after Labor Day.
We then chose Oak Plantation Campground because of it’s good reviews and ratings. We weren’t disappointed. Oak Plantation is well maintained and the sites are nicely laid out. Most sites have ample spacing, only the gravel pull-thrus with the 50 amp full hookups are spaced closer together. We have one of the pull-thrus and even though our neighbors are close, our site has very attractive hedges between our patio and the next RV. There’s a huge pond to walk around or fish from, but beware, it has resident gators. The park is a stickler on speeding which is good but the excess of speed bumps is overkill. The dog run is huge, clean, appealing and fenced. There’s also a laundry room which is always a bonus to me. Location is excellent too. Oak Plantation is on Hwy. 17, convenient to Charleston, James and Kiawah Islands. The only drawback is it can be difficult getting in and out of the campground because of traffic. Overall, we would stay here again.
Today, our first full day here, we revisited an attraction we first saw in 2009. We were in awe then and still enamored with it today. It’s the majestic Angel Oak. The tree is a Southern Live Oak. It is estimated to be anywhere from 400 to 1400 years old. The Angel Oak stands 67 feet tall, the trunk is 28 feet in circumference and the longest of it’s branches is 187 feet.
Angel Oak was severely damaged during Hurricane Hugo but has since recovered. Signs are posted that prohibit anything being driven into the ground around the tree, no climbing nor sitting upon its branches and no dogs allowed near it. Those regulations weren’t in place when last we visited but we hope all precautions are taken to protect this treasure for future generations to appreciate.
Our stomachs were growling by this time so off we headed to Bessinger’s BBQ. Ron and Carol, an Indiana couple we met at Ocean Lakes told us about this restaurant. They have a friend that was born and raised in Charleston that recommended Bessinger’s to them. The following day I received my Passport America news letter in my email and one of the articles was titled “Carolina-style barbecue is a culture of its own”. Lo and behold, right there in the article, Bessinger’s was mentioned, voted best in state by the readers of South Carolina Magazine. It’s just a few miles down Savannah Hwy. (17) from us so how could we not check it out.
Don ordered the smoked turkey sandwich while I tried the Special of the Day, a pulled pork plate. The plate came with one side, my choice. One of the options was a single onion ring. Hmm, one onion ring? Only one? For a little extra, I could order four, so I did. I soon found out why ONE was considered a side. Nobody told me they’d be the size of a doughnut. But Oh My, they were good. I shared my four with Don, not because I wanted to, I had to. We were stuffed. Tucker got the other leftovers.
I dropped Don and Tucker off at the trailer to watch the Alabama Mississippi State football game, then went grocery shopping, alone. You can bet, groceries were less this week. Later, we made a quick Face Time call to our oldest daughter Kristi to wish her a happy 40th birthday. The technology available today is amazing. We love being able to see our children and grandchildren when we talk, we miss them very much.
Here’s lookin’ at you kid………………