Driving South

An assortment of moments captured as we made our way from Philadelphia to Milledgeville:

Wednesday 9:02am: The movers arrived in Philadelphia to help us load our U-Pack pod. We’ve narrowed down our belongings significantly, and with Luke’s predetermined layout, were able to (just) fit everything into the crate.

Luke loads the last of our belongings into the pod

Luke loads up the pod

There goes our little pod - see you in Georgia!

There goes our little pod – see you in Georgia!

Wednesday 6:25pm: Our last night in Philly, we headed back to Monk’s Cafe for Belgian beers and food. Delicious!

Monk's Cafe

Monk’s Cafe

Thursday 12:26am: Road construction continued for the second night this week. We’d sold our a/c units, so keeping the windows open was a necessity. Sadly, the city chose this week to strip and repave our street. Doubly painful, they worked at night when there were fewer cars on the road. Jackhammers, the beeping of machines backing up, and the yells and whistles of the construction crew woke us up throughout the night.

Thursday 12:37pm: On the road! Irritated by the constant construction of Philadelphia, we made a pact to state things we’re thankful for during our year-long adventure here. For me, it was a year to discover what I want to do for a career, to set personal goals, and to continue developing the confidence I need to achieve them. For Luke, it was a year to explore the east coast, take advantage of our proximity to the Italian Market, and have meaningful conversations about our future.

Thursday 7:30pm: Dinner at Evening Star in Alexandria, VA. Good conversation with great friends and yummy food. Nights like this remind us how important it is to make time for the folks we care about, and to make a solid effort to be social in our new town.

Friday 11:02am: Stuck in traffic outside Richmond, VA. Laughed together at the lyrics to “How Many Drinks” by Miguel.

Friday 5:30pm: After a long day of driving, we set up camp at Badin Lake in North Carolina. Luke made a fire, and we played Gin while waiting for the thunder to turn to rain.

Badin Lake campground

Badin Lake campground

Friday 9:02pm: Fell asleep to the sound of rain plopping off our tent.

Saturday 5:30am: We’re the first site to wake up at the campground. We had the showers to ourselves, followed by breakfast and coffee around the fire. Ready for the drive to my parents house in South Carolina!

Saturday 6:45pm: A full homemade Southern dinner at Mom and Dad’s, including baked ham, potato salad, fried green tomatoes, crowder peas covered in hot chow-chow, cornbread, and peach blueberry crumble.

Sunday 9:15am: A full homemade Southern breakfast at Mom and Dad’s, including biscuits, gravy, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs with cheese and green onions, fresh tomato slices, and cantaloupe. With full bellies, we made the final (and easiest) leg of the trip down to Milledgeville.

Saturday 4:32pm: After unloading the car in our rental cottage on the lake, we drove into the downtown area for exploring. A trip to the grocery store on the way home, followed by settling in back at the cottage.

Relaxing at the lake house

Relaxing at the lake house

We’re happy to be in Georgia, and look forward to sharing more of our adventures here with you soon!


Today completes my second week of classes. I am enjoying my new position, and learning so much from the students and the overall experience.

While work is going well, I admit that the last two weeks have also provided a lot of personal frustration. Things that should be easy are overly complicated – applying for a driver’s license, obtaining a residential parking permit, finding new spots where I’d like to become a “regular.” In my fantasy land, settling into a new city is full of excitement, order, ease, and comfort. The reality has been the opposite, proving the (larger) point that building a new life requires time and patience.

This experience has led me to spend quite a bit of time considering what “home” means to me. I moved around a lot growing up – like a lot, lot. Whenever someone asked where I was from, I would say Georgia. And Georgia did feel like my home long after we moved away. This was almost entirely because of my grandparents. No matter where we lived, we would always come “home” for the holidays, family gatherings, and just-because visits. My grandma’s house felt like the most constant, consistent place I would return to, and was guaranteed to have the best “home” cooking.

When she passed away, my idea of “home” shifted to be wherever my parents were living. They hosted more events at their house, moved less frequently, and always offered me a happy and loving “homecoming.”

Today, home for me is where Luke is.

It is important for me to keep in mind that the temporary frustrations of settling into a strange city will pass, the city will become more familiar – and so will the faces. For now, I am thankful to be greeted at the end of each day by Luke, welcoming me home.

Hello from Philadelphia!

Luke and I had a wonderful sendoff from our friends in Chicago over the last few weeks – lots of good food, great conversations, and tearful well-wishes.

Luke’s birthday celebration at Konak

After celebrating Luke’s birthday on Friday night, we hit the road bright and early Saturday morning for our drive to PA. We towed our car so we could ride together, turning our 14’ U-Haul into a tractor trailer-sized rig for the road. We opted to stay on local highways to enjoy the scenery while avoiding toll plazas and angry drivers.

Our rig

We stayed fortified over the long drive with Gigio’s Pizza (our Chicago favorite), Goldfish, and Sour Patch Kids.

Luke enjoying Gigio’s Pizza on the road

Everything about the move went smoothly, from picking up the truck and tow dolly to the movers that helped us load and unload all of our worldly possessions. We donated, sold, and recycled so much of our stuff before we left that we are having a hard time believing that we still have too much stuff. But we do. Our small apartment is definitely going to challenge us to prioritize what we need and what we don’t.

Our neighborhood is even better than we remembered. Great coffee shops, bars, restaurants, hidden parks, grocery stores, and friendly people fill the adjacent streets.

Our apartment is also lovely – three rooms plus the bathroom – once we get it organized, it is going to be just perfect for our year here. Pictures soon! The neighbors are nice, the streets are quiet (especially given that we have at least five hospitals within walking distance), and the air is already starting to smell like Fall. Maybe that last part is wishful thinking, but it’s exactly this kind of contentment and optimism that is surrounding us in our new home.

Now that we are here, we’ll plan to post regularly to the blog. We hope you’ll follow along.