Thursday, December 22, 2011

Backroad Florida

In keeping with our plan to stay OFF Interstate 75 - hopefully for the entire time we are in Florida - I poured over our maps last night to navigate our path south.

It took us a good hour or so down the road to get over leaving Micanopy - this little town has set a very high bar upon which all other places in Florida will be held against! 

We were actually able to get all the way to where we are now - probably more then 100 miles or so down the road without going on the Interstate once. Instead we used the 441 to the 27/301 to the 301 which took us all the way to Zephyrhills. A quick trip on the 54 and we are BESIDE the Interstate at a Sam's Club for the night.

For such a long travel day we have very few pictures. Leaving this morning our destination was Dade City. It is another stop listed in my handy book describing a quaint downtown with shops and cafes. 

Sadly, when we drove into downtown Dade City we were disappointed. If we hadn't been to all the lovely downtowns that we have posted it may have stood a chance to get us to stop - but not today. 

We continued on our way.

The only stop today was at the Sparkman's Fruit Stand just north of Dade City. All day we had been passing fruit trucks and fruit stands but most were small, came up quickly, and without a large parking area. Sparkman's just seemed to lure us in and so we stopped to shop and have some lunch.

I had a major nostalgic moment at Sparkman's!

When I was Cassia's age we lived in Toronto and we came down to Florida in the winters. Now, since I was so young I only have a few memories. 

When I walked into Sparkman's they flashed before me - I think it was the shell display that did it and all the orange and coconut stuff. 

As the Owner said - Sparkman's is 'old Florida' - I knew what she meant - she is so right!

We happily sampled the oranges and took some with us - in addition to fresh squeezed orange juice, Plant City grown strawberries and two boxes of coconut patties - orange and key lime flavoured! 

Cassia sampling the oranges - to busy to look at the camera.

Mom's persistence was rewarded!

Shells on display - can't wait to search for our own.

As were leaving the little coloured shells caught Cassia's eye. Derek went back with her to buy a handful and the Owner was nice enough to give them to Cassia for Christmas. So nice! 

I had decided that tomorrow's destination would be Ybor City - Tampa's Cuban District - it sounds great. However, I can't really expect our driver to take on Tampa - it together with the Interstate would be stomach turning for sure.

Instead, we will bypass Tampa down to Bradenton and go in search of Anna Maria Island! It will be our first time to the beach! 

Thanks for visiting!


Today's Interesting Link: Anna Maria Island - this is where we plan on spending tomorrow. LOOK at that beach! wow and with temps in the low 80's it should be a great day! I see a free trolley on the site!


  1. My Teresa said she would LOVE to be travelling like this, and have her "babies" with her ... ha ha

    But I am sure there are challenging times in the small space of an RV.

    I checked out your link for Anna Maria Island, and it looks fantastic !!

    We are having lousy weather here in Texas. Today, it barely got over 50F, and it is supposed to be cold and wet for the next 3 or 4 days !

    Enjoy your beach time ... take care ... Trent

  2. TnT - It is always hard not to have family around - especially for you guys I am sure! Anna Maria Island does look great but super BUSY - a bit hard to get around in an RV. It seems a bit slower paced south a bit where we are.

    Brrrrrr - well it will pick up - one thing we have noticed over the years is that one side gets the cold and then the other. We aren't that far away - come on over! ha ha!


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