I have so much to tell you about that I barely know where to begin. There will be no rhyme nor reason in this post, but each stop carries special meaning for us. With that in mind-let us begin.
BACK TO JAX
The last time we were in Jacksonville Florida was probably 2019. It's hard to remember since we spent so much time there. In any case, it had been too long since our last visit. Well, after almost a year and half on the road the opportunity presented itself and so we went. We stayed in Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park, just off of Atlantic Ave in Jax. A beautiful, albeit tight campground, that gives you the illusion of being in the middle of the jungle instead of on the outskirts of a fairly large metropolis. This is where we met up with some old friends (Rich and Brenda) and then some new ones (Mike and Stephanie) at our favorite place... Culhanes Irish Pub, and thanks to Mike and Stephanie we got to go to the one on Southside too. It was a 4 day visit, but we did what was important: Visited friends, walked the beach, took a hike, and spent our money at 2 "local" venues. So, in no particular order, I give you my beloved Jax.
BACK TO THE BLUE ROOF INN
Speaking of friendship, this post can't get published without sharing our 2nd visit to "The Blue Roof Inn"...aka; Judy and Harold's house. For those new to the blog, I'm going to refer you to the post from our first visit so you can get some background (The Blue Roof Inn).
There's much to love about our visits here, first there's Judy, the kindest person I've ever met, and there's Harold, the most honest person I've ever met, and from there the gifts keep on giving. Kids, grandkids, siblings, nieces, nephews, adopted family and friends that are loyal to the core. This visit came with the bonus of being able to spend time with this family, while celebrating Harold's birthday. You know what "they"" say about timing-It's everything! For us, it wasn't only everything, it was perfect. Thank you both, for sharing your home and your family with us.... we appreciate it more than you know.
HELEN, GEORGIA- A TOWN LIKE NO OTHER
The fact that this little town is based on a village in Germany is just the beginning of the story. We enjoyed delicious German beer, food and some really great hot sauces. The architecture is awesome, but as the theme often goes, it's the people that make this visit a favorite. We met our Helen version of "Tiny and Asher"... another super sweet couple that gave us a lift home after a day of over indulgence. Then there was Harleigh and Walker, a young couple we met the day before we left, while on a walkabout. After chatting for a few they really could be mistaken for a younger version of us....in a good way...lol By the night's end they had come and hung out at our camper where we talked to Harleigh's parents, and I was adopted as "bar mom", not entirely sure that's a good thing, but hey- what the hell?! And as promised, there are plans to visit them in Raleigh when the opportunity presents itself. Thank you both, for such a great night. It's truly a pleasure having met you. And Walker...enjoy and appreciate your trip with your mom, I envy you your adventure.
A STEP INTO THE PAST
It seems as if the world is going to hell in a handcart, but if you just step outside of your comfort zone, and meet new people, you will be both surprised and comforted by the people around you. One of these people is a man named Mike. We met him on this leg of our journey and he owns this place called; Ike's Amish Depot & Country Store, located in Ethridge, TN. It was a Harvest Host location, and we are forever grateful for the opportunity to meet and spend time with this man.
On the day we were there the store was closed, but Mike was there prepping for the Saturday rush. He is one of the most patriotic men I have ever met, and just in case you are wondering how I can say that, he showed us a picture of him in Iraq while still serving at the age of 62.
What makes his story even more special is two-fold: 1- the fact that the depot/store/restaurant he now runs is the very spot he caught a bus to go to Vietnam. His family owned it then, and he came full circle to keep it open today, and 2- He reminded us of our very dear friend, Allen Lake, and because of that we missed our friend a little less.
I don't have the words to describe the feeling you get when you walk into this place that still has the original soda fountain from "back in the day", but I hope the pictures will help.
Yup! We did that! Another reason to love Georgia, besides Evergreen Cove, is a place in Juliette called The Whistle Stop Cafe. Straight from the movie! Mind you, I'm not a big fan of tomatoes, but I'm telling you, the fried green tomatoes here are freekin' fantastic! I love this movie (Fried Green Tomatoes), and have been wanting to stop here for some time and since our new lifestyle allows for some detours, I took full advantage of that fact. In case you are wondering, yes, this is the actual whistle stop cafe that's in the movie. Super cool!!!
I'm looking forward to sharing with you our time at the collection of Army Corp of Engineers campgrounds that we've been to. Including the one with our scariest tornado close call thus far, but for now I'll leave you with the sunset of the one we are currently at (Mountain Home, Arkansas).
Until next time....
Be Well, Be Happy, and Safe Travels