State Capital and a National Park
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Yep - you read that right - 5:30 a.m. - these dogs are getting up earlier and earlier! But it was a warm 54° so we went on a long walk and then I stayed outside with the dogs - reading my Bible, drinking coffee and watching the sunrise.
We were LAZY all morning. Even though it was an easy drive on Monday down to Columbia, we were just enjoying the beauty of this awesome state park - Dreher Island State Park.
We dined on eggs in a frame and yogurt for breakfast outside by the lake.
We got decent TV antennae reception and some satellite channels, so we watched the news and then caught up on some Youtubers - like Trent and Allie, Less Junk More Journey, and Keep Your Daydream.
I told you we were lazy! Finally by noon we decided on a game plan - we would drive 45 minutes to downtown Columbia, SC and see the state capitol building.
We have learned to first stop at the visitor's center - they have free maps and self-guided tours so you can see things you probably wouldn't even know about.
Google maps took us to the convention center downtown to where the visitor's center used to be. When we pulled up, we saw all these highway patrol cars and got a little nervous! We weren't too worried since they were all lined up - we figured if it was something really bad, they would be parked all over the place!
Turns out - it was a highway patrol graduation! That was pretty cool to see a small part of that!
After we got our free maps, we walked to a cute, little place I had read about online called Nonnah's. I had read that they had really good sandwiches and were known for their desserts. I had my first pimento cheese sandwich (when in the south!) and I loved it!
Even though Nonnah's had been voted Best Dessert in Columbia 19 years in a row, I could not even think about dessert after eating this yummy sandwich. And I didn't think it would survive the walk if I took some with us. Although I was so tempted!
We then enjoyed a quick walk up the street to the state capitol building. After getting my picture taken by the giant rooster (they are proud of their USC Gamecocks!), we took a quick tour of capitol. It was getting decked out for Christmas.
Check out the palm trees!
Here's a short video as we walked around the inside - it was so pretty!
They gave free guided tours every hour but we decided to go on to nearby Congaree National Park so we didn't have time to stay. That turned out to not be the best decision!
On the way we saw the huge Gamecock stadium!
The park was about 25 minutes from Columbia.
It's 20,000 acres of swamp and tall pines! We had never been to a place quite like it!
Here's a short video of our visit:
By the time we had finished walking the boardwalk, the sun was going down and the swamp critters were starting to become more vocal! We even heard two hoot owls!
So if you were reading closely, you may be wondering why it was not the best decision to visit this park. Well it had nothing to do with the park and everything to do with rush hour traffic. What should have taken us an hour to get back to our campground took us over two. It was awful!
Bless our little Google map app - it tried to help us by diverting us to different roads but honestly that just made things worse! Things got a little tense in the truck - I do most of the driving while we don't have the RV attached - the truck is huge and I don't feel real confident driving it, especially in bumper to bumper traffic.
But eventually we got home (to the RV)! We were going to grill a healthy dinner but ended up picking up Bojangles chicken on the way.
We spent the rest of the night (what was left) just recuperating!
Here's a breakdown of the costs for the day:
- Don't wait till noon to go exploring!
- Plan out your day - including travel time
- Don't try to cram everything into one day - spread it out over more than one day to enjoy everything
- DO NOT travel through a large city during rush hour - especially any time close to a major holiday!
By the end of the day, we got our humor back and are so thankful to be on this journey!
Wednesday we plan to take a little easier - get some groceries for Thanksgiving and watch the sun set over the lake.
Stay happy Campers!
Michele and Clinton