Billboards on the US interstates amuse, entertain and do exactly what they were designed to do...grab your attention and entice you to stop and see what's what.
For a good portion of today as we drove from Brunswick, Georgia to Emporia, Virginia, I read at least a hundred billboards for South of the Border
. What was fascinating was no two were alike. The one below not only made me laugh out loud, it cinched the deal. We were definitely stopping to find out what all the hubbub was about.
What amazes me is that after all the times John and I have crisscrossed Canada and the US, he has to ask if I'm really serious about stopping at this or that "tourist trap". I ask him how we could possibly pass up such an opportunity? We get some of our best travel stories as a result, and today it happened again!
But let's be fair. South of the Border lives up to the hype. Check out this jaw dropping view on the approach to the exit. What began as a single store has morphed after 63 years due to its own version of urban sprawl.
In 1949 Mr. Alan Schafer built a 18 X 36 foot beer stand known as South of the Border Beer Depot. As it adjoined the North Carolina counties, which were dry of alcoholic beverages, business boomed. A few years later a 10-seat grill was added and the business was renamed South of the Border Drive-in.
Today, there's the Sombrero Tower that's over 200 feet high and offers a glass elevator ride to the top for panoramic views of the North Carolina countryside. Pedroland
is an amusement park with a ferris wheel, bumper cars, etc. It also offers a mini-golf course, and there is an 18-hole golf course for the older kids. Plus, a campground, motel, restaurants, ice cream parlor, numerous gift shops, etc, etc, etc!
Across the street Pedro himself. The 97-foot Predro weighs 77 tons and cars drive through his legs. Here's a vintage view...
Here's my pic...I didn't stand out in the road because I didn't want to get run over!
I turned around and spotted the gigantic flamingos. Naturally, I made John pose with them. :)
He grumbled, but pretty soon was getting into the spirit of things. Next thing I know, he's goofing around with a concrete crocodile.
What happened? Score 1 for John, zero for the croc! Just another tale south of the border...
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