Saturday, April 19, 2008

For All New Viewers

The best place to begin to appreciate this blog is at its beginning! In the right column of the web page, just click the March link (scroll half way or so down the page) and start reading and laughing from the very first post). Reading this magnificent creation in reverse chronological order defeats its purpose. Thanks!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Thanks to Steve for re-plotting all the paths we drove upon during the road trip. He was an excellent co-pilot.

NYC/LGA /St. Lucie, Fla. to Charleston, S.C.

I-95 north & Delta/Comair south to Jacksonville International Airport (Jax)
-Jax, Fla. -I-95 North (lots of traffic)
–To: The Georgia Pig- Georgia Route 17.
-After a fine meal, (Ga.) Route 17 north over nice bridge through Brunswick, Riceboro, and back on I-95 in Richmond Hill, Ga.
-I-95 north through Savannah, into South Carolina, where the highway narrows to two lanes, causing traffic.
-Back on (S.C.) Route 17 in Hardeeville, S.C. to avoid traffic. Through Switzerland, S.C. back to I-95 around Ridgeland, S.C.
-Back on Route (S.C.) Route 17 at S.C. exit 33.
-S.C. Route 17 to MARRIOT Charleston.

Charleston, S.C.-Columbia, S.C.-Spartanburg, S.C.

-S.C.Route 17 over bridge to naval museum.
-S.C. Route 17 from naval museum to I-26 west/north to S.C. Route 52.north.
-S.C. Route 52 to S.C. 176 north.
-S.C. Route 176 over to the other side of the railroad tracks and through Holly Hill, (the railroad tracks are on the map) to Columbia S.C. and the sudden appearance of MAURICE'S (the 3rd!). Ribs.
-Back on the road: Through Columbia, S.C. on to I-26 west/north, over the broad river. Nice highway, long hills and a steady climb toward SPARTANBURG, S.C., and the search for beer. No beer, but the MARRIOTT we spotted earlier suddenly appears.

Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C.-Chattanooga, TN.

-Back on I-26, into North Carolina, through historic Newberry to I-240, over the French Broad River into ASHEVILLE, N.C.
-Back on I-240 via a steep hill, which circles ASHEVILLE, N.C., to Tunnel Road and the FIDDLIN’ PIG.
-After another fine meal its back on I-240 to the BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY.
-BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY to N.C. Route 23/74 west, to N.C. Route 441 North, past a large concentration of moccasin stores, through the GREAT SMOKEY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, into the home of the South’s never ending carnival at GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE.
-Continuing on TN. Route 441, through the town of Pigeon Forge and onto TN. Route 73/321 West toward Maryville, TN, in the vicinity of which a map was purchased, and a soda was left on the car, and continuing through the lovely hamlet of LENOIR CITY, and onto to Route 75 South to I-124 into CHATTANOOGA, TN. The new map was a little outdated. After a tour of the nicer parts of town the MARRIOT appeared adjacent to the convention center.

Chattanooga, TN. To Atlanta, Ga.

-Back to I-75 South toward ATLANTA, GA.
-After managing to follow I-75 to an exit into the downtown area, all was lost after a wrong choice at a split in the road and it was back onto an unknown highway, heading in an unknown direction, toward n unknown place.
-We got off at the first exit, and decided, after some hesitation, to turn right to get to Piedmont. After about 10 seconds FAT MATTS magically appeared in front of us.-
After another fine meal, we follow Piedmont into the downtown area, and after pulling into the wrong Marriott, and receiving directions which did not make sense, we found the proper MARRIOT.

Atlanta, Ga. –Macon, Ga. - Savannah, Ga.

-I-75 south to MACON and SATTERFIELD'S.
-After a fine meal with the lunch crowd, and a few wrong turns in Macon, we take GA. Route 80 to Dublin, Ga. From Dublin we take GA Route 29 to I-16 East to Savannah. Along the Georgia State Roads are three Bar B Q joints, including Bubba’s.
-I-16 to its end at the MARRIOTT COURTYARD SAVANNAH.

Savannah Ga.-Port St. Lucie, Fla./ LGA/NYC

-I-16 west I-95 North to Savannah International Airport (SAV)
-SAV north to LGA/SAV to I-95 South to St. Lucie FLA.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Think I Forgot How To Walk

One thousand, eight hundred, fifty miles. 1,850 miles. In six days. I arrived home at 3:45pm this Thursday afternoon.

I just completed an incredible journey. The only things I would change are arriving late in Chattanooga and Savannah, because our dinner options became severely limited, but I believe I am simply feeling the absence of two other tremendous experiences rather than having had a "bad" time. I do not think that Steve and I wasted a single minute on our road trip. Travelling on state and county roads, avoiding the interstates, made driving times longer, but the landscapes, the environments, the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the surprises we encountered enhanced incredibly our experience of southern roadways, communities, regions, states, individuals, cuisines and cultures.

