I Love Lucy – Day 121

I Love Lucy

Day 121 – July 30, 2003 – Wednesday

I visited Jamestown, New York today — the hometown of Lucille Ball. I saw the Lucy-Desi Museum and then went to Niagara Falls.

This Wednesday featured our radio show as usual.

I drove to New York and U-turned back to visit the Pennsylvania Visitor Information office along I-90. Since I saw so little of PA this time, I wanted to stock up on information for the next trip. Esther was the Pennsylvania Visitor Information lady on I-90 at the border of Pennsylvania and New York. I met John and Mary Ann from Syracuse while there.

Eastern Pennsylvania is very pretty — as is western New York. I liked Jamestown. Lots of flags — appears to be a very patriotic town. It was also nice to see big Lucy murals on several of the buildings around town.

The Lucy-Desi Museum was tiny. Not much to see, but it was full of people. The gifts and souvenirs occupied a significant portion of the building, AND there was another Lucy-Desi Museum Souvenir and Gift Shop in the adjoining storefront.

Jones Bakery is across the street from the museum, so I stopped in for an Almond Tart — cooked in an individual-sized pie pan. Very tasty. I met two bakery folks there, John and Anastasia.

I passed through Gerry, New York. Gerry is a “Rodeo City,” which is kind of unusual. You don’t think of New York as being in the rodeo business. The town was very patriotic; there are flags on every street pole and many houses.

Ryan, John Riggins, and I saw Niagara Falls about eight years ago. I visited again today as I felt it had to be included on the Round America trip. Truth is, it is really more of a Canadian sight. There is little or nothing on the US side; the best views and a wide variety of tourist attractions and hotels are on the Canadian side. So, I drove across the Rainbow Arch Bridge to Ontario to see the Niagara Falls sights. It’s really something to see!

I do like hot dogs, and the Northeast is big hot dog country; I have several hot dog places on the agenda for the next two weeks. I visited Ted’s Hot Dogs in Amherst (Buffalo) for dinner today. Ted’s has been cooking up charcoal hot dogs for 76 years, and they were really good. The onion rings were also great, and I enjoyed my first Loganberry drink.

Sorry, Buffalo folks, but Buffalo has to be the ugliest city in America after Detroit. I met Randy at a gas station, Jerry at Ted’s Hot Dogs, Jessica at Canadian Immigration, and Kelly at the hotel in Batavia.

I called it a day in Batavia, New York as the Jello Museum is near here (but closed at 4 pm), and I just couldn’t pass it by. I’ll start the day with J-E-LL-O in the morning.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this website. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest, and the full itinerary is shown.

 

More Information on the Sights Visited Today:
Jamestown New York — Lucy-Desi Museum — Niagara Falls — Ted’s Hot Dogs
 

Melissa Keeney Day – Day 11

Melissa Keeney Day

Day 11 – April 11, 2003 – Friday

 

A story about our trip was on the news on Channel 7 in Panama City, Florida today, and we took a bit of a detour to visit the war memorial in Bagdad.  Today was a special day – one of the very best we’ve had so far.

Today was Melissa Keeney Day!  Melissa was introduced to us yesterday by my brother, Tony.  Melissa is a client of Tony’s company, News Directions (www.news-directions.com), and she is the top reporter at NBC Channel 7 in Panama City.  Melissa expressed interest in doing a news story about our trip Round America as we stopped in Panama City to see the sights.  We began a cell phone discussion as we rolled down the highway between Fort Myers and Tallahassee, and then we continued the conversation as we traveled from Tallahassee to Panama City today.  We explained what we are trying to accomplish with the trip, and Melissa really got into it.  She did some research and came back to us with recommendations for some sights we could see (that we probably would have missed) and a great place for lunch and pie.  Then when we got together, she mentioned two other places during our conversation, and we ended up visiting both later in the day.  As a result, Melissa made our day!  It would have been a completely different experience with different sights and different results if it hadn’t been for the “Fork in the Road” that led us to Melissa.  Boz and I both believe it would have been an okay day, but likely nothing special.  Instead, it was a day that we rank as one of the very best so far.

