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Road Trip Planning During a Pandemic

With the pandemic striking every "corner" of the world, it's hard to sit at home idle especially if you have the itch to travel. Some tour their own state... which, honestly, I haven't seen enough of my own state to even speak on all the wonders of it-- and I know there are beautiful areas because I see instagram photos. But what is there really to consider when traveling by car?


In late June early July, I HAD TO GET OUT. I had the worst feeling of cabin fever one could probably endure. I called up my girlfriend in Florida and decided I had to go and hang out with her. It was a win/ win situation seeing as she was not working, her sister was working from home and they were moving into a new apartment. I packed my car, gassed it up and was out the door without a second though. GPS? Yep. Easy enough. Open hotel on the way, bingo bango. First stop in Huntsville, AL (more to see if I cared to live there). It was so freakin' humid and no one was wearing face masks. This was the time when social distancing was a must but not in Huntsville. They did have hand sanitation stations and the wait staff wore the masks.


Of course, the next day I continued to drive and went through Georgia. MAY-DAY!!!! This was my first experience without planning. I had to use the restroom extremely bad. Starbucks ALWAYS had a restroom and my well loved coffee... I walked in the door and THE RESTROOM WAS OFF LIMITS! Can you believe that? Just short of needing a pant change, I paused, took a deep breath, stood up slowly (you know what I am talking about- you see that teasing restroom) and hoped that there was a stop off the highway. There was... 30 miles later. If you have to use the restroom, make sure that this is something that is available. Mothers, grandmothers, old people in general who should probably not be traveling... ha! Anyways, bladder issues, take that into consideration.


Of course Florida is a hot spot. Everyone wore their masks and the restaurants were open. Social distancing, from what I recall, was not active. But it's Florida where the beaches are wonderful and it's hot. So either you are inside with the A/C or you are outside enjoying the sunshine and heat... and it was HOT. I chose to enjoy the heat, ride my bike, walk the dog, read books inside and I even went to the gym. Honestly, the gym was great. They social distanced, sanitized and wore masks when the fitness class was over. This wearing your mask inside the gym makes absolutely NO sense. Why Michigan? Anyway, everything in Florida was great and I think they did a good job handling the situation. Plenty of people staying fit outside, closer than one would think but everyone seemed happy and healthy.


On the way back from Florida, I knew Georgia was a problem-- I was well prepared this time around! Up through Georgia and hit Nashville, TN. Never been to Nashville but wanted to check it out. Went to a restaurant on the strip, they took my temperature and walked my to my table. The whole restaurant was social distanced which was nice; they did a great job. On the strip though, everyone grouped together and I don't recall one person wearing a mask. It wasn't overly crowded for a Sunday night but they still had bands playing. It was shame I was too tired to stay out. In the morning, Starbucks basically opened their doors and used it as a walk up and take to go. It was easy and no one seemed to mind. Everyone that morning wore face masks if within the 6 feet guidance.


This time around for the fall season, the boyfriend and I will be taking a road trip through the New England states to see the fall foliage. I have already read the CDC guidelines for each state we will be going to and staying a few days and all the places we would like to visit just to make sure that they are open so we can plan for a better and more convienent vacation. Vermont makes you sign a release form stating that you do not have COVID and the majority of the hotels are limiting the use of their gyms or pools or not allowing it at all. All dependent on the state. Nothing is worse than going somewhere and not to have the full experience. The only "issue" I have seen is that a brewery I want to go to near a national park is carry out only and has limited hours. I guess we will have to have a picnic and view the scenery. I'd say that isn't much of an inconvenience.

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