A few weeks ago, my raccoon brain listed that I might be thinking about taking a road trip. That was more than a might, because I’m plotting my biennial pilgrimage to North Carolina for Christmas this year.
Tim and I made this trip two times together. The whole thing started because my company closes between Christmas and New Years every year, leaving me with a lot of extra vacation. Since we have family & friends in North Carolina, we figured it wouldn’t be so bad to drive with the dogs and make a cheap, extended trip. Tim and I always did well together on road trips, driving from NC to New Orleans multiple times before we moved away from my home state.
Even a familiar (boring) road trip to NC would get me excited a few weeks prior. Sure it was long and tiring to drive all that way (20+ hours if you’re curious), but it’s time I really enjoyed spending with him. We talked a lot, listened to music and I have a lot of good memories sitting in the front seat with him for mile after mile.
This year I’ll be doing the drive solo. Sure, I could fly and skip the drive entirely but I’d have to shorten my trip since boarding 3 dogs over 7 days costs a small fortune. This Christmas is going to be really hard for me in a lot of different ways, and even though I will be surrounded by family and friends… my dogs are my family too. Day to day, they’re the only members of my little family unit that I have left.
So I’m taking my good travelers, Eliot & Pascale, with me to NC via the trusty Kia. People who are frowning their faces right now and thinking that’s too far for me to drive by myself can just save their breath. I’m stubborn, and I’m not going to listen to any naysayers.
That only leaves the question of how to get there. In the past, we always stopped once each way to make for about 10 hours driving time per day. Since I’m doing this solo and am trying to treat it like a little adventure, I am probably going to want to stop twice each direction. I’ve made this handy dandy map with possible stop ideas I’ve already thought of:
That random gray blob over Atlanta is a whale shark… because aquarium.
This next map is a very scientifically calculated surface area of where I might be willing to travel to outside of the direct route.
Here are the other considerations:
- I will have the two big dogs, so will need dog friendly places or a nearby La Quinta (don’t be jealous… I’m a gold member… I’m kind of a big deal)
- I will hopefully leave Austin around December 21st
- My birthday is December 23rd, and I don’t want to be driving alone in the middle of a corn field as I say hello to 31
- I have to be back in Austin on January 3rd
- I like pretty things that I can take photographs of
- I like critters
- I like friends
So tell me folks… where do I go? What do I see? Who do I visit? Go!