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Old 12-26-2011, 06:39 AM   #751
MEK
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Continued.........

I did take some final pictures of the villa before we left HHI. Just to refresh your memory.........

First of all - this was the gorgeous morning view that greeted me before I left to go running on our final day



These are close-ups of the tiles that were in the kitchen backsplash









Villa pics



























I also got a good look at the second bedroom















Continued
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The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:26 AM   #752
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Continued.......

On our way out of town we thought there was going to be a farmer's market that day. I can't remember the name of the place, but it was one of those nature places. Apparently, we misunderstood the person who told us this. We were hoping for one final taste of the island by perusing the produce and seeing what the local artisans had to offer. Oh Well!

We were disappointed, but prepared ourselves for the long drive home.

Here's how we did it.

P drove the entire state of South Carolina.

I drove the entire state of North Carolina.

L drove most of Virginia through rain, rush hour, and dark.

I closed the trip by taking us from Northern VA across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and home!

But, of course, we had one more important stop on the way home.

Any guesses???????

Come On - Thinking Caps!!!!!!















We stopped here for lunch!



Yup - South of the Border.

L specifically requested this since she remembers visiting there as a child. Apparently this was a regular stop for her family on the way to and from Florida.

And - Yes - there are fireworks to be had at Rocket City



And you can totally get your flea market on here



And what stop would be complete without a look-see in the Myrtle Beach Shop



But the only one of these great destinations we entered was........





Ah, Yes - Pedro's Diner!

This was a killer flash back to the 70's. I mean, come on, even the cars in the parking lot look like they belong there.

This place was totally what I remember diner food being like as a kid. Thin hamburgers on a plain old white roll (slightly toasted, of course), straight up french fries right out of the fryer, and soda fountain coca cola.

The waitress has the thickest southern accent I have ever heard. We really could not understand her. But she was still adorable, despite her speech impediment.

L sort of apologized for having us stop there, but I was actually into it. I loved it for what it once was and how its stayed true to its origin. And it made me realize that we had much better portion control back in the 70's and 80's. And that's definitely not a bad thing, if you know what I mean.

Pedroland park definitely looked closed for the season



It was actually chilly now and we all had to hunt around for our jackets and sweat shirts and I had to put socks on with my sandals ( A major What Not to Wear N0-NO).

I thought about checking to see if the Reptile Lagoon was still open, but...well, you know.....



I almost took a picture of the motel, but quite honestly, it was just too depressing. Notice the pink flamingos!



Bye Pedro. See Ya Real Soon! (not!)



It was my turn to drive and I took a cup of the worst coffee I have ever had "to go". Yuck!

By the time we hit Virginia it was even more overcast and starting to rain. I give L props for driving that section. The rain had mostly stopped by the time I took over, which had to be around 8:30 or 9pm. P has a bridge phobia and said she didn't want to drive across it at night.

Well, bring it! I took that bridge, but here's when something unusual happened (and maybe you won't think so, but I did so I will digress).

I have an EZPass in my car. I have had one forever and I am certain I am one of their best customers. I LOVE my EZPass, LOVE IT!!!!!! I never have to touch someone's hand or search for money or get in the slow lane or get behind someone needing directions. It's just absolutely awesome. I takes me up and down the east coast without a hitch.

I considered putting my EZPass in P's car for the trip, but decided against it since my account was almost closed recently because my son was violating tolls in the car he was driving (we have 3 cars tied to 2 EZpasses). Well, I felt like it took an act of God to keep my account from closing. Ok, I'm exaggerating, but that's how much I LOVE my EZpass. I won't bore you with the details, but all tolls were paid, my transponders were checked, and my son stopped going through toll booths without the EZpass in the car.

So, the point of my story.

Well here I am at the bridge at the regular toll booth (which I haven't seen in 15 years) and out comes this blue, vinyl gloved hand. Well, I completely lost it. I was like "what????? You all wear gloves now to collect tolls? Really? Oh, that is just too much?????"

So the toll collector looks at me like I'm crazy and I look at her likes she's crazy and my friends think I am either insane or just loopy from the long drive and I secretly think to myself that this is the reason EVERYONE should have an EZpass.

So - the moral to the story - P now has an EZpass because they offered a get a transponder free promotion with all new accounts. Smart move P. You'll never regret it!

