This road trip is a little like going back in time.
No, not in some cheesy way about the good old days or Route 66 Nostalgic Americana for an era that we never lived in.
We spent the last 5 weeks in Savannah, Georgia (mostly) and in Charleston, South Carolina (most recently). We arrived in the “Low Country” to trees and bushes fully bloomed in pinks and whites and reds and everything in between. The bugs were biting (noseeyums in Savannah are REAL and a REAL problem) and the humidity was rising. We packed away our coats and broke out the shorts and flip-flops.
This weekend, we’re headed back to Nashville, which is about 8 hours from Charleston. We stopped halfway in Asheville to visit some friends we made while here and pick up some pickleball at the old stomping grounds, and this is the part that was like going back in time.
For the first time on our trip, we’ve officially doubled-back on ourselves. For those not keeping up, we spent the first 6 weeks of 2019 in Asheville, soaking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, listening to bluegrass music, putting on winter weight (the food here is phenomenal). And as we headed north on I-26, everything looked suddenly familiar again. From the foothills emerged the mountains (once you see it, you understand why they call them “Blue Ridge”), and the trees became suddenly more bare (aside from the occasional blooming dogwood). Ingles, a great local grocery store chain, was back in our lives, as was an overwhelming number of Bojangles’ fried chicken restaurant. And weather advisories. For snow.
It’s interesting being back to somewhere that we’ve been. Seeing the same streets we spent a month wandering on a more budgeted schedule, with specific ‘revisit’ destinations in mind. Going back to where I was playing pickleball for 15+ hours every week, after having played outdoors in Savannah and Charleston. But it’s familiar. Even with our short time here, we built relationships with the people, and with the city itself, and we can catch up on the ‘old days’ with ‘old friends’ even if we only knew them for a minute.
It’s like we’ve all moved on, the seasons, the people, the downtown construction. But when we come back, it’s like we never missed a beat (apparently Asheville forgot that spring started yesterday).
This is a fun way to see the country, to meet people, to learn new things, and to see that while our country is one big melting pot with a lot of common threads, there are still unique cultures and corners in every part of it.
We’ll spend next week in Nashville for Janna’s annual CORROSION conference, and then we make our first big trek across the country long-ways to Salt Lake City.
And don’t worry, we’ll spend about 15 minutes on the old Route 66 outside St. Louis before turning left and heading toward Kansas City.