Georgia

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The Georgia State Line sign!  This was sign #36, working our way up to 50!  We didn’t get this one going in, it had to be done on our way home.  There was no sign on our entry into Georgia unfortunately.  This sign is located on I 75 north leaving Florida. A real easy spot to pull over, traffic not too bad.

We had such a great experience in the state of Georgia that we are looking forward to coming back very soon. It is a “Georgia”ous state.

National Park Service Sites we visited in Georgia:

Fort Frederica National Monument

Fort Pulaski National Monument

We spent our time located in Savannah, Georgia.  This had always been a bucket list destination and it didn’t disappoint us.  We loved everything about this town.

After hitting Fort Pulaski we spent our afternoon out at Tybee Island, the weather was perfect for a little dip or just hanging out on the beach enjoying the sun.  Kids and I hung out on the beach while Dad went and got the car fixed, it seems every spring break we need a new hub assembly.  This worked out perfectly.  It was a gorgeous day, we really lucked out.

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We headed back to Savannah to walk the town, it was St. Patrick’s day and it was hopping downtown.  We took in all the shops, sampled the Georgia drinks and listened to some great music all outside. AMAZING!

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We hit up the Pirate house for dinner and had a blast there! Great food and drinks. One of the waiters spent his summers where we live at. What a small world.  Gunnar really got into and enjoyed this place!

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We did the evening Ghost tour, I think this is a must in Savannah.  Can you actually go here and not do this?  We had a blast on this tour, there are so many to choose from but it looks like they all hit pretty much the same places.  Here are the only 2 places that I took pictures at.  Hard to get pictures at night.  I do recommend doing a ghost tour even if you think its dumb it is fun.

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The last day before leaving we hit River Street, took in the wonderful food they had and just walked around and shopped.

Last but not least was a trip to Forsyth Park.  We needed a couple of family pictures of our time here.  If you hit this park at 7 am NOBODY is there.  Worked out perfect for us.

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That’s a wrap on Georgia.  We will be back to see what else this great state has.  We loved what we did on this trip. The South is a great place to be.  We are heading to Florida! Check back soon and thanks for stopping by. Have you been to Savannah?  Did you love it as much as us?

Fort Frederica National Monument

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Visited: March 2019

Duration: 2-3 hours

Accommodations: Savannah, GA on the way to St. Mary’s, GA

We are heading south after a few beautiful days in Savannah, GA.  You can see what we did in Savannah over St. Patrick’s day on the Georgia blog (coming tomorrow), we had a fabulous time in that town. I highly recommend it.

Traveling south towards Florida but we still have some Georgia sites to hit.  Fort Frederica was one of them.  We had heard that this place has an award winning Junior Ranger book and they were not joking.  This book was the best Junior Ranger we have done to date.  I think we are at about 90, so this is quite impressive!  It was a pop up book and you followed the townspeople around the town and helped them hold off the Spanish.

To start the adventure we stopped in the visitor center and were given the Junior Ranger books, a hat and a haversack full of items to help the townspeople.

 

We were off. The site of Fort Frederica was well chosen. The army put this fort in an area that is easy to defend and would give the enemy as much trouble as possible.  If the Spanish wanted to attack the more valuable settlements of Charles Town and Port Royal in South Carolina they had to deal with Frederica first.

The Junior Ranger Adventure Booklet held 11 stops/tasks for the boys.  Is it really a task when you are having fun? Here are the boys going through the park and helping the townspeople of Frederica.

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While they finished up their booklets Chris and I walked the grounds and enjoyed how peaceful and gorgeous the park was.

We went back to the visitor center to receive our Fort Frederica Junior Ranger badges.  Bonus:  You could earn a Master Junior Ranger Patch if you complete Fort Frederica Junior Ranger plus Underwater Explorer and Junior Archaeologist Junior Rangers.  We worked on the 2 extra ones on our road trip in the car and had them done when we arrived. Always plan ahead!

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Lots of items earned here and a great Visitor Center to explore. Look at all our goodies.

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What an amazing National Park Service Site!! Enjoyed our time here and was one of the  highlights of our expedition. We are off to St. Mary’s, GA now.  Lets see what we can explore there.

Thanks for visiting.