We arrived in Tallahassee after dark last night, so we didn’t see much.  But as we drove off this morning, we both commented that Tallahassee is a very pretty city.  The hills are something we’ve never seen anywhere else in Florida.  We saw the old Capitol Building and we passed right by the American Folk Art Museum & Gallery as we raced out of the city.  A quick U-turn.  Unfortunately, the outdoor “museum” was closed, and there were three loud dogs standing guard.  This is an extremely funky place put together by a missionary, and sign after sign with spiritual messages were the main thing we could see.  The “centerpieces” we could see from the road were a solid gold limousine and a statue constructed totally from bicycle wheels and tires.  We would have loved to see inside, but tours are by appointment only.  We’ll publish the phone number in our book so others can see what we missed.

We passed an older woman riding a bicycle along the highway.  The bike had a hand-lettered posterboard sign on the front.  It appeared to be some type of protest; the only word I could read was “revoked.”  We regret not stopping to see what the sign said and to ask her about it.  Now we will forever wonder what her story is; same goes for Lance on Day 8.  We’ve pledged that we will not let these stories pass us by in the future.  Same goes for the sunsets.

We took a scenic drive along the coast.  I wholeheartedly recommend scenic drives to folks who want to take road trips.  With a little research, you can identify scenic routes and get reports of things to look for along the way.

The Gulf and beach are very pretty once we reached it south of Tallahassee all the way over to Pensacola.  White sand and pretty water.  We stopped a couple of times, and I walked into the backyard of a home for sale to take a picture of the boat dock and water.  I also took a photo of a classic 50’s-era roadside park.  There are a number of things such as the older roadside parks, Smokey the Bear signs, bumpy two-lane bridges, old motels, and essentially unchanged homes and shops and natural areas that have brought back wonderful memories of family vacations when we were children.  I’d have to say that this is one of the very best parts of the trip.  Bozzie Jane and I feel that we grew up in one of the best times ever – the 50’s.  It was a special time, with great cars, great music, wonderful architecture, family car vacations, and much more.  We are fortunate to have wonderful parents and great families.  As we drive, we talk a lot about days gone by.  Like sunsets, memories are free, and we both treasure our memories.

Carabelle was an important stop for us today, as I had learned that the world’s smallest police station was there.  As we entered the town, we came to a fork in the road, and we went left off the highway to what appeared to be the downtown area in this very small town.  We drove right by a small police station – maybe 12-feet wide, so I took a picture.  From what I had read, however, I knew the “world’s smallest police station” was supposed to be phone booth sized.  So when we got back to the highway and saw the phone booth “police station” with an old police car parked next to it, it was a little disappointing.  But at least Carabelle has done something to put its little town on the map, so we can celebrate that.

We grabbed a couple of bagels at Carabelle Junction.  Buying bagels in a tiny town isn’t such a good idea as you know they don’t have bagel-making equipment.

As we crossed a bridge over an especially pretty bay, we found ourselves in the picturesque community of Apilachicola.  We stopped in downtown for a few photos – some great-looking storefronts and an Elvis statue.  As I stepped out of the car to take another photo, I met Danny, the owner of Tamara’s Floridita Café, and Ed, a local newspaperman.  They introduced me to Susan, another local just back from vacation.  Nice, nice people.

Melissa called again as we left Apilachicola, and we made arrangements to meet.  She mentioned the town of Lynn Haven and told us that the only statue of a Union soldier south of the Mason Dixon line is in a little park in the town.  It was about 15 miles off our route, but the car headed there like it was on autopilot.  Very few tourists even know this statue exists, and most could care less…making this an ideal stop for us.

