April 2 - 5 Heading Home
Part of our reasoning for driving Tom’s Ford Focus car to Florida was based on the high cost of a car rental during our time in Sanibel. It was Easter week and the cost was over $1,000 for the same size car! Even with the cost of parking at Miami cruise port and the cost of hotel stays along the way down and back up, we were ahead cost wise. But part of the reason for driving was so we could visit with friends and relatives on the way back. If we had used the RV and towed the car behind, we could have saved the hotel bills, but the car gets 40 miles per gallon and the RV gets 9 or 10 at best.
We planned to drive a long distance on our first day from Sanibel. However, we were not alone and the returning Easter week crowds made the highways slow and in some places like parking lots. One accident slowed traffic for at least an hour and it was caused by a moving van that had toppled over in the median stopping traffic for miles. To get around this, we often took the “back roads” which proved to be faster and of course, more scenic. After almost 450 miles, we arrived in Richmond Hills, Georgia where the Hampton Inn and a trip to Molly MacPherson’s restaurant offered the reward of a great meal and a good rest.
Our next day’s drive was a bit less taxing and amounted to only 300 miles as we traversed South Carolina and then came to Mooresville, NC where our friend from RIT days, Jean Schilling, has just relocated. We had a wonderful visit with her and stayed the night in her comfortable home with a dinner in a nearby restaurant and a family-style breakfast in her kitchen the next morning.
The on day morning traffic was light compared to the weekenders who were rushing home to get back to school and work after the Easter week break. We had a relatively short (less than 300 miles) to traverse to get to our last Hampton Inn stay in Staunton, VA where we had a delicious meal at a local restaurant, The Mill Street Grill.