Second Largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the World!

How to Get to Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Today I decided to venture to Savannah for the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world. Supposedly only New York City’s is larger, but some locals like to contest this. Savannah’s first parade was held in 1813 by a small group of Hibernians. Now the parade consists of 350 units. The parade is always held on March 17th, unless the 17th falls on a Sunday, in which case it is held on Saturday the 16th…a perfect scenario for me! Continue reading “Second Largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the World!”

8 pound sheepshead

Fishing and Dining in Hilton Head

Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa

I arrived in Hilton Head late on Thursday night. The town doesn’t seem to believe in street lights! I eventually made it to my hotel, The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. I received a newly renovated room that still smelled like fresh carpet. The brand new room included a broken luggage rack…thought that was kind of funny. My balcony looked out on the pools that glowed dark blue in the black night. The following morning the balcony provided a lovely sunrise view of the beach.

sunrise at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa

Fishing with Bulldog Fishing Charters

After a mid-morning stroll on the beach checking out a few shells and lots of washed up jellyfish, I set off for an afternoon fishing charter with Bulldog Fishing Charters and a couple of guys from Memphis. We fished for sheepshead, a black and silver striped fish that live in shallow, grassy areas and feed on crab.

After thirty minute boat ride to an old wreck, we dropped our weighted lines baited with little crabs in eighteen feet of water until we felt the weight hit the bottom. Every five or ten seconds we slowly pulled up and reeled if we felt like we had hooked a fish. Without feeling a strike, they are tricky fish to catch as their incisor teeth crack right through the crab. I had quite a bit of bait stolen before I finally hooked one, but it ended up being the biggest one of the bunch…8 pounds or so. We all got robbed of our bait multiple times, but also reeled in some good fish. A great three hour charter!!

The Old Fort Pub in Hilton Head

After a day on the ocean I freshened up for dinner with lots of relatives at The Old Fort Pub. Roy and Szilvia, who came in from Ukraine, were the honorees. My aunts, uncles and cousins flew in from all over. Michael, Michael-Anne, and Joshua visited from Annapolis. Diane flew in from Arizona. Judy, Phil and Larry came in from Florida and Pittsburg. And the rest of the crew was from South Carolina.

The Old Fort Pub was opened in 1973 and built next to Fort Mitchel, constructed in 1862 by Union forces after their successful invasion of the island. The 1,000 Confederates didn’t have much of a chance in defending the island against some 13,000 Federal troops. They folded in a day to the largest amphibious landing prior at the mouth of Port Royal Sound prior to WWII.

The fort was built to protect against invasion from the mainland, though it never saw battle. The island was used to supply Union troops who were battling to block all southern ports, including Savannah and Charleston. As Hilton Head was centered between these two cities, and the troops never pressed inland to fight.

Now, the Fort and the restaurant are connected by walkways through lush gardens in the Hilton Head Plantation. As a result, guests may visit the fort and enjoy a nice meal and gorgeous sunset! It was a great day in Hilton Head. ETB

sunset at the old fort pub in hilton head

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Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop.  Each card has a travel story associated with it.  20% of proceeds are donated to charity.

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Stumphouse Tunnel Park

We left Georgia for the northwest part of South Carolina today.  Our first stop along the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway was at Stumphouse Tunnel Park to see Issaqueena Falls, a 200 foot cascade.  Unbeknownst to me, the park also featured an unfinished tunnel, hence the name.  The work on Stumphouse Tunnel began in the 1850s to provide railroad passage from Cincinnati, OH to Charleston, SC. 

The granite rock proved a challenge and Irish immigrants were only able to progress 200 feet per month.  As such, funds for the proposed 5,863 foot tunnel were depleted.  Before more funds were acquired, the Civil War commenced, and the tunnel was never completed.