The last time we made the trip to Hilton Head, our car was bigger, the boys were smaller and we did not have a dog!  This trip, Dave and I became experts at what we liked to call our personal Tetris/Jenga as we packed up our Jeep Liberty.  The last time we took the drive there, we had a Chevrolet Trailblazer that had so much room!!  I absolutely LOVE our Jeep, but had no idea how much I missed the roominess of the Trailblazer until this trip.  We left yesterday, knowing that we had about fifteen hours of driving ahead of us.  We knew we could take our time just like our ride down.

We left the condo around three o’clock, after taking our time on the island and drove until we arrived in Raleigh, North Carolina. We decided to stay at the same place, a Marriott Residence Inn.  The accommodations were great when we stayed there on the way down and had the added benefit of being pet friendly so we figured we’d go back there.  Plus, free hot breakfast 🙂  Can’t beat that!!

We enjoyed our ride so much driving to Hilton Head, that we decided to take the same route home, even if it was a little bit longer.  Route 95 gets so crowded and there is so much traffic that Route 13 seemed a much less stressful way to go.  Once again, the ride was beautiful.  There was so much to see.  We saw farmland and old historic towns and landmarks all the way.  As we crossed The Chesapeake Bay, we even saw a submarine setting out for sea.  Dave joked that he felt like he was watching, “The Hunt for Red October.” I know some might think it is just a bridge, but to see this immense structure, that goes over the water and then under the water several times was truly astounding to me.  There is a point where you can see the bridge in front of you and it looks like it just disappears into the water, (one of the tunnels.)  The pictures I took do it no justice at all.  I just could not get the magnitude of it in a photo.

Because we had Emmy Lou with us, we could not stop anywhere for long breaks.  We just took a few stops for gas, snacks, bathroom breaks for us and walks for her,  We hit no traffic…until Exit 7 on The New Jersey Turnpike.  Then, it started to rain.  Welcome home.  The short ride from there felt like the longest part of the trip home.  We finally made it home after riding in the car for a total of 11 hours today and 6 yesterday.  Dave did all of the driving.  His choice.  I think he likes it better driving than sitting in the passenger seat.  That was fine with me.  As I watched the scenery as we drove, I realized why people give New Jersey such a bad rap.   Even half way up the turnpike it was a pretty ride. Then, we hit exit 13.  Seaports, factories, refineries, smokestacks, traffic, strange odors…it all adds up.  I get it.  BUT, it seems that people seem to gather in places that have a lot to offer.  Perhaps that’s the reason for all of the congestion.  All you need to do is just go a few miles off the turnpike and you will find yourself in plenty of beautiful areas!  Anyone who lives here knows that!

It is always nice to get home, but now reality sets in.  Back to the real world tomorrow.  At least we have Sunday to get to the grocery store, get laundry done and finish up lesson plans for school.  Vacations give us the opportunity to rejuvenate, refresh and unwind.  It was just what we all needed.



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