15 July 2011

Baycation (Flip Flops Only) Part 1

Friends, we've been away on a vacation visiting my mom in the Sunshine State (in case you didn't catch that from my recent posts). This was once such a little place when I was a little girl and now it's the fastest growing city in Florida. It's close to the Bay but still has the charm of country life (i.e. quite a few confederate flags are displayed in front of the neighboring trailers). Her place is like a little slice of paradise where there used to be pastures and woods.

Lola's Pond
Lola's Other Pond

When I was child (I had a fever...) we lived a few blocks away from here on 11 acres with my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins and a couple of alligators! We had a pond and a creek and the alligator came up from the creek to lay her eggs in the bank and feast on the bluegill and maybe chickens. I distinctly remember the time when my brothers and I were on a rubber raft in the pond when they saw baby alligators and they both jumped overboard to capture one and left me on the boat sans oars (story of my life). My sweet PawPaw came to my rescue jumping into the water from the shore and got me safely to shore.

Back to our road trip. We've always enjoyed road trips and this was our first extended road trip with the Little Ones. We originally planned to leave home at 4am and stop somewhere halfway between Central Oklahoma and South Florida for the night, but we decided to go the Circadian Rhythm route (we were tired and went to bed late) and leave closer to 6:30 when the kids would normally be up and around. We loaded up Salty (my trusty Disco) and headed straight to McDonald's for coffee (us) and smoothies (kids). Then we put the pedal to the metal and were driving through the Arbuckle Mountains by sun rise. Both of the Little Ones started the first day of the trip with runny noses.

We had breakfast outside of Dallas and then drove only stopping for gas and bio breaks until we hit Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and we stopped for dinner at Cuz's Fresh Seafood and Po Boys. Yum! Best gumbo I've had in a while. From there we drove a little longer until we hit Pensacola and then we stopped for the night (about 8 hours from our destination). The 20 year olds in us wanted to keep on trucking, but we kept seeing other drivers swerving and thought better. We hit up Stuckey's for a pecan log and some t-shirts (3 for $10) and then we hit up the Waffle House for breakfast.

We stopped to get a pecan log and t-shirts
The kids did as well as expected on such a long journey and there wasn't too much whining (even with the snotty noses). We opted not to get a cargo carrier for the roof or hitch and just take the bare minimum of necessities. A friend let us borrow her DVD player and Emi had her iPad so they watched a couple of movies on the way down. But we made sure that they spent a sufficient amount of time looking out the windows like we did as children on road trips. There was a lot of napping too.

It's been a fabulous and relaxing time for the most part...
Emi and Aubrey with Their Lola
Feeding the Fish

Fish Fry
Fish Fry (not from the pond)

My brother and his family were here before us and they went ocean fishing and brought back a freezer full of snapper, trout, and I don't know what else but we've eaten fish every night and have loved it!


  1. Those are some beautiful pictures. Not sure how long ago childhood was, but I can't even recognize Riverview from five years ago. The town sure has been sprawling and growing in population.

    1. Childhood for me was back in the 70's but you're right, Riverview has grown much in the past 5 years. Love getting back there to see my mom but I wish it wasn't so crowded. The place I explored as a child (on Baytree Drive) is owned by a circus and is not a paradise anymore...


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