Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Final Highlights

I'm back with more highlights of our motorcycle adventure to the east. Hopefully you haven't grown too bored with reading about our trip. We actually did see more than just motorcycles!

While in Myrtle Beach we took a day trip to Charleston, South Carolina. I wish we could have spent a little more time in this interesting city. We spent a few days here several years ago and have always said we'd like to go back. Riding along on the motorcycle gives me a chance to take photos that I couldn't get riding in a car. This shot is looking up as we drove across the Ravenel Bridge. I love these beautiful homes along the Battery. The iron fences and gates that surround them are all quite unique.
Every time I see one of these ladies with her sweetgrass baskets, I think I should buy one for a souveneir. But I haven't, yet! This time our space was limited so that was my excuse.
We didn't get to do a plantation tour but did drive out to Magnolia Plantation and walk through the Audobon Swamp Garden. It was nice to get off of the Harley and stretch our legs.
This guy really wasn't sunning himself this close to the path. Just looks that way with the zoom and a little creative cropping!Can you spot the long necked birds in the tree amongst the spanish moss? Does anyone know what they are?
When we left Myrtle Beach on Wednesday, we headed across South Carolina and up through North Carolina to Boone. This was one of the longest days of riding but we managed to find our way despite a GPS that has East and West and Left and Right mixed up some of the time! Some times you just can't beat a good map! We spent the night in Boone, NC so we could head north on the Blue Ridge Parkway the next morning. We made a quick tour through Blowing Rock, NC. This is another little mountain town that would be a great place to spend a day or two. It looked like there were lots of interesting shops and bed and breakfasts . Bob Timberlake has a gallery there, but "someone" wouldn't let me stop to shop!
The Northern part of the Blue Ridge Parkway is quite a nice ride but not as high and winding as the Southern section. The skies were overcast for much of our drive but we were still able to enjoy the scenery. This must be where a good portion of the Christmas tree crop is grown. There were many tree farms of evergreens and other landscape shrubery.
One of the higher vistas. Up above the clouds but that's why they call these the Smokies!
Pretty trees in bloom ( a dogwood, I think) against the split rail fences.
As we traveled into Virginia, we passed one of the most photographed locations on the Parkway, Mabry Mill. This kind of looks like the photos you find on those free calendars we used to get from the bank! I made my driver stop for this one - no photography on the move here!
A short side trip off of the Parkway is the town of Mt. Airy, NC. This is the home of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for Mayberry. We didn't spend a lot of time here, but did have lunch at Aunt Bea's Restaurant (see food photo below!) and stop to take my dorky picture next to dorky Barney Fife!

Roanoke, VA was our destination for Thursday night. We left the Parkway and headed up to I-64 through Clifton Forge where we found a wonderful local art and craft gallery and were given directions to another much photographed spot. This is the Hump Backed Bridge on the old Midland Trail.
We saw our fair share of logging trucks on this trip. Many in SC but this one was in VA.
Our wettest day of travel was Friday as we approached our last overnight stop in Charleston, West Virginia. I didn't take any photos since I was trying to keep my camera dry. We stopped in Lewiston at a cute little cafe downtown for lunch (see food photo below!) then decided we should don our Frog Toggs before going further. Good thing we did, but at least it was only a light rain and no downpour. We stayed dry in our rain suits, but riding in the rain on the interstate highway, passing semi trucks was my least favorite part of the trip!

Our last day on the road we made a only a couple of stops. Blenko Glass in Milton, VA wasn't giving tours on Saturday but we did stop at their store and display area. (He did let me buy something here- guess I should have taken a photo of the water jug I bought! - but I had to hold my purse the rest of the way home so we'd have room!)

So, we made it home safe and sound as you know! Now we're trying to figure out where the next trip will take us!

As I promised some of you, here are the food photos! One of D's favorite italian dishes is fruta del mar and if it's available, he'll always order it. While in Myrtle Beach, we found a small Italian restaurant out in the suburbs away from all the hectic activity. We all had a nice relaxing meal.

This is Aunt B's Restaurant's barbeque. It doesn't look like much, but probably one of our favorite meals of the trip. Those are hush puppies along with the fries and cole slaw. The slaw was good and really different from anything I've ever had before. It had some type of red vinegar dressing. If anyone knows a similar recipe, let me know.
The little coffeeshop/cafe in Lewiston had the BEST coconut cream cake! Wish I could remember the name of the place! Lewiston looks like it could be a fun place to spend some time too. Especially for antique lovers.
Our last meal on the road was at this busy little local eatery near Midland, KY. I didn't get a photo of the wonderful real hamburgers we enjoyed - I was afraid the locals would give us more suspicous looks. Well, that's that! I've still got more photos, but unless I'm in need of some blogging material this will be all for this trip! I hope you enjoyed riding along, come by again!


JD said...

I love the food pictures! Man, I could go for some good bbq. That will be what we have to do when we come visit you next.

Anonymous said...

Great photos! Looks like you have a terrific trip. I live in Mount Airy and glad you stopped in to see our unique little town ... and hope you come back.

Janet said...

I know you and several others enjoy the food pics! It's become an obsession when we go out to eat now. Funny though, when we were in Charleston SC we ate at the Noisy Oyster. I forgot to take a photo until I saw the man at the table next to us photographing his meal! By then our sandwiches were too mutilated to be photogenic!

Thanks for stopping by anonymous! Wish we would have spent more time in your hometown. We love that part of the country so I'm sure we'll be back someday! I forgot to mention that we saw the old sheriff's car cruising the street but I wasn't fast enough with the camera. I did buy a t-shirt for a Mayberry fan friend.

Thimbleanna said...

Wow! You trip looks awesome -- what fun you must've had. I love summer and vacations and a motorcycle trip seems like the only way to "see the USA"! And thanks for your nice wedding comments on my blog!

Rhonda and Allyn said...

Janet, I loved reading about your trip. You have gone to some of our most favorite places and it brought back good memories. Great pics too! Wish we could have seen you down at bike week!!


Janet said...

Hi Rhonda ! Did you guys have fun at Myrtle Beach too? Too bad we couldn't coordinate our visits -maybe next time! We love your neck of the woods. You'll have to let us know some other great places to stop next time we're on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Lucy said...

Wow - that was quite a trip on a bike! Good for you. Reading your report was like Deja Vu -- we've been to most of those exact places. And - hey I'm trying to figure out how in the world you took that picture of the bridge. Great shot!

Janet said...

Thanks Lucy ! My husband hasn't figured out how I took that photo either. He thought maybe I leaned over backwards! But I just kind of put my arms over my head and started snapping photos, hoping one would turn out! And it did!