Hmmm. Technically it is already Wednesday – so I really should be writing this in Finnish. However, as bragging about my travels is oh-so-fun – and the wider the audience the better… So I think I’ll report our little excursion to South Carolina in English anyways. And then get bag to blogging in the language of my nationality directly afterwards.
Anyhow, as mentioned elsewhere – two friends from my University years came to visit the great US of A last week. And on a spur of a moment, we decided to rent a car and head down south to my landlord’s family’s beach house. In Pawleys Island, in South Carolina. Our GPS estimated the drive to be approximately 7 hrs and 24 mins. And boy, was that estimate wrong – big time!! To skip the boring details, our team spent some 3,5 hrs just getting from DC to Richmond – which is about 100 miles/160 kms. You can imagine the atmosphere in the car after that little delay… And things were to only get better!
I checked the weather forecast in the morning, and was laughing all the way to Richmond about how shitty the American forecasts are – it was perfectly sunny day, with no indications of any rain. Until a small while later, when water just started pouring down. There we were, in the middle of the Interstate 95, with plenty of traffic around us – and visibility practically zero. Cars slowed down, pulled over and were driving with their emergency blinkers on – with thunder and lightning everywhere. When we hit the second big storm, the radio started making funky noises – apparently it was the National Forecast Service announcement, warning local people of extreme lightning – and a tornado that was blasting about 10 miles away from where we were. The advice of people who were facing the tornado was to get out of the car – lie down as flat as possible, and cover your head from flying debris. [At this point the car was kind of quiet – everyone apparently wondering what the f*ck we were doing driving down this way…]
The rest of the 10-hr trip was portrayed by amazing lightnings – an incredible view of a stormy night. And finally, we reached the Beach House and our hosts… Only 3 hours later than the GPS had originally estimated.
Atlantic Ocean was gorgeous – as were the people. Landlord Jerry and his siblings and their families, a couple of cousins with their significant others, kids, a dog - plus Mom and Pop hovering over their loved ones, and making sure everything was ok for everyone. The southern hospitality is something I am still struggling trying to put into words; three complete strangers from the Northern country of Finland were just so warmly welcomed to our hosts lives. We enjoyed the sun, were given some surfing lessons, watched the sunset on the beach – and enjoyed the delicious southern food! On Saturday afternoon the whole gang gathered together to join for a midday meal: fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, buttered beans with rice, corn, tomato pie and the most amazing desserts… It was exactly like in books and TV – yet so much more!
I will upload some pictures here, once I get them off my camera. Meanwhile you can just close your eyes and hear the Ocean and the crickets – and feel the hot sun on your salty skin. Most amazing road trip, and the memories will definitely stay with all of us for a long, long time!!
Ps. Lisaa juttua aiheesta seuraa suomeksi. I promise!