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Ty is Doomed; Poisoned by Good Friends; Falling Waters; Waffle House! Mullets?

I am doomed… On our first day out on our Summer Tour, we were driving down I-10 at 60 mph, Your Humble Correspondent at the wheel, and I caught just a glimpse of a billboard advertising “Brothels”… well, that’s what I thought the sign said. I mentioned this to My Lovely Bride, who glanced up from her computer, and without the skip of a heartbeat, she said, “Ty, get your mind out of the gutter; it’s an ad for Panera’s Broth Bowls. We’ll discuss this when you’re not driving…” Smack!

In an effort to recover my senses after the aforementioned rebukes, both mental and physical, I mentioned to My Lovely Bride that I needed something sweet to eat. She looked inside the Goody Bag that our Very Thoughtful Friends Joyce and Sharon had dropped off before we departed home., and said, “Ty, here is some candy, shaped like lips with teeth; it looks yummy.” “Okay, Love of My Life, I’ll take it.” It wasn’t the worst candy I’ve ever had, but it certainly wasn’t in the top 10% either… surprising, considering the discriminating tastes that Joyce and Sharon normally have. It wasn’t until the end of the day that Suzanne emailed J&S and mentioned the candy… a few minutes later, their reply came back, “Oooooo nooooo, that Waxy Wonder is probably resting uncomfortably in Ty’s tummy right now. Who raised you kids anyway? That was Scary Teeth for Ty to put on for a photo op!” I may recover from my indigestion in a few days. Maybe I should find a good lawyer (or is that an oxymoron?) and sue???

On the way past Tallahassee, we stopped at Maclay Gardens State Park, a small but beautiful gardens planted in 1923 by snowbirds Alfred and Louise Mackay. We didn’t have time to tour the gardens themselves, since this was a brief stop for PT, but we enjoyed a run on the park’s 8 miles of pine needle-covered trails through the woods, never seeing another runner or hiker. There were some high school kids down at the lake, where racing shells sat awaiting their crews while the guys trained on rowing machines. 

Our first night on our Summer Tour was spent at Falling Waters State Park in Chipley, FL.  It was a very pleasant and tiny park, with only 20 or so campsites, and by Great Good Fortune, the only one that we could easily fit in was vacant; most of the others were full, it being Spring Break. We celebrated our first night out with a ribeye steak dinner cooked over our portable gas grill. 

After dinner, we took a hike down to the 73 foot high waterfall at Falling Waters Sink, for which the park is named. Here we see Suzanne enjoying the spiritual and physical beauty of the falls, while the puppies are sniffing for potential prey. It was almost dark, so the details of the falls are unfortunately obscured, and early reveille the next morning would preclude a second visit. 

There were two benefits to early reveille: (1) getting on the road before rain and thunderstorms made driving a pain; and (2) having our traditional “First Breakfast on Tour” at our favorite diner, Waffle House. I feel sorry for those (mostly known affectionately as “Deprived Yankees”) who have never eaten at this typically Southern institution. Our meal is always the same, eggs over medium, hash browns scattered and smothered, raisin toast and bacon (for M’Lady) and sausage (for Der Blogmeister). Waffle House servers are always friendly and smiling (polar opposites to those at Durgin Park and many other non-Southern establishments). 

On our way out of town, we passed several houses like this one, with expansive yards, huge trees with Spanish moss, beautiful gardens, and a few even with RV garages… hmmm, that would be a nice feature! Maybe I can talk our neighbors and The Villages management into agreeing to a variance…

This photo requires some explanation… we stopped at a rest stop for… well, rest… and this long haul trucker had stopped for a TV break! The white object on the hood of his tractor is a satellite TV receiver, and it is obviously impossible for him to drive with it rigged for action. I hope that he was such a basketball devotee that with March Madness underway, he simply couldn’t miss a match; in the worst case, he may have been anxiously awaiting a rerun of As the World Turns

Finally, you will note the longish hair style of the trucker above… sort of a “mullet” look… we have a neighbor back in FL (who shall go nameless) with a similar cut. I laughingly mentioned to My Lovely Bride recently that he hasn’t changed his hair style since the 70s. She replied saucily, “Well, Ty, neither have you!” “Yes, Darling, but mine is… well… timeless!”

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