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S: Florida & Hilton Head Island, South Carolina October 2011

FC: 75 | 35E | 494 | 94 | 90 | 39 | 74 | 24 | 95 | 57 | 278 | 16 | STATE 64 | 301

1: We bought a 2011 Honda Accord in May with the plan that we would be driving it to Florida in October. Early in the morning on September 29, we left Burnsville and headed south.

2: The trees in MN and WI on the way down to Florida were beginning to "show their colors".

4: This cross is beside I-57 in Effingham, Il. It was completed in July 2001 at a cost of over $1,000,000. It stands 198 feet high. The cross arms spans 113 feet. Nearly 34 tons of reinforced steel footings and 848 cubic yards of concrete make up the foundation. It was AWESOME!

5: After 1600 miles, we arrived at The Penthouse of Gulf Stream around noon. It was a small but beautiful resort and was directly across the wooden bridge from the ocean. We stayed here for a week. | FLORIDA

6: The grounds at Gulf Stream were beautiful. This was in back of the complex which overlooked the east side of the island.

8: The "flora and fauna" were beautiful. I even caught a bird carrying a fish home for dinner!

9: This area had lounge chairs, BBQ grills and many picnic tables. It was a very peaceful setting.

10: Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island

11: Getting set up | OOPS! A little windy!

13: UNENDING BEAUTY

14: Wayne sat and waited for the free trolley that took us the length of the island. We only used our car once the entire week.

15: "DRUMMING DOWN THE SUN About 30 minutes before the sun went down, we went to Manatee Beach. We were given five gallon pails and drum sticks to "drum down the sun". FUN!!

16: Manatee Beach

17: Anna Maria City Pier This pier was at the north end of Anna Maria Island. Many fishermen used this pier.

19: Lido Beach Sarasota, Florida

21: St. Armands Circle is a beautiful upscale shopping area on Long Boat Key which is south of Anna Maria Island.

22: Window Shopping

23: This completed our first week in Florida. The weather was beautiful the whole time. It was our first time on Anna Maria Island and we loved it. The island is small and friendly. The beaches were beautiful with soft white sand. We left Anna Maria on Saturday, October 8th, and drove less than two hours south to Port Charlotte.

24: Charlotte Bay Resort in Port Charlotte We have owned timeshares here since 1988. We had five at one time but now we have two left.

25: Across the street from the resort is a beautiful park located on the Peace River in Charlotte Harbor.

26: We went to Cypress Point Environmental Center in Englewood. We took a walk in the woods. The "flora and fauna" were beautiful....from moss laden trees to a turtle and a bald eagle.

27: Searching for shark's teeth on Englewood Beach

28: WE spent two weeks in Port Charlotte. It rained for 12 of the 14 days we were there! We never have had such bad weather but we were still able to get outside because it was warm. Of course, I spent a lot of time shopping at Bealls!

29: On Saturday, October 22nd we left Port Charlotte and drove about seven hours north to Hilton Head Island, SC. We had a beautiful two bedroom condo overlooking a complete forest in the back.

30: When we were biking, we came across these alligators "sunning" themselves. They didn't seem to be bothered by us.....thank goodness!

31: The local people think that these alligators are "small". They only get concerned when they become about 12 feet! They were big enough for me! | A BIG "GATOR"

32: Our condo was about three blocks from the ocean so we had to take our bikes through a small wooded area and up the stairs to get to the beach.

33: One day at low tide we rode to the north end of the island which was about six miles. As we rode along, we had dolphins swimming within ten yards of us. Also, because of the low tide, there were hundreds of sand dollars on the beach.

34: One of the best things about Hilton Head is that everyone rides bikes on the beach at low tide. Sometimes there were streams of water we had to cross. This was an unusually large area and the water was about eight inches deep. Wayne tried it first and didn't quite make it. OOPS!!

35: Ready... | Set... | GO, GO | GO! | I MADE IT! | After watching Wayne, I decided to take off my shoes and socks and try to get across. I got a running start and pedaled HARD. There were no fenders on the bike and I was very wet and dirty but I managed to get across.

36: We got up early one morning to watch sunrise. It was spectacular!

40: Harbor Town Lighthouse was at the north end of the island. It has been turned into a museum. At the top, there is a great view of one of many golf courses on the island.

41: One day we took a side trip to Beaufort, SC. Many of these homes were built before the Civil War. The Union controlled Beaufort and the harbor. The homes were preserved because there was never any fighting in the area.

42: Beaufort is a very patriotic city. Many homes displayed the flag on their front porch. The trees were huge and most of them hung with moss as they canopied the streets.

43: These churches were restored and are still being used today.

44: After our walking tour of Beaufort, we had lunch across from this beautiful park

45: Union Cemetery in Beaufort, SC

46: We went to a timeshare presentation at Port O' Call and received two tickets for a tour of Savannah, Georgia. We took this trolley tour through the historical area of the city. We got on and off frequently. It took us about five hours to see the sites.

47: We had lunch at a sidewalk café in the City Market in Savannah. It was also a great "people watching" spot!

49: The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Georgia. The cathedral was dedicated in April 1876. A fire in 1898 destroyed much of the structure. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1900. Another major restoration took place in 2000.

51: Across the street from where we ate in Savannah, was a "taffy factory". We went in and saw how they made the taffy. The machine was over 100 years old and broke down many times as we watched. After the taffy was made and wrapped, it went onto a conveyor belt into another room and was dropped into this big tub.

52: Riverfront Shopping

53: The Savannah River divides Georgia from South Carolina.

55: This is one of many parks in Savannah. It was large and beautiful.

56: A memorial to the Confederate soldiers.

57: An old fort in Savannah

58: We were on Hilton Head Island for one week. We spent one day touring Beaufort and Port Royal, one day in Savannah, Georgia and the remaining five days exploring the island. For three days, we rented bikes and rode on the beach. We were fortunate to stay in the middle of the island so one day we would ride north for 6 miles and the next day we would ride south for 6 miles. The sand was "rock hard" when the tide was out and everyone was on bikes. The island also had many miles of bike paths. One of the things that frustrated us about the island was the fact that they had very few street signs and when we did see them, they were covered with the trees that canopied the streets. We got lost several times as a result! We did love the island and would like to return someday.

59: 4,450 miles MPG 34.2 Gone for 31 days It was a great trip!

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