April 1-15,2023 Florida and South Carolina

We arrived at the Cruise Port in Fort Lauderdale on the morning of April 1. It was a bit chaotic getting off the ship but once off we were able to hop in a taxi, then the train, then a ride to where the van was tucked away for 2 weeks in Port St. Lucie at my friend Lisa’s house. The next day we couldn’t wait to hit the road again and off we went. We decided to stop in Orlando for the Titanic Experience and Museum. Being we just got off a cruise, what better museum to check out.

It was an excellent museum. We learned a fun fact that the Titanic which was owned by white star was eventually sold to Cunard and Cunard was eventually bought out by Carnival Cruiseline. So the Titanic is a part of Carnival.

We were happy to see that Diesel prices have dropped while we were on the ship by 70 cents so that was a nice surprise. We filled up the tank then went food shopping and then off to our first stop for April at the Cracker Barrel. We went in for some dinner which after a full two weeks of cruise food, the Cracker Barrel was kind of nice to just have some regular American fare.

We had a nice nights rest and then headed to Daytona Beach for the day. We paid 20 dollars to drive the van on the beach. The guy in the toll booth was a bit of a jerk and didn’t believe us that we had 4 wheel drive and insisted that we were gonna get stuck. He was relentless!! He finally took our money after we agreed to not ask for it back when we get stuck. He totally freaked me out and I was second guessing the vans ability to drive on the beach. Off we went and the beach was so ridiculously hard packed that anyone with a regular car could have driven on it. It was joke!! We actually saw tons of sedans driving by. I’m not sure why he was so against us. He insisted that vans can’t handle the sand. Sure, maybe vans that don’t have 4 wheel drive but we had no issues whatsoever.

While on the beach, we made a reservation at the Tomoka State Park that was about 30 minutes away. we settled in at site 62 and then went on a nice bike ride down by the river.

Next day we traveled on and found a nice location ran by Harvest Host called Hallies Landing. It was a nice spot overlooking a lake with Giant Old Live Oaks. It was just us and a schoolie. we had a nice lunch and some icecream at the roadside cafe which was a part of the Harvest Host attraction. We took a nice walk around the lake and then settled in for a peaceful nights sleep.

From there we did a pretty long drive all the way to Hilton Head, South Carolina. I had never been there before but had heard about it and Greg’s friend from the cruise was performing in Hilton Head so we decided to go and meet up with him and watch the show. This is his 46th year performing this show under the Live Oak Tree by the lighthouse. It was an interactive childrens show but plenty of humor for the adults and it was PACKED with people. We were so lucky to get a spot in the parking lot.

After the show we headed to Cracker Barrel. Hilton is not conducive to overnight Van life so we had a 30 minute drive in the dark. We never really ever drive in the dark. It’s a whole nother world out there night driving. We made it in one piece, pulled alongside the other campers and had a nice nights sleep. I took a morning walk and Greg went inside for breakfast and then we headed out to a fishing pier in Beaufort. Spent most of the day here before heading on to meet some Raquette Lake friends in town.

We had a nice lunch with Mindy and Beeba at a Panini place overlooking the water. Greg loves Paninis but has yet to find a place as good as the Caboose in Inlet, the next town over from where we live in Raquette. It was a beautiful breeze and a great visit.

Being that it’s spring break we have been having a tough time trying to book a State Park Campground so we decided to head away from the ocean to see if we have better luck inland. We drove about 40 minutes north to a Cracker Barrel off of 95

We managed to book a State Park for the next 2 nights for only $30 a night which is super reasonable. Unfortunately for us it rained most every second of the weekend which probably was why we were able to get a spot at Barnwell State Park.

We left there on Easter Sunday. The closest church was 45 minutes away but it was on the way to another State Park. So I was able to go to Mass and then continue on to another campground in the woods. Santee State Park is right on a lake and boy was it windy and cold. After the rain passed by, a cold front moved in. We were still able to get out and explore and went on a short hike where we saw about 20 turtles sunning themselves and a huge 20foot alligator as well.

We headed back towards the coast and found a nice RV resort on Passport America which is another membership club we belong to that gives us a 50% discount. Sometimes these fancy places give us a hard time because we are a self build but this place welcomed us and all was well. The resort is in the middle of the town and what a great town it was. Very artsy with sculptures and painted buildings everywhere. Lots of art galleries and boutiques all within walking distance of the RV resort. I highly recommend this town, Lake City, SC, if ever passing through.

We headed into Conway, SC next and decided to do the RiverWalk. It was so nice. I wish it was a little longer but still it was wonderful. We found a couple of Conway rocks along the way and also had a little lunch before moving on.

From there we headed to the Coastal Carolina University. Such a beautiful campus. We were going to play a little Disc Golf there but then voted to just sit around and do nothing instead. We basically were killing time before heading to the Conway Hospital for a good nights sleep in their Emergency Room Parking lot. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t realize that we parked right next to the Heliport and two very loud helicopters actually landed that night. Fortunately for us, we weren’t the passenger in that needed to be transported.

Next morning we headed off to see my cousin Steve’s new house in Littke River SC. What a place!!! It’s right on the Intercoastal and he even has a boat slip and a beautiful boat which was such a bonus. We were able to fit the van in his nice and level driveway and enjoy some awesome time with him. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect because my other cousin Sallyann and Dan were coming for a visit the very same day!!! Spending time with them was so amazing!! There’s nothing like cousins, my first childhood friends. I’m so lucky to be able to hang out with 2 of the 6 most amazing cousins.

We did a bunch of Touristy things and it was fantastic to be a tourist on vacation in this area. We took the boat to Barefoot Landing, we explored parts of Myrtle beach and Murrells Inlet and a Paulie Island. each day was packed with fun! Lots of wildlife where he lives too. We saw a fox and a bald Eagle.

Today we head to an outdoor rock concert at the local winery and probably tomorrow we will hit the road again.

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