We started our trip with the best intentions of taking the scenic route, but after laboring through only 150 miles in 7 hours (including 2 traversing the streets of Philadelphia), we retreated to I-95.
We had started on historic hwy 1 and then went to route 13. And, by the way, it wasn’t very scenic, but I’ll get to that later.
Luckily, Pio (sometimes, we call Sebastian by one of his middle names) was all smile most of those 7 hours. He’s definitely more aware of everything at seven and a half months and no longer sleeps the whole time on road trips. If I just give him eye contact, I usually get this:
As we were struggling to stay on Route 13 due to unmarked turns, we decided we should take a break when we saw green grass in Philly. I had made sure to bring our picnic blanket, so we laid it out and I fed Pio.
As we waited, a Segway tour passed us by, we checked our map, stretched out and checked in with our families that are meeting us in NC. This was the first time we were using a map without GPS for a road trip. Navigon needs to make a scenic GPS route (their scenic route option only works on short trips). It would have saved us a lot of time if we stopped losing the route and if there were well marked roads, instead of stolen signs or partially missing signs. So, we did the old school method and had maps. Well, not that old school. We used paper maps that we printed out with some of the places we wanted to go and we also used navigon and the maps app to see in real time that we were on target.
In addition to being slow and hard to follow, we went through countless shady neighborhoods. I think I saw more burned out and abandoned buildings and fire trucks than I had in my life. At one point, we even had to detour around a fire that was in the process of being put out. After telling my cousin where we had traveled and mentioning streets, she was shocked. It wasn’t a good idea to get gas in “The Badlands” of Philly. I even was googling other random towns we went through to get the crime statistics. When a tiny city has the word shooting several times on different street corners, you know it’s not a great place to be traveling through.
At least we saw a neat retro looking electric trolley and had to carefully navigate streets to avoid getting clobbered!
It was all over the internetz that route 13 was incredibly beautiful. This was not the case, but perhaps we gave up too early. I would imagine that the Chesapeake Bay Bridge would have inspired some lovely photos. Maybe anything outside of the cities (beyond the oil refineries and paper mills) would be a bit more picturesque. But after taking so long with so little progress, we were ready to start putting miles on the odometer.