“Can you do a flip?” asked the teenager in line for the rope swing behind my husband, who was the only person in the line over 20.
“I’ll see what I can do.” came the response from the gray-haired, 63-year-old boy.
I watched from a short distance folded like a taco inside my rented floating tube on the Santa Fe River in Florida. “You got this baby!” I shouted.
He clutched the highest knot he could reach and swung out over the river. His feet rose above his head and in one swift motion he released the rope, twisted like a corkscrew, and plunged headfirst into the Santa Fe. I don’t think it was exactly what he intended but the result of his attempt caused the crowd of teenagers to erupt in cheers.
He casually hoisted himself back into his tube and we continued our float. He looked every bit the alpha male as we waved to the booze-soaked kids and made our way to the next crystal-clear spring along the way. That was our first day at Ginnie Springs campground in Florida.
But wait. How, you might ask, did we get from Mardi Gras in Alabama to Ginnie Springs Florida. Let me tell you the story.
* * *
On February 25th, we pushed the pause button on our journey from Alaska to Argentina to visit our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter in Roswell Georgia. We knew it might be a long visit as we hadn’t seen them for a year or so and likely wouldn’t see them again for quite some time, perhaps years once we cross the border and head south.
On the jaunt from Texas to Georgia we started a list we deemed the “Things To Do At Lissy’s” list—Lissy is our pet name for our daughter, Melissa. The list soon took on a life of its own and grew and grew and grew. A few things became a page, then one page became two and so on. The list was things we had seen weren’t working for us; the folding chairs that were starting to rust (get better quality chairs), the blinds we installed on the passenger door liked to swing and clang back and forth (install stays to secure the blinds)—dozens of small things to get us ready for the long haul south. A few big things as well—the biggest being a suspension raise. Which was a nightmare, but that’s another story.
We settled in at Lissy and Don’s and quickly relaxed into a routine. Tuesday was Lissy and Don’s date night, Friday was family restaurant night. Tuesday and Thursday Mary had school and on the days she didn’t she became “mom” and Kevin and I were her kids (we were all mice of course), three-year-old Thomas Micell (Mysell) and my name changed daily but was always eight years old. She loved to segue this imaginary play into helping Kevin with work on the bus or helping me cook meals (after all we were just children. LOL)
For seventy-five days we were stationary. The longest we have been still since we started life on the road. Of course, being vagabonds at heart we did take a couple of trips during that time.
We spent five days at a remote lodge with Melissa, Don and Mary outside of Clarksville at Glen-Ella Springs.
Kevin and I also took a nine-day road trip while we waited for the suspension parts to come in. We visited North Carolina and Tennessee. Some of the highlights of that trip were hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail; seeing some amazing waterfalls; experiencing the Scandinavian town of Helen Georgia; happening upon a local celebration (Bear in the Square) in Dahlonega Georgia; and visiting Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Ruby Falls in Tennessee and Rock City in Georgia which are both on Lookout Mountain.
After two and a half months, we tearfully left Lissy, Don and our sweet, sweet Mary behind, we headed off to Florida to continue our journey. The parting was bittersweet, but our wanderlust had been held at bay as long as it would allow, and the road called to us.
As I finish up this blog, we are currently at a house sit in Jupiter Florida caring for two lovely cats until tomorrow, then we set our sites for Key West and beyond, hoping to make it up the coast to Washington DC and then back to Texas to make our border crossing into Mexico before September.
If you enjoyed this blog and want more from Andi here is a link to her book, No return Ticket
If you want to travel with these two vagabonds contact us at http://www.kendiworldadvetures.com