RE: Route help
It's been too many years since I've driven I-95 north of Jacksonville, but I can tell you that south of JAX it's a traffic-choked, 18-wheeler infested nightmare (and so is I-4 near Orlando). Have you considered, just for a second, taking I-81 to Pulaski VA, then I-77 south to connect with I-95 near Holly Hill, SC. Going that way, you'd pass through Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC but you'd avoid Richmond and most importantly you'd avoid a lot of I-95 and either Charlotte or Columbia should be good places to find a variety of motels. Maybe folks here familiar with these alternate routes/areas can advise whether they might be smoother driving and/or better food.
One thing I can tell you: try to avoid Jacksonville and Orlando during the morning or late afternoon commutes.
Nostalgia figment: Anybody else remember the somewhat infamous "Pedro's South of the Border Motel", a landmark of I-95 in the 60's (it was just south of the NC/SC border)? I don't suppose it's still there--or is it?