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Pit Stop in Andy Griffith's Hometown

We're off to Florida! Fourteen of us left snowy Cleveland in two Notre Dame College vans early Saturday morning in search of the warmer Southern climate.

After seven hours of driving, we arrived at our pit stop, the Baptist church of Mount Airy, N.C., which generously offered to host us for the night, to blustering gales and temperatures reminiscent of Cleveland. We kept warm by shooting hoops, playing cards and getting to know one another.

Mount Airy is the hometown of actor Andy Griffith and said to be the inspiration for Mayberry, the fictional community that was the setting for the "The Andy Griffith Show." But we didn't have much time to explore the town as we woke up early Sunday morning to continue our journey south.

After another seven hours on the road, we arrived at the Riverside Presbyterian church in Jacksonville, Fla., which will be our accommodation for the week.

We have been forming closer friendships with one another already and have been getting to know our compatriots from Harvard University, who will also spend the week here building homes for Habitat for Humanity.

After a day off on Monday, our work will begin Tuesday bright and early. Stay tuned as we blog about our experiences this week!

Heading to the Sunshine State: We drove 481 miles to Jacksonville, Fla.

Heading to the Sunshine State: We drove 481 miles to Jacksonville, Fla.