My day started off right: I awoke to a blog message from Nick and Alivia, commenting on my itinerary and telling me they’re proud of me. What more could a mom want? I then enjoyed some tea and conversation with Jen’s mom and Mike before getting on the road.
I got in my car, started the engine and … what’s wrong with Aidan??? I tried to push the plug in to the car power outlet and it seemed to be jammed. I pulled it out and realized the whole thing had come undone. Mike and I both put it back together, but there was no making it work. We think it might be the fuse, but we’re not sure. Whatever it is, the fact is, I’m now GPS-less.
Luckily my phone has navigation, so I set my destination (Trish’s house just outside Charleston, South Carolina) in my phone, and then wrote down the directions. I didn’t want to tie my phone up with navigation. It wasn’t long into the journey that I started missing Aidan. I knew I’d be fine with the directions, especially now that I was on the East Coast, driving 95 much of the way – basically home turf.
But he’s more than a GPS. He’s been my co-pilot. (Sad, isn’t it?) I realized that not only does he direct me, he gives me a nudge when I’m starting to zone and reminds me when we’re two miles away from a turn. And when I make a wrong turn, he says ‘when you get a chance, chuck a u-ey.’ And when I ignore him, he yells ‘bugger!’ Quite the personality, my dear Aidan. I’m also missing the count down in miles left to go (under 300 miles, under 200 miles…) and time (less than 5 hours, less than 4 hours…), as well as the reminders about the speed limit, when no road sign is in sight but a police car is. So I’ll try to find a replacement cord when I get a chance, but until then, I have to go it alone.
As I entered Jacksonville, where I stopped for gas and a drink, I was surprised to see live Christmas trees for sale. I don’t know why, but when I think of Florida, I think fake trees, or palm trees. But there they were, just like in the snowy north. Several cars drove away with them on their roofs. And then they stopped. Suddenly we encountered the craziest traffic yet. I should’ve known it wouldn’t be good on 95. There’s tons of construction (as usual) and, what I’d forgotten, it’s Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Everyone is travelling for the holiday. Ugh.
I slowly made my way into Georgia, thankful to be just passing through. But then I got to Savannah. My, oh my, everyone was right: I love it! Dad was right, even Scarlett’s Mammy was right. Savannah is the place to be. The old buildings, the waterfront with the riverboats, the artists, the shops, the cobblestone streets – even Nick would have liked it because there’s a Ruth Chris Steakhouse! I spent five minutes taking pictures and got back in my car. I knew any more time would just be more of a tease and I wouldn’t want to leave. I simply need to come back and spend a good few days in Savannah. And I will.
With a smile on my face, filled with a new appreciation of Georgia, I drove on to South Carolina. I arrived at Trish’s house in Summerville, just outside Charleston, and spent a great evening with her family. It was nice to catch up – it’s been way too long since we were in the same room! And I’m really looking forward to seeing Trish’s Charleston. She wrote me the other day: ‘So I was thinking about your whirlwind Eat. Pray. Love. Charleston. tour. I call it that because we will Eat. Charleston is renowned for all of its restaurants and it will be hard to pick just one or two while you’re here. We will Pray, because Charleston is the Holy City with more churches than you can imagine. And you will Love. You will Love Charleston because it’s hard not to fall in love with this city so rich in history.’ I have the feeling she might be right – I can’t wait!