Today we left Gainesville after a great visit with my daughter Kayla and her wife Ann. We were with them for a week and it just flew by. Jack was able to visit his brother Mike in St. Petersburg and we went kayaking twice as well as going to Orlando for a day to celebrate Ann’s upcoming Birthday with dinner and going to see The Lion King at the theater there. It was also nice to be able to do all our laundry that had accumulated along the way!
Leaving Gainesville was bittersweet since they are moving back to Colorado this July and unless they decide they need our help in driving back, we won’t return there. I have found that I really enjoy going there several times a year to visit and discovering kayaking in the many springs in the northern part of the state has been a revelation and something that I will truly miss.
Ichetucknee Springs yesterday. Just beautiful weather and a perfect day to float.
Kayla on her paddle board just relaxing.
We left this morning with the idea that we would head towards New Orleans and see how far we got. We drove North to the Panhandle and headed West.
After a few hours on the interstate, I realized that we were not going to see the Gulf area at all unless we headed south to the coast. My hope and what we saw on the map was a road running along the Gulf of Mexico so we could drive west while enjoying the beautiful water views. Well…….not so much. We got down there and there was a road called 98 running maybe a quarter mile from the ocean but with almost all views of the water hidden by mile after mile of restaurants and stores along the road of the national chain variety. Chain restaurants, chain clothing stores, chain groceries, virtually nothing you could consider local in any sense of the word.
We did manage to find an overpriced resort-type restaurant where we able to sit at a table overlooking the beach and Gizmo got his first view of the ocean.
This was very pretty as you can see, but it would have been so much better to be able to drive with a view!
We pulled off for the day outside of Mobile, Alabama. Our plan for tomorrow is to have breakfast in Mobile and then drive to Biloxi, Mississippi and have some nostalgia moments for Jack. Jack was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in the early 70’s and has never been back since. It’s been 46 years since he was in the area. The base is still open so we thought we’d go and see if we could get on the base to look around and then we’ll try to find his old apartment house.
Then we will be off to New Orleans, a place neither Jack or I have ever been. We are planning to be there for for a couple of days and are hoping to connect with a friend who lives there.