*this post is sponsored by Toyota

We knew our Asheville trip would be short when we began planning it. Alex mentioned one of his (and my) favorite bands were playing up there– and without hesitating I said, “lets plan it.” We looked at the plane tickets– and to be honest, the prices weren’t bad. But still I threw out the suggestion of, “maybe we should drive it.” But you guys know, I’ve been a road-tripper. I’ve talked about how I spent countless miles on the road throughout my life. The reason I haven’t in the recent past decade has mostly been in part to my new(ish) found motherhood. And even with a kid who complains about a thirty minute drive south, the suggestion of, “maybe we should drive it” made sense. Twelve hours in a car does not scare me, in any way– especially driving north with a new Corolla.  And after our west coast Florida trip going really well, I was even less nervous about the trip with the family.

You know, I don’t have a big bucket list– there are a few things (three or four really) that I really want to do in the next ten years. And maybe it’s crazy, but one of them is actually a road trip— a tremendously long one through another country– or through a few countries. Is that crazy? Or weird? Honestly, I’ve been trying not to speak too quickly on plans (you guys have seen me do it often), but it seems that two of my four bucket list plans might happen this year. One of them being that massive, multi country road trip (through Central America, if we’re going to be a bit more specific). But for now, I got a bit of my road trip love tank filled this month.

It only took us a day or so to agree that driving was our better option. I’m not sure if I mentioned it on this thing or not, but I purchased a new Toyota this past month. And it’s been a total dream. I had the same car for the last 10-11 years or so. But finally making the switch to Toyota was one of the smartest decisions I’ve made for myself and my family. Safe, reliable, and comfortable. Oh, and equipped with a sunroof too. This is key. I learned a sunroof makes life feel like a permanent vacation.

So when Toyota reached out this month and asked if we wanted to test out the new 2017 sport Corolla, I of course said yes. I had already fallen in love with my Toyota– I knew that the new Corolla would be a dream to drive up to Asheville.

Through sunrise, sunset, rain, and shine, it totally was.
For our trip, we both decided that a 4-5 am wake up and leave time was best. We hit the road long before commuter traffic and watched the sun rise over small towns and orange groves.

The first part of our drive didn’t seem terribly long. But I sure was excited to get to our first big lunch break. We were surprised at how fast we made it through the first bit of our trip. Traffic was fast, the roads were empty, and we whizzed through Florida with no problems at all. And if you’ve ever road tripped through Florida— well, then you know how completely tedious and un-fun this trip can be. So for us making it through so easily, well, we were happy.

I had never been through Savannah before. I’ve been told time and time again how much I would love it. And well, I can’t say I loved it, because we didn’t really spend enough time there, but I did enjoy the few bits we saw.

For lunch we stopped at the vegetarian place, The Sentient Bean. You very helpful folk of the internet recommended it.

I should learn how to sit up straight, ya?

After our lunch we decided to do a quick drive through town to explore the buildings and trees. And when you look up and see loquats out the sunroof of your car? Well, thats magic. .

The prettiest buildings for sure.

We then hit the road once more. Alex stole my sunglasses and miss Marlowe actually passed right out in the backseat of the car. Like me, she’s not a car (or anywhere) napper. So this was a big deal.

Not long after Savannah, we started reaching mountains. And rain. Not a lot of rain, but rain. I drove half of this trip. Alex driving the other half. When Alex wasn’t on the wheel, he was asleep. While I know it’s not the case, I did often feel like I was the only one awake in the car. I didn’t mind. I had the satellite music all to myself. And well, if you know me personally, then you know my musical taste is everywhere. A little bit of rock, a little bit of slow jam r&b, a little bit of freestyle dancing disco. All of it.

The sun came out as soon as we hit Asheville. It felt like “Welcome to Asheville” sign.

For me, the road means freedom. An almost endless possibility to explore. I mean, sure, we’re locked in by oceans, but outside of that, the path is almost endless.
It’s just that I have a constant picking feeling that life is too short– that my life is too short. I don’t know, after illness, my fear of a shortened life is high. But with that unfortunate fear comes a strong desire to do more— I never want to miss a minute of exploring, adventure, and happiness. So when the option of fly vs. drive came up, for me, I knew that driving gave us the option of more exploration.

We did a lot in Asheville. We had an amazing time with our friends. I knew for sure that one of the days I would want to spend on a hike. I guess the thing is, I never realized how much I could miss mountains until visiting Guatemala last year. But apparently it’s actually a thing to miss massive mounds of earth 😉
I can’t wait to show you all the pictures from our Asheville adventures 🙂 I also can’t believe how big these two girls are getting.

Snacks. Roadtrips are substantially better (and messier) with snacks.

Our last day was filled with more rain. But we welcomed it before heading out.

The way back? Well, it was much longer. Instead of the (smart) 4 am wake up and leave plan, we decided to to take it slow– but maybe a bit too slow. Not only did we take off to a really late start, but we also decided to long-explore our ways right to Atlanta. Of course completely forgetting that an entire highway was down. Well, this certainly put a bit more adventure into our adventure, haha. About 9 hours later we realized we had only made it about 4 hours into our drive. Maybe. MAYBE. Haha.

But thats what it’s all about, isn’t it? You can’t plan for everything and anything. You can plan for a bit, but the rest of it, well, thats the fun part. Really, whats the point of living, if you can’t go with it– and enjoy all the unplanned nonsense of it all?

Also, whats the point of anything if you don’t take the slow scenic route… and you never find a place with goats living on a roof top garden? haha. 
Or better yet– find a market that has everything and anything. Banana flower shopping? Check.

We ended up stopping at a cheap motel on the way home. When it came to go straight through or take a minute to rest, well, rest always wins now. The journey can wait. And it did. We watched the sunset over Atlanta, drove a few more hours before checkin in for the night.

The next day we made it home safely, unpacked, and felt tired, but new.
Thank you Toyota for letting us drive the new Corolla half way up the country and back home. We felt safe, comfortable, and so very happy.

oh ps. Maybe it’s because I’m the best, least obnoxious mother ever, but every time we spend a day getting in and out of the car I find myself (loudly ) singing “ON THE ROAD AGAINNNNN” — I thought it was absolutely hilarious that only one after hitting the road, the song actually came on the satellite radio. Marlowe was so not happy. Hahaha. The best, right?


  1. I love road trips but the worst thing about it that they're such a pain in the butt. I mean, I wish there were cars equipped for us to stand and dance (anyone?) because sitting is such hard work. Otherwise, I love watching everything through the windows and singing in the car. Most of my musical memories come from road trips. We were thinking of going all the way from Poland to Croatia but well, it didn't work out. There are always next times!

  2. Do you have an Asheville travel guide? Going this weekend and apart from a wedding and (finally) checking out the big fancy mansion we have no itinerary 🙂 not how I usually travel but I'm excited!

  3. i 100% have to go visit those goats before i die. goats are my favorite animal and that place looked so much fun! i love how real you are in your posts.