Sanford left the governor's mansion in Columbia on Friday morning in the passenger seat of a state security sedan. A day earlier, his spokesman said Sanford planned to fly to Florida accompanied by state security for the long holiday weekend.
The two-term Republican says he does not intend to resign. He and wife Jenny also hope to reconcile despite an interview during which the governor told The Associated Press that his Argentine mistress is his soul mate.
Jenny Sanford said in a statement Thursday that she may be able to forgive her husband, but true reconciliation will take time and won't be easy.