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  • Writer's pictureRegina Cochrane

"It's Go Time"

Updated: Jan 24

We talked, planned & found a place to rent in an area called Lakewood Ranch. It's go time! The movers have come & gone. (We are well seasoned movers. Our many moves over the years is a post for another time) We stayed with close friends in New Jersey for a few days after the movers left. We cleaned our place & said our teary goodbyes to friends. We loaded up our two cars - packed to the rim including a filled Thule & began our road trip south.

We were both so exited & ready to begin our next chapter! Our first stop was Richmond, VA.....about a six hour drive from our small town on the Jersey Shore. We both had nervous excitement & anticipation to get on with it. We followed each other & our 1st stop was The Quirk Hotel, Richmond. It was a whimsical boutique hotel of Italian Renaissance design. The hotel has an on-site art gallery & regional artwork throughout. It is known for its Rooftop Bar Q, that is open during warmer months. (The Quirk has a sister property in Charlottesville, VA with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Perfect place to watch the sunset) I highly recommend a visit to Charlottesville!

The following day we headed to Savannah. We stayed at the Marriott Savannah Riverfront right on the Savannah River. The Savannah Belles Ferry just outside hotel to take you across the river to downtown. The hotel is a conference center and the property could use some updating. The outside pool area on the river side very pretty! We had lunch at the Alida Hotel at Rhett. A delicious Low Country restaurant complete with southern staples such as Chicken & Waffles, Shrimp & Grits & the Rhett Smash Burger. The coastal cuisine is amazing! We also grabbed a quick dinner the night before across the river at the Savannah Tequila Co. We sat at the bar & had a cocktail & appetizers. Guacamole, chips, street corn & black beans. All so delicious!!! There are no shortage of amazing restaurants in Savannah. Definitely want to go back & spend a few more days exploring. A charming, hospitable walking city loaded with great shops, historic district filled with cobblestone streets, manicured parks with trees covered in Spanish moss & spectacular Southern Architecture abounds.

The next day we continued our drive to Sarasota. Lakewood Ranch is west of I-75. Definitely worth exploring. About half hour to 40 minutes to downtown Sarasota, St Armands Circle & the beautiful white sand beaches of Lido Key. There are an assortment of great restaurants between downtown, St Armands & Longboat Key. I am going to put together a restaurant guide ~ stay tuned!

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