Travelling and staying dry.....

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End Sep 01, 2012

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South of the Border

Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another early morning wake-up for us all in the tent. We had showered the night before and all had a pleasant and quiet night's sleep. Another breakfast of cheerios and museli (can you sense a theme for the kids yet?) and while the kids scootered, Tim and Jess packed up the tent and Odie and got ready to head out. We had to chase a young deer away from the campsite multiple times. (Do you think some people ignored the "Don't feed the wildlife" signs?) We got on the road by 8am and we were on our way to South of the Border, a tourist trap that we had been told about by a friend in Hawaii. We had decided that we take Jess to this destination for a Mother's Day treat. We pulled off the highway and were inundated by the signs for South of The Border. There was a t-shirt store, a reptile lagoon, 4 restaurants, a hat store, an arcade, an amusement park and....
When we investigated the different stores we realised that this was clearly a place that had been popular and compelling at one point, but now appeared to be winding down and perhaps not as profitable and well-run as it had been once. Nevertheless, we took Jess to the Diner for a lunch and after exploring a few shops it was time to hit the road and head for the Congaree National Park.
True to our form over the last few days, as we pulled into the Park visitor center, the rain started pouring down. Those of you from NZ will appreciate it when we describe it as West Coast rain!!! We thoroughly explored the visitor center, got the activity books for the kids to complete in order to become Junior Rangers and had a good conversation with the rangers. It was then time to pull out and head for the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park campground where cabins were available to rent. We certainly did not fancy pitching the tent in the deluge, which coincidentally ended up being the first rain they had had in the region for quite some time. However, when we rang to confirm availability of the cabins, we were informed that they were only available for 2 nights!?!?!?! Despite trying to explain our situation, the lady on the other end of the phone (imagine a strong southern accent here) repeated over and over again and often while interrupting me....."Sir, the cabins are only available for 2 nights at a time!"
Well now what? All of the state parks were too far away to get to and the hotels in the area way too expensive, besides we had all of our food bought and organised to cook for dinner. So, while sitting outside the 'wash n' suds' laundromat which advertised free wifi, we stumbled across a chain of hotels called "Extended Stay Hotels". We rang the 1-800 number and found a place nearby, which cost less than the cabins at Jellystone (screw you Yogi Bear!) and had beds and a kitchen!!!! We moved in at 7pm and had a lovely tea, did all of our laundry and slept in nice warm beds. Jess kept saying; "I can't believe we're sleeping in an actual, real bed!"
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Lucas on

When are you guys gonna be here?? Lily and Eli - looks like you are having a good time. I like the picture of the poison dart frog!

Love Lucas

Felix on

I like the picture of the ponies. I like the popsicle pictures. I like the tiger shark. Love from Felix

h.o.t. on

Hi Lucas, mum and dad said we are going to visit you in late June or maybe you can meet us and camp with us?
We are going across the bottom/middle of the USA and then up the West Coast.
Will see you soon. love Lily and Eli

h.o.t. on

Hi Felix,
Mum has sent you a postcard of the ponies as we know you like them.Our favourite animal we have seen so far is a Bobcat.
Eli really likes the turtles.
See you soon.
Love Lily and Eli

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