Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina with My Parents, March 25-April 3, 2014

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This road trip was a nearly 2,000-mile roundtripper starting from my parents’ home in Norwalk, CT and traveling south to the charming southern cities of Savannah and Charleston.

Connecticut, and most of the Northeast, has been gripped by one of the worst winters on record. When we made these plans, back in January, we didn’t think spring would exactly be in full-swing, but we didn’t expect snow, cold and ice to follow us halfway into Virginia!

We left about five hours after I made it from my redeye flight from SFO to JFK up to Connecticut in an attempt to beat an incoming snowstorm. Only problem seemed to be that the snowstorm was coming in from Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey — all states we drove into on Day 1!

Day 2 saw us barely escape being victims in a 50-car pile up in West Virginia. Had Dad not insisted I drive us out of “bustling” Hagerstown, MD before changing drivers, who knows? But I count traveling with two 80-year-olds as a double good luck charm — and by the afternoon of Day 2 we started to see some spring buds and temperatures rising from the low-20s into the 40s. By Day 3 we’d be in Savannah — and the warm weather my parents had been looking forward to all winter was finally found.

Follow along in the typical “reverse” Tumblr fashion these road trips get recorded in when you make posts in the order they occur. Shown here, is Paul Bunyan with Babe the Blue Ox alongside Original Log Cabin Homes in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Those of you who remember the North Country road trip I did with my Dad in 2012 will recall our mini-Fargo-the-movie tour and aborted plans to go see Babe the Blue Ox in Brainerd, MN. That’s when we learned the statue had been moved to North Carolina.

Never actually gave it a second thought until we drove right by Paul and Babe off I-95 on the way to Savannah. But on the way back, both Mom and I remembered the site and were determined to find it. One wrong exit and a stumped local sheriff later we were trekking through the mud at high noon to get this shot. Ah, road trips! There is nothing like them.

Charleston, SC with my parents.

Clockwise from the top: Our hotel, the Francis Marion, named for the Revolutionary War general of the same name (also known as “the Swamp Fox”), was steeped in old school Southern Charm. The restaurant/bar is named the Swamp Fox and we had a few cocktails there, as well as a fabulous dinner. For me, a transplanted Californian, the three-course local farmer’s market meal was the way to go.

Next: Oysters (shown) and She-crab soup (doesn’t photograph well) are local delicacies. I also scored shrimp and grits for breakfast at a place called Hominy (where mom and dad got biscuits with their eggs - a real treat for us northern types).

Then: The Magnolia Cemetery was recommended by the New York Times "36 Hours in Charleston". It is on par with the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah and the St. Louis cemeteries in New Orleans. Southern gothic spiritual beauty.

Next: The folk art trail is mostly outside of Charleston, but I saw this doll in a window and took a photo. I did convince my parents to drive along the Sweetgrass Trail and we eventually found a woman selling traditional sweetgrass baskets from the back of her car along the side of the road. Score!

Then: I’m calling this shot “The Blind Tiger”, even if it isn’t.

Finally: What would a trip to the South be without spying a little King Cotton and getting scared sideways that you’re about to encounter a boll weevil!

My parents, enjoying various cocktails in the South.

My parents, enjoying various cocktails in the South.

Onto Charleston, SC in time for “brunch”. Bloody Mary’s with bacon, pimiento cheese with jalapeño on the side. (Not shown: burgers with more bacon and fried green tomatoes). If you’re ever in town, check out the Big Gun Burger Shop and Bar.

Bonaventure Cemetery, in full bloom.

The Traveller. Complimentary to-go cups for your drinks at Savannah’s bars and restaurants.

The Traveller. Complimentary to-go cups for your drinks at Savannah’s bars and restaurants.

Dad with Savannah’s favorite son - Johnny Mercer.

Dad with Savannah’s favorite son - Johnny Mercer.

Dad, Mom + southern fried chicken in Savannah = #winning! (I had the shrimp and grits).

Dad, Mom + southern fried chicken in Savannah = #winning! (I had the shrimp and grits).

Azaleas in bloom in lovely Savannah, Georgia.

Salt and pepper shaker souvenirs for sale at South Carolina rest stop. Did not buy them.

Salt and pepper shaker souvenirs for sale at South Carolina rest stop. Did not buy them.