Besides an additional five pounds, one thing that I gained on this road trip is my driving stripes. Handling the Blue Ridge Parkway while in a cloud and the Great Smokey Mountains has made me into an expert driver. I love my car now. He performed so well that I bestow upon him BBQ Road Trip MVP - Most Valuable Propulsion. Maybe I will spring for some high-test gasoline next pit stop.

Steve and I agreed that we should make an annual spring break road trip. We are already eyeing a Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois journey for next year. Or, maybe the Pacific coast of Mexico.

I will create additional posts after today as I review the several hundred photos we took. We already posted the highlights. There are some trivial events that I want to save to this blog, side stories that were tangents to the road trip or crazy conversations we had in the car while spending endless hours on the road.

I recommend trying a travel blog to anyone who goes on any type of vacation or trip. It was tough taking the extra time to make all of these posts while on the road, uploading whenever we had some extra minutes, shedding extended descriptions of things, and simply letting a photo share its thousand words, but it certainly has been worth it all, a treasure that will be preserved online for the rest of our lives.

Man, did we have fun! We enjoyed everything fully and even beyond fully! Thank you to everyone who followed the blog and, especially, to everyone who posted their own comments. They truly were a pleasure to read when we finally were able to go online at our next hotel. Thanks!

I really need to eat some vegetables now.

Mark Matluck

P.S. There is no BBQ sauce to be had! Only the average places offered such options. Sorry.

Don't Try This, Children!

Steve and I Part at Savannah Intl Airport

Leaving Savannah

Views From Our Balcony

Our hotel balcony, located on the 4th floor, over looked the courtyard below. This is where Steve and I spent the last few hours last night appreciating our amazing road trip. The second photo is the window that a naked woman stood in, about 30 feet from us, for several seconds, looking at us, before drawing the blinds.

Something we heard that night: "Let's go hoggin'!"

Smoked Quail from Satterfield's

We ordered this to go, put it into the cooler, then right into the fridge in our room. Tasty snack. Plus some Brunswick Stew, which we dubbed Liquid Sausage.

Marriott in Savannah

Some sleeping arrangement info: The top photo is Steve's bed. The bottom photo is my couch. You would think the driver would get best.

Paula Dean's Restaurant?!

By 8pm the Lady and Sons Restaraunt was booked for the night, so we settled on Grimaldi's, an Itlaian restaurant that has a high national Zagat Rating. It was good, but kind of a let down.

Anderson Middle School Student Alert!

Savannah - Riverfront and Bridge

Savannah - Historic District

Driving along the Georgia Countryside

Leaving Macon and Thinking Savannah

Suddenly, the Room Went Silent . . .

When discussing dessert options with our lovely waitresss, I asked about the pecan pie. I pronounced it "PEE-can". The waitress quickly corrected me, "peh-CAHN pie," as heads of fellow diners turned to look at us and conversation abruptly ended. Thinking quickly, I requested that it be served hot and a la mode. Conversation around us resumed after I diffused the crisis.

Satterfield's BBQ

These ribs are "St. Louis" style. Dry rub and smoked. Sauce is only for dipping the finished product. Different and not as exhilarating as Fat Matt's, but still very good. Steve's beef brisket was tooo dry. Brunswick stew, okra and tomatoes, and cole slaw accompanied the meat. You can see the sweet tea container and the pot for the boiled peanuts.



Big Fish


More GA Aquarium

GA Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Well Rested for Final Full Day

We made an early start for our final full day on this roadtrip. We are going to the GA Aquarium, thanks to the complimentary tickets Marriott included with our room. After that we are driving to Macon, GA, about half-way between Atlanta and Savannah, GA, our final destinations. We will hit our last road trip BBQ joint there, Satterfield's. We need to arrive early in Savannah for dinner and time to explore the historic district because Steve is flying back to NYC tomorrow. Hopefully Satterfield's will be worth two toothpicks when I get to post some more photos later today.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another Shameless Toothpick Photo

Gladys Knight's Chicken & Waffle - Tue. PM

Olympic Park in Atlanta

Can't Fake This!

Steve and Mark Ponder Their Next Meal

Fat Matt's Rib Shack - Atlanta, GA

After entering the Buford Highway that rings mid-town Atlanta, we took the next exit. We thought that we were lost when, again, lo and behold, Fat Matt's Rib Shack magically appeared before us. Steve and I split and full rack of ribs and one potato salad. These ribs were even better than The Fiddlin Pigs' ribs were. Only the bones remain. That is how tender the ribs were. The BBQ sauce was incredible. Unfortunately, they do not sell bottles of it.

More Later About Arriving in Atlanta

Tennessee: The Other Side of the Mountains

Steep and Winding Roads

Descending the Mountain in Second Gear

We'll Be Coming Around the Mountain When We Come

Next We Will Descend the Mountain

Getting Higher

Driving in a Cloud - Blue Ridge Parkway

I'm Ready for Some Mountain Climbing, How About You?

Having eaten our way to the top of the BBQ pile, Steve and I separately ponder which direction our road trip will now conquer. We see Tennessee after an unforgettable journey via the Blue Ridge Parkway.