14 hours, 707 miles, 7 states, countless miles of backed up traffic due to lane closures (yes, Virginia, I am talking about you!), and hours of thunderstorms later we made it to our hotel in Savannah, Georgia…the first leg of the yearly trip to central Florida complete.  Usually we pack up and begin our drive at 2:30 in the morning to avoid D.C. traffic, but this year we got a late start and didn’t head out until breakfast time.  Which actually worked out as far as the Beltway went – I don’t think we even had to hit our brakes once as we passed by our nation’s capital.  Perhaps I jinxed it though by saying, “that wasn’t too bad” as we crossed over the Virginia border, because soon we were stuck in miles of standstill traffic due to lane closures.  Road construction no – at least as far as I could tell – just a lot of orange cones blocking the right lanes.  So much for making good time!  Throw in some torrential rainstorms, a few meals, and some gas fill ups and it all adds up to 14 hours of togetherness in a mini-van!  Good thing we all like each other!!

We checked into the SpringHill Suites Savannah Airport (One Jay R. Turner Drive (Exit 104 off I 95 South) · Savannah, Georgia) at about 11 pm and headed down to our room.  A king room with a pullout sofa bed for our son – perfect!  The beds were very comfortable, they gave lots of extra pillows, and I was very impressed with the toiletries that the hotel had provided:  Paul Mitchell shampoo and conditioner, and wonderfully smelling lemon and sage body wash and cream.  We all slept very well!

The hotel is located by the Savannah/Hilton Head airport and is very convenient to both the airport (the number of flight attendants at breakfast attests to that) and to Interstate 95.  If you want to see the sights of historic Savannah this isn’t the place to stay though, at least from a convenience perspective.  In years past we have stayed in Savannah proper – once at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort (1 Resort Drive, Savannah) and twice at the Residence Inn Savannah Downtown/Historic District (500 West Charlton Street, Savannah).  Savannah is beautiful, and definitely worth the visit, but this time we decided to just stay along the highway and not make any side trips.

One of the things I like best about staying at Marriot suite-type hotels is the free breakfast that they provide.  Make your own waffles and egg mcmuffin sandwiches, oatmeal, cold cereals, bagels, pastries, yogurt, fruit, coffee, tea, milk and lots of juices.  Had they had Diet Pepsi it would have been perfect! But it was yummy as ever, and set us for the rest of our drive.  The breakfast buffet is available everyday and is included for free.  This is a bonus, because we have stayed at other hotels where the breakfast buffet is only offered Monday through Friday.

Overall I would say our stay at the SpringHill Suites Savannah Airport was a hit.  The staff was very nice and helpful, the room was comfortable and well appointed, and breakfast was tasty.  One of the two business center computers was having trouble accessing the Internet and J (my husband) said that the two wireless access points would not connect to the Internet on his iPad but due to our late check in and early departure we didn’t really pursue the issue with the hotel.  We also didn’t turn on the TV but I saw that they did offer HBO.

Next stop – Clearwater Beach, FL for the weekend to enjoy some sun, palm trees, and to visit Winter, from the movie Dolphin Tale, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  T (my son) is very excited to see her, as he loves that movie!!  After that we are heading east for a 2-week stay at Walt Disney World – cant wait!!

I will be blogging throughout our journey, so please stay tuned for more adventures of the Koren family on vacation!

Packing Tip:

When we drive to Florida and are planning on staying overnight in a hotel along the way I always pack an overnight bag with just the essentials so we can just grab it and go in without having to dismantle the entire vehicle to get the “big bag”.  So much easier!

 

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