May 3, 2009
Bridgeport, WV to Columbia, SC
Our second day of driving was a wet one. We had varying amounts of rain throughout the day (light to heavy downpour).
The second day was definitely the most scenic as most of the drive is through the mountains. The best part is Hwy 19 through West Virginia. The road winds through beautiful mountains and ends up going over the New River Gorge bridge. The bridge is apparently the largest single span bridge in North America (the world?). Our plan is stop at the lookout on our way home.
Once we made it back to the interstate, we stopped at the travel centre for a bottle and some Starbucks (mmmm..... Iced Green Tea Lemonade).
The drive down the mountains was equally eventful (coming in to North Carolina): we ran into heavy fog. Not as heavy as the fog we drove through on the same stretch of road going home, a year and a half ago.
We stopped at the Cracker Barrel in Jonesville, NC, which is pretty much half way. We stayed at the Hampton Inn (which is much nicer than the one the night before) at the same Interstate exit, so we were familiar with the restaurant.
Once done lunch, we finished the afternoon drive and stopped for the second night in Columbia, SC. We stayed in the Fairfield Inn, in the North East section of the city. This is a brand new hotel (opened in December) and it looked like a 5 star resort. Something I wouldn't expect from a roadside hotel.
We changed rooms twice as they booked us in a room with 2 queen beds instead of 1 king bed. We soon found out that all king bed rooms had no bathtubs (shower stalls only). Obviously we needed a bathtub to wash Graydon. So back to the front desk and off to our original room with 2 queen beds.
We went to dinner that night at the Olive Garden. Getting to the restaurant was interesting, as the girl at the hotel said it was about 5 to 10 minutes away but felt more like 10 to 15.
One interesting thing to note about dinner was the diversity of people. Living in Toronto all my life, I'm used to a big cross section of cultures and races. Not so in Columbia. Either Caucasian or African-American. That was a big culture shock!
As with the night before, we went to bed at the same time as Graydon. I needed to rest as my cold was still bothering me and I had a real hard time driving through the mountains with my ears. This next day should be better, as the drive is all flat.