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Our family of six is on a family sabbatical traveling by motorhome around the United States. Keith’s job as a coach/scout with the Chicago Blackhawks combined with our kids competitive travel sports schedules has ruled our lives. We decided to stop the madness for the next seven months and experience all that our country has to offer together… We are currently in SAVANNAH, GEORGIA.
St. Augustine brings back sweet memories of my family spending spring break vacation time together here as I was growing up. This was my first time seeing the Spanish influence of this historical city through adult eyes. I had forgotten how beautiful it is here and I’m so happy our family of six chose St. Augustine as our first Floridian stop on this trip!
As soon as we arrived, we headed to the National Monument of the Castillo de San Marcos. We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at this historic fort before walking around the surrounding cobblestone streets full of shops and restaurants. Don’t miss Costeau’s Waffles and Milkshakes or Hyppo’s Gourmet Popsicles if you come here. These treats ended up substituting as dinner one night. We are on vacation still, right?
Our second day in St. Augustine was spent at the infamous Alligator Farm Zoological Park. I remembered loving this spot back in the day, so I wanted to take my family here and reminisce. This Zoo has been in existence and ever evolving for over 100 years!
A zoo visit had not been on our travel agenda until St. Augustine. Zoo’s aren’t really high on our family’s favorites list, but this Alligator Farm is no ordinary zoo! As one of the oldest ones in the country, this spot is quite unique as you can see 23 types of crocodilian in one location.
For us desert folk, it was fascinating to watch these alligators slowly pile up around one other, grabbing their spot in the sun.
The kids enjoyed the swamp area at the back of the park where they could buy alligator food with quarters. The trees were also full of gorgeous birds back here too!
There are various wildlife shows every hour, which were nice to do in between looking at all of the various birds, mammals and reptiles here. The alligator feeding show at the lagoon was our favorite!
This albino alligator was so intriguing. We had fun watching the turtles climbing on his back.
It is also nice and shaded throughout the park, making this a perfect reprieve from the Florida sun! There is also a really cool zip line and aerial course over the park. Unfortunately, we didn’t do it but we did see a lot of people whizzing by us overhead as we walked around the Farm. It looked like they were having a blast! Check it out if you go!
Our home base while we were here was at the St. Augustine Beach KOA located on Anastasia Island. This was our backyard. Another perfect spot for a little fishing just outside our door!
Who can’t help but be drawn to the old-world charm of Savannah, Georgia? Voted one of the 10 Most Beautiful Places in America by USA Weekend Magazine, it definitely lived up to it’s name! Savannah was our only chosen stop in Georgia.
We made it our mission to walk the 22 squares and parks of Savannah which are the community’s most beloved icons. These are a couple pictures of beautiful Emmet Park before we headed down to stroll along River Street, with it’s shops and restaurants housed in one-time cotton warehouses.
This was our view from our lunch spot at Vic’s on The River, which was awesome! Check it out if you get a chance. The ambiance, food and prices were great! Since we’re on the topic of food- we went to Paula Deen’s famous restaurant The Lady & Sons. Can I say mediocre? Skip it.
We set up camp at the Savannah South KOA and were very impressed with the southern hospitality of the staff here! We enjoyed the 35 acre lake setting where they raise over 40 of their own swans.
We decided to watch the sunset at Savannah’s beach on Tybee Island.
Oh the joys of boys. Triplet 13 year old boys to be exact. This is how we spent our evening at Tybee Island. Watching the boys wrestle each other to the ground and loving every minute of it. This boy behavior is so foreign to me, as someone who grew up with just a younger sister. I don’t understand it, but I’m glad my husband, who is the youngest of four boys, does. If you’re a Momma of boys, are you feeling me?
Have at it boys. Enjoy yourselves while we sit on this swing and enjoy the sunset. I handed my camera over to daughter Morgan to take some pictures so she’d have something to do other than find herself in the male pileup!
This was our view as soon as we pulled into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park! Elk everywhere! We later learned that this was really rare to see them out like this, so we felt even more blessed for their wonderful welcome into the Park!
We loved hiking in the Great Smokies and you can see why! We got to hike a few more miles along the Appalachian Trail that runs through here. Our first AT miles hiked were when we were in Harpers Ferry, WV so it was fun to jump on the trail again for a few more miles.
Our home base while visiting the area was the Cherokee/Great Smokies KOA. We were fortunate enough to be here during their first Halloween weekend celebration! This meant pumpkin decorating contests for the kids… How cute that they came up with a KOA theme on their own.
After a costume contest, the kids all went around the park trick or treating in the afternoon. It was so fun! My big kids were hesitant, but luckily we’d purchased some new costumes from the Goodwill in Mt. Pleasant, SC so we were all ready. Aidan had to dig into his hockey bag in order to grab his treats!
This KOA had the first indoor pool that we’ve come across yet! The kids loved coming back after hiking all day in the park to jump in for a warm swim.
The grounds are just beautiful here!
This fishing pond at the front of the property is quite popular. You have to get a fishing license though, so it’s a little more serious than the fishing we’ve been doing!
We even extended our stay here in Cherokee one more night so we could enjoy some whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River. We chose a guided excursion with Adventurous Fast Rivers Rafting and loved it! It was the companies last day of the season so we lucked out!
Now it’s time to talk laundry. There has certainly been no escaping this task while on the road. It has been very interesting acclimating to keeping up with the dirty laundry along the trip. We do have a stackable washer and dryer in our motorhome, Ally B, that I am so very thankful for. But, with a family of six it’s sometimes way too much and is just easier to head to the laundry mat.
The positive thing is that every KOA has one. The downside is that they can be busy and sometimes not too appealing. Doing laundry side by side with strangers is not my idea of a good time, but you do what ya gotta do when you are living at the campground. In Cherokee, I spent my Saturday night right here. I planned my laundry time right in the heat of the Halloween festivities at this KOA as I figured I’d be the only one in here and I was right.
These washers were only $1 for a load too, which is the cheapest I’ve come across! It’s usually $2. It’s the little things people! I am now a laundry mat connoisseur. Who would’ve thought? I used to collect quarters for my parking meters in downtown Chicago and now I gather them just to get the clothes clean. Gotta love life’s journey!
Hope you are enjoying your October and all that Fall has brought your way!