Well we all got up a little late, managed to get down in time for the dismal Continental breakfast, at least there was coffee for me and juice for the other pair. We decided to pack up and start heading back. Of course my turn to drive again!!! You need to give notice to have your car ready, so when eventually we checked out, we had to sit and wait for ages, Stuart said there was so many cars they are literally wedged in! As we pulled out of the car park I noticed that the hotel opposite was hosing down their walls and the pavement (sidewalk to all the US readers – lol), I wonder why? New Orleans seem quite and not really a lot happening. Now Stuart and navigation is not the brilliant at the best of times, and trying to get me out of New Orleans with the one way streets was a tad stressful, even with the sat nav, turn right – but it is a no entry one way street (it was turn right at the next street) but he claims he couldn’t see it, typical man answer.

When we arrived at New Orleans last night, the traffic the other way, coming out was terrible and this morning exactly the opposite, the traffic coming into New Orleans as we were leaving was dreadful. We had a discussion and because of the journey (which Beth said was too long) we started heading back towards Micanopy. But first to tackle the bridge across the Mississippi. Now anyone that knows me, I don’t like heights, not a very good swimmer, so on the outside lane with what looks a thin piece of concrete between me and the water, Beth yapping in the back made me feel very nervous, it was a long way down and the traffic seemed to be moving very fast! A little way along there was like a hard shoulder appear which was better, but at speed, there seemed not a lot from stopping people doing the unthinkable!

As I drove along Stuart went to sleep, and the road seem quite, long and not a lot to see. I started to think wonder what I have missed, if I had any WEMs (winning emails for the non compers) and how bloated I began to feel. I realised 2 things –

1. I was addicted to comping, there are worse things in life, and comping keeps me occupied, something which I am gonna need when September comes, as giving up something that has been stressful, time-consuming for a number of years. I also missed the chatter in the twinn, Charis had text me while in New Orleans, she had been missing me, and sometime when people don’t post on twitter you get missed, these are virtual friends, which is so nice. It seems we have a lovely little collection of people to chat to, all with their own problems and stresses and you are not judge, by appearance, size etc. So yes I do get moaned at about my comping addiction and how I am very possessive of my laptop, but there are worse things out there.

2. I seriously need to lose weight, even though I wouldn’t say I am eating more meals than usual, the amount and the food, probably not what I would have at home, one thing in the US, there is not always a lot of veg, I usually have loads of veg to accompany my main meal and hardly have pasta or potato, but here is very little veg, one reason why I feel so bloated and like a whale! So yes need to seriously go on a diet when home, Vikki(my best friend/partner in crime at school etc) and me did discuss walking the streets in the evening, and yes there is a joke there which our other halves have commented on, apparently we will have red torches – lol, so hopefully when my foot is better we can start that.

Well with all these thoughts going through my head I realised that I had gone through Mississippi and just heading back into Alabama, Stuarts turn to drive most definitely and Greenbow Alabama I shouted, it just come back to me where Forest Gump lived! Strange how things come back to you even though we discussed it the day before.

So after swapping  it is not long before I am hungry from the back of the car, so we start the discussion what to have in the end, there doesn’t seem to be a lot around and we have already gone past the Hooters in Mobile, so we stop at a Burger King. Now I know it is fast food, and they are friendly but asking what can I get you as you walk through the door before I even have a chance to look at the menu! I didn’t want anything too large/big, but whopper this whopper that, I just wanted a small plain burger and some onion rings, diet coke, well that’s what I got, but the others had some sort of whopper thing, why does it have to be double burger things, everything seems to be big. Anyway as we were finishing I spied someone with a milk shake ooh could fancy one of them, so I had a strawberry shake to go and hollow legs opted for a vanilla one.

So off we went, as I said the radio stations are much to be desired, so I listen to my mp3 and dozed, so no pics I am afraid. After a while we stopped for petrol (gas) and swap drivers again. Beth was moaning it was boring in the back, so Stuart sat in the back and beth up front, well after a while there were 2 sleeping beauties in the car, god these roads are lone and boring.

