Monday, October 24, 2011

Florida Panda-Monium

As soon as I completed the last of the Georgolina rides on Saturday morning in St. Simon's Island, I snapped to attention for the the next state, Florida.

There were several ideas on the, dashboard,  but in a burst of Gatorade-induced brilliance I phoned my college roommate who keeps a home in St. Petersburg and basically invited myself to spend the weekend with him and his gracious wife. They said yes.

So I peeled out of Georgia at noon and made it to their place at Isla del Sol in time for a delicious supper.  Meanwhile, my Cornell classmate (who reluctantly answered to the nickname "Panda" around our Collegetown apartment) had researched the biking options nearby and I had my route penciled in before the first bottle of wine was drained.

Sunrise over the water is blissful, along with the cool breeze, hot coffee and the Sunday paper.

Noel put me on to Fort De Soto County park, a wild and wonderful place with miles of ocean, great bikeways, and glorious weather.

The National Ensign tells you there's a stiff breeze ashore.

The bridge in the distance spans Tampa Bay.  Does that architecture look familiar? Think Charleston, Savannah and Brunswick GA.  Same guy.

Just in case the cycling is not enough exercise, the trail is festooned with these self-administered torture devices. I'm not quite sure what you'd do with this innocent looking contraption, but I bet it makes you hurt.  Just thinking about that got me really worked up.  I started yelling at the devices and cautioning other riders to stay clear and not risk serious injury....I was frothing at the mouth and swearing... and finally, a guy stopped me on the path, grabbed my by the shoulders and said...

and said...

are you ready?

Settle down, 

(OK, YOU try to figure out how to work this hilarious sign into a blog posting.)

The sugary sand is sheet-white, endless and well used.

The old fort is a family attraction.

This wouldn't be a 50 - 50 blog entry without a golf course shot, now would it?

Mahalo, Noel and Catherine

Bright and early Monday morning I headed north for the Florida panhandle and a chance to visit the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola.  The drive was a no brainer until I decided to drop down to Panama City for a quick tour of the place where I lived in 9th grade.  I'll spare you the details, but let's just say that the side trip was the "monium" in this blog. Never did get to drive through my old neighborhood.

But got checked into the Courtyard, had a swell dinner at an Irish Pub, and have a plan for the Alabama ride tomorrow after the Museum.  Y'all come back now, heah.

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