|Coligny Beach on Hilton Head|
After another great breakfast we headed north to check out a couple of famous beach areas we’ve never visited. First up was Hilton Head Island. Hilton Head is only 45 minutes from Savannah and the it’s a beautiful drive to get there as you travel amid the marshes and savannas of South Carolina.
Hilton Head is very subdued with little commercialization. The main beach is Coligny Beach where you’ll find easy walkways over the dunes and onto the hard-packed beach. The beach is hard enough that you can ride bikes through the surf. It’s beautiful and we enjoyed a nice walk on the beach searching for shells and doing a little people watching.
Next up was Myrtle Beach. This place is totally different from Hilton Head. There’s a boardwalk along the dunes and next to the boardwalk are about 100 tee shirt shops, bars, restaurants, a huge Ferris Wheel and crowds of people. This extends for blocks in each direction. We parked next to the Ferris Wheel, paying $7 per hour for the privilege.
|Myrtle Beach from Pier 14|
We walked the boardwalk for a while and visited Pier 14 where there were several fishermen catching small fish to use as shark bait…on that same pier. They fish for sharks just a few yards from where hundreds are playing in the water.
DC was next and we stayed with the same friends we stayed with last year, Pete and Margaret. Wednesday was a site-seeing day, but this time we weren’t visiting the monuments. Instead, Margaret, Mona and I drove towards the Shenandoah River to visit some Civil War sites. First up, Manassas; which is the site of two major Civil War battles: The Battle of Bull Run and the Second Battle of Bull Run. This park covers over 5000 acres and there are many relics from the battles, as well as many graves. There were over 20,000 casualties in these battles, making this a very somber place to visit.
|Harper’s Ferry West Virginia|
We then drove about an hour north to visit Harper’s Ferry. This is a small West Virginia peninsula, formed by the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. It’s beautiful and serene today, but in the mid 1800s it was a bustling industrial city with water-powered factories building munitions. There was also a major armory there, which John Brown attacked in 1859 hoping to incite a revolution among slaves throughout the south. John Brown’s raid failed, but it was a major incident leading to the Civil War.
|The View from Hillsborough Vineyard|
In the afternoon, we visited a couple of Virginia wineries. Surprising to us, there are about 100 vineyards in this part of Virginia, growing many of the same grapes you see in California and France. Our last stop of the day was Hillsborough Vineyards, situated high on a hill overlooking the valley below and the mountains along the Shenandoah. After tasting, we bought a bottle of wine, some crackers and some cheese. We then sat outside to sip and enjoy the incredible view.
Not long after we were seated an elderly gentleman walked by our table and greeted us a he walked by. We could tell he was alone so we invited him to sit with us. After introductions (his name was Warren) we told how we came to be there and asked him what brought him to the winery. He explained that he lived about a mile away and this was his and his wife’s favorite spot. His wife died about 8 months ago and this would have been her birthday. He was here for her birthday. After a few tears we all toasted her and then enjoyed a wonderful evening with delightful Warren.
This was a wonderful trip and it was so good to end it with our good friends in D.C. We can’t wait to go back for more visits!