For the last leg of our road trip, from Lex to Charleston, to Palm Shores, we left sunny Savannah via the Talmadge Memorial Bridge and headed to Beaufort, SC, for an overnight before going to Atlanta where we reconnected with one of Anita’s former students. En route, we stopped in Hilton Head as many friends have gone there often and we wondered what the attraction was. “Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” 😉 Too commercial, but the beaches are nice. We pulled into a gated community and parked at a construction site. I figured if anyone came along and asked, I would just say, “Well, Dave told me to look at the construction in progress and get back to him. Huh? Dave Mxyzptlk is NOT the owner? Sorry, I must have the wrong location.” 😅
The pier and beaches at Huntington State Park were also very nice, with a few fishermen on the pier. Beaufort is a beautiful little burg with its most notable fixture being the Spanish Moss Walk! When I first saw this in Charleston, I had called the affected vegetation, “Witches Trees” because they looked like something out of a Halloween movie. But this walk was several miles of the stuff!!
Along the way we saw this interesting truck out of Lawrenceville, before meeting up in Atlanta with Anita’s former student. His first stop with us was the famous Stone Mountain that enshrines Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis as “heroes” of the Confederate States of America. General Robert E. Lee (in the center) is the height of a nine story building and Jefferson Davis’ thumb (the first guy, holding his hat in hand) is the size of a couch! (Unlike the famous Buddhas destroyed in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2001, the 158 x 76 foot carving [48 X 23 meters] should remain as a piece of artwork; just give it some explanation and put it in historical context.)
The park atop the mountain is spectacular with its vistas of the surrounding forests and towns.
We headed back down the mountain and found “viewing” areas designated by states that had been part of the Confederacy. Again, no need to destroy the history, just put it in context and allow anyone attending concerts or venues on the grounds to sit anywhere, rather than preferential treatment based on when “their state” seceded.
From there we went to the Coca-Cola museum, where they refused to give us “original recipe” cola that was made with cocaine! 😂 Yes, folks, THAT was the original “kick” from Coca-Cola! The museum covered Coke through the ages from its inception in 1886 as a medicinal drink through the tumultuous 60s with Raquel Welch and The Real Thing. They even show you the vault where allegedly the real recipe for Coca-Cola is kept. (Of course, any chemist worth his salt could run a mass-spec on a sample and reproduce the formula; but then, Coke’s lawyers would see that he was in prison for the rest of his life with nothing to drink but the Italian apertif, Beverly! 😒 More on that below!)
The final venue in the museum was a “tasting room” where you could get your sugar high from sampling Coca-Cola products from around the world. There was one from Italy named Beverly that had to be the absolutely worst tasting … stuff… I have ever put in my mouth!! 🤢 I would say, “Don’t drink the Beverly,” but if you have not tasted it, you really don’t know what you are missing! And it is just a little sample; just don’t drink it LAST! Drink it first and then you can try to get rid of the flavor with all the other stuff. 😅
Our final stop was just up the street a few blocks: the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Not quite an “Eye of London,” but there is a cool Farris wheel that allows you to overlook the city.
And so ends our first road trip out of Lexington in two and a half years!! What a great time! 🤠