On the morning of June 15th, we hitched up our new home and drove 182 miles up I-4 through miles of crazy traffic and construction and then up I-95 to St. Augustine. We’ve adopted a general guideline when traveling that we will attempt to adhere to as much as possible called the 2:2:2 rule. The goal on travel days will be to drive less than 200 miles, arrive by 2 p.m., and stay at least 2 nights at each destination (We modified this rule from other RVers). Our first trip was a success, then, from the standpoint of adhering to our rule.
In fact, it was a success in (almost) all aspects. We had no problems hitching up the RV, although it did take several repetitions of backing up and moving forward to align the kingpin with the hitch. Maybe we’ll get better at this as time goes on, or maybe that’s just what it will take to hitch the RV. We had no problems negotiating the heavy traffic and construction zones, nor did we have any problems stopping for lunch and finding an appropriate place to park the rig. Setting up at the new RV park was also a much smoother process. We’ve now had three times to practice all of that.
Our only real problems of the trip were found when we opened the doors to the RV upon our arrival. The first was small, we had stacked some soda inside the door which had tumbled over and one can leaked slightly — not a big deal, but we’ll have to continue to improve preparing the interior for our travels down the road. The second was slightly more of a disaster. We have very nice roomy cabinets above the sofa at the rear of the RV. We had stacked books on the top shelf of these cabinets. Unfortunately, the shelf decided it didn’t want to support the books (which probably weighed more than a hundred pounds) and one side gave way, sending all the books spraying out the cabinet doors and into the living space. We first realized there was a problem when Cindy tried to extend the slide outs. The books were caught in between and wouldn’t let the slideouts fully extend. We cleaned up the mess the next morning and I made a trip down to Home Depot for some supplies to repair the shelf. No more books on the top shelf!
The evening of the first day in St. Augustine we drove into town and had dinner with a friend at Cellar 6, a lovely restaurant on Aviles Street in the heart of the downtown area. It was so nice to enjoy a great meal with Megan, the daughter of our good friends in Charleston, Justin and Shera. She recently moved from Charleston to Jacksonville, and was so nice as to drive down to St. Augustine to have dinner with us and stop by the RV for a few minutes afterward.
Today, our second day in St. Augustine we did a little sight-seeing. We’ve visited St. Augustine a couple of times before by car and once when we were making our way up the east coast in our sailing home. You can read about those adventures HERE and HERE. Even though we’ve seen most of the sights of St. Augustine, we still love it here. We decided to revisit a couple of places today, the Fountain of Youth and the San Sebastian Winery. I had remembered the Fountain of Youth as a kitschy, touristy place not hardly worth a second thought. Either they’ve changed the place or I didn’t see much of it before. There is still the kitsch, but there is also an archaeological site and historical demonstrations. It was nice. Our winery stop was also nice. Most of their wines are nothing to speak of, but their dessert wines are actually good. Today, we brought home a bottle of their Sherry.
Tomorrow, we head on up the road a little. We’ll leave early for our trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina, just a little over 200 miles away.