Libbys on the Loose:2 Humans. 2 Great Danes. 1 RV.: Cape Canaveral to Charlotte, NC - Our first major trip!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cape Canaveral to Charlotte, NC - Our first major trip!

Last Sunday, we set out from Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral, FL headed for Charlotte, NC.  We had previously gone on multi-day driving RV trips, but that was in our 23ft toy hauler and we had only done the one trip (and with a different truck).  The toy hauler didn't have any slides, and with it being our first one and being more under a time crunch, we ended up sleeping in a few rest stops at night (a little weird at first, until we woke up next to other RVer's).  The drive time (at the speed limit) from Cape Canaveral to Charlotte is 8 hours using the interstates.  We departed around 12pm on Sunday and we didn't have to be in Charlotte until Monday night.  We decided to take our time (and account for any potential issues) but had to make sure we would have time to set up before my (Jeanine's) 8:30am doctor appointment at OrthoCarolina Spine Center on Tuesday morning.

 This was going to be a fun drive!  We didn't have a particular plan on the route so as we were approaching I-95 (the fastest way to get to Charlotte) Eric asked me to pick "A", "B", or "C".  I picked "B".  It wasn't until after that he told me that "A" was to travel I-95, "B" was to take the FL Turnpike to I-75, and "C" was undecided.  So, we ended up a route we have taken many times up the middle of the state.  When we hit Lake City, we decided we were tired of the Interstate and decided to take the road less travelled.  We eventually ended up on US-441 in Georgia that practically sliced the state in half.  On the way,  we made a few stops to include a roadside fruit and vegetable stand and a honey maker.  There weren't many other cars, some semi trucks and a mostly two lane highway (at times it was a four lane highway which was really nice!) with small towns here and there.  About 5 o'clock, we decided we were getting close to being done traveling for the day so we started to look for a place for RV camping.

A few hours later, despite our best intentions (lesson learned!), we ended up sleeping in a Wal-Mart parking lot (a first!) in Homerville, GA.  We weren't far from a campground, but it turned out that we were having issues with our running lights on the trailer and we didn't want to be driving in the dark without them! We weren't sure what the problem with the lights was or how long it might take to fix it,  so we parked on the perimeter with a few semi trucks, pushed out the dining room and bedroom slides, shut off the rear of the RV and started up the generator so we had our a/c.  Of course we made a few shopping trips into the store... Didn't even know we needed anything until the store was right outside!

Beautiful magnolia tree in Athens, GA
We slept pretty comfortably except that Moose ended up getting a bout of stomach issues so we were up every few hours with him.  It ended up that he must have picked up some kind of bug at one of our stops during the day (Definitely have to keep a close eye on the kids during stops!).  I ended up giving him a combination of yogurt, pumpkin, turkey meat, and rice for a few days to give his tummy a break.  We kept an eye on his temperature and how he was acting (both were normal).  In the long run we did end up taking him to a vet as a precautionary measure.  Although he wasn't running a temperature, wasn't acting any differently, he was still having an issue.  We got him on some antibiotics and it cleared up right away.  Our wonderful breeders suggested that since our kids will be subject to many new places on a regular basis to start doing a fecal test at least once a month.  This is a great piece of advice for anyone that travels often with their pets - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care!

On Monday, we got on the road by about 10am and continued our trip up US-441 to Athens, GA.  A close friend of ours is a Georgia Bulldogs fan (we like him anyways LOL) and he said we just couldn't miss The Varsity for a bite to eat.  It was a little bit of a challenge driving around with the trailer to get there but it was delicious!  We got a chili-dog and a chili-cheeseburger.  Too bad our friend forgot to mention before we got there that we should have also gotten the onion rings.  Guess we'll have to go back sometime if we're passing by!

After our late lunch, we weren't far from our goal of connection with I-85 that would take us into Charlotte.  We came across our first low bridge that we wouldn't fit under and so it was interesting finding our way out of there...  We are now definitely getting an RV-specific GPS that we have heard will base your route on height of your trailer amongst other things.  Please comment if you have any recommendations or suggestions!

We arrived at Elmore RV Park in Charlotte, NC just after 6pm on Monday and had plenty of light (it gets dark much later the further north you go) to get set up on the concrete pad spots they have available.  Their amenities are your own mailbox, free wifi (great speed), full hook-ups including sewer, mostly friendly permanent residents, and your own trash and recycle cans. From what we could find, it is the closest location to downtown Charlotte (about 10-20 minutes from nearly everything).  If you know of any other places in downtown Charlotte, please comment!   Of course, we hurried to get all set up, looked at our calendar and it turns out that my doctor appointment was on Wednesday! Guess we had another day we could have taken to travel...

Since we are both self-proclaimed foodies, job number one was to find a great spot in Charlotte (preferably near us)  for a bite to eat.  I pulled out my trusty TV Food Maps app and quickly found a local taco hot spot that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri on the Food Network.   As luck would have it, we happened to be watching the Food Network that evening and, wouldn't you know it, Cabo Fish Taco was featured!  It was surely a sign!

Cabo Fish Taco painting by David French Originals located in NoDa
Cabo Fish Taco was the top-rated spot that was the closest to Elmore RV Park - less than ten minutes away in the NoDa district of Charlotte also known as the downtown Arts District.  There are still a number of art galleries there, but the area is now filled with trendy bars, restaurants and lounges.  Since Cabo was known for their fish tacos, we knew that we had to try them!  The menu was remarkable and sent us into a whirl of indecision - everything looked so good!   So, naturally we asked the waiter what the most popular dishes were (as we have a habit of doing).  He recommended the Tavarua fish tacos described as:
Blackened lemon rubbed tuna in a kiwi-pineapple fajita sauce, stuffed with lettuce,
tomato, mixed cheeses, & topped with our honey wasabi sauce
In short, this was, by far, the most flavor-packed, well-balanced fish taco we've ever had the pleasure of eating!  Highly recommend!  We also got the side of Mexi-slaw which was delicious.  The only negative (or unremarkable) part of the meal was the guacamole.  The avocado they used seemed as though it wasn't all that fresh.  Maybe we're spoiled being from Florida, but we both really enjoy good guacamole and having fresh avocadoes are a must for great guac!   Lastly, another good reason to visit for dinner or late night, the tequila selection is noteworthy, too.  While they don't have a huge selection, the tequilas they do have are mostly top shelf.

Follow us as we experience all that the Queen City  has to offer!  We will be reviewing restaurants, breweries, and attractions while we spend the next few weeks here for J's physical therapy.  Leave us a comment if you have any suggestions for us!

Disclaimer: We are not paid writers, neither for our writing or our opinions. We represent our experiences with products, services, etc, with 100% accuracy and give our unbiased feedback.

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