Well here we are. Sitting around tonight awaiting the biggest storm that we have ever experienced on Bosco. 60MPH winds, tons of lightening and deluge of rain (4in in 4 hours). A perfect time to write about our latest excursion: driving to NC and back in a day!
I spent a good 2 hours researching the logistics for how we would get our van down there and ourselves back up here. We always planned to drive down and then rent a car for the drive back up here. The problem is that NC is pretty rural, and there are only 2 rental car options available. I guess that made it easier, but many of those rental car places were not open on weekends up here. So that left us no option other than doing it all in one day.
The plan came down to a very long, one-day push, to get there and back here before things closed. Everything was on a tight timeframe, or else we would have to fork extra cashola and waste several days which we couldn’t afford to do if we wanted to leave here next week. Our estimate said 7 hours there, 6 hours back. But you never know what traffic and weather will bring.
So we left at 1AM Friday morning (felt more like Thursday night). On only 3 hours of sleep and lots of rain, it was a painful start to our trip. Jake took first shift while I navigated, since there were over a dozen road changes. Once we hit our main road (95-S), Jake pulled over and I took over for the bulk of the rest of the drive.
Cars, cities and hours went by in a streaking haze and before long we were crossing the Virginia / NC border as the sun rose. It was a really beautiful and pleasant shift from city to rural-country driving. Everything was so lush and green and OPEN.
We hoped to get to the rental car place first, at around 7:30AM. But with weather and traffic, we didn’t get there until almost 8:45AM. No big deal since the storage place didn’t open until 9AM and was only a mile down the road. We got our rental with no issue and made our way to van storage place, right on schedule! The owner said that they were planning to discontinue vehicle storage for the year, which had us freaking out a bit! But he was so nice he said we could still keep our van there since we were in a bind. Thank god! So we put ‘baby-blue‘ in her new temporary home, and were rolling out by 9:30AM in our rental; the silver Dodge Dart.
The next phase of our journey intended for us to get back to Annapolis before 6PM, when the rental office closes. We figured it would take between 6 and 7 hours to get back, so we really didn’t have much time to dilly dally. We did stop at a cute little breakfast cafe to get some grub and much-needed coffee. Thank god for caffeine! The cafe was very cute and yummy. Felt like the quintessential North Carolinian experience.
Once fed and fueled, we hit the road. The Dart drove like a dream compared to our minivan. It was super zippy and comfortable! I took the first shift because I was still buzzing with caffeine; figured I would wait until the chemicals waned…and gave him a chance to catch some more Z’s. After 100 miles, I hit the wall and had to pull over.
Jake took the wheel from there. I got to sleep for a couple of hours which really helped to clear my brain of the haze I had been feeling all morning. I drove us the rest of the way back into the city. Right up until the end, the drive was absolutely beautiful. So much thick greenery mixed with open space. At times it felt like we were driving through a jungle. I had no idea the east coast offered so much of this beauty. Too bad it comes at the price of crazy heat and even crazier humidity!
We pulled into the rental car facility at 5:15PM. Our friend Dan (s/v Clyde) was due to pick us up at 5:30PM, so it worked out perfectly. After making a quick stop to the Whole Foods, for the last time in awhile, 🙁 and grabbing some pizza, 🙂 we made our way back to our marina. The car rolled in at 8PM and let me tell you…we were WIPED OUT.
We hit the showers and then the sack before 9PM, and didn’t move a muscle for 12 hours. Sleep was glorious.
So now we are job-less (Well Jake is, I’m still doing a bit), home-less, and car-less. Sounds like the opposite of what people strive for in life, but exactly where we want to be! The more we streamline our lives, the better we feel. Almost refreshed. We want to see how little we can live with and still be happy and comfortable. That feels like true freedom to us.