Because we were between duty stations, our traveling adventures took us from South Carolina, down to Florida for a spell, then up the trek to Virginia, our final destination. Considering that I didn't have much room in the car to maneuver my SLR camera, let alone drag it out the camera bag for "quick shots," I had to rely on my cell phone, which is much easier to grab from my purse or on the dashboard of the car. I don't normally take most of my shots via cell phone, save for Instagram-worthy pictures, but during this travel, my phone's SD card was almost filled to capacity. I had stored a lot of anonymous pictures that I didn't mind sharing with the general public.
My husband and I finally left Jacksonville on our wedding anniversary, which was fun and memorable in its own way, considering that we were on the move and making our way to Norfolk, Virginia to spend a few days with family members. Since Jacksonville's in the northeast portion of Florida, crossing into Georgia just takes a little under half an hour, and we made our way past the Dames Point Bridge (pictured above) to say goodbye. I guess driving back and forth from South Carolina and Florida (usually a 5 hr. trip) frequently over the past 3 years made me take seeing the bridge for granted, but I was a little nostalgic as we finally crossed it and made our way to Interstate 95, which would take us all the way up to Northern Virginia.
Even though I feel like I'm a seasoned out-of-State driver familiar with long hours of driving, the initial drive to our first stop, Norfolk, Virginia seemed exhausting and tiring. My husband and I split the hours driving one vehicle (the other had to be picked up in Norfolk), but I ended up with a huge headache the closer we reached North Carolina's border. Our first stop was Lumberton, North Carolina; a sleepy interstate town, Lumberton didn't really have much in terms of sightseeing or tourism, but it offered us a brief respite from our travels and a warm bed to sleep in at a local hotel. It was comforting to hear the soft Southern drawl of the front desk clerk and I, of course, took note of the famed Southern hospitality in the Carolinas.
The rest of the drive into Virginia, after crossing the border from North Carolina, was unassuming, but I began to admire the change of scenery and its foliage. Florida and Georgia, and much of South Carolina, seem indistinguishable with the pine trees, but heading into North Carolina and Virginia, I noticed the varied changes in the trees off the side of the highway. I began to see beautiful oak, cypress, and maple trees with the colors of the fall season starting to change their leaves. Gorgeous. Fortunately for us, our son is a pro when it comes to road trips and we didn't have any issues with him during our travel. However, as any couple with small children knows, the trip takes longer due to frequent stops and rest breaks. Nor worries though, we made the drive up to Virginia in good time and in one piece. We hit Norfolk in the afternoon and made our way to my husband's aunt's house where we would be staying for a few days. My second trip to Norfolk, Virginia proved to be much more memorable than the first, it seems. More on that later!
**Pictures taken from my cell phone camera**