I waved goodbye to what had been my home for the last 14 months, truthfully spitting at it’s doorstep (at least in my mind). After six years in Florida, it was finally time to hit the road. This isn’t the same old “I quite my job to travel” story I keep hearing about on my Facebook newsfeed.
Honestly, it didn’t feel like I was quitting much of anything… Saying adios to the sunshine state was a long time coming. There were a lot of memorable moments, some good, some bad, as your twenties go. Mostly, I knew it was time to move on. I was in full on preparation for my move to South Korea after a summer of Caribbean sun and fun in Toronto.
Mission 1: Get my car from South Florida to Alexandria, Virginia… road trip time!
Mission 2: Make it to VA in one piece.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bauer road trip without a few pit stops, photo ops, and lots of bathroom breaks along the way.
Where did the time go over the years? The thing about road trips is that they often mean more than we give them credit for. I’ll remember this one as one of the last big moves my father helped me make as a young adult.
I remember waving goodbye to my parents from my dorm in Orlando as they drove away in 2008. I got to wave goodbye to another chapter in my life, this time with my father in the passenger seat. Moving out of Florida, jumping into this road trip, it signified that a lot was changing. A lot has changed.
There are four staples of a Bauer family road trip. Follow in our footsteps at your own discretion.
Staple #1 – Fill up on Cracker Barrel
Staple #2 – Take as long as possible to reach your destination
Staple #3 – Stock up on cheesy popcorn
Staple #4 – Take lots of pictures
You’ll notice that two of those are directly food related, and I’ll confess that the other two are indirectly food related.
The last fourteen months I’d been living in a beautiful little house with a pool and a great patio tainted with a hurricane of roommate drama. When I say bad, I mean bad. So terrible, in fact, that I couldn’t get out of there soon enough.
My dad landed in Ft. Lauderdale at 6:00pm, we finished packing my car up that evening, and decided to drive as far as we possibly could before the ZZZ’s hit us.
Stops Along Interstate 95
St. Augustine, Florida
I’d been to this cute little seaside town for wedding a few years back, but from that first trip I knew I needed to return. Right off the bat we decided this was a must-see spot on our road trip.
St. August has so much charm. We took our time driving along the coast and stopping at random sections of the beach to get a glimpse of the ocean. Even though you’ll be right next to the water, it’s hard to see from a car window because of the shrubs and houses built along the beach side, which is pretty unfortunate, but it was still a beautiful ride.
The first attraction that really caught our fancy was the St. Augustine Lighthouse. As you may recall, I’m actually pretty scared of heights (even though I like to pretend I’m not), so climbing all those stairs really scared the bejesus out of me. I was pretty stoked to have made it to the top, but I didn’t last very long.
If you’re not as squeamish as I am with altitude, then you’ll love this view. It was pretty cool getting to look over all of St. Augustine and the Florida coast.
Our next stop was the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. This was pretty cool to see because we learn a lot about Florida in Puerto Rican history and it’s for a good reason. This old fort reminds me so much of the ones you find in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Everything from the architecture to the canons.
We saw a reenactment with men dressed up like colonial soldiers. It was a pretty cool thing to experience.
I think I was most excited to see Savannah on this trip because I’ve heard so many great things about this southern town. My favorite part was walking along the cobble stone roads. The beauty of Savannah is how well preserved it is, even the historical district.
We took a stroll down River Street and moseyed our way through the little alley ways, restaurants, and Inn’s that line the waterfront. I’m so jealous of everyone who gets to experience the Fourth of July fireworks looking over the Savannah river.
We made a point of driving by the historic houses that still stand around the city. There are so many cool buildings, it’s almost impossible to see them all. Next time I head into town I’ll be sure to take a walking tour.
Our final destination was my brother’s house in Alexandria, Virginia right on the outskirts of Washington D.C. We spent a month getting to know Old Town, walking around D.C. and indulging in all kids of sweet American-embellished cuisine before the big move.
The entire trip took about 15 hours. Once we were out of Florida, though, it was smooth sailing. I can’t believe what a huge state Florida is and how hard it is to get the heck out of there, but we did it. We hit a load of traffic near Richmond, Virginia, so my one piece of advice for those looking to make a trip along Interstate 95 would be to stay away from rush hour. That’s a pretty obvious tip, but we didn’t plan our trip well enough to make it happen (and you should definitely do as we say not as we do).