Welcome To Florida!

Rest Stop 1 mile.  It’s been a long drive, much of it through fog and rain and since leaving Georgia. I pull onto the exit lane.  The welcome center sign up ahead is sporting a great big orange.  As I pull up into the parking area; WELCOME TO FLORIDA!    We’re finally here!  Hurray!  It’s only 9:30 in the morning.  There are almost no parking spots left.  License plates give evidence of travelers from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Rhode Island, oh one from Washington state! People are milling about, stretching their legs, and heading in droves to the “facilities”.  I join the crowd.   Blue sky, 65 sunny degrees and climbing.  Surely this is heaven.

Inside the welcome center, visitors are offered a glass of orange or grapefruit juice. There are kiosks chock full of information throughout the room, isles of pamphlets separated by region of Florida, and a dozen representatives eager to help you find great places to vacation in the sunshine state.

There is a lot to do in this state.

I begin an investigation of the massive recreational choices.  I talk to a couple of the representatives.  Next thing I know, am carrying a couple pounds of literature back to the truck.  Five brochures later, I realize I could sit in this parking lot all day and not absorb everything there is to do in Florida.  I make a couple calls to check on arrangements for my camping destination and to meet up with people, grab a light lunch out of the cooler, and check email. 

After a bathroom break for the canine, we are back on the road and headed to our first stop, Gainesville, hoping to connect-the-dots to a pig hunt before dinner time! 

A few minutes into the ride, I notice I am developing little welts around my ankles, and along my forearms.  And they are sort of itchy….

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