We arrived at L's house around 11pm, exactly 11 hours after we left HHI and I think I was home about 30 minutes later.

Final thoughts -

GREAT trip!

I am honestly so glad that my GF's picked HHI over WDW. It was wonderful to try something new that was laced with the Disney love. I had a hunch I would love HHI, but I didn't know how much.

In addition to loving the resort and the cast members and Shadow, of course, I also loved the amazing hospitality of the south. I loved the Spanish moss, the cities of Charleston and Savannah, the wonderful food and drink, the beautiful buildings, the rich history, and the wonderful people.

I guess that about sums it up!

If you ever get a chance to visit, don't pass it up! It's an amazing experience, especially for this northeast girl who has spent way too much time living in Delaware and Pa. I am already planning a return for Denny and I in October 2013. But this next trip will be at least a week.

So I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, a happy Hanukah, and a fabulous holiday season!

My next update will be the start of our December WDW trip, which was a great trip as well.

And for a parting picture.......




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The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:27 AM   #753
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We are visiting relatives again today, so please forgive me for not getting to replies, but I will as soon as I can!
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The Empty Nester's Magical Mystery Tour I Told You Driving Was Bad for Your Health

Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:59 AM   #754
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Great update. HHI is definitely on my list due to your marvelous pictures and attention to detail.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:35 PM   #756
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I have not been through a tollbooth in ages but the gloved hand .....

I would have been caught off guard too.

A wonderful end to a wonderful trip. That drive did sound long but then again I don't even usually drive to FL and that is only 8 hrs.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:56 PM   #757
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Maybe I'm strange, but I would totally wear gloves if I was handling that much money/touching that many hands throughout the day! I don't think that's weird at all!

Glad that you enjoyed HHI! It seemed like a lovely and relaxing place!

Can't wait to hear about your WDW trip!!
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:04 PM   #758
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Great ending to your TR, those sunrise pics were beautiful! Love the pics from South of the Border! We used to stop there on our trips to/from WDW driving from Philly. We used to go in the stores just to look around and take pics. My parents were both smokers and cigs were cheap there too. We did stay in the hotel once too, it wasn't the best hotel we ever stayed in but it wasn't too bad at the time.

Hope you had a great Christmas and can't wait to hear about your WDW trip.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #759
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I love all of your early morning pictures. I will always lament the fact that sadly, I am not an early riser, and will likely never get pictures that great.

That toll booth story is too funny. I would have been the same way! You wear gloves now! Get out of town.....We have IPass here in Illinois, same concept. So nice not to have to worry.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:39 PM   #760
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Loved hearing about your trip to HHI! You took some great pictures!!

Now I have to tell you I'm especially looking forward to your pictures and your TR for your December trip!! CAN'T WAIT!!
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:13 PM   #761
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Merry Christas! Beautiful pictures to conclude the HHI portion of your TR and I'm looking forward to the start of your Disney trip.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:39 PM   #762
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MEK, the pictures of your departure day are breathtaking. I'm so glad you loved it, and I am looking forward to your December TR.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:59 PM   #763
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Mary ellen what a wonderful update - Your HHI photos are terrific. You have such great shots of the sun rising and setting. Love those, and the Mickey Heads with shells

Hope you are enjoying your visit with family & having a wonderful Christmas.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:38 PM   #764
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Hi Mary Ellen! I hope you had a great Christmas!! I can't wait to hear about your Disney trip.

Thanks for sharing your HHI trip with all of us. It sounds like it was wonderful. The resort is so beautiful.

South of the Border cracks me up because I stopped there a couple times when I road tripped from NH to FL with my best friend's family back in junior high/high school. I can't believe it still looks the same!

And the glove story is hilarious! We have EZ Pass too but do occasionally have to stop at a toll booth on our drives from DBIL's house to Orlando in our rentals. I've seen the gloves & think it's funny too... but I kind of get it... I'm a bit of a germophobe!

Can't wait to hear about Disney!!
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:26 AM   #765
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Great ending to your TR, Mary Ellen! Love all the early morning beach shots, parting shots of the villa (love those tiles on the backsplash), and the South of the Border pics.

What a hoot about the toll booth incident, but I hate handling large quantities of money, so I can't really blame the toll booth attendant for wearing gloves. I might, too, if that was my job.

Now bring on the Christmas trip!
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