As part of my transition to post-employment life, Marcia and I planned two-week vacation for this month. It was not like our typical vacations in that we had a starting point – Memphis and an ending point – Siesta Key, Florida, but nothing firm in between. Down the Mississippi, left turn at the Gulf, right turn somewhere in Florida. It was an adventure. It was a 1,600-mile road-trip. It was a metaphor for this next stage of life – a starting point, an ending point with a blank expanse in between.
Here are a few things I noticed about the trip. (If it’s details and photo documentation you want, go to my wife’s blog.)
First, we need to go back to school on the snowbird thing. Part of the reasoning for taking the trip in January was to get away from winter weather. As you can see from the picture of Graceland, we got this wrong. We woke up to snow and 14 degrees our first day on the trip. It got a little better as we went south.