Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Our next stop was Savannah, founded in 1733 and meticulously planned by General James Oglethorpe, with its gridded street system broken up every couple of blocks by shady park squares filled with giant, old live oaks, flowering camellia bushes, and park benches. We spent the day wandering the historic downtown streets and walking along the river flanked by tourist-trap shops. We spent the night at Skidaway State Park where we took a lovely walk in the morning through forests of palm, live oak, and slash pine, past a shy alligator den (although he did not grace us with his presence much to our disappointment), to an old civil war entrenchment, which was near an old moonshine distillery that the sheriff discovered and took axes to, and past ancient oyster shell middens left behind by the natives. The afternoon forecast was for severe thunderstorms so we hurried back to Sylvia as we listened to loud, rolling thunder booming in the distance, making it in just minutes before a torrential downpour. We decided to drive to our next destination, Jekyll Island, instead of hanging out in the camper van all afternoon watching deep puddles form around her. As we drove in the pouring rain through Savannah, we couldn't help but notice the really loud sirens that were blaring out of every public building. We had to stop at an auto parts store to pick up a volt meter to try to diagnose Sylvia's brand-new electrical problem and discovered that the alarms were a tornado warning system. Awesome. Here is where I really started pushing for staying in a hotel for the night. As we we drove through the downpour with the windows all fogged up I wished, not only that our defrost worked better, but also that I could keep an eye on the sky. When we filled up at a gas station later, the attendant said that her boss had called a half hour ago and told her take cover. She said two tornadoes had touched down earlier in the morning where she lived and that the tornado warning was in effect through 8pm. When we got to Jekyll Island, it was still a torrential downpour so after we finished dinner we decided to stay in a hotel to avoid the soaking of the boys' bed. Snuggled into our warm, civilized beds we were thankful to be dry and safe for the night.
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