The trip has taken an interesting start. As a planner, I dreamed I’d have the entire trip planned before I left the driveway. In some respect, we did have a plan. We knew where-ish we would be staying each night and we knew we were going to be kind.
That said, I still felt wildly unprepared. The first few days of the trip were a bit frantic. We were driving, figuring out accommodations, working with our nonprofits, and planning as we went. We were doing outreach and organizing, and I was overwhelmed.
I knew I had to do something to pull me more into the moment, but the moment was passing with every state line and I needed to regroup.
On Wednesday, June 27th, we spent the day exploring Charleston. It was the first city we really went tourist on. We stopped at Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, visited the market, took a free bus ride, and talked to locals.
Typically, a day consisted of driving, exploring, working, sleeping, and repeating. The exploring looked different in every city and no matter what, we were always working at night or early in the morning.
I quickly recognized that given the length of the trip – we wouldn’t be able to indefinitely go on at this pace. Cue: our first night off.
We left Charleston and drove to Savannah where we were to meet a friend from college and her husband for dinner downtown. We hastily parked in a garage and ran to the restaurant. Over amazing Asian cuisine, we caught up on life and the trip and I could feel any stress dissipating. When it was time to go, they encouraged us to explore the waterfront and Leopold’s Ice Cream.
We walked along the water. We peaked into candy stories for free praline samples. We sat under stars, gazing out over the river and reflected on how far we had come so quickly. Then we went to Leopold’s.
In earnest, I ordered dessert. At 10:04 pm, I also took a selfie with my ice cream – something I don’t normally do. I followed Zack over to the jukebox and as I took a lick of blueberry cheesecake heaven, the entirety of ice cream tipped and, in a panic, to catch it, I punched it straight into the jukebox, watching my melting ice cream drip down the glass covering. At 10:06 pm, I took a picture of an empty cone.
The staff was gracious, and the crowded sitting area was fun as I cleaned up the jukebox and got a comped ice cream in a bowl. As I walked back to my table, the woman who had assured I get a new ice cream, smiled, and noted I had been given “the child proof option.”
We left Leopold’s and promptly realized we had no idea where we had parked hours earlier. After about 30 minutes of wandering, we finally retraced our steps to the restaurant and then to the garage.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this night and how we completely broke the “we work really hard” ideal for a night of deserved rest. It was rejuvenating to have that time to enjoy the road trip rather than rush through plans and ideas.
I’m grateful for an adventure that pairs hard work with service with whimsy. I’m grateful for blueberry cheesecake ice cream and meaningful friendships. I’m grateful for self-care and Savannah, Georgia.