Fort Pulaski National Monument

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Visited: March 2019

Duration: 1/2 day

Accommodations: Downtown Savannah, GA

Fort Pulaski is Civil War stop #4 on our Spring Break Civil War Expedition!  I can’t say enough great things about our experience here.  It was by far the best stop on our whole trip.  The secret?  Our Ranger guided tour of the fort.  I will need to admit that this is by far the best ranger program from the 90 National Park Service Sites we have visited.  I really don’t remember the Ranger’s name (sorry), but he was top notch.  If you can interest a 13 and an 11 year old for an hour on history, you have my vote.  We were all wanting more when the tour was done (that is a hard task to accomplish).

The tour started in the chapel and continued clockwise around the fort.  The ranger explained every type of canon, how they were used and manned, all about the ammunition and which was the best at its job.  These cannons were built to sink ships and that is what they did best. Now for photo overload because this place was not only interesting but gorgeous!

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Our Fantastic Ranger led program

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Looking out toward the ocean
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View of the interior of the fort from the top level

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View to the North
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Gunnar working on his Junior Ranger in the courtyard
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The Moat

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The entrance to the Fort

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Gorgeous grounds around the Fort

We really enjoyed our time here.  Now we are heading to the beach to enjoy some fun in the sun.  We went back to the visitor center to earn our Junior Ranger badges.  This is where we were awarded our Civil War Historian patch for completely 3 Civil War Junior Rangers.  Pretty cool.  The concludes the Civil war part of the trip we will be moving on to the Spanish invasion from here to the end.  I hope you enjoy our stops so far.

Next stop (after Tybee Island) is Fort Frederica.  We can’t wait.

South Carolina

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South Carolina!!! State line sign #34 for us.  This sign is apparently a big “hit”.  Not sure what happened but I am assuming someone didn’t see it and ran right into it??  This sign was at the Landrum Welcome Center on I-26 South and let’s hope it is fixed by now.

We did several things while in South Carolina and we loved it!  What a great state to spend part of our Spring Break in!

National Park Service sites visited:

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site

Fort Moultrie

Fort Sumter National Monument

I think the most entertaining thing we did was to book a charter through Absolute Reel Screamer Charters. We booked the Private dolphin watch, lighthouse and ecological boat tour and there were no disappointments. What a fun day we all had.  I can’t believe how much we learned. We met our guide Gresh at Folly Beach.  He warned us it was going to be a cool one so we dressed in layers.

Gresh was awesome, he was really laid back and answered the million questions my husband had for him.  First stop was showing us how the oysters grew on the shore.  Being from Iowa we were clueless on this so it was very cool to us.  We wouldn’t have even know it was oysters by looking at it. Check it out.

We then headed out to Morris Island, this is where the movie Glory was filmed for the Fort Wagner events that took place.  Our oldest was just watching that movie in American History class and loved this part of the tour.  We were able to get out and walk on the beach where Gresh showed us that you can still find shells, bullets found from the Civil war, jellyfish that have washed up and lots of other good things. See below for the goodies Gunnar found.

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Hunter in front of “Fort Wagner” from the movie Glory

We walked the island looking for finds and Gunnar made out the best.  He found a shark tooth and a sloth claw from the ice age.  Needless to say he was excited about this.

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Gresh took our photo in front of the Morris Island lighthouse and did a fabulous job.  What a great guy.

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All the while on the boat we had a spectacular display of dolphins.  I have so many videos it is unreal, they were right next to us.  This was my highlight.

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I cannot recommend this tour enough. If you are in the Charleston area, it is a great half day adventure.

We headed back to Charleston and grabbed some dinner at a fantastic restaurant, Fleet Landing.  While we waited, the kids played bags and we had some interesting conversations with some really fun people in town from North Carolina.  Food was great!

We hit the City Market for some shopping, it was super packed and I just couldn’t find anything that I couldn’t live without,  except for a shot glass and a magnet. The best part of the trip to City market was the bike taxi we took to get back to our car.  What a great idea, we loved this!

 

We then wandered down the road and hit Waterfront park with its beautiful water fountains and went down the way to Rainbow Row.

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We did everything we wanted to do on this trip to Charleston.  What an amazing place to be. So much history and beauty. This is going on my list of places to revisit. We loved it.  Have you been to Charleston?  What did you love about it? I would love to hear of more things to do.

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site

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Visited: March 2019

Duration: 1/2 day

Accommodations: Charleston, South Carolina

 

The last stop we have in Charleston was to Charles Pinckney National Historic Site.  What a beautiful place.  We enjoyed this short stop and had a great time working on the Junior Ranger books on the back porch of the house, so peaceful.

