Ukrainians should never talk to strangers on a plane. They'll get crazy ideas that you can never get out of their heads.
On the flight from Atlanta to Augusta, they chatted with a few of their seatmates. Georgia locals. When everyone learned they were visiting from Ukraine, all they could say is "You have to go to Savannah!"
Well, once you get something stuck in your head, it's hard to get it out.
We had the schedule for the whole week planned out. Sunday was the Morris Museum of Art and a Greenjackets game. Monday was training. Tuesday was training, a trip to the Columbia News Times. Wednesday was training and a cookout at Dana's house. Thursday was training and golf at West Lake. Friday was training and a music cruise down the Augusta canal. Saturday was a trip to the Augusta Museum of History and shopping. We had it planned out for about a week and it didn't include Savannah.
So, Kim and I started trying to find a creative way to get them there since part of the group had never been to the United States. And most had never seen the Atlantic Ocean. We wanted to make their trip special. And if it meant going to Savannah, we were going to Savannah
As the week progressed, things started to fall in place. We were able to move a few things around and free up time on Saturday for a quick trip.
Beach day finally came and I picked up everybody at the hotel. We made it to Savannah and quickly made a beeline for Tybee Island.
You couldn't have asked for a better day to spend at the beach. We just happened to be spending it with thousands of other people that thought the same thing.
People were everywhere. What I thought was a crowded beach was nothing compared to Ukrainian beaches along the Black Sea. Everyone scoffed at my observation. Apparently, there it's hard to walk on the sand without having to step over someone. So much for my idea of a crowded beach.
We all managed to dip our toes in the Atlantic Ocean that day, munched on some leftover snacks from the music cruise the night before and even took a few pictures. But the best part was great seeing everyone having a great time.
On our way back from Tybee, we had to make a stop for gas. For the record, $90 will not fill the tank on a Ford Expedition. This alone makes me glad I drive a Honda.
Just like every gas station on the way to and from the beach, there was a produce stand next door and we were able to pick up a few Georgia peaches. But, before we left, I had to grab another southern delicacy for the group; boiled peanuts. After Anatoliy's first introduction to peanuts at the baseball game - I'm convinced he devoured the peanut, shell and all - I wasn't sure how these would go over. Most everyone tried some, but it seemed Anna and I liked them the most as we devoured almost the entire bag. We were even snacking on them well after they got cold several hours later.
All in all, a beautiful day to spend at the beach with friends.
Well, our Ukrainian friends have come and gone. We keep in touch via the World Wide Web.
Another group will be here in a few weeks. We can’t keep them from talking to strangers on the plane ride over, either. But if they do, I hope their seatmates suggest other places to visit. Maybe like Hawaii?