Marathon week of driving + U-turn to Texas

It’s been an eventful two weeks over here. After the last stop of our RV road trip in the Florida Everglades, we made a massive U-turn back to Dallas, Texas, covering 1,400+ miles over 5 states. We pretty much did the same route as the way we came, but this time, instead of spending 2 months, we condensed all the driving into 9 days. To be honest, I was initially dreading this long drive back, but we went at a slow pace and had fun with it. I have to say, I ended up really enjoying our final week on the road! 

The Everglades is at the southern tip of Florida, so we first took 4 days to drive up to the northern part of the state. Joe booked some beautiful campgrounds along the route, which felt like paradise after boon-docking in the Everglades. We usually drove 4-6 hours per day and made it to our campground by 3pm, giving us a few hours to enjoy the different spots. 

Lake Kissimmee was beautiful with draping willow trees and a lake. 

Joe said this reminded him of Forrest Gump. 😉

Suwannee River State Park was another beautiful forested spot. Here, we discovered our slide-out broke in our trailer. 😦 After 2 months of full-timing in the RV (plus another 2 months by Joe before that), we really wore this baby out. We were just grateful it broke on our final days of the trip, as we are sending it to the repair shop right when we get back. Needless to say, the last few days were a squeeze, but we made it work. 🙂

Finally, we made it to Alabama. After 4 days of driving, we decided to take a break for 2 days. We stayed at Gulf Shores State Park, which reminded me a lot of Pensacola, Florida (only an hour apart). This break was just heaven. The scenery was so beautiful – white sand beaches, swamps, and endless hiking at our campground. We spent a lot of time outside after so many days in the car. I never knew Alabama had this kind of scenery. 

We visited the beach one afternoon. So lovely with the whitest sand ever! I love going to the beach in the winter…there’s something about the cool air and the desertedness that I love.  

Our campground was new and full of amenities. They even had a nature center which was like a mini zoo. I watched this bat eating small worms for like 10 minutes. 🙂 

Ellie slept nonstop these two days. She was easy to handle in the car (for the most part), but after several consecutive days, she got pretty fussy. Nevertheless, having Ellie on our road trip was such a blessing. She added so much joy and a sense of home during our time on the road. ❤ 

Finally, we were in the home stretch. Just 3 more days until we reached Texas. We stopped in Jackson, Mississippi for one night. This campground was another pretty one – right on a lake. Joe did the best job picking these spots! I’m glad we got to spend some time in Alabama and Mississippi during this portion since we only passed through them on the way to Florida. 

Each campsite even had its own Christmas decorations. So cute. As much as I’ve loved chasing summer this year, I am so ready for winter vibes for the holidays!

After one last night in Shreveport, Louisiana, we made it back to Dallas. What. A. Journey! We stayed at Joe’s parent’s house for a few days. It was so nice to see loved ones again and relax after our marathon week of driving. 

We were most excited to reunite with Ben. ❤ You might remember that we dropped him off with Joe’s parents before our road trip because he had major anxiety driving with us in the car. We missed him like crazy and we were so excited to be a little family again! 

After a few days of catching our breath in Texas, I’m off again! For the very last stop of my year of traveling, I’m going back to my hometown in upstate New York to spend Christmas with my family. It’s the first time I’m seeing everyone since last December, and I can’t tell you how excited I am. ❤ 

Be well, my friends! 

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