We get back into micanopy at around 6.30pm, Frank has let the room we had previously so we are staying in his house he had built out at the back of the shop. Shady Oak is the name of his building which downstairs has his studio (where he teaches stain glass), his shop where he sells his stain glass plus other items he can and another shop that he lets to a couple that run an Ice Cream Parlour. Upstairs is living quarters, originally was a bed and breakfast, but in recent years he has turned it into long-term lets, each bedroom has their own en suite, and all get to use the facilities (kitchen, laundry, tv, internet etc) which isn’t bad. We don’t see many of his lodgers, they all seem loners.

Anyway while we are sitting on the porch downstairs discussing the sleeping arrangements of the night, we were just about to say we would take Frank out to dinner as a thank you, when there is a lot of hustle and bustle around, now usually 5pm this town is dead, as in quiet so really unusual. It turns out the guy that owns the Ice Cream Parlour is having a 50th birthday bash. Well there are a lot of people, and southern people are very friendly and we get asked to join in with the fun. A bit of back ground info, Stuarts mum and dad know a few people around the town including Frank, hence that why we stopped here. Well everyone wants to talk to us, ask questions, (Frank has disappeared with the kids on the golf carts) and my god they can talk. Anyway the lady that has the over the top house with the cute dog (Ginny) wants to borrow Beth tomorrow, she is going into Gainesville for the dentist and wants to have lunch with her, I don’t mind Stuart and me will have to find something to do while she is gone, there is not a lot around so I don’t really know??  So after a while we begin to feel a tad tired, so head behind the shop to the house, well he shows us around, its 3 bed, 2 baths with a gorgeous sun room, he is trying to sell it for between $250000 – $270000 but not a lot of takers, it seems the american economy is worse than ours and the new president is not having the impact everyone hoped. Anyway, no one had been in the house for a while, so the rooms were a tad stuffy, nothing the aircon wont sort out. So why Stuart and I chat to Frank downstairs, tbh I could have gone to bed, but he was in a chatty mood and didn’t want to seem rude, Beth went to bed. Well she did moan, can’t sleep – go back to bed, too hot etc, in the end she comes down and wants to sleep on the sofa. So back up i go and in the end we swap bedrooms, cos hers was hot, they were the same temperature just a child that wanted to play up! Think Frank realised that was his cue and left us to it, well Stuart didn’t sleep well which meant I didn’t either. He complained about the bed, he got up early and left me and beth asleep in the bed, unusual for him as he can usually sleep for england!

So after breakfast with frank, beth going off with Ginny, we had to find something to do, so we go towards Gainesville. Gainesville is mainly a university town so not really a lot there, we do find a botanical gardens to wander around and the most enormous spider!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So we eventually head back to Micanopy and Franks shop, it’s around 3ish and beth still not back, so we have an ice cream, I actually have a proper milk shake. The girls in the parlour are bored, they havent been busy all day, it makes you wonder how they stay in business, but apparently the weekends are busy and there is a big festival in the autumn which brings in the crowds. But Micanopy is famous in its own right, ok an old film now but who remembers Doc Hollywood.. Michael J Fox film when he crashes his car and is sent to do community service in a sleepy town, that was filmed here in Micanopy. The town was renamed Grady.

So anyway we head back into Franks shop and chatted to him and his shop assistant, all of a sudden its 5pm shutting up time. Frank is trying to convince us to stay another night, I really want to get back to florida, no clean clothes and feel the need to comp! So we go upstairs to wait for Beth, but before we do I grab the change to take some pics of the glass that Frank does, I shows completed windows, but he also does

Anyway after a time, they are back and have been shopping in the thrift stores. Now we would call them charity shop, but out here in America you can claim tax relief if you donate to charity shops, so you don’t end up with rubbish. She has come home with 4 brand new t-shirts, all named makes! But time to go we pack up the belongings and head back to Winter garden, this time via the interstate which is nearly 2 hr drive.

We get in my cousin and family have gone to coco beach for a few days, so 1st thing I do is put the washing in the machine, then retrieve my lappy 🙂

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