So I left off at South of the Border, one oddball stop on our way to Florida. Since we abandoned the Blue Ridge Parkway plan, we had to choose some new and interesting places to stop on the way south. Those turned out to be the two classic southern towns of Charleston and Savannah.
Charleston was surprisingly charming. Lots of old buildings, lots of color and lots of character. We could have easily stayed there for several more days, shooting and soaking everything in. Savannah was just as classic, but more of the touristy scene. We didn't have a lot of time there (bus was due in for service soon in FL) but we did hit River Street and the main market area. It's definitely on the list to hit up again, when we can stay longer. (And yes, while we were there, we watched "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.")
Finally, on Nov. 14th, we hit Florida, Jacksonville to be exact, where we stayed for four days at a Prevost shop (Prevost: brand the bus is) and got some small repairs done. We then moved closer to Orlando, and parked at Millennium, another company that converts busses. Here we got to tour their factory and see a lot of busses both in the works and complete.
When we reached Orlando, we realized that we were in the same city as our friends and fellow nomads, Sean Welsh and Louise Hornor, who live and travel together in their awesome "double-decker" Odyssey. After we cleared it with Millennium, Sean and Louise came and parked with us for several days. (This, again, is another example of the great friends you meet with this lifestyle. We had met up with Sean and Louise once before, but it was spending this time together where we truly became great friends.)
We shared some awesome dinners that week, as well as a rather unconventional Thanksgiving. See, we spent the holiday in a coffee shop called the Drunken Monkey, which was hosting a special Thanksgiving dinner, and even served up Tofurkey for Karen, who's a vegetarian. Sean and Louise also set up their hot tub (yes, they have an actual hot tub in their bus), which made for some fun and relaxing Florida nights. We even met up with Sean and Louise in Lakeland, FL on our route to Tampa, to spend yet another fun night/afternoon at a shop where their Odyssey was being repaired. (see this whole bus theme going on in Florida?)
Finally, we reached the Tampa area. Clearwater, actually. And where did we park? You guessed it. Another bus shop. (The bus didn't need a lot more work, but the parking was convenient) Note: By this point, Karen, who knew nothing about busses a year ago, could pick out a bus brand at a glance, understand the workings of the batteries, alternator, etc. and even differentiate between RV toilets. She's come to enjoy falling asleep to the sound of giant idling engines. Most women would have hit the ground running by Jacksonville, but oddly, and thankfully, she likes it :-)
From Tampa, travels led us, by plane, to Colorado, and then New Jersey, but we'll save those stops for another post. More to follow!