Picture an impromptu road trip to the east Georgia coast for the fourth of July. Two friends who worked together in their early twenties and can’t remember the last time they saw each other , both now close to fifty.
It’s after 3pm on July 4th when we left the western side of Georgia. Full tank of gas, cooler full of Dr Pepper, good music on the radio. As we traveled across the state, we talked and caught up on thirty years of life.
The sky was beautiful with large puffy white clouds that looked close enough to reach out and touch. All of a sudden there was a rainbow in the sky. We pulled over to snap pictures and laughed that a particular dark cloud looked like a dragon. Minutes later the dragon faded and rain splattered on the windshield for several miles of highway. Within about an hour we saw and stopped for pictures of four more rainbows. The clouds continued to form funny shapes like a cruise ship, a rat wearing a hat, and a rabbit with angel wings.
We arrived at St Simons island just minutes before the 9pm fireworks. As we found a spot to park along the road, the first explosions of color lit up the sky. We rushed away from the car towards the beach to catch the show not thinking to pay attention to what road we parked on.
The shore was packed with people watching the firework all dressed up in various patriotic clothing and beach attire.
Little children with glow sticks and American flags ran around on the sand while others sat on their fathers’ shoulders for a better view. For over twenty minutes the booms and smoke and colors dotted the sky along the beach. The grand finale was met with huge cheers from the crowd.
Leaving the beach, we followed the sound of music down towards the main part of town. A festival was wrapping up for the day and we stopped to ask about a place to have dinner. Most of the restaurants closed at 10pm which just happened to be the current time.
As luck would have it we found an open pub but they were not serving food at that hour. We continued down the street and found a place still open. We opted to sit inside at the bar. As we entered and took our seats, we were met with the smell of vomit. A fan was behind us blowing frigid air and the smell directly at us. We asked the bartender and she said something about a leak and it happens a lot and blah blah blah. We we’re beyond hungry and doubted we would find another place that was still open so we stayed. We had the fan redirected away from us and after a Son of a Peach IPA for Cindy and a pina colada for me, we ordered wings.
Two guys at the bar next to is ordered their drinks and we were amused at the not quite 21 year old boy ordering a Roy Rogers. The young female bartender had to be told how to make it (recipe and photo below) and we got further giggles from the kid drinking it with his pinky finger in the air with every sip. We couldn’t help but laugh even more each time the bartender asked him again and again what the drink was called.
The food arrived piping hot and was pretty good. Another round of drinks as we finished our food gave us the courage/audacity to snag some specialty beer glasses. They were decorated in red white and blue and irresistible. They quickly went from the far side of the bar to the top, then to our laps and finally into the bags we received for our to go containers of leftovers.
Leaving the restaurant we realized we were unsure where exactly the car was. As we started to retrace our steps as best we could, we went down a dark unpaved street. There, behind some buildings, was a huge ugly old Mercury Grand Marquis. It was gold colored and seemed to be 20 feet long. We snapped a photo of this neat old school relic and continued on our way. Through the trees we noticed what looked like a lighthouse. Although it was back towards the beach and obviously in the wrong direction, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to get pictures of the tall beacon lighting up the night sky. After getting a few shots, we continued down the road and luckily found the car without too much trouble.
We had booked a room in nearby Brunswick and headed in that direction. Soon, the drinks caught up with us and we began to search for an open gas station with a public restroom. We spotted a McDonalds open 24/7 and pulled in. Unfortunately, while the drive-thru was open, the restaurant itself was not. By the time we looped back out to the main road it became obvious that we weren’t going to make it any further down the road.
Pulling into the next dark parking lot , we took turns relieving our bladders behind a palm tree in the parking lot. We hadn’t even paid attention to where we were at first, but as we pulled away, we spotted the giant red sign with a red P on it. We had literally peed at the P! Erupting in a fit of giggles we continued down the road to our hotel.
We stopped once more, just beside the hotel for a late night snack. Donuts, a giant pickle and lottery tickets were purchased but the tall Bud Light Lime had to be left behind because this town doesn’t sell alcohol after 1130pm despite the fact that they do sell it on Sundays. Oh the joys of every county in Georgia doing their own thing!
Upon arrival at the hotel, we had to wait to be let into the lobby. The young girl behind the desk had obviously been napping as her hair was in a smooshed style and there was blanket lint hanging from her bangs. We got the very abbreviated version of check in and headed to our room.
Day one of the adventure came to a close with visions of biking, horseback riding and beach time filled our minds for day two.
Just the facts or is there a little fiction woven into to the story for added entertainment? It may not be Las Vegas, but what happens on the island stays here and we won’t ever tell!
To be continued …..