Road Trip to Florida

We began our road trip to Florida on Saturday from my mom’s house in Carbondale. Day one was Carbondale to Flowood, Mississippi (basically Jackson).

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I drove, Tracy was my copilot, and my mom and Tony were in the back with Puccini, Tony’s Shih Tzu/Terrier mix.

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I love long road trips. I find hours of driving to have the same meditative effect for me that running lots of miles does. It’s so relaxing to watch the scenery go by and take it all in.

It’s not so relaxing when it rains nearly the entire time, as it did Saturday. It was like the rain followed us all the way south. This was one of the drier moments.

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My passengers had no trouble getting relaxed.

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We arrived shortly before 7pm, checked in to our hotel, dropped Tracy’s stuff off at her parents’ house, then we all went out to eat.

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This place is awesome. It’s right on the reservoir, which is a giant body of water. They’re known for their catfish, a fish I’m now able to eat so long as I don’t think about what they look like. They also have fried pickles, greens, cornbread, cole slaw, fries, and beverages served in really cold tin (I think?) cups, which are adorable. Everything is served family style, which I love.

After dinner we said goodbye to everyone and headed back to our hotel, of course in a torrential downpour, to prepare for day two of the drive.

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It wasn’t raining when we left in the morning but that didn’t last for long. It began some time after Hattiesburg and intensified in Alabama.

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This made letting the dog out challenging, but she tolerated the wetness very well.

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It was around lunchtime when we got close to Mobile, so we decided to stop at a restaurant Tracy’s family recommended, The Oyster House.

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It was on the water, which was nice, but it had been raining steadily for hours so we got more water than we bargained for. But still, it’s nice to be near water.

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I was excited to see the menu contained something from Man vs. Food.

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As awesome as that sounded, I opted for a “lighter” lunch, and got the blackened shrimp and grits (when in Rome).

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I also got greens (two days in a row) and red beans and rice as sides.

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I tend to eat very healthy and use appropriate portions when I cook for myself but when I’m on vacation all bets are off.

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I did give a shrimp to Tony and my mom but the majority of this damage was done by me. No regrets.

My mom got a fancy grilled cheese with shrimp on it and clam chowder.

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Tony got an oyster po boy.

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After lunch we continued toward the Florida panhandle and occasionally got breaks from the rain.

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We ended up at my aunt and uncle’s in New Port Richey a little before midnight eastern time, tired but finally dry. Also warmer–it was in the 70s.

Today we’re relaxing and doing family stuff.

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Pucci is happy to be out of the car, as are we.

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