Goodbye Florida!

Gainesville, FL

Our last week in Cortez, FL was a bit slow due to poor weather.  On Tuesday Pam joined some friends staying in the park on a visit to the Southeastern Guide Dog School to participate in their Hug a Puppy program.  The idea is to provide socialization experience to young puppies who are thought to be good candidates for guide dog training in their future.  While the group found the tour to be very interesting, it was clear that the puppy play was the highlight of the visit.

Karen gives the love to a cute little guy

Dave and Sue find a friend

Pam (there are four Pams in the park) scratches a pup

As the weather continued to be cool, rainy, and windy, we were forced to cancel a number of activities, including a golf outing!  You know it’s cold and windy when John and Dave turn the car around and return to the park without even getting to the course!

The weather finally improved over the week end so we spent our last day on a bike ride to the north end of the island for breakfast.  During our last stay at Holiday Cove two years ago, friends Pam (yes another one!) and Herschel had bicycled with us to Ginny and Jane E’s Cafe, Bakery, and Store, so we were determined to make a repeat visit before leaving Cortez.  The four of us were joined by Dave and Karen (Cody’s “parents”) as we headed on to Anna Maria Island, again by bicycle.

Ginny’s and Jane E’s Cafe, Bakery and Store

It is difficult to describe this place, so you’ll need to visit it yourself some day.  Located in an old IGA grocery store, it is a combination restaurant, furniture store, and knick knack shop.  You can get a very tasty breakfast or lunch and sit at a table that, if you like it, is yours for the purchase, as everything is for sale.

John, Pam (yes, another one), Herschel, Karen, and David

When we returned to the park, Karen went to free Cody from inside their fifth wheel.  Pam always has a small bag of treats for Cody whenever he stops by for a visit, so when they ask him if he wants to go visit Pam he almost passes out from excitement.  When Karen or David know we are sitting outside and the road between our sites is free of any cars, they will release Cody from his leash and he will “run like the wind” to our site.  Since we knew he was coming we watched, camera at the ready, as Cody began his mad dash.  Suddenly a Snowy Egret walked out of the bushes to the middle of the road, right in Cody’s path.  Usually Cody will chase birds, but with all his focus on the a potential treat, he just gave the intruder a quick bark (“Get out of my way!”) and continued his mad dash to our site and into Pam’s arms.

Get out of my way, you skinny bird!

This morning (Tuesday) was departure time so, after saying some goodbyes to good friends, we pulled out of Holiday Cove and began our trek north.

               Cody and David watch as we leave the park

Our next stop is 350 miles north to the little Georgian town of Ashburn where there is a small RV park with a nice nine hole golf course.  While 350 miles is very “doable” in one day, when you are driving your home why spend all day on the highway?  So we split the trip in half and have stopped for the night in a Wal-Mart in Gainesville, FL.  We have stopped here before and like it because of a small strip of stores across the street.

You can’t pass up a place like this!

After visiting three of the four “establishment,” we’re back in the WM RV Resort for the night.  Tomorrow it will be about 175 miles, so we should be on the course by early afternoon.  Sue and Dave are going to join us in the park later in the afternoon and John and Dave are looking forward to a few days on the links!

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48 Responses to Goodbye Florida!

  1. I can’t believe you got that shot with Cody and the bird! That is quite a unique eatery/store combo! What fun!

    That looked like the perfect overnight spot for you two. How often do you have *bucks right outside your door?

    Looking forward to reading your travels!

    • placestheygo says:

      Actually, I had the camera all set to photography the bird as it strutted about when Karen let Cody go. Perfect timing!!

      Yes, this was perfect with Starbucks in view. We ran over this morning for our travel coffee:)

      This journey north means we are much closer to heading west!!!

  2. Sherry says:

    LOL at “get out of my way you skinny bird”. Too funny! Thanks, it’s the biggest laugh I’ve had in a while. Our weather hasn’t been cooperating either at least not for the beach days I was planning at this Gulf front state park. Can’t believe you got out on the road with the masses today. You are very brave. 175 miles is a day of it for me too. Cold Stone creamery would have been my first stop after parking. Hope you enjoyed it enough for me too. What flavor??

    • placestheygo says:

      My photo was a lucky shot. I had the camera all set to capture the bird as it walked about when Karen let Cody go. I was in the right place at the right time:)

      Actually, traveling wasn’t bad yesterday, thank goodness.

