When we arrived in Florida on Monday, the temperature was 68 degrees – finally, we had warm weather! So, when I began online research last night to help me decide whether to go south to the Keys, or west to the Tampa or Sarasota areas, I was disappointed to learn that temperatures were dropping down to the 30s overnight, and only into the 50s during the day.
I went to bed without deciding which way to head in the morning. The only thing I knew was I wanted to stay warm. When I woke up this morning, I still felt like I was spinning my wheels about it. South to the Keys? West to Clearwater and the beach? Really West across the Panhandle and keep on going? That last one was out f the question. Daytime temps were predicted in the 40s in Panama City and I just wasn’t ready to face it again.
Some of last night’s research showed that there were NO campsites available in the Keys. Motels are really pricey. I should have planned ahead, and booked something weeks – or even months ago.
So, I packed the car, checked out, and Max and I headed to Starbucks for my daily jolt and on to Petco for some doggie treats. I still didn’t know which way I was going to head…
After Petco, I looked at the map, saw that I was actually on SR 192 heading EAST – and that it would take me all the way to the coast in Melbourne! Decision made in a heartbeat, and we were on our way.
Once we got beyond the sprawl of Orlando, 192 proved to be a sweet drive. We passed acres of open grassland, with black Angus cattle, horse ranches; basically miles and miles of lots of nothing! Clear blue skies, lakes, and very little traffic. Like the 68 degrees, this road is what I’d been waiting for!
So, where does the gator warning come in, you wonder??
Right about here…
I pulled in about 2 PM, and went inside to see if they were still serving lunch. Sure enough. “I’ve got him in the kitchen for another 30 minutes,” the woman who greeted me said. I ordered a Holly Burger, and went outside with Max to a picnic table.
While we waited, we walked around. And spotted a couple of signs reading “Danger. Alligators present. Watch small children.” Seriously!
“I bet this is a pretty hopping place on the weekends,” I said when my burger was brought out.
“Oh, yeah,” she said. “We get bikers and airboaters here. They have a real good time!”
The burger was real. It was perfectly cooked. And it came with fries – all for $6.95!