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Charles Pinckney was important to the state of South Carolina because he served as the governor, as a US senator and was Thomas Jefferson’s South Carolina campaign manager. He was also one of the delegates that signed the Constitution. This site is a small portion of the property know as the Snee farm, that Charles inherited from his father.

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Here at the site you can sign your own name to the Constitution 🙂

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After finishing up we walked the path that leads around the farm. It is gorgeous.

Back in to the Visitor Center to earn our badges and get our passports stamped.

What a fantastic stop.  We are off to Savannah, Georgia.  Check back for more updates from our National Park Trip Season 4 Spring Break Trip! Thanks for stopping by.

Fort Sumter National Monument

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Visited: March 2019

Duration: 1/2 day

Accommodations: Charleston, SC

Civil War stop #2 on our Spring Break Civil War Expedition was Fort Sumter. What a great place.  We stopped in the visitor center in downtown Charleston and signed up for the last ferry ride of the day.  On the ferry the kids worked on their Junior Rangers (just about all of the answers are in the talk during the ride out to the island. (FYI)

When arriving at the island we did a self guided tour (remember to grab a guide).  We also were able to witness and volunteer for the lowering of the flag. Here we listened to a talk about all of the flags that have flown over Fort Sumter; The 33 star, The 35 star, the Flag of the Palmetto Guard, the South Carolina state flag and The Stars and Bars.  If you can I suggest doing the last tour of the day, you don’t want to miss this.

We walked around the rest of the fort looking at the cannons and enjoying the displays inside the visitor center.

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The kids earned their Junior Rangers at the island and that was a wrap! What a great day!

Another Civil war site down and much more to go.  Junior Ranger badges earned and Passport Stamp received.

Until the next time, join us tomorrow when we visit Charles Pinckney and find out how he fits in to South Carolina history. Thanks for visiting.

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Fort Moultrie National Monument

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Visited: March 2019

Duration: 1/2 day

Accommodations: Downtown Charleston

National Park Trip Season 4- Spring Break Edition is on!  The first half will be a Civil War Expedition and will end with the Spanish Inquisition of Florida. Lets hope for some warm weather for these frigid Iowans along our route.

First stop was Fort Moultrie National Monument located in Sullivan’s Island, SC. This place was small but great.  We lucked out as well, they are teaming up with Fort Sumter and the Junior Ranger badges for this place will be non-existent soon.  We grabbed some Junior Ranger booklets and headed out to the fort for a self guided tour.

There are 10 stops along the self-guided tour. Fort Moultrie has been built 3 times; once in 1776 to protect Charleston from the British, once in 1794 then destroyed by a hurricane in 1804 and the final time in 1809 serving as a fort up to the Civil War.

1st stop is World War 2.

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This is the Harbor Entrance Control Post, completed in 1944 it coordinated all of the harbor defenses around Charleston.

Stop #2 Harbor Defense 1898-1939

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Battery Bingham and Battery McCorkie were designed to protect the mine field at the entrance to Charleston harbor and to act in conjunction with other batteries on Sullivans island and at Fort Sumter.

Stop #3

1870’s Modernization- after the Civil War the fort was renovated applying concepts learned during that conflict. These weapons located here represent Fort Moultrie in the period from 1873-1898.

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Stop #4 Civil War

Great technological changes in coastal defense weapons occurred during this era. Canons at this site represent the alterations made here.

Stop #5 Fort Moultrie III

From 1809-1860 the fort changed little. This section represents the 3rd fort from its construction to the eve of the Civil War.

Stop #6 Fort Moultrie II

1794-1801 the fort was built in response to disagreements with France. It was an important as a part of the First American System of seacoast defenses.

Stop #7 Fort Moultrie I

This site represents the beginnings of harbor defense in the United States.

Stop #8 and Stop #9 Cannon Walk and Battery Jasper

Cannon walk has artillery pieces form Civil War and after. Battery Jasper, this battery integrated heavy artillery, mine fields and rapid fire guns.

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Beautiful Visitor Center as seen from the fort

We headed back to the Visitor Center because there were some difficult questions to answer in our Jr. Ranger booklet.  We spent about an hour watching the film and looking through the exhibits.  Great Visitor Center with lots of educational experiences.

Kids received their Jr. Rangers and we were off to the next site 🙂

Junior Ranger badges and Passport Stamps! Also on this trip we earned our Junior Ranger Civil war Historian for earning 3 Civil War area Junior Rangers. Pretty sweet!

Join us on our next stops Charles Pinckney National Historical Park and Fort Sumter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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