We met Melissa Keeney at The Treasure Ship in Panama City – a huge wooden sailing ship structure.  We had never heard of it, but it’s a landmark in Panama City.  Clearly we would have missed it if it wasn’t for our new friend, Melissa.  The folks at The Treasure Ship were great.  We had a nice conversation with Chloe, the hostess.  Our waitress, Jessica (who looks a lot like gymnast Marylou Retton), is clearly the best waitress so far!  When she brought the dessert – a massive pie called Coca Mocha — she brought four forks, one more than Melissa, Bozzie Jane, and I needed.  She “joked” that the fourth fork was for her, so we had her sit down and join us.  We talked with Melissa at length about the trip, and we learned a lot about her.  She is a doll, and Boz and I really liked her.  We feel like we have a great new friend, and we are excited to follow her career, as we expect to see her as a network reporter or anchor in the not too distant future (hopefully on Fox News).

After Melissa filmed us eating the great pie, she took us to see the massive statue of King Neptune.  It’s 50 to 60-feet tall – got to be the world’s largest King Neptune statue.  And, it’s for sale!  If I just had a place to put it….

We would have never even known about King Neptune, but after spending time on our website, Melissa realized that we were into statues, so we really appreciated this find.  She filmed us there.

Panama City has an extensive variety of miniature golf courses, and Melissa knew we wanted to see Goofy Golf, one of the first (1959) and one of the best in the country.   Goofy Golf has a fabulous selection of statues, so I had a field day taking photos.  We stood in the parking lot, and Melissa interviewed us on camera.  She asked great questions, so we look forward to seeing the story.  It aired tonight, but we had to get down the road, so she is sending us a videotape.  Melissa wanted to film her closing for the story, so she let me run the camera.  That was fun.

We loved being on TV – not your everyday or every vacation experience!  After three hours, we hugged Melissa goodbye and drove along Panama City’s beach headed west.  It was Spring Break, so there were kids and cars and miniature golf courses everywhere.

Melissa mentioned that their station had recently done a story about the little town of Bagdad, Florida.  I didn’t realize it was so close to our route, so as soon as Bozzie the navigator spotted Bagdad on the map, we knew where we were headed.  Off the main highway we went…headed for Bagdad.  It’s a little bitty place, and as we drove past a few homes toward the town, we could see that it had enjoyed better days.  We drove right up to the Bagdad Elementary School where we saw their War Memorial; it listed the brave men from Bagdad who lost their lives in World War I and World War II.  We took a photo of the only real business we saw – a dumpling “factory.”  But the prize photo was of the First Baptist Church sign that says “Bagdad is praying for Baghdad.”

Back to the highway, the sun was setting.  Really spectacular sunset views as we drove along.  I was able to get one, but it’s hard to pull over on most roads as there just isn’t a safe place to stop.

We do regret that Francis Burgess was not at home when we drove through Panama City.  She was like the Windsor kids’ second mother when we were children.  And we just missed meeting close Orlando friend, Ned Woolfolk, who had been working in Fort Walton Beach earlier the day we passed through.

We had a long ways to go to the Holiday Inn in Biloxi, Mississippi.  It was almost dark when we finally bid a very fond farewell to Florida; we drove over 2,000 miles around the border of Florida.  As we pulled off the highway in Alabama to get gas, Boz THOUGHT she saw a billboard that said something about throwing rolls.  Melissa had mentioned a restaurant where the waiters threw rolls to the customers.  Boz asked the folks at the gas station, and they gave us directions to Lambert’s Café.  Well off the route, but we just had to go to a place where they throw the rolls at you.

