Next up, Savannah. It was a bittersweet 2.5 days there; sweet because it's all dressed up with cute little parks in each section of the city, and bitter, because it was raining 90% of the time I was there. Lots of the 'charm' in Charleston was in Savannah as well.
I arrived at my next host's place (who was amazing!) and decided to venture towards the river walk (where all of the touristy restaurants/bars are). I was greeted by the largest boat/tanker/whaling ship/etc.. I have ever laid my eyes on. It was mesmerizing watching this monster glide down the river, and I almost felt sorry for the water below carrying the big red beast.
For scale, check out the dark-spec in the opening below the "S"in WILHELMSEN. That's a person.
For a good part of my first full day in Savannah, I was able to walk around the Savannah Squares and take some time in Forsyth Park.
LOVE ME THAT SPANISH MOSS!
For lunch, I stopped by Zunzis and ordered 'The GodFather'. To add to the delicious sammy and David-approved portion, Zunzis gets a golden-star for their love of The Governator. You know, Ah-nold Schwarzenegger. My sandwich-wizard was in full Ah-nold speak with the guy in front of me in line. Thumbs up yo. I gave him a little bit of my impression as I thanked him for the meal.
But yes, most of my stay in Savannah was wet. That's ok. I had a chance to catch-up on The Walking Dead (Netflix show).
My next stop was Florida Caverns State Park. It was around 6:30 when I arrived at the park and the ranger asked me right away if I was on site 35. Yup! Love it. She even gave me my very-first, genuine, bonafide, "bless your heart".
After checking-in and setting up my tent, I needed a fire! I had a hell-of-a-time trying to find some wood for a campfire. Wouldn't you think most places would stock up on wood, given the location of the state park? Sheesh. Anywho, after visiting 5 stores with no luck, I settled on one of those firewood alternative logs. It did the job on my beans, so I was happy.
Beans and beef jerky for dinner. Very manly.
Sleep that night wasn't bad at all. My mattress consisted of 4 towels, the thin tarp of the tent and mother-earth. I packed some cheap blankets that did a decent job of keeping me warm throughout the night. I popped my ear-plugs in and knocked out.
After brushing my teeth.
Wake-up time was 6:00am... I was at the mercy of the sun, which I didn't mind much. That's one of the nice things about camping - it resets your circadian rhythm. The air was crisp and cool, and I sat on a bench sipping on hot coffee while the sun massaged my back with it's warmth. What a great morning
My shower buddy
I toured the caverns in the morning, and took a short hike around the visitor center. Most of the other extended hikes were flooded due to recent rain. Boo. And with rain, especially in this region, comes mosquitos ah-plenty. I already had a healthy nibbling in Savannah by my blood sucking friends, and I wasn't intent on sharing anymore of my life-force. So, I loaded up on DEET en route to the park.
Can you spot the butterfly below?
Lunch was at The Oaks Restaurant in Marianna, FL. You can't beat $8 for hush puppies, creamed corn, fried chicken/catfish/pork chops, salad bar, and banana puddin'. Mac (my server) was southern-nice, and made sure to keep my water glass full.
Other than Florida State Caverns Park, and The Oaks Restaurant, there isn't much to Marianna. Now I'm sitting in Arby's, charging my phone and typing away on my laptop since there aren't any Starbucks/Paneras/coffee shops for traveling vagrants like me.
Next up, Fort Walton Beach, Florida (pretty close to Pensacola/Destin).
Random pictures below - coffee sock (my host in Savannah used this to make delicious morning joe), grungy me and Duck Dynasty towels. I guess they're a big deal in Marianna.