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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.

 

So hard to leave

trave

We have had such a great week here in Hilton Head.  We were going to leave tomorrow, but after thinking about the amount of time it takes to drive here, we decided that today would be a better choice.  Drew and Dave have games to play on Sunday and we were really going to be pushing it to drive the entire way in one day.  Even splitting it up between the two of us, we’d still have a fifteen hour drive without stopping.

The weather has been fantastic the whole time.  Mid seventies to low eighties.  Just perfect for us.  Not too hot, but just right.  Today, was supposed to be a rainy day, but it is quite the opposite.  It is gorgeous out making it harder to leave.  We have been taking our time but we are about to pack up the car and get on our way.

The place we rented is somewhere I would love to stay again.  We had been so worried about Emmy Lou not adapting well but even she did great and I think she likes it here as much as we do.  Normally we are creatures of habit and always find ourselves going to the same restaurants to eat whenever we come down here, but this time we “ventured” out and tried a few new places and I am so glad we did!  For anyone heading down this way, don’t miss out on Annie O’s or Jump and Phil’s.  Two new favorites!!

It is always sad to say goodbye after a vacation and to a week with no schedules and time constraints, but tomorrow will bring us back to reality.  Back to the real world.