Farewell Florida!

After over a month of Florida’s sun shining on us most of the time, eating a lot of oranges and grapefruit, seeing lots of friends and family members, and just being happy and grateful that we’re missing out of the harsh Midwestern winter, we’ve crossed the Florida-Georgia line and are now on our way north and west for a bit – destinations: The National Infantry Museum in Columbus; the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site (and peanut factory) in Plains; the Andersonville National Historic Site (a Confederate military prison during the Civil War) in Andersonville; and the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Tuskegee.  We also want to see the movie Selma in Selma, and then, something I’m really looking forward to… spending some nice time in Huntsville with a dear ol’ friend and her family – note I didn’t say old, even though Angela and I worked together over 20 years ago making us, indeed, old!  In between all that, we’ll take in whatever else we come across along the way during our stay in Georgia and Alabama over the next couple of weeks.

Fred, Dee Dee & I at Danny's

We spent our last week in Florida just outside of Tampa at a mega-huge RV park full of monster rigs – we’re talking the 45-footers with double rear axles, two bathrooms, three air-conditioning units, and a master bedroom with a king size bed – these big rigs were everywhere!

They made Charley look somewhat shrimpy, but then again these big boys can’t pull up along a stream in a national park like we can!!! We chose this place because of the proximity to friends Perry & Dee Dee who were a short 15 minutes away, and we happily got to see a lot of them.

Our week seemed to focus quite a bit on food and drink – what’s new?!?  Perry & Dee Dee took us to Danny’s All-America Diner, a little shack on the side of the road known for their baseball burgers – not the ingredients, the names describing these gastronomical creations… we dined at Florida’s oldest restaurant (est. in 1905), The Columbia, in historic Ybor City… and we cooked in one night – Perry made his killer-delicious Spaghetti Carbonara and I contributed my Chicken Piccata – of course, all accompanied by respectable amounts of wine.  We also joined Fred’s cousin, Stan, a local Tampa resident, at Bella’s Italian Cafe where I had one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever eaten!  You can be assured I’m going to be working in my little RV kitchen to try to re-create the scrumptious dish they call Nate’s Chicken!

As has been the case for the past two winters, we have thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent in Florida this winter, but now it’s time to move on – there’s so much more of our great country to see!  So farewell, Florida – until next time……..

Chef Perry preparing his Spaghetti Carbonara