Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lena & Gabe's Excellent Adventure (Day 3)

Yesterday entailed a whole lot more driving. But we did stop along the way a lot more. Even just little stops, like to go to Walgreens and get milk, or to get gas, or check my oil. For some reason, my oil-guzzling car didn't seem as thirsty yesterday, and I drove all day without having to add more oil.
In the morning, we got up and had the 'breakfast' provided by our hotel. Then we got on the road. I kept seeing things I wanted to take pictures of, but of course I couldn't while I was driving! It was frustrating to miss all those good sights. Anyway, we stopped at the Florida welcome center when we arrived and took a few pictures and looked at our map. Turns out the Florida panhandle is a lot longer than I thought. Plus, we got on Highway 98 so we could drive along the coast, which was pretty but ended up being really slow because of all the traffic and going through towns every 5 minutes.
At one point, we'd been driving for a few hours without stopping, and Gabe saw the ocean and said, "Can we go there?" So I just pulled over and we walked down to this tiny stretch of beach behind a restaurant. The water was nasty and full of seaweed and floating....stuff...but the sand was clean and white and Gabe loved playing in it. We drove through Ft. Walton and Destin, where we stayed last time. The sand was so white it looked like dunes of snow as we drove past. We stopped and got Gabe some sand toys and a hoodie.
Ryan was going to meet us, but we didn't make it close enough to Sarasota, so he didn't want to drive up. But he told us to stop in Apalachicola, which he said was supposed to be nice. We got there just before sunset. Gabe and I were both tired and grumpy from traveling so much, but we got out and ran down a long wooden dock to see the sunset. The dock extended out into the water, and we met a disabled Vietnam veteran who sits on the dock fishing all day. He talked to us a lot and let Gabe reach in his bait bucket and touch his bait fish. The sunset was beautiful, and we'd stretched our legs, so we went up to a tiny playground and played until it got dark.
Then we set out again. Gabe was hungry for some real food, so we looked for a place to eat. We were driving along this dark empty highway, and even the tiny towns were closed up when we drove through. Then, randomly, we came upon this cantina all lit up in the middle of nowhere. I wasn't sure it was a restaurant, so I checked it out. It wasn't a bar, so we went in and I got a giant fajita thing, and Gabe got a giant cheeseburger and enough fries to feed 8 people...for only $3.75. Then we got fried ice cream and left stuffed.
The highway was almost deserted after dark, winding along the coast and smelling like the ocean. I opened the window and let the cool air in and cranked Fleetwood Mac until Gabe fell asleep. We drove a couple more hours and stopped in Perry around 9. No all-night driving for me. Plus, the driving made me really nervous because every couple miles I'd see a herd of deer on the side of the road. None of them ran, they just looked at the car. They didn't even look nervous. Still, it made me paranoid driving, so I was glad to see a town big enough to have hotels. And here we are.

Today, we're going to find a beach to camp on, and we're going to meet up with Ryan. I'm excited!

No comments:

Post a Comment