      Cold Stone was our third stop. We shared a small cup of the Peanut Butter Perfection Signature mix…my favorite. It has been two years since I last had it here in FL.

  3. Sue says:

    Wonderful picture of Cody and the bird! You forgot to mention the delicious cookies at Ginny’s and Jane E’s. Mmmmmm

  4. Paul says:

    My gues is you skipped Moe’s.

  5. Pamela Mathews says:

    Where did the time go? Leaving today in the most perfect weather to date seemed a little surreal. Glad you made it just fine to your midway destination with the treat of Starbucks nearby.

    The photo of Cody with the egret is hilarious! I never saw any birds walking around in the park.

    Enjoy your Georgia interlude.

    • placestheygo says:

      I’ve never seen that bird just walking along in the park. That’s the reason I had the camera ready. I was actually going to photography it when Karen let Cody go. Great timing!

      Oh, yes, this is a perfect stop…coffee, Panera Bread, ice cream…yum!

  6. Janna says:

    Love the “skinny bird” photo–what a sweet looking dog, breed??

  7. Joan and Steve says:

    Great picture of Cody and the bird! Have a safe trip.

  8. Wow, that’s the best shot, a barking dog chasing a snowy egret in one frame! And that picture of David and Cody is sad moment :( and said it all about goodbyes.

  9. LuAnn says:

    It must feel strange to be on the road again after such a long stop. Be safe as you venture north. Love that photo of Cody and the egret.

    I am guessing Starbucks was the first stop. :)

  10. laurel says:

    Oh boy, on the road to new adventures! It’s always hard leaving, but exciting to see what lies ahead. We couldn’t (or won’t) do a 350 mile day, either. Looks like you found a good layover spot with the “essentials.” ;-)

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, Laurel, we are off to new adventures. This time it was much easier to leave FL because I now know how awesome the west is and can’t wait to get back.

      If staying in a Walmart is ever fun, this was it…coffee, then dinner at Panera, followed by a small shared ice cream.

  11. pmbweaver says:

    Are all the Pam’s as nice as my girlfriend Pam?

    I love the looks of E’s Cafe. What an experience, I am sure.

    You can’t fool me. You didn’t stop at that Walmart for the “small strip of stores.” You stopped there because of one store. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool me…lol

    Safe travels dear friends. The weather has been beautiful here the last couple of days, but rain is in the forecast for the next few. Enjoy the ride.

  12. cathy says:

    Love the puppies!!!

  13. Wheelingit says:

    Ah…puppy hugs. I can see Sue and Dave were in heaven. You guys have had a pretty amazing stay in FL..with good company to boot. Must be tough to leave, although I’m sure the itch to move is there. You coming back West?

    Nina

    • placestheygo says:

      We did have a great winter in FL. It is hard to believe we entered the state in late Nov. But leaving means we are that much closer to heading west. After we go up the east coast to see family, we will head west around June 1. We can’t wait!!!

  14. Jodee Gravel says:

    What fun times! Furkids and friends and food and furniture and photo-ops and a fix of Starbucks – perfect. Thanks for sharing and safe travels.

  15. Gay says:

    Safe travels you two! Enjoy your trek north….

  16. Love those puppies. I want one! Great capture of Cody and the egret! Have a safe trip. :-)

  17. We would have loved to hug those puppies! What a neat experience.
    That Walmart looked a lot better than the one in CA where we had our bikes stolen.

    • placestheygo says:

      This is a nice area. There is a separate parking area away from the store which keeps us out of the way. Of course, a Starbucks across the street tells us it is a better off community.

  18. rommel says:

    Can use get your food orders and sit on their furnitures to test it? Ahihihi :D Pamtastic! I also once volunteered for a dog day care before and sure had fun. Happy travels and have a safe road trip.

  19. Rick Doyle says:

    Pam, I can’t believe it has taken me son long to find your blog. I got it off your email to me re Starbucks ‘stars’ – thanks for all the tips!

    Nice blog and I’ll be following along on your future adventures.

  20. Erin says:

    Your photo with the egret may have been a ‘lucky’ one … but it is great nonetheless. Puppy hugs must have been rewarding for both the dogs and the humans participating in the program.

  21. Bob says:

    Looks really nice down there in Florida! The action shot with the bird and dog is great! Hope to be over there in the fairly near future to visit my father in law, who is living in The Villages.

  22. Nancy says:

    I loved the picture of the puppy chasing the egret! FABULOUS!! ~Nancy

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