See the U.S.A. – 8: Charleston, Baby it’s Cold Outside!

When you travel in the winter it’s pretty much a given you’re going to deal with cold weather.  We know this.  We traveled to Paris in January of 2013 and had a great time, despite the cold. Cold, yes, but Polar Vortex cold?!  That’s just pushing it.

And we sure didn’t find any warmth in Charleston, South Carolina!  I think this picture is worth more than 1,000 words and it pretty much sums up the wickedly cold weather in Charleston.

I sent this photo to my monkey sister who responded with, “Holy Shit!  Honey, what are the chances you’d pick a road trip perfectly timed with weather nobody has seen in over 100 years.”  I’d say that pretty much sums it up!

Yes, that is a frozen fountain

Yes, that is a frozen fountain!

As much as I was looking forward to visiting Charleston, I would have been perfectly happy to stay curled up in our hotel room for the day, but Abi dragged me out encouraged me to leave the lovely warmth of our room and we spent several hours braving the cold in downtown Charleston.  Depending on what news source one listened to, the temperature never got above 33 – 36 degrees, but either way it was damn cold!

See the frozen fountain in this lovely garden?

See the frozen fountain in this lovely garden?

So yesterday morning when it was only 31 degrees at 11:00 a.m., I begged suggested we skip Charleston day 2 and hit the road south.   It was cold in Little Rock, it was cold in D.C., but for some reason the cold in Charleston kicked my butt.

A blanket of snow in Washington D.C.

A blanket of snow in Washington D.C.

We programmed Susie GPS to guide us toward St. Augustine, Florida, – about 5 hours south – and after a quick stop for a not so good bagel, but by far the best chai latte I’ve had since leaving home, we were on the road again.  First, we drove the coastal length of Georgia and then we crossed into Florida; the land of swamps and motor homes.


The only thing on my mind is finding some warm air!


Florida is open for business!

But look what we found in Florida and look at those white caps on the pounding surf!  I think we’re getting closer, but no sun yet!

Vilano Beach 1

Vilano Beach near St. Augustine, Florida

Despite the weather, this has been and will continue to be an epic road trip and the weather is just 1 chapter in the book.  This is an incredibly diverse country with a rich history and we’re having quite the adventure taking each day one road at a time.  I hope you’ll stay with us!

What’s the coldest vacation experience you’ve had?



10 Responses to See the U.S.A. – 8: Charleston, Baby it’s Cold Outside!

  • Maybe this is why I’m ready to be south of the equator. A sunny 60 today in central AZ but down towards freezing tonight. Bundle up and stay warm because there’s no road south beyond Key West. 😉
    Gaelyn recently posted…Cha cha cha changes in the blogMy Profile

  • My coldest would be a -30 degree family snowmobile vacation to Wallace, Idaho. No, we didn’t plan on that weather only road once for half of a day. I love the transition of your pictures from the snow to sunny and well…warmer! It occurred to me that Mother Nature sure keeps “testing” your mettle right from the outset back home. Continue to stay safe you two! 🙂
    Mike recently posted…$200 Giveaway To Celebrate Our One Year Blog Anniversary!My Profile

  • Our coldest was when we took our three kids to Germany in mid April some years back. When we arrived in Neuschwanstein-daffodils. Next morning 8 inches of snow. We took the horse drawn carriage to the castle through the snow. (Only way up.) Shared the one pair of gloves I happened to have in my pocket from another trip and couldn’t see the view out the windows. But when everyone else left town, we had a gorgeous venue to ourselves and an evening in the Mueller hotel with the whole place to ourselves. Warm fire, great soup and a generous host with a Schnapps bar he was willing to share.

    • That is the upside of traveling in the winter – rarely does one have to fight crowds – unless one is on a ski slope, which would never be the case for us. Except for being cold your castle experience sounds quite idyllic!

  • Can’t believe that photo is of Florida! When I was 18 I spent a magical, freezing New Year’s break in Switzerland with a friend who was working as a nanny over there. There was fluffy snow everywhere, blue skies, sunshine and sharp frosty air – perfect winter weather and I loved it.
    Amy recently posted…Video: Three Months in ThailandMy Profile

    • There are times when I definitely love the cold and snow, there is something magical about a quiet and peaceful snow fall. I think it was just getting to me because the weather was prohibiting us from really enjoying what we wanted to do. But, that’s what happens with winter travel and we just try to make the best of it. I gotta tell ya though that the sun felt so good today!

  • Weather conditions certainly can’t interfere with an epic road trip like yours. And you’ll be able to tell stories about it for a long time to come. I’ve had some pretty cold vacations since I’ve spend a good amount of time in Europe and the U.S. east and midwest in the winter. The absolute coldest experiences of my life were living in Chicago. Once when I was there we got record cold temps when the high for the day was -11F (yes, that’s minus) and I think the windchill factor got to -85F (maybe someone will correct me on that, but I think I’m right). Here’s to warmer weather for the rest of your trip.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted…Going Beyond in ItalyMy Profile

    • Thanks Cathy – we found some warmth in New Orleans – not exactly warm, but the sun was shining and we weren’t cold so we were able to be out and about. We’ve traveled in cold as well, but that polar blast was just brutal! Those Chicago temps must have been a nightmare to live through. I’m already thinking our next winter vacation needs to include some serious warmth.

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We are Patti and Abi. We retired early to live a simpler life, travel the world and hopefully, inspire others to redefine retirement.


3 years, 107 days ago!





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