I can’t believe this trip has been and gone, I’m now writing about it and its the last bank holiday of the year….major end of summer blues have hit but the memories made from this trip, and the summer, will last forever!
As many of you saw, or didn’t see from Instagram and facebook, we had a pretty eventful and full on trip to America. Having encountered a number of travel issues at both the beginning and end of our 18 days away, we wouldn’t have changed any of it for the world.
Our road trip started in New Jersey, the state my parents, brother and I used to live in. We were here for the weekend and determined to see as many friends as we could, as well as the old house we once owned and many ‘old haunts’, as my mum called them! Whilst we were here, we also took a trip into NYC, my favorite city, lunching with my dads old colleagues, who said they’d all be there cheering me on at the NYC Marathon!! So sweet! Before we knew it, it was time to move on. We loaded up and made our way to Pennsylvania, via a small town called New Hope for a night, then onto our old friends. Here we played major catch up and spent a lot of the time basking in the sun on their porch, reading and completely relaxing. I was also able to get a couple of my runs done and lets just say their driveway and I became great friends…!
Our next stop was Alexandria. A suburb outside Washington D.C. and one of my favorite places we stopped. This was our stopover on our way to Virginia Beach, as the journey was quite long! A free shuttle bus from the hotel dropped us into the centre, and we were able to grab some supper on the river, followed by THE best vegan ice cream outside City Hall, beside the fountains. The next morning we were up pretty early and made our way to Mount Vernon, George Washingtons home. Here we were able to tour his house and gardens, learning a lot about him as a person, and not just a president. By 10am it was boiling hot and mum and I were very much ready to leave, although I’m sure my dad could have spent another few hours there! We headed back to the car and prepared ourselves for the long journey to the beach. This was made even longer by the couple of accidents on the main highway (motorway) and so we ended up arriving a lot later than imagined. Nonetheless, we were greeted with open arms by our friends, their super cute dogs, wine and a lovely meal! I was in love with their house from first sight and super excited to get some runs in along the beach!
Whilst in Virginia Beach, our friend took us to two of the prettiest lighthouses, both on the naval base. Entrance was pretty strict and we were searched before being able to get into the grounds. The views, though, were beautiful and I’m glad we were able to have the chance to visit. The rest of our days were spent on the beach, I was able to get my runs done, we explored each end of the island and new beaches, and ate the most delicious fresh fish and crab!
Before we knew it, it was time to move on, down to Savannah, via Charleston. I was dreading this part as we had a 7 hour car journey to Charleston, and boy did it go on! We’d bought lots of snacks, our friend also packed up a massive picnic for us and I downloaded a few films to watch on my phone. The hours ticked by and after a few stops we arrived in Charleston. We checked into the hotel then made our way into the city. It was early evening and we were pretty tired, so didn’t spend too much time exploring, we had reserved the following morning for that! Its a pretty impressive city and very colonial. The first shots of the Civil War were shot here and was also one of the largest slave trading cities! The streets are beautiful and the houses very big! We explored the local market, Rainbow Row, the parks that had loads of war statues and information. After roaming the city, we ended up at a lovely coffee shop before making our way back to the hotel to start our final car journey to our friends in Savannah.
They live in a large community of houses on an island, surrounded by a few golf courses, restaurants, a fitness centre, many restaurants, tennis courts, swimming pools and alligators(!). It really is beautiful and flat, which was great for doing my runs, as the heat was just about bearable!! We were unbelievably lucky with the weather, encountering only a couple of afternoon showers and thunderstorms, throughout our whole trip. We learnt how to play Pickle ball, spent afternoons by the pool, ate more fresh fish, explored the city and did a lot of shopping.
Welcomed with open arms by all of our friends, into their beautiful homes and taken care of, we honestly can’t thank you all enough for making these two weeks the best. It was hard to drag ourselves home, especially as we encountered two hour delays, meaning we ended up having 5 minutes to check in for our flight to London before it closed. At this point we were super happy we had booked premium economy seats, so we could properly relax and get a bit of sleep. As well as enjoy a glass of wine or two – much needed as you can imagine!