We were blown away when we pulled up to a huge restaurant.  It was 8:30 pm, and there was still a half hour wait.  We could tell we were going to love it long before we got to enter the building.  Lambert’s Café (see www.throwedrolls.com) was started in Missouri in 1942 by Earl and Agnes Lambert.  They have two locations in Missouri and this one in Foley, Alabama.  It is a wonderful family business that celebrates the family that started it and the family members who are no longer with us.  Earl and Agnes had 14 cents between them when they started Lambert’s, and the story of the growth and success of the business is a great American success story.  We’ve never seen anything else like it in terms of the family focus or the food.  It was one of the most enjoyable meals we have ever had anywhere.  Lambert’s specializes in country cooking, and the chicken fried steak and vegetables were simply spectacular.  For $9.99, you get a huge steak, baked potato, and two other vegetables of your choice.  The portions are gigantic.  And THEN, they come around with big buckets of other vegetables throughout the meal, and give you all you want.  The fried potatoes and onions were especially tasty.  Our waiter, Andrew, was great – handsome young guy with a delightful smile and a great personality!  And then there are the rolls – big, hot rolls.  A guy wheels a cart through the aisles, and you raise your hand if you want one, and he fires one at you.  Loads of fun!  They also have folks coming around playing jokes on you, so it is one laugh after another.  The philosophy of Lambert’s is: “We prefer that you come hungry, leave full, and have a laugh or two.”  Andrew gave us a book that tells the history and a lot of interesting information about Lambert’s Café.  What a great experience – even more enjoyable because three unexpected “forks in the road” led us there – the casual mention of a restaurant where the waiters throw rolls, a brief glimpse of a billboard, and some bad directions given to us by a restaurant that we had planned to visit but couldn’t find a half hour earlier in Pensacola, Florida.  I wish we had a photo of the look on Andrew’s face when we asked him for the dessert menu.  He thought we were serious.  We were uncomfortably full as we rolled out of Lambert’s dessertless.

Pascagoula Mississippi: 
Welcome to Mississippi. State #4.

I managed to get a photo of the Welcome to Mississippi sign, but it was late.  It was midnight by the time we reached the Holiday Inn in Biloxi.  The Ramada Inn somewhere in the general vicinity of Daytona Beach (Day 3) is still the leader in the clubhouse for the worst hotel that we didn’t stay at, but the Holiday Inn just became the nominee for the worst we did stay in.  It was probably nice 40 years ago.  Our “lovely” room was located just outside the ice machine, and gamblers returning from the nearby casinos hit the ice machine all night long.  But after such a fun day, it didn’t bother us.  We are having such a great time!

Our lesson or observation of the day is the impact of the “Forks in the Road.”  Virtually our entire day was changed because of the chance meeting of Melissa Keeney, and in a couple of cases, physically taking one fork in the road rather than another that led us to truly special experiences.  It could have gone the other way just as easily…as we still remember Day 3 when we were always a day late and a dollar short and almost all of the forks were “dead ends.”  When you think about your life, it is really interesting to think about the various Forks you have reached and how your life was changed by the path you took.  My Dad has written an autobiography titled “Forks in the Road,” and it is really interesting to think about how his (and my) life would have been completely different if another choice had been made at specific points.  I think it would make a great movie to show several ways one life might have gone had different forks in the road been chosen.  Perhaps I will try writing a screenplay after we write the book about this trip.

Thanks to Tony and Melissa for giving us a special day!!!

***

We want to thank all of you who have emailed to say you are following the trip Round America!  We really appreciate the emails, and we thoroughly enjoy reading them.  I do want you all to know that every waking moment seems to be consumed by writing the Daily Journal and processing the day’s photos once we reach a hotel at night.  As a result, we just don’t have time to reply.  Please keep emailing, and we will use the Daily Journal to reply to questions and thoughts rather than in individual email responses.

Many of you have commented about how you are living vicariously on the trip and “taking the trip with us” via the Internet.  This delights us to no end!  We hoped some folks would follow the trip online now and in the future.  We never dreamed as many people would follow along every day!  We get a significant number of emails each day from friends and relatives and from complete total strangers!  A number of you have made suggestions about places to go, sights to see, restaurants to visit, pie to eat, etc., and we REALLY appreciate all of this information.  Some of our most enjoyable experiences thus far have come as a result of these tips.

We have decided to add a page to the website where we will list those who are “taking the trip with us.”  So, please do us a favor.  Email us, and give us your name, city, and state, so we can add you to the list at www.roundamerica.com/online-travelers.htm.  Several of you have emailed to say that you have told others about the trip and that they are now following us as well.  We understand one school class is using it as a daily geography, history, and sociology lesson!  Please share a link to www.roundamerica with any of your family and friends who might enjoy the trip.

