My whirlwind trip to the US wasn’t just about Cole, but also to spend some time with my parents. Now that I’m (again) going to be grandmother myself (Just call me Oma), I’m realizing my parents are getting older. They will be great-grandparents! Time is just flying by. I feel such a strong urge to make the most of it.

That urge landed me in a car, with both my parents, somewhere on the backroads between North & South Carolina. It is an incredibly different landscape, despite all the pine trees, than here in my beloved Black Forest. Highway 1 is a long, lonely, 2-lane road. Trees loom on both sides, interspersed with mini-swamps, trailers, and the occasional small town or factory. The look is decidedly American. Really an America from decades past.

These rural parts in the southern states haven’t been swept with progress, cookie-cutter housing, foodie grocery markets or even a Starbucks. There was no Starbucks to be found. In fact, I finally broke down and tried something called Tru Ade (I found a brief history here) when we stopped for gas at an-almost modern gas station. A couple miles earlier we’d passed a Pepsi-Cola bottling plant in Cheraw, SC:

“Home of Tru Ade”

Well. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t buy a Tru Ade. I’d never heard of Tru Ade, but I had driven by it’s home. I needed to try it. And, let me tell you, it’s delicious!

My new fave

Perhaps inspired by my adventerous spirit, or maybe really the reason for my adventerous spirit, my parents perked up. Not that they had been un-perky. My dad had been super-perky with his map reading & directions. Despite us being on a straight shot to Columbia along Higway 1, he gave regular updates on our geographic location and current route trajectory. Just as regularly, my mom’s eyes rolled into the back of her head. I was just sad I was without a sister in the car to giggle with.

“You know, there’s a big revolutionary war site coming up.” My dad began, “You can see it from the highway, but we could stop?” I hear the hopefulness in his voice. Not that I needed hopefulness, I’m all about seeing all the things. I was in! I looked over at my mom, piloting our car at breakneck speeds over the deep south highway. She was grinning! She was in! History… here we come!

The next hour went by quickly and soon enough we pulled into the Camden Historic Revolutionary War Site.

I was both immediately transported more than 200 years into the past, and captivated by this little oasis of American history. We were the only ones there, except for the lone woman minding the gift shop. She was a font of information and gave us a brief little history of Camden, the big battle, and the key sights around the grounds. While a guided tour was available, it was very obvious I wouldn’t be able to walk the uneven grounds for an hour and a half. Instead we took a self-guided booklet and drove through the driveable parts.

I hobbled around a little, my dad at my elbow sweating bullets I’d fall again. My poor dad. He’d been three steps behind me when I broke my leg last summer. He heard it crack. He saw me fall. He’s told me repeatedly he tried to catch me but he was a split second too late. No matter how many times I tell him my leg broke before I fell, he still carries a heavy load of guilt.

My mom though, she gets there’s no way my titanium-enforced leg will break again. She happily ran ahead, checking things out, seeing if I needed to see it & take a picture. My mom was a rock star!

Me & my mom dressing up as revolutionaries in the gift shop

my mom & dad posing in front of the gift shop

My mom happily demonstrating how a wagon would work, if we had an ox

My mom found an old “dug-out” or canoe.. she’s now thinking of getting a modern one for herself

I briefly got my mom into this stockade… but she panicked. She was “dying” so no photo of her in the stockade. Sigh.

One of several log cabins. I always wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Lt. General Lord Cornwallis stayed in this house during the British occupation of Camden

My mom & dad kicking it on the porch of the pub. Of course.

The Betsy Ross Flag. The flag features 13 stars to represent the original 13 colonies with the stars arranged in a circle.

Downtown Camden. Iconic. American.

And we’re off to Columbia. To Cole!