After leaving Alexandria, we were able to stop and see family before getting to Congaree National Park. We have family over on the east coast in North Carolina so we headed straight for the Atlantic Ocean. Yes..we finally we able to put our feet in the Atlantic.. We made it literally all the way across the United States!! We met up with our cousin Amber and her three boys at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. The timing could not have been any better than it was. The boys got out of school and they headed to the beach and got there maybe 10 minutes after we did!
Seeing them again was way too sweet! Jason had never met the boys or Amber, and I hadn’t seen Amber and the boys in probably over three years. And, Amber had Keagan since the last time I saw her, so I got to meet Keagan for the first time. We exchanged hugs, and the boys ran right to the ocean. They had so much fun playing in the water and getting covered with sand while we caught up with Amber. We found seashells, dead crabs, and again got sand in places it shouldn’t be!
After finishing up at the beach, Amber blessed us by buying Panera for us all. This dinner was just what we needed. A nice fresh salad, with soup and a sandwich! We all ate slowly knowing that we had to get back on the road after dinner. We said our sad goodbyes, and hit the road.
We decided to camp out at the Walmart in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the night. Back in fifth grade, I took a trip with my family to the east coast and went to Myrtle Beach, so I insisted on showing Jason the things I remembered from there. We woke up and watched the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean, then walked down the beach and through the town, bringing back memories from going to Ripley’s Believe It or Not haunted house way back when.
From there, we drove down the coast to Charleston, South Carolina, and enjoyed walking around the historic town for a bit. Here we saw extremely old, beautiful houses, lots of horse drawn carriages, and experienced a small town market.
We jumped back on the road and arrived at Congaree National Park late in the afternoon. We were one of the four groups of people that were in the national park for the day. This national park has only 20 miles of hiking trails in it, most of which include trudging through the wetlands. There is only one hike in the park where you don’t have to get all muddy, so we decided to take it. It was beautiful in it’s own way. We hiked the Boardwalk Sims Trail through the wetlands and enjoyed the scenery in a much cleaner, bug free environment. Half of the Boardwalk Trail was closed due to flooding, so we enjoyed our out and back hike to the water then back to the visitor center.
This national park is one that we are glad we went to, but probably won’t be returning to. It’s one that if it’s on your way to somewhere else you should stop in and see it, but other than that, unless you love mosquitoes and trees, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend going there.
After finishing up at Congaree National Park, we had a few days to make the 10-hour drive to New Orleans. Check out our next blog to see the fun adventures we had during this 10-hour drive!
*Pray for Amber!! She is a great single mom working her booty off at her job, going to school, and is still doing a great job raising her three little boys!