 

Notes from the Tape Recorder that was working this day:

8:51am after printing out some stuff to mail to Seafoot Shaw? On the Platinum

49 degrees as we get away from the Marriott; I have on shorts and a coat. I’m hoping it will get warmer at the beach.

The Marriott here had a desk printer so I was able to print out our hotel reservations for the next week, and do some business printing that I needed. It was a really nice amenity.

We just saw the old state capital building in Tallahassee which has a lot of hills which I’ve never seen in Florida.

Last night, Barbara went to bed about 11; I continued to work on the daily journal until about midnight. I turned out the lights, crawled into bed, and immediately “what are you doing!” “well I’m getting into bed” “you’ve got your own bed over there (we had 2 queen size beds)” I said “Well I’d like to sleep with you” “Ahhhhhhh” “It was a strange deal, she was just out of it.” Being on the road for 10 days, this woman has lost it.

Temperature is dropping—we’re down to 48

We’re at the American Soul Cart? Museum and Gallery. Unfortunately, it’s closed. They’re normally open 7 days a week by appointment or by chance. It has an amazing assortment of amateur art, lots of signs and religious messages. “Hope, Love, God Cares for You.” Also, spiritual but not religious messages.

Among the things that are here is a giant gold Cadillac limousine, old tools, odds and ends, beer kegs. There’s a sign that says “Grandmas are more valuable than silver or gold.” There’s old washing machines in there, you name it and it’s probably in there.

They have 3 dogs here doing an excellent job of keeping people away. “3919 Woodville Highway Missionary Mary L. Proctor 850-656-2879 if you want to make an appointment”

30310 9:10 as we’re leaving

Apalachicola National Forest 30315 9:17 Barbara and I were just discussing the fact that I said I thought it was really special that the two of us will enjoy things even more after they’re over. For example, yesterday wasn’t exactly the greatest day because it was so long and we couldn’t exactly get out that much, and the weather was bad, but as I wrote about what we did it was a lot more fun. As the days go on, we’ll probably tell more stories about Spong-o-rama than anything else. A lot of people probably can’t look back on things and see them better than what they were, maybe that’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist.

We need to write to people at “My Big Fat Greek Life” and suggest they do an episode of a trip to the great community of Tarpon Springs and visiting Spong-o-rama.

9:20am The sun’s coming up, the sky looks like it will be blue, and it’s warming up. 51 degrees

Bozzie has a new title suggestion: Baby Boomers Round America

We’re driving along just outside of Crawfordville and we saw an elder lady in her 50’s riding along on a bicycle with a poster in the front of it with some type of message that we couldn’t really read. She just waved as she rode by. Today’s Lance.

We’re going to have to get a little more brave so that we ask people like that what’s going on because now we regret not asking. I guess it’s probably because you get afraid of hitchhikers and stuff and it puts you off.  Barbara thinks Lance is probably a serial killer. I think the lady on the bike is a millionaire and her sign says she’ll give you a million dollars if you stop and talk to her. But of course, nobody can read the sign and they don’t do it. The nice thing about asking is that you get to make up your own stuff.

Crawfordville 30329 9:37am The home of Smokey the Bear and also the home of the cow mailbox.

In Crawfordville, we stopped for gas at a BP station that’s also a garden center and tanning salon. It’s also an upholstery shop. I’m sure they probably do some other things here that we don’t have any idea about. Home-cooked meals to go, upholstery, tractors and equipment trailers and carports, and portable buildings. But they did not have a sink in their restroom.

We’re going through this little Crawfordville area; I think we might be in the next town by now, but they’re doing what would appear to be minor roadwork yet they have these crews stopping traffic like it’s a big deal.

Medart 30334 9:53 The temperature is up to 54 degrees.

Sadly, we’re a day early for the Worm Grutten Festival in South Chapy, Florida. It’s April 12th and this is the 11th. It’s very very disappointing; probably our biggest disappointment so far.

It’s interesting that when you travel on these 2 lane roads, there are times when there isn’t a car in sight for miles. Barbara finds that very interesting.

Pannasea 30340 10:02 am The temperature continues to rise—56 degrees.

We just passed by the Pannasea Mineral Springs which looked to be a roadside cut-off.

The nice thing about small towns is that you just have so much innocence. People doing the best that they can with what they’ve got.

Ocholocknee Bay

VFW Hall just outside of Pannasea where we just took a picture of something that I don’t know if it’s an airplane or not but it’s got USAF on it.

Ocholocknee Bay was not on our list, so we may be lost.

We have reached the Ocholocknee Bay which is a great big bay with a bunch of water and a big bridge.

We took a picture of the home of the 1999 Florida Dixie Used Ponytail Fast food Softball State Champions sign. We’re out in the middle of nowhere; the speed limit is 55.

St. Teresa 30351 10:19am

The gulf appeared through the trees at just about 10:15, and it’s real pretty.

We’re in a little town, we don’t know what the name of it is.

We just got a big kick out of seeing a sign with a waterfall flowing through it that looked like it was made by a descendant of the guy who did Spong-o-rama. There were two of them that were facing each other. It doesn’t take a lot to please us, and that’s good.

Gulf Terrace 30361 10:36am

Today’s lesson: You have to celebrate what you have.

We took a picture off the boat dock of the gulf and wherever we are, somewhere near Carabel.

We appear to have reached Land Ark Village 30362 10:39am

We’re at another spot in the road with state prisoner’s working, and you some guys out there doing their thing. Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear the story of some of those folks?

City limits of Carabel 30367 10:45am

We took a picture of a dinosaur as we entered Carabel.

In Carabel we saw the real police station and then we saw what’s billed as the world’s smallest police station which is a phone booth with a regular desk style phone in it with no cord, and there’s a police car parked out beside. When you look real closely, you see the tires are bald, the equipment’s been stripped out of it, and there’s grass growing up among the wheel wells and the like. I asked Ruth and Cindy at the post office and they told me that it’s just there all the time as a tourist attraction. It’s a small town, you’ve got to celebrate what you’ve got, and you have to do anything you can to put yourself on the map. We got bagel at a not particular interesting place because Barbara didn’t comment on it. We did mail a letter, I took a couple of interesting fish boat pictures. I took a picture of the place where Barbara got us the delicious breakfast of two bagels.

Carabel Beach 30370 11:07am

I wonder how much trouble you have in this area selling your home when it isn’t on stilts and all the ones around are on stilts.

We just passed Tates Hell State Forest 30374 11:14

It’s definitely a nice drive along here because you actually get to drive right next to the water and see the water through the trees past the little houses, or you get to be right next to the water and just see grass, trees, sand, water, and sky.

We’re about to enter East Port where Cindy, the lady who works at the post office in Carabel, lives. Carabel and East Port are 14 miles apart. You’d guess Carabel probably has a population of a few hundred people; you never stop to think that someone would commute 14 miles to work in a town with a population of 200 people. Cindy does it every day through rain and sleet and snow.

We’re in East Point 30383 11:25am

Magnolia Bluff 30386 11:29am The temperature has warmed up to 65 degrees.

We just reached Apalachicola 30391 11:35am It’s a cute little place.

I got some good pictures in Apalachicola. We have Shay Funk, got a great Elvis, and some nice flags and yellow ribbons. The buildings here are real cute; it looks like it’s a real kind of town. There are fishing boats on the water.

Some folks saw me stopping to take a picture, and they came over (Ed and Danny). Danny owns Tomorrow’s Café; Ed runs the local newspaper. Susan came over; she’d been on a trip and was telling us all about it. They’re real nice folks. Ed got his lenses out because he liked my camera, and he was showing me what all the different lenses would do.

We didn’t realize it, but the town changes right about here in Panama City. Instead of 11:51, it’s now 10:51. We’re going to get to Panama City earlier than we planned. That would be a first on the entire trip here on day 11. Bozzie has an upset stomach and feels like she’s going to throw up, but we’re hoping she’ll be okay.

Bozzie Jane commented that it’s a pretty drive here. There are big pine trees and green grass and plants and palm trees of different types. We’ve gone over 2200 miles and we haven’t seen anywhere in America that wasn’t clean.

Port St. Joe 30411 11:13am

We’ve gone over a number of bridges, almost all of them are named. We have not come across any nearly as good as the one we saw earlier—Harry B. Gone Bridge.

Carabel is not known for its bagels. The toaster looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in about 25 years. Bozzie should’ve known better than to get a bagel there. I got a bagel too but it didn’t make me sick; I don’t know what that says.

This is our first time change; we need to keep track of each one to see how many we get. When I’m in the middle of nowhere somewhere and the time changes and Bozzie Jane isn’t with me and we aren’t spending these days where we drive like crazy, I may drive in circles back and forth across the time change. Maybe I’ll get in the Guinness Book of World Records as the person to take a trip with the most time changes.

St. Joe Beach 30422 11:26am

Beacon Hill 30424 11:29am

Town of Mexico Beach 30425 11:31am

Mexico Beach is pretty; you have a nice stretch of white sand without a bunch of folks with houses across the highway and no motels or restaurants. There is just water and waves coming in with pretty sand.

Tyndall Airforce Bace 30431 11:49am We’ve seen a lot of interesting planes flying overhead that don’t look like your average plane.

Parker 30434 11:53

City limits of Callaway 30446 11:55am

We’re passing by Sil’s Mobile Homes—Florida’s oldest manufactured home dealer since 1957.

We have reached Springfield 30449 12:04pm

We just spotted a place that sells single-wide, double-wide, and triple-wide (the first ever triple-wide that we’ve seen) trailers. It might give you an idea what this whole stretch of highway is like.

Highland Park 30452 12:10pm We’ve taken a slight detour on 389 in order to go to Lyn Haven to see the only Union soldier statue south of the Mason-Dixon line. Melissa Keety of news Channel 7 told us about it.

We just saw the memorial to the Union soldier. It’s at 8th street just off Ohio in Lyn Haven.

Panama City city limits 30467 12:42pm after at least a half hour detour to Lyn Haven.

12:54 73 degrees We have the top down again, and we’re still making our way into Panama City.

We’ve seen not one, but two Spud Nuts donut shops in Panama City. We thought Spud Nuts were dead but they are alive and living in Panama City.

We’re at the Treasure Ship which is great. Chloe was the hostess, Jessica was our waitress and was just delightful and a lot of fun. We’ve been on TV and we’re going to be on TV some more. Our Cocha Mocha dessert was wonderful.

The TV station is WJHG channel 7 Panama City. Our new friend and reporter is Melissa Keeney, her children’s names will be Madison Paige and Hunter Courtland Cline.

Our waitress, Jessica, brought four forks when she came with the gigantic dessert. We saw what’s the fork for? She said for herself. We invited her to sit down and have a bite of the dessert, and she did. We took a picture of her and Barbara.

We just passed by Club La Vela, the largest nightclub in the USA.

Panama City has to be giving Myrtle Beach a run for its money in terms of the number of miniature golf courses. We’ve already passed by tons.

King Neptune, and he’s available for purchase. We just came from the King Neptune statue, formerly known as Sir Lowan. It’s 70 feet tall, and the biggest thing I’ve ever seen; it’s for sale. We would have never found that on our own. It’s so great that she knew about it and told us so we could go and take pictures.

Panama City has been home of Girls Gone Wild but we understand the guy was recently busted for pornography charges so he may have picked a new beach.

It’s 4:00pm in Panama City and 73 degrees 30485 miles. We just finished a fun 3 hours with Melissa Keeney and we can’t wait to see the video.

They asked us great questions so we should try to remember what they were because we probably had really great answers. She asked us what our favorite thing was, how the pie fit into it, what were the rules of the road, had we broken any, what was the favorite thing we’d seen, how important was the laughter, how Barbara felt when Bill first suggested the trip, how we’ll feel when the trip is over, why did we do it and what was the idea behind it, etc.

Laguna Beach 30491 4:17pm 67 degrees and blue skies

Santa Monica 30493 4:20pm

Sunnyside 30493 4:23pm The two cities were about ¼ of a mile apart.

We’ll create a new category for biggest pie and put the Cocha Mocha in that category.

We’re going to add a best TV reporter category if we don’t already have it.

Inlet Beach 30497 4:25pm

Santa Rosa Beach 30514 4:45pm

Mira Mar Beach 30520 4:56pm

Destin 30524 5:01pm

Destin is really nice. It’s very attractive, clean, modern, and upscale.

Gulf Islands National Seashore It’s very pretty with sand dunes on the left, blue sky, and sunshine 75 degrees and 5:21 pm

Another question for the question list: What do elk do?

Gulf-areum? 30537 5:24pm

You don’t see as many of the old motels; as a matter of fact, you see very few, ever since we hit Panama City. According to Melissa, they’ve been tearing them down to put up big condominiums. It’s kind of sad.

Fort Walton Beach 30537 5:27pm

Fort Walton Beach is patriotic; there a lot of flags here.

Indian Temple Mound Museum in Fort Walton Beach

We’re in a place called Mary Esther 30540 5:42pm

Hurlbert Field 30543 5:46pm I believed that’s where the lady who e-mailed me was from

Florosa 30544 5:49pm

Wynhaven Beach 30548 5:52

Navarre 30553 5:59pm

We’re cutting over from the originally planned route 98 on 87 so we can get over to 10 so that we can get to Baghdad.

We just crossed the East River.

This is a river in Baghdad, we’re just not sure if it’s called the Tigris or Euphrates.

Barbara noted that the healthiest part of Baghdad was the churches. When you some of the houses and everything here, they’re run down and lots of trailers, it makes you realize that that’s pretty special.

As we pull into Pensacola, this is the best sunset we’ve seen. It’s kind of hard to take a picture so we’re just enjoying it.

Alabama 30613 7:17pm

The new category is best sky and we’re giving it to sunset and dusk on the 11th of April unless we see a better one.

Locksley, AL on our way to throw some rolls

Robertsdale 30643 8:01pm

We have just had a great meal at Lamberts Café; we have a book that tells all about it. It’s home of the throwed roll. The website is throwedrolls.com; they have a giant mural on the length of their building. When you come up you don’t realize it’s anything but a country mural, but it’s a real family place and there have been some people dying so they have memorials to them. The place is huge and unbelievable. This place has to be about 150 feet by 100 feet. It seats a million people, has probably an hour wait a lot of the time. They have unbelievable food; it makes Lady and Sons look like Arby’s. It makes Cracker Barrel look crummy and we’ve always though Cracker Barrel was pretty good. You order a regular meal and they keep coming around with bowls and bowls of what they call “passed food.” Then they throw the rolls. The kids working there are just as cute as they can be; they come around with a bunch of humor. Their slogan is “we want you to come hungry, leave full, and have some laughs.” It was a real special experience. We had kind of heard about a place that threw rolls, and then Barbara happened to spot a billboard otherwise we would’ve missed it. We drove way the heck out of the way in order to get there in Foley, AL, but it was a treat. Treat is an understatement, it was special.

Our waiter, Andrew, was excellent. I still think Jessica might get just barely over him, but he was nice as could be, gave us a free book, was really funny, and took good care of us. He was tipped accordingly.

We have trouble figuring out what day of the week it is when you’re not looking at a calendar, and you aren’t watching regular TV shows. We’ve come to realize you don’t really need to know what day of the week it is. You just go and you do stuff and eat, sleep, and don’t really need to know.