Debbie and I have not had a road trip alone together since before Gab and Bec were born. The last one was a vacation where we went from LA to the Grand Canyon to Scottsdale, Arizona. The opportunity for the road trip this time was to pack up various items from my aunt’s condo and bring the fully packed car from Florida to New Jersey. We arrived on Monday, and the first three days in Florida were spent working and taking care of my aunt’s business. Thursday afternoon arrived, we had the car loaded with our luggage, various knick knacks, chachkas and memories. As someone we talked to during our trip said, the spirit of our aunt was looking upon us. At which point we raised our glasses of beer and toasted Temie. We said goodbye to Temie’s neighbors, then off we went, just the two of us, in a car, and the open road ahead. We had not booked any places to stay. Excited – Yes! An Adventure – Yes! Would we make it in one piece? Would we still be a happily, married couple? Finally, it was road trip time and vacation (NO WORK).
For years, I always poo-poo’d driving distances on vacation. As a family, we did drive to Disney once, but I had a convention in Charlotte, so we tied the two together. Otherwise, hop in the airplane and show up at the destination. While there is a lot of empty spaces between cities, we enjoyed the opportunity to visit places we have never been to and realized that driving allowed us the chance to see more of our country, see new places and meet new people.
- Visiting friends in Jacksonville – they wanted us to stay the night, but I decided to drive half way to the next stop – Charleston.
- Driving from 10:30 – 1:00 in the morning - there is NO ONE on the road.
- Arriving in Charleston in time for the tour guide to pick us up, greeting us with, “Welcome to this adventure.” Adventure include:
- Visiting the oldest tree east of the Mississippi, Angel Oak, that supposedly George Washington visited while smoking hemp from his pipe.
- Wine Tasting at Deep Water Vineyards
- Spirits Tasting at Firefly Distillery – who knew they had 27 products?
- Beer Tasting at Low Tide Brewery
- Dinner at a local barbeque and bar in Charleston, where next to us there were two people from Queensryche (that were playing that night) eating next to us
- Walking the historic streets of Charleston
- An evening spent in Richmond, Virginia where we ate dinner at Southern Railway Taphouse. At 10:00, the place transformed into a local 20-something year olds hangout and we realized that we were more than double half the patrons age. We feel young, but…
- Being fans of “Triple D”, stopping for a late lunch at Johnny Rad’s in Baltimore…fried edamame, good pizza (El Gato, garlic white) and tasty dessert (Salted Carmel Bread Pudding).
At 8:30 pm Sunday night, 1,350 miles of road behind us, and multiple pits along the way, we walked into our front door. The four-day “open road” adventure complete. It was a great trip and we found some places we want to visit in the future. The best part – we are still talking, are a smiley couple and had a great time being together. It was great to be off the grid, not pay attention to emails and texts, and just spend time together, focusing on each other.