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  1. #1

    Default Central Florida to Southern Pennsylvania...with a detour in between

    Hello, all.

    I will be embarking on my first ever solo road trip in two weeks time...well, sort of solo.
    I will be driving my sister and her baby up to her new home in Norfolk, Virginia. Normally my father would help out with this kind of thing but he has to work...I'm more than willing to oblige however, as I love driving and the open road. Highway driving is my kind of driving...some people think Florida's Turnpike is boring, I beg to differ.

    I drive a 2005 Chevrolet Venture (17 MPG city/24 MPG highway) that's going to be crammed with a bunch of stuff in it, along with me, my sister and her precious cargo. I have a route well-planned out already...I'm very handy with maps, GPS, and the like.

    My plan is to leave early in the morning, and take I-95 straight up. Rather than go all the way to Richmond and cut south on I-64, I'll be taking US 58 which intersects with I-95 at Emporia, VA. Trip on Google Maps (Mapquest is garbage) takes approximately 13 hours, but we all know those online figures are usually never correct, thanks to circumstances out of our control.

    After I drop my sister off, I'll leave the next day,soloing it from Norfolk to Southern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia area) to stay with family. And rather than take I-64 north to 95, and go through the hellish nightmare that is the Washington-Baltimore area (I've done that drive before with my dad), I'll be taking US 13 and the famed Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and cut right through the eastern shore of Virginia, and the spine of Delaware. At Dover I plan to cut over to DE-1 and cruise right back towards 95, then get off at US 202.

    I'm pretty excited about this trip, it's the most independent thing I've done in my life. I'd like a bit of hints and tips, however.

    I'd like to know if there's any tolls on the many bridges and tunnels in Norfolk...VDOT website leaves my head spinning because they have several arrows pointing at Norfolk. I know the CBBT has a hefty toll, around $13...I can manage that. I'll also be stopping at that restaurant on the bridge for lunch and photos. DE-1 is a toll road too, right?

    I don't know if any of you have explored these roads (US 58, US 13) do you think they are? I've heard 13 is littered with speed traps because it's pretty much dotted with beach towns and bored cops.

    I'm also looking for just regular ways to save money. I'm not exactly swimming in cash. I've done the cooler thing before but after awhile I get sick of white bread and Oscar Meyer. Hold the mustard.

    After a couple weeks in Pennsylvania, I'll be heading to Maine...but I'll bum a ride with family for that.

    We should be taking the van in for preventative maintenance soon...we already had the oil changed. Thinking of replacing wiper blades and the like (I use Rain-X blades, high quality stuff)

    I'll be taking a bunch of pictures during this trip, and I hope you guys wouldn't mind me sharing (I noticed you have an active trips forum). I'll also be updating my Twitter page with pictures during the trip. Not many, but a few here and there. Ah, the wonders of technology (I have my iPod and my Sirius radio all ready to go).

    If you have any advice for this first-timer, feel free to drop some. =)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default First and Foremost

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Do NOT try to make the drive from central Florida (Orlando?) to Norfolk in one day. You will regret it. That is around 750 miles, and even for experienced RoadTrippers about 550-600 miles is a full day's drive. For a first major effort, with a small child, trying to attempt another 200 miles on top of that is foolish at best. The problem with ALL mapping software programs is that they assume you'll be driving at or above the speed limit every second of every minute. No time for gas stops. No time for meal breaks. No time for traffic or construction delays. No time for bathroom breaks. In the real world, you can expect your drive to take closer to 16 hours rather than 13, and do you really want to be responsible for the safety of your niece/nephew at the end of that? Or even after 13 hours? or 10? Plan on stopping somewhere overnight and let yourself and everyone else enjoy this trip. And live to tell about it.

    Now that that's out of the way. US-13 up the Delmarva Peninsula is a very nice road and does not come anywhere near the beaches. Yes, if you speed through some of the small towns along it you can expect to get a ticket. Why people take offense at local police enforcing laws and looking after the safety of their citizens is beyond me. But it is not because they are bored. It is their job.

    Besides the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the only toll road you should hit is DE-1 which will hit you up for a dollar or so (last time I drove it) two or three times I think - once around Dover, once near Smyrna and once at the bridge over the canal at St. Georges.

    There are, of course, many ways to save money on a RoadTrip, and you can get a handle on what you'll need to budget as well as some meal ideas besides bologna and mustard on white bread. This whole trip, I think, is going to be an eye opener for you if you approach it the right way and look to learn what works and what doesn't. but if you try to push beyond reasonable limits and expect the world to get out of your way, you'll be in for a very poor trip indeed.


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