I confess: since saturday I’ve been in Astor, FL at my Aunt Tricia’s house. Thursday I had decided that I was done dilly-dallying and just wanted to make a beeline for Astor, so I drove to the Flying J just south of Valdosta, GA on Friday and arrived here a little after noon on saturday. The Flying J was probably our least favorite campsite, but for camping at a gas station it was pretty nice. They had a huge field where we could run around saturday morning before hitting the road, and having the food mart next door was a treat. For breakfast I bought milk to have with my peanut butter and honey sandwich. I haven’t been keeping milk in the camper because the fridge temperature fluctuates so much as I travel. I tried lighting the pilot light at the Flying J so I could run the fridge on propane, but started a tiny fire inside the controls compartment and decided that it wasn’t that important. I’ve regained my boldness and will try that again soon. With the fire extinguisher in hand.
Upon entering Florida I stopped at the “State Farmers’ Market” (one stall in a gigantic parking lot) and the visitors’ center. I realized that by entering states on secondary roads you miss out on the visitors’ center and crucial information. I also stopped at Dairy Queen for a dipped cone, because I can only pass so many DQ billboards without stopping. I wedged myself into the tiny, dead-end parking lot but adroitly K-turned the camper to get out, thank you.
Aunt Tricia lives in Astor, just south of Lake George on a canal off the St. Johns River. Miriam (I have dubbed her, as instructed), my GPS-enabled navigator directed me here without a problem. Later today she’s going to tell me how to get to Publix for groceries.
The canal in the morning
Sunday we went out on the river with Helen and Mary Ellen, friends of Aunt Tricia. We saw gators, an osprey on a nest, turtles, blue herons (I think) and sundry other birds, and we even glimpsed a manatee.
Aunt Tricia and Boomer on the boat
Since then I have been doing a lot of reading on the deck and looking into where I will go next (and so has Kristie, thanks Kristie!). I walk the dogs in the morning and then maybe do some kind of low-key workout and then I lounge. I did make another attempt to seal the persistent leak in the camper and finally manipulated that tube without getting the goo all over myself and/or Angus, and yesterday Aunt Tricia took me to lunch at this great restaurant called The Old House Cafe.
The Old House Cafe
We sat outside on the deck in the shade with an amaryllis on our table. The food was delicious and right up my alley. I had the southwestern wrap with chicken, which was a spinach wrap containing meat, lettuce, olives, corn, beans, and a creamy chipotle sauce. On the side I had herbed potato salad and fresh fruit. Mmmm. Check out our view.
Movie recommendation: Anatomy of a Murder (1959). Filming for this movie took place in the hometown of Helen and Mary Ellen, who went out on the river with us sunday, and Helen was one of the extras in the court room scenes. It was really entertaining and packed with notables including Duke Ellington, who also wrote the score. I’m probably telling a lot of you something you already know, but I’m sure you youngsters at work haven’t seen it.
I plan to set out on the road again tomorrow, but it will be tough leaving this lap of luxury.