Late in the afternoon, the sky looked a little menacing, but I thought it offered a stunning sunset. We were headed south past the clouds so no worries.
2. We arrived in Fredricksburg, Virginia to do a little touring around the city the next day, specifically the civil war area. We ended up staying for the night in Spotsylvania. One reason we ended up in the Fredricksburg area is it was a halfway meeting point with our daughter a few weeks back for dinner. We found a great Italian restaurant, Renato. It was a random pick driving through the town. It was a great meal and we thought Fredericksburg looked like a place to do a little more exploring, once we had the time. Upon our arrival on this trip and while we were having pizza at the best pizza shop in Spotsylvania, (so said the sign on the wall) my daughter called and said, I hope you cancelled your plans, because we are getting a bad storm tomorrow with 12 inches of snow. In North Carolina? We were sure she was confused. We told her we were already underway on our journey and things looked clear here, but we would take precautions. We went shopping for a shovel and additional provisions, chocolate, just in case. Odd little personalized shovels were found at the Autozone auto store and then we ventured into Walmart. They had plenty of shovels and the customer service at both stops were extremely friendly with southern hospitality.
3. The next day seemed maneuverable but cold. It was 9 degrees when we started out our day. We managed to see quite a few landmarks on the list we had compiled the night before and some additional ones after visiting the local visitor's center in downtown Fredericksburg. There were not many people out and about at 9 degrees and I am sure the people at the visitor's center were whispering about us being out in this weather. Yet they were also very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Only one of the suggested locations was closed and the staff at all the others were most accommodating. The exhibit at the Fredericksburg Museum was changing over so we could not see the one upstairs but the one downstairs I will share in a future blog. There were lots of civil war things. This one is strictly about the weather.
4. We went out of our way to see Washington's birthplace and that set us back a few hours but very worth the trip. It is closer to the coast, frozen in but beautiful, I recommend it, if you are traveling in this area, go there first and then head into the Fredericksburg area. Ferry Farm the boyhood home was closed (due to weather) as was Kenmore (renovations), home of George Washington's sister and (at the time before he lost all his money to the war effort), her rich husband. Our daughter checked on us again, through the convenience of cell phone and sent another weather warning. We were shooting for Raleigh, North Carolina that evening. By the time we ventured back to Interstate 95, the snow was starting to fall, just lightly at first. I am an enthusiastic traveler and was sure we would make our destination but I was not driving. Thank goodness the person who was driving Miss Crazy had enough sense to say we better stop for the night around 8 p.m. At our first stop in Virginia, all the hotels were booked. It seemed to be a most common, packing it in for the night location. One of the hotels phoned ahead for us at the next stop 40 minutes down the road and made reservations, they had vacancies. We arrived there tired and hungry with limited choices and the roads were starting to get bad with hardly anyone left on them. I had two text messages from friends in Pennsylvania telling us how bad the roads were. We knew, and then there was the constant checking on us from the daughter. The role reversal was interesting. I hope she remembers the experience and understands me more now.
5. Our stop over was also the choice of a lot of truckers and we watched them pull in all through the night as we kept the curtains open to watch the snow pile up. We had a beautiful room with a view but it was just a little too cold to enjoy the other accommodations, like the outdoor pool. It would be the perfect resort for those polar bear plungers. The next morning, we became more familiar with our surroundings. Down at the breakfast bar every one was gathered around the television set watching what had happened the day before in Georgia with motorist being stranded for hours and kids stuck on school buses. It was a mess. Besides the pool there was not much else to do at this location we had selected, so we decided to move on down the road. Raleigh again was a planned destination to meet our daughter. We were on the road by 9 a.m.. One lane was open on Interstate 95.
6. The roads were not great but they were passable, the main roads anyway. The exit ramps looked a little hairy but staying on the main road we were safe but warning signs were all around. Our daughter's seminar was cancelled so we kept to I95 and we made it to South of the Border!!!! I have not been this far south by car since 1976 when I took a solo trip and I wanted to stop at South of the Border then, and I never did. I can now take that off my bucket list. If you ever passed all the signs and wondered what it is all about...I have pictures. No one was around but I bet it is bustling in season or at least on days without ice or snow. There is a lot going on there and it seems like Pedro is in charge, he's a BIG guy.
WE ARE GOING IN!!!
SOB South of the Border is its own little city. Tours over.
I included a lot of these pictures because I myself have always been curious about the place.
7. We saw a lot of evidence along the way to support that we were traveling through unusual and dangerous weather conditions.
8. Approaching Charleston, South Carolina and heading east towards the beach you wouldn't think ice covering the fir trees would look so glistening and out of place but this was out greeting. We also had an unplanned escort across the bridge into the seashore resort of Isle of the Palms. I am not sure what this truck was putting down on the bridge but many locations in the south use sand where we would salt the roads and sidewalks, I swear they were using table salt on the slippy icy steps to one restaurant.
9. Closures were abundant.
10. Fashion statement would be layers on a fancy plantation porch in South Carolina. Magnolia Plantation was the only open to public location available to tour that day.
A discovery, while trying to catch your breath with a scarf wrapped around your mouth will result in foggy glasses. It has been 5 years now but I still remember that cold and understand why snowbirds head south but as all trips conclude, it is not so much about the destination but the details in the journey there.
Another day, I saw these very same weather conditions on the news in 2018. I could easily relate and put myself in those locations. Winter can be wicked but this too shall pass. You just need to weather the storm. It sounds so simple but when you are in the middle of one, it can get very foggy.
When we finally made it to Savannah, Georgia, it was 70 degrees. 🌈🌞. It is true, you never know what kind of weather we will get in February and then there is the Ides of March. 😳
February 2014, it seems like yesterday.