Summer Roadtrip 2018 (Part 1)

Three years now Gwen and I have traveled from Colorado back to the East Coast to visit friends and family. It started as necessity: I had to get back East and see everyone, I needed to break up the summer, someone in Pennsylvania was going to watch Daisy while we were in Cape Cod and we wanted to have the car in Cape Cod. From necessity it became tradition: a way to explore, a chance to see new things, to still break up the summer, and for us to have some great time camping and with family/friends. This year, for the first time, it also felt different: we were just as sad to leave as we were excited. That hadn't happened before! It was so hard to say goodbye to people we were used to seeing almost daily, people who are now "framily", knowing we wouldn't see them for a month. If nothing else, this trip proved to me that Colorado has finally become "home."

That said, the trip was amazing. We got to see 4 new states, bringing Gwen's total to 36, and mine to (39 correction!) 40! We left on the 5th of July, getting up early and taking off for our longest day of the whole trip. 12.5 hours out to St. Louis! Luckily we had a friend we were staying with, and didn't have to set up a tent. We just collapsed into a lovely bed for the night. The next morning we headed out early again, and started to make our way south.

Our next stop and our first new state was Mississippi. We stayed in Roosevelt State Park outside of Jackson, for two nights, giving us a full day to explore.

We checked out the Petrified Forest. 

Walked around Jackson, including going through their new Civil Rights Museum, checking out the Zoo, and touring the Old Capital. 

The second night, after I fed Gwen, she ran to play with our camp neighbors and they invited me over for a Mississippi Fried Catfish dinner! 

We talked about travel, about our lives, and when the conversation eventually veered into more "dangerous" territory, it stayed respectful and pleasant.

After Mississippi, we headed over to Alabama and Oak Mountain State Park. It was a quick drive, giving us plenty of time to explore.

We walked their Tree Top Nature Trail, which lead us past these amazing bird cages for rehabbing injured birds.

We checked out their nature center at the head of the hike, then came back down and headed to the petting zoo! 

After returning to our campsite (about 5 miles away at the other end of the park!), we checked out the lake. 

We ate at Cracker Barrel, where Gwen determined she loves their peg jumping game, then it was time for bed. 

Next stop was Georgia! We made a detour just before Atlanta to visit with a friend and her daughter...

Then it was onward to Savannah for a 3 night stop.

Savannah is the childhood home of my brother Ethan's wife, Elise, and still home to her parents and sister! Molly is an acro-yogi, and got me up in the air almost the second I arrived. I loved it! The next day we met Molly for lunch on her break from work (where we took ridiculous pictures and selfies)...

before heading out to Tybee Island!

Gwen had never swam in water so warm, and was beside herself. 

On our way back to our host's house, we stopped to check out Bonaventure Cemetary, which has been called the most beautiful cemetery in the United States! 

With the ancient headstones, the Spanish Moss, and the mausoleums, I can't argue! 

We got to check out Skidaway Institute who were having an open house that night. Gwen got to look at all different kinds of sand under the microscope, and learn about river mapping.

The next day we checked out Savannah, walking for about 6 miles as we toured old squares, and walked from the waterfront down to a humongous park.

Gwen was excited to tour the house where the Marquis de Lafayette stayed on his visit to Savannah. She knows his name from the Hamilton soundtrack! 

Savannah is such a gorgeous city! Such old school charm, but with such a friendly, small town feel. 

After our day walking around, Gwen enjoyed checking out some fossils Elise's Dad brought home... including a Megalodon tooth!! Then starting to learn chess from Elise's Mom. 

After we left Georgia, we headed to South Carolina... and I'll start there in the next post!

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