So how do we decide where to go and when? Thought you might be interested in the process.
Those of you who know me, know I’m a planner and organizer. I did tons of research for a year to come up with an itinerary. We plotted out where we wanted to go but didn’t make any reservations because we wanted to leave flexibility in our itinerary. That has turned out to be a great decision! We might be driving from point A to point B but see a road or sign that looks interesting and we take it. Wasn’t it Yogi Berra who said if you see a fork in the road, take it? 😊 We have had days where the map shows a two hour drive to our next destination but it ends up taking us six hours because we stop off at interesting sites or decide to take a rural road. By the way, we only take interstates when there is no other way.
The other thing that guides our trip is talking to people. This brings me to the bars and churches title! In John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley, he says that the best places to talk to people while you are on the road is bars and churches. But, of course, churches are only open on Sunday’s. I know you are wondering where this is going!
I love cooking in our trailer but we also want to taste the local fare, especially BBQ and sea food so we take advantage of local restaurants that specialize in local fare often. And we’ve discovered, if the restaurant has a bar, that it’s the best place to sit if you want to talk to people. We have had so many interesting conversations with both locals and other travelers who tell us of great places to visit.
As an example, we stopped in at a pawn shop a few days ago (John always has to look at guitars) and the owner told us about a place called Cedar Keys and exactly how to get there. So we went. What a lovely little beach community it was. We stopped in at a local restaurant for lunch (one grouper sandwich and one soft shell crab sandwich). We sat at the bar instead of a table and talked to a couple sitting next to us who told John of a cheap fishing charter to go on when we get to the Keys. We want to Manatee Springs State Park because a fellow traveler had told us about it. It was not on my itinerary. Everywhere we go, including churches, restaurants, grocery stores, campgrounds, people are so great at sharing their experiences with us and sending us on to new experiences.
So now you know why we are where we are. It’s just a big adventure. And, or course, we are so thankful for God’s protection over us thus far!