Letter to the editor: Avoiding metropolises on a great ‘Southern Adventure’ from Orwell

I don’t often take a trip, but when I do I want to avoid metropolitan areas. Avoiding cities like New York City, Baltimore, Md., Richmond, Va., and Washington, D.C., is a top priority. Of course, there are other densely populated areas to avoid, but if I named them all you would realize what a chicken driver I really am.

Recently, my wife, Sharon and I headed south on our own Spring Break. She did all the planning. Sharon spent countless hours with maps looking for sights to see and visit and where to stay. Our destination turned out to be Tybee Island, off the Georgia coast. I had never heard of this place before the planning!

Just so you know, Tybee Island is approximately 1,200 miles from Orwell. The round trip (including side trips) was 2,511 miles. Part
of the planning for this trip was to circumvent major metropolitan areas as well as high-traffic areas. The avoidance strategy that I just mentioned added a little extra time on our arrival at Tybee, however it was worth the extra miles driven.

Looking at the maps in our Atlas, the trip south is a fairly straight line. But the direct route puts us into many of the dense, high-traffic and populated areas. No way. The route we mapped out (Well, ok, Sharon mapped out) took us in a westerly direction into Eastern Pennsylvania and looping south easterly and avoiding all those hot spots I mentioned earlier.

I drove the entire route, round trip. It took us three days to reach Tybee Island and at around 3 p.m. on the third day we arrived. We had a room reserved at the Admiral Hotel and were joined shortly thereafter with Doug and Tammy Atwood from Shoreham, who were travelling north from St. Augustine, Fla.

There really wasn’t much to see or do on Tybee, it was off season, after all. We drove around to various sights and enjoyed lots of crabs in our diet. After three days on Tybee, we drove to Savannah (a half-hour drive) and stayed at a Best Western for the next four days. I like the Best Western hotels because they are fair priced, very neat and clean and the staff are always welcoming. And let’s not forget, breakfast is included. When visiting a city like Savannah I recommend the open-air bus tour. The tours will highlight important and significant parts of the city and the coach driver will give a great narration on the 1-2 hour ride. Savannah also features many fine dining opportunities as well as rooftop dining in a more casual atmosphere.

Our next stay was in Charleston, S.C. The weather throughout our trip was very warm, with temperatures in the 70s. We did not visit any of the beaches but the Best Western had a very nice pool area where one could soak in the rays. We took the trolley tour while in Charleston. We enjoyed not only the ride but the narration that was a part of the tour.

Some of the sights we enjoyed on our Southern Adventure were the Tybee Lighthouse, Fort Pulaski and Wet Willies (I mention Wet Willies because it was a novelty to us. It also had great breakfast and lunch). We did take a Ghost Tour in Savannah, but wouldn’t recommend it unless you like hearing bloody, gory stories. Charleston, as in Savannah, there is much to do and see.

Fredericksburg, Va., was the next city on our trip north, to home. We left Fredericksburg at about 8 a.m. and drove for the next nine hours to Orwell. And, you guessed it. We drove the straight line through all the high traffic and metropolitan areas. All I could think of was The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson, with cars on my right and cars on my left and vehicles crossing in front and coming around from the rear, all in a mad dash. I must be crazy. But we made it. Phew, what an adventure.

You might think that with our Southern Adventure behind us we are finished travelling. Wrong. Sharon is in the living room planning our next trip to Myrtle Beach and other points of interest for March.

It’s time to head for our local garage and have them “prep” my car for the next trip.

Tom Pinsonneault


Share this story:

More News

Faith Gong: Beautiful Things: The Eclipse

The eclipse took me by surprise on many fronts. We tend to think we’re so much more enligh … (read more)


Ways of Seeing: Let’s connect the dots for peace

It has now been more than six months since the Hamas attack of October 7, and about six mo … (read more)


Jessie Raymond: Aspiring house hen expands her range

I knew our hen Monique was different from other birds. But if you had told me when we got … (read more)

Share this story: