Trip Report: September 20 - September 25, 2011 -- Victoria and husband, Josh Ham, moved to the Navel Base at Goose Creek, South Carolina to begin his training as a nuclear reactor technician for the United States Navy in July 2011. Our First Grand child, Audrey Jaedyn Ham was born on September 19th, 2011 at the Summerville Medical Center. As per Victoria's request we waited until Audrey was born and planned our trip to coincide with their release from the hospital.
We got up early in the morning at Trenton and headed east at 4:30 AM. The Honda Civic Hybrid was loaded to the rear deck lid with various care packages for the kids. Our destination was a little over 1100 mile away.
Our first stop was the Cracker Barrel just south of Lindale, Texas on Interstate 20 for breakfast. After relaxing and filling up our travel cups with coffee we embarked on the lion's share of our travels down IH-20 East.
Just past mile IH-20 marker 100 in Louisiana we spotted several police and unmarked federal cars parked along side the Interstate with several officers and other official looking individuals scrutinizing the nearby woods.. The location was near Monroe and a Federal Prison.
At Jackson, Mississippi we stopped for lunch, fuel, and restrooms. The Civic achieved 46.5 MPG at the first fill up.
After crossing over the Alabama state line we began to notice a large number of NHRA race team rigs headed west from Charlotte Motor Speedway toward the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas for the coming weekend.
We stopped just east of Birmingham to try a Huddle House. You could taste the rancid grease in the air and it looked as though it had not had a proper cleaning in weeks. It was frequented and staffed solely by over-weight, lower socioeconomic individuals. Huddle House is off our list permanently. Fortunately we found a Chick-fil-A just a few miles down the road.
Atlanta, Georgia was the next major urban center we encountered. Once east of Atlanta we stopped for fuel and coffee. The tankful fuel mileage was 47.9 MPG for the Civic at this fill up.
We crossed the South Carolina border and drove through Augusta. At some point east of Augusta our GPS has us traipse through the country side in an effort to avoid Columbia. Not being armed with a South Carolina map and unsure of where we were traveling we are still not sure that any time was saved.
We arrived at the Ham homestead in Goose Creek rather late after covering 1103.5 miles in 19.5 hours. The 45.4 MPG on last leg was likely caused by an increase in hilly terrain. The Civic achieved 46.9 MPG for the trip.
The following morning we heading to the Summerville Medical Center to see our newest member of the family. We quickly found that most people in the greater Charleston area can't drive. On the up side, the Honda Civic Hybrid liked the low altitude, flat terrain, and moderate speeds rewarding us with 55 MPG+ fuel mileage while in town.
After visiting at the hospital, meeting Audrey, and getting the kids checked out we called upon The Colonel (KFC) to cook lunch. It had been a while sense we had Kentucky Fried Chicken and enjoyed the change of pace.
That evening I successfully installed WiFi in the kids home to make it easy to utilize of those Internet capable devices we had come to rely on while we are in South Carolina.
The following morning Josh, Nathaniel, and I tackled cleaning the screened in porch at the kid's home and discovered a few things. Some rules and regulations are not well communicated on a military base. The trash pickup is goofy here on the base as they will only pick up what is in the trash can one day a week. The kids still had all their "moving" boxes stuffed out on the porch. The day's task was to bag the boxes and find a few dumpsters. We began the clandestine operation only to be approached by a friendly neighbor and informed that Friday is a bulk trash pickup day. No one had told the kids that little detail. We of course conformed and set the remaining boxes on the curb. Our second discovery is that if you are on a military base and set boxes on the curb -- they don't stay there very long.
I was assigned grocery shopping duties several times and enjoy shopping at a Super Bi-Lo Grocery. This regional chain is setup for the male of the species as they have a store directory and a cup holder on the shopping carts. an additional plus is free WiFi in the stores.
That afternoon we enjoyed watching Thor (2011) Directed by Kenneth Branagh. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman with the kids.
We wanted to take the kids out for sea food in the Charleston area that night. After some research we decided on a local chain, Gilligan's Seafood Restaurant and were impressed with both the quality of the cuisine and the value. Fresh sea food. Friendly and attentive wait staff. Pricing similar to Red Lobster, but helpings much bigger. The hush puppies were a treat. The grilled shrimp slightly over cooked. The fried shrimp was exquisite. Joleen and Victoria report the salmon to be excellent. The king crab legs were fresh and properly prepared. Excellent fare at a reasonable price.
Shortly after we got back to the house Audrey blew a diaper resulting in parents and grandparents grabbing digital cameras to cat pure pictures of the first bath. Poor Audrey.
The next day the boys went to visit Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston Harbor, while the girls had a day of grocery shopping, conversation, and "chick flick" viewing at the house.
Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum - Charleston Harbor, SC
The Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum has a wide ranging variety of World War II to Vietnam area displays and memorials including the USS Yorktown (CV-10) with a number of vintage planes on its flight deck, the USS Clamagore submarine, the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum, and a Vietnam Support Base. An unexpected treat was seeing a group of dolphins feed on a large school of fish near the USS Yorktown. After visiting the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum has we partook of an informal driving tour of downtown Charleston. Clearly a walking tour would be superior to a driving tour of this gorgeous downtown. Just spectacular. Joleen successfully loaded the kids up with groceries while Josh Ham, Nathaniel Yeager, and I were sight seeing. Joleen cooked homemade lasagna for our "farewell" dinner once everyone got home from the day's adventures.. Our work there was done.
That evening we packed up the "belongings" of Josh and Victoria's Miniature Pincher, Charlie. It seems a very intelligent, inquisitive, and boisterous dog is not a good match for a house hold with a new baby. The Yeagers are now a three dog family.
We left at 3:30 AM eastern time and began the long, arduous trip back home. Our first stop was at a Waffle House in Augusta. Georgia to enjoy a Sunday morning breakfast.
The first fill up. of the return trip was just past Atlanta and on the way to Birmingham with 45.0 MPG for the Civic at this fill up. with higher temperatures, more frequent stops due to Charlie, and the very hilly landscape working against us.
Beginning at the Alabama state line shortly after a fill up we hit a very long stretch of construction with a speed limit of 55 MPH. The fuel mileage for that 35+ mile stretch of fairly, low wind, falt roadway with the Civic fully loaded and the engine fully warmed at a constant (cruise controlled) 55 MPH was 68.7 MPG. A new record.
At Newton, Mississippi we stopped for a "to go" lunch at a Wendy's Hamburgers and get back on the road. I watched and walked Charlie while the others went inside to order.
I had a cup of free Community Coffee at the Louisiana Visitor Center. On down the road at Monroe, Louisiana we filled the car for the last time before getting home. We were happy to fuel at Wal-Mart for $2.96 per gallon. The fuel mileage for this leg was 48.5 MPG. Strong southern winds began to seriously affect the fuel mileage with the onboard computer indicating mileage in the very low forties.. We hit the driveway after. 1114.9 miles and 19 hours 45 minutes. One tired Min Pin. Three tired humans. The Civic achieving a disappointing 45.7 MPG for the entire return trip.
Rest Stop on way to the East Coast.
Picking up Audrey at the Summerville Medical Center
The Above are Picking up Audrey at the Summerville Medical Center
The Above are Back Home
Audrey's First Formal Pictures
The Above are Audrey's First Formal Pictures
Cleaning Screened in Porch
The Above are Cleaning Screened in Porch
Dinner at Gilligan's Sea Food
The Above are Dinner at Gilligan's Sea Food
Audrey's Fist Bath
The Above are Audrey's Fist Bath
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge on the way to Patriot's Point (Photos by Josh Ham)
The Above is the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge on the way to Patriot's Point (Photos by Josh Ham)
Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum
The Above are the Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum
Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum -- Medal of Honor Museum
The Above are from the Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum -- Medal of Honor Museum
Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum -- USS Yorktown
The Above were taken at the Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum -- USS Yorktown
Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum -- USS Yorktown -- Dolphin Photos
The Above are Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum -- USS Yorktown -- Dolphin Photo Attempts
Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum -- USS Clamagore
The Above are from the Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum -- USS Clamagore
Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum Vietnam War Display
The Above are from the Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum Vietnam War Display
Driving Tour of Downtown Charleston, South Carolina (Photos by Josh Ham)
The above are from our Driving Tour of Downtown Charleston, South Carolina (Photos by Josh Ham)
Nathaniel and Charlie at a Louisiana Visitor Center on the way back to Texas
The Yeager's Honda Civic Hybrid
The Yeager's 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid
God Bless America
This site was constructed using