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Old 11-22-2014, 10:46 AM   #1
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Southern Nights Southern Lights

Haven't read anything on the forum. Does anyone have any info on the outcome.
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:05 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Total Bliss View Post
Haven't read anything on the forum. Does anyone have any info on the outcome.
Yvonne and I hosted the rally for F.R.O.G. Bob and Cindy. 53 FROGS gathered for registration on Sunday afternoon, followed by a delicious catered bar-be-cue dinner at the campground's activity center. After dinner, shuttle buses were available to drive us through the AMAZING light display at the 25th annual Holiday Festival of Lights. James Island County Park was decked out in its holiday best. The entrance to the campground actually sits right across from the "walking" part of the festival, the Christmas train and the 50-ton sand sculpture.

On Monday morning, following breakfast (which was prepared and served each morning by the camp hosts, who volunteer to help out with the festival) we boarded a tour bus to go to downtown Charleston for a carriage tour of the historic sections of the city and an opportunity to browse and shop at the Old City Market. Monday afternoon we were scheduled to take a 30-minute boat ride across Charleston Harbor to visit Ft. Sumter. High winds, the possibility of rain and tornado warnings cancelled that plan, and instead, the FROGS visited Patriot's Point, where we toured the WWII aircraft carrier USS Yorktown and the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum, located on her hanger deck. Also at Patriot's Point is a WWII destroyer, the USS Laffey and a diesel submarine, the USS Clamagore, commissioned right after WWII. She served for 30 years during the Cold War and is the only GUPPY III-class submarine preserved in the United States. Patriot's Point also features a true-to-scale replica of a Vietnam Navy Support Base, including a Mark I River Patrol Boat and several helicopters including a Huey gunship, a UH-1H Medivac, a UH-34 Seahorse and a AH-1J Sea Cobra. The FROGS agreed that it was a wonderful addition to the tour and agreed that re-scheduling the Ft. Sumter visit for later in the week was a good plan, considering the weather.

Tuesday and Wednesday were free days. FROGS spread out throughout the Low Country and visited the quaint towns of Georgetown (60 miles north) or Beaufort (70 miles south). Others went back to Charleston for another look at the city, or toured one of several plantations on the Ashley River, or visited the tea plantation or the Angel Oak, believed to be the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River. In the evenings, both a driving or a walking tour of the lights were on many people's agenda. Wednesday evening, despite the cold (we had several nights of below-freezing temperatures) some of us gathered around a roaring campfire.

Thursday morning dawned bright and sunny, but cool. A sparkling harbor greeted us as we boarded a boat at Liberty Square to go to Ft. Sumter. A 20-minute orientation by one of the National Park Rangers gave us the details of the fort and the bombardment that began at 4:30 am on April 12, 1861, the first shots fired in the Civil War. Following the orientation talk, we had about 45 minutes to tour the fort, including its museum.

Back on the boat, across the harbor, back on the bus and across the Cooper River Bridge we went, to Boone Hall Plantation, the most-photographed plantation in the US. A tour of the original slave quarters included a talk by a woman whose ancestors were slaves in the Charleston area. She gave a very interesting talk on the Gullah culture and language, a Creole-like language which was created in the Charleston area by slaves from West Africa who spoke different dialects, as a common language so they could communicate with one another. The plantation visit also included a tour of the main home. The 10,000 square foot home was built in 1936 by a Canadian diplomat who bought the plantation, and it replaced a series of farm houses that had occupied the plantation since it was established by John Boone.

As the sun sank low in the west, we re-boarded the bus and were treated to a specular sunset as we crossed the inter-costal waterway, traversed the Isle of Palms and re-crossed the Cooper River back into Charleston. A seafood dinner at Hyman's Seafood Restaurant in downtown Charleston capped off another wonderful day.

On Friday morning, the FROGS gathered for a final hot breakfast (thanks to the camp hosts - everything was great, all week) and farewells before we hooked up and pulled out, ending the "Southern Nights, Southern Lights" rally for this year.

If FROG holds this rally again next year - and I'm pretty confident Bob and Cindy will do so - I highly recommend joining them for a wonderful adventure.

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Old 11-25-2014, 11:23 AM   #3
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Thanks to Mike for the write-up, and to both him and Yvonne for stepping in for Cindy and me to host the event. We also appreciate everyone's flexibility when the schedule had to be changed for weather.

I hope that everyone had as great a time as Cindy and I always do at the Holiday Festival of Lights.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:17 PM   #4
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Carole and I had a great time! We'd never seen anything like the Festival of Lights. Absolutely spectacular! Mike and Yvonne did a great job!

Roger & Carole
Myerstown, Pa
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
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Southern Nights Southern Lights Rally

We had a great time and learned a lot of new stuff that we as Canadians are not normally exposed to. Our bus tour guide proved to be very knowledgeable and was quite pleasant to listen to. We also had our grandson Carson with us and everyone treated him very well. He loved the lights, Ft. Sumter, cookies and lemonade at Boone Hall and the ships at Patriot's Point but most of all he liked Foley Beach. The weather was cool but the birds were fun to shoo, shells were plentiful, the waves got his feet wet, and best of all was some sort of fossilized type of bone he found on the beach. It will probably turn out to be a smoked pigs knuckle or some such thing but for now it is the stuff of pirates treasure. Bob's younger brother, Mike (he made me promise to say that), and wife Yvonne were fabulous caring hosts and we would camp with them any time. Carson has the frog decoration ready for the Christmas tree Yvonne. We had some snow and GPS issues on the way down and some ice and road closure issues on the way home. I also managed to catch the flue on the way home. Would we do it over again? Look at the people we met, the friends we made, and the fun we had. The only possible answer is YES!!!! Old Guys (Brian and Joanne)+Carson p.s. We took care of business for Mr. Bob by making it an international rally and reminding everyone of the true first one in Branson. It came as a bit of a shock when we realized that someday Carson could be the only one left from that original international rally. Golly now I do feel old.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:40 PM   #6
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"Younger brother"??? Brian, the man lied to you. That's yet another reason -- one of oh, so many -- that I was always Mom's favorite.
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:49 PM   #7
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One of the gentlemen who was on the "Southern Nights, Southern Lights" rally at Charleston with us, Derek, has a full white beard. Obviously, given the situation, the comments about "you could be Santa Claus" came up several times during the week. Derek's answer was that not only COULD he be Santa, but, in fact, does "substitute" for Santa at times.

Today I received a couple of pictures of Derek in "the suit" and his wife, Jerrilyn, gave me permission to post them so those who met Derek in Charleston could see the transformation.

First and second pictures: Boarding the boat and on the boat to Ft. Sumter....Third and fourth pictures: Derek as Santa
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Old 01-27-2015, 04:25 PM   #8
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We just signed on for "Southern Nights, Southern Lights" 2015. What's the weather like there in Dec.??
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:44 PM   #9
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Having lived there for 17 years i can tell you it can be warm in the 70's or cold or vold in the 40's. You never can tell but usually mid days are pleasant.


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