Driving from PA to Florida

Driving to FloridaI will start this blog in the order in which we traveled – or started out our Adventurous Retirement (or Tom’s).  Driving…

In the Beginning
Our 2015 adventure started on January 28th when we packed up the SUV and headed south.  It was a lovely journey, seeing Tom’s family on the way to Florida and then stopping overnight in an area we had vacationed in 2 years ago – Roanoke Rapids, known for its lovely lakes and

rural country environment.  There are some hotels off of I-95, and if you want to see this area at its best, visit in the summer.  Rent a house on Lake Gaston and enjoy the bald eagles, the gorgeous woods and cool freshwater lake.

Funny thing, two summers ago we stayed at a friend’s cabin on this lake, and didn’t realize it was the same place I made reservations to stay in a Hampton Inn until we saw the exit from I-95.  It is a great rustic area for spring, summer or fall getaways.  Check it out on the map.

– On our way to Savannah, GA, we had a great find …
Santee State Park is just over the border between North & South Carolina off of I-95.  It is beautiful, scenic, with lakes, hiking, and camping.  We walked in the natural beauty, looked out over the lake, and used the clean restrooms. The people staffing it are retirees who volunteer for the winter and live on-site in their RV.  They were very pleasant and knowledgeable.  Stretch your legs there if you are traveling by car; it was the best stop we made where we did not stay overnight, and you could stay overnight.

Santee State Park is in the Sandhills of South Carolina on the western edge of the 110,000-acre Lake Marion. It is located off of SC-6, three miles northwest of the town of Santee and I-95.  Check it out via one of these links:

Savannah, GA
Live Oak tree in Savannah GA
It really was an easy ride from Roanoke Falls with 2 drivers.  What a great choice for a 2-day stopover, and only 6-7 hours from Roanoke Falls.  We had heard about famous and historical Savannah – with its history of encouraging religious freedom, it attracted a diverse population.

The historical political figures that spent time there, the shipping trade, the waterfront, the grand houses, the Spanish moss, all the town squares and parks, the contemporary museum and the art and design school all make it quite an interesting, diverse town to visit.

Savannah GA - St John the Baptist Cathedral signYou could walk for hours and hours and not see it all.  We walked for 13 hours total in 1½ days and only saw the major highlights.
Unfortunately the plantations are outside of town and we were told that they are not really much to see.

We rented a lovely renovated 1-bedroom apartment on the edge of town in what looked like it was once a slave (or poorer freed man) neighborhood that was renovated into lovely small homes.  We were able to park the car on the street in front of the house, not move it, and walk everywhere.  I found it through Flipkey.

Florida
From Savannah, we headed to Florida – the East Coast – to spend some time with my Dad, who is 89 and quite active for his age.  We stayed in Lake Worth as a BnB guest, which I found on Airbnb.  Our host, Sakari, from Finland, was very gracious and accommodating.  We enjoyed the lovely surroundings, comfortable bed, and staying in a home. The price for a private room and bath with a full breakfast for two was very reasonable.

In early February, Florida can be cool, and it was in the 50s in the AM and low 70s in the PM.  It wasn’t really beach or swimming weather, but I managed to swim laps and change out of my wet suit quickly.

Off to Curacao
After 6 days in Lake Worth, we drove to Miami and flew to Curacao in the Nether Antilles, off the coast of Venezuela, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Southern Caribbean.  We were off to spend 5 weeks diving, exploring, eating fresh fish and relaxing.  Visit other websites blog posts to learn more about Curacao:
http://www.curacao.com/en/directory/do/sights-and-sounds/shete-boka-national-park/
http://www.curacaosunshine.com/ (we have been diving with David and eat at their restaurant regularly)
http://curacaovacationblog.com/about
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/01/curacao-the-caribbeans-best-kept-secret

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