Crossed the border without a problem and headed down I 75. We made it to just north of Cincinnati by midnight and had our first glorious stop for the night at a rest stop on the side of the highway. Surprisingly comfortable with the hum of big rig tires in the background. We slept until 6:30am, got up and pulled straight into morning traffic.
Fulltime lesson #1; Get past the big cities before you stop for the night, dummy.
Our next leg took us all the way to Marietta, Georgia. We planned for a uneventful stop for the night. On our way to the Atlanta/ Marietta campground we drove right by a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives featured restaurant (POI's downloaded from their site, I was thinking ahead with my stomach). Well, dinner at the Marietta Diner lived up to the hype. Service was excellent and the food was even better, huge portions, delicious sides and the atmosphere of an old time diner, stainless steel and neon exterior topped it off. It was stunning at night but we didn't have the camera with us, so a daytime shot is all you get. This was taken the next day after we went back for breakfast (another good meal).
On the road again by 10am for a run all the way to High Springs FL. We planned a two day stop to just take a breath after the last three weeks of non-stop exertion, excitement, elation, entertainment and excrete.....never mind. High Springs CG was a rustic little park just off the highway which fit the bill perfectly for our purpose.
On to Donna's place in the sun. Holiday Travel Park, 40min north of Tampa Bay. This was our next stop for another two days. This park has been slowly taken over by the Burnt River Gang (many of Jim and Donna's friends have made their way here over the years). It is a little different now after Jim's passing 2yrs ago. While we were here we attended an annual ceremony for the people who have passed away this past year and in previous years. It was a touching ceremony with friends and family placing white doves on a tree. Each dove has the honoured person's name on it. Donna went and picked up Jim's then passed it to Detra to place on the tree. Jim's stands out because his is the only one that was decorated with a guitar and musical notes by the lady who makes them. He left an impression on everyone he met. R.I.P.
After Donna cooked us a wonderful meal the day we arrived and breakfast the next morning. we decided to take her out to dinner. Went to Niko's Restaurant in Newport Richie along with close family friends Bob & Marg. A good meal for all and 2 for 1 beer to boot.
Monday Jan. 20, it was on to Fort Pierce, a 3.5 hr drive across the state. We are at the Roadrunner travel resort for the next month. The weather has been good for the first week, in the mid 20's most days. We are relaxed and spending most of our time outside. We have done a little sight seeing, one of the highlights being the manatee we watched for awhile. He was in the harbor in downtown Ft. Pierce.
We had originally gone to the Manatee Observation and Education Center, paid the entrance fee and waited to see the elusive beasts in their native habitat. The center was educational but there were no manatees to be seen. Disappointed we had missed them, we started to leave and a man stops us, points across the harbor says there is a manatee over there waiting for us.
Off to check out Jai-Alai down the road,