As the air continues to cool, we have kept just in front of the temperature and season change, enjoying 75-80 degree days for the month. The first week of November was spent in Boston, visiting family and friends and enjoying a wedding for two people we love very much.
Leaving Boston we ventured on past our favorite spots, stopping once more in Philadelphia, and back in Maryland to visit my family and niece once more before heading out for an undetermined amount of time. As we left Philadelphia I burst into tears. We were leaving the place we had called home for the past 5 years. We had worked to make friends, build schools, find favorite restaurants, hidden gems, yoga studios, and fall into a life we loved. Each time we passed through before, our lack of residency felt temporary, knowing we would return shortly. The finality of leaving suddenly hit me… this is no longer where I live, this is a place I visit and I don’t know when I will visit again. While the excitement of the journey ahead is spinning through my head and conversations with ease, the sadness at moving away from what is comfortable is often pushed aside.
Our first stop outside of DC was Charleston SC. An 8 hour drive south, we powered through in one day, stopping for the night at a rest stop off 95. We found an amazing app that shows all the rests stops along a route. I don’t think you are actually allowed to sleep at rest stops, but all of the cars around us were clearly camped out for the night as well.
This is an awful place to sleep.
There is constant traffic in and out, not to mention the cars rolling by on 95.
There are 18 wheelers idling in the parking lot, always, which gave me a fear of suffocating in our van from the fumes.
At about 3 in the morning a car alarm went off. It was not one of the cars next to us, it was a car on an 18 wheeler being transported. This made it challenging to turn off to say the least.
Charleston is a historical city and the houses along the waterfront are expansive. Even when moving around the city, the houses keep the southern style with wrap around porches on every level. Large trees line the streets and the city feels spacious. While in Charleston we explored some sneaky showering options which I will tell you more about later! We ate seafood, and spent a lot of time outside. There are few options for stealthy camping around here so we headed to sleep in the Walrmart parking lot. Waking around 6:30 or 7 in the morning is usually not a probably when sleeping in a parking lot, however, this time we had picked a section that functioned as a school bus drop off and pick up. We jolted awake in the morning to the sounds of small children running around, peaking out the window we saw lines of children waiting to load the bus. I was unsure of how to move forward, normally we open the doors, brush our teeth, get ready. This routine however, did not seem appropriate given the circumstances. I slowly climbed into the front seat, turned on the car and drove away. It goes without saying, we spent the next night in a national forest.
The highlight of our stay is Charleston was joining a local town hall meeting to see Bernie Sanders speak. A passionate and honest candidate, we stand behind Bernie and the sweeping reforms he is suggesting.
Savannah is a sprawling city, it seems as the further south we move, the larger the streets and sidewalks become. Savannah’s historic district is a square mile. The visitor center offers overnight parking for $8.00 and is a short walk from most places of interest. We enjoyed an evening walking around through the squares, which fall about two blocks.
We visited the Paula Dean store and were very tempted to buy butter themed souvenirs
. The city allows “to go drinks” and the streets were full of people with beers in plastic cups, giving it a college vibe. Live music played on the streets, and trees were lit with white twinkle lights. We couldn’t help but try pizza slices as big as our head at Vinnie Van Gogo’s.
When you order to-go be sure to tip and the whole kitchen will thank you.
We walked next door to the candy store to try samples of pralines and fill up on jelly beans, walked along the water, past a local market, and into a few more candy stores, and finished our night at Moon River Brewing. We saw at least 4 brides walking around the city in their wedding dresses.
For our second day in Savannah and our quest to do free things, we drove out of the historic district to Forsyth Park, a 30 acre historic park with old war fortresses, large fields, playgrounds, and fountains. We drove to the Bonaventure cemetery and wandered through the headstones, although the most famous statue has been removed, there are still graves dating from 1802. We ended our time by visiting the Botanical garden, which is tiny. A carefully curated rose garden welcomes you to the property along with a sweet cat.
From there we travel on to Amelia’s Island FL. Here we scavenged firewood, cut up old palms and bamboo, and made a fire on the beach. We met a couple traveling from Northern Canada, also in their minivan and enjoyed an evening around the fire. This was the first time we had met and spent time with other people traveling from their van.
Leaving early the next morning, after a near freezing night on the beach, we drove to Tallahassee, FL to visit my Aunts and Grandmother for Thanksgiving. My dad flew down to visit us and we had a wonderful family holiday. Tallahassee is a city with an offbeat culture and many liberal communities, in a fairly conservative state.
We saw The Hunger Games at this movie theater with reclining love seats. I am surprised I didn’t fall asleep!
Driving about 30 minutes from Tallahasee we turned left into a driveway with a sign for canoe rentals. A huge mud truck sat off to the left and two more just in front of us. We parked and walked towards the river and a shirtless man ran up and popped two canoes into the water. We paddled past a dock with alligator skulls displayed proudly and made our way from the stream to the larger river.
We made our way to the largest spring in the river and my fearless aunt was the the first up the tree and to swing into the crystal clear water. Henry quickly followed but I just jumped in for a quick dip. We finished up this beautiful day with a delicious sausage from Bradley’s Sausage. I ate it too quickly to get a picture. So here is the sign for you.
With Love- N