East Coast Road Trip: Day 1

5:52 PM

Spencer and I planned a vacation for our 2nd anniversary last minute this year (although we are known for procrastinating planning). We were torn between a couple different places, and ended up settling on a road trip up the east coast. The idea sounded exciting, so we asked off work and booked tickets to the cheapest airports we could find in the areas we needed. It took us so long to decide where to go that this was all done a measly few weeks ahead of time, but we were not too worried about it. We would only have a week there, so we knew we had to fly in and rent a car in order to see everything we wanted. 

With flights booked, and a rental car reserved, it was up to me to plot out our stops. I came across a lifesaver that goes by the name of Furkot - an online road trip planner. After gathering together all the places I knew we wanted to visit (through Google, Pinterest, Trip Advisor, and Road Trip America's webpage), I plugged them in to Furkot's website, and it suggested which route to take and what order to make the stops. It provided the information necessary to give me a general itinerary. I highly suggest checking it out if ever you are in the business of planning a trip.

Although we had that rough outline, I wasn't sure if we would be able to follow that schedule to a tee, fall behind, or end up with extra time. I erred on the side of caution, allowing for a day unplanned incase we fell behind, as I didn't know how long each site would take.

The cheapest flight available around the time we needed was Saturday morning the 23rd of April, which landed in Charlotte, North Carolina around 3pm eastern time. We stayed the night in Albuquerque the night before to get to the airport in time for our early flight.

There was not much we wanted to see in that area of North Carolina, but Richmond airport - where we thought more convenient- was not worth the price difference. Because we would be landing a few hours from our first major stop (Washington DC), we would not have much time to stop anywhere along the first leg, so any site in between had to be along our route. Road Trip America made it easy to look up any convenient tourist stops, and the idea of the World's Largest Chest of Drawers grabbed my attention, so we made sure to grab a few photos before continuing our drive. Unfortunately, the dresser seems to be in the process of a makeover, so we were photobombed with construction equipment.

The southerners were more than friendly. By the time we made it out of Charlotte airport, we had already interacted with a number of sweet strangers. I was in love with the people, and the greenery -which was apparent even as we landed- prompted me to add it to our list of locations in which we would be willing to relocate. We came to find that trees on the eastern side of the US are tall, skinny and beautiful. Luckily the expected humidity did not present itself.

Subway and Walmart were our only other stops on the way to DC. We did not have an ice chest, but wanted to be able to pack our own lunches each day; so we bought a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jelly, apples, pretzels, and a case of water bottles.

By the time we made it to our country's capital it was near midnight. I booked our hotel on our drive there, as I did each night of our trip, because I never knew how far we would make it that day. Before heading in, however, we wanted to look at one or two of the monuments, as I had heard ravings about their nightly, lit-up beauty. Albeit we were strolling after midnight, but I was still surprised how little people we saw. It felt so peaceful, like we had the monuments all to ourselves. The magnificence captured us so, that we ended up walking around the capital mall for a good hour before conceding our need for rest. Excited and exhausted, we hit the sack, eagerly anticipating the adventures we were to experience and more exploring the next day.

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