When we headed out, the bridge was closed, so we decided to take the scenic route down 264 and see what we found. The answer was nothing. Miles and miles and miles of NOTHING. But it was pretty, that's for sure. We saw a lot of abandoned houses, and every town we came to seemed to all have the same stores. There was something both sad and comforting about that. We talked of someday having a retreat down there, driving distance of the beach, plenty of beautiful scenery around.
Driving by an Antiques store with lots of stuff on the porch, we decided to stop in! The older lady holding down the shop was super nice. Apparently the store has been in the family for 110 years, though it wasn't always an antique store, it just naturally evolved as their personal collection grew. Back in the day it was the "Walmarts" of the area where you could get anything from a new house to a coffin. They had a wonderfully broad collection, though a fair amount of the store wasn't for sale. It was still fun to look at, and had we had more money we would have bought a bunch of stuff. If we're ever in the area, we'll definitely stop in again!
We made our way through and ended up staying in Rocky Mount with some hotel gift cards we received as gifts a long time ago. There wasn't much in that town for use, but we had a very comfortable bed to sleep in and some quality time in a hot tub!! We even hit up a Dollar Tree for some more road trip supplies. If you haven't noticed so far, a large part of this vacation was spent sitting in the car. Frankly, we don't always get along in the car, but there was something about not having a destination that made driving fun.
The next morning I had breakfast at my very first Waffle House, and we set off for Virginia! At some point there was a huge back up on the highway, so we again decided to take the scenic route. We headed over towards Shenandoah National Park. On our way there, we stopped and grilled some fish at a rest area and looked over maps and pamphlets of the area. I loved our fish picnic! It was freezing cold out, and we had a gourmet meal that didn't cost us a thing.
As we reached our evening destination, we frantically tried to find a campground. We stopped at one, and the people there seemed a little... off. We called around and finally found a KOA that had a cabin! Which was awesome, because it was snowing! We stopped off at a thrift store because I didn't manage to pack a hooded sweatshirt, and when we arrived at our cabin someone had turned on a space heater for us! Hooray! We again grilled a delicious dinner (honestly can't remember what we ate that night, but I remember it was GOOOOD, or I was starving). By night time it was almost too hot in our cabin, but I was thrilled we weren't in a tent.
When we got up the next morning, the sun was shining and the snow was slowly disappearing. We took our time, made a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, and headed out for an Antique Mall! Which was super fun. It took us a few hours to walk through the whole thing, and frankly their definition of "antique" was stretched a little bit. I found a map of Maine from 1865 that I just had to have, but other than that everything stayed right there.
From there, we drive up to Baltimore (hit some crazy traffic in Maryland), bought some blue crabs, and then started the drive home. I had to work Saturday at 4, so we had a little crunch on the way home.
We tried to stop in CT to spend the night, but the hotel we chose was booked up and it was closing in on Midnight. We decided to say eff it and just head for home! Around 3:30 in the morning we pulled in our driveway, woke up my poor mother who was watching all our animals, and settled in for a little nap.
It was definitely a whirlwind week, but we had so much fun! Most of our time was spent in the car, and I think it's a testament to our marriage that we still love each other, and still spent the next two days together. It was really nice being away from all the stress of home, not having to worry about anything except our next destination (which was often the next public restroom). It definitely inspired me to simplify things at home so I can rediscover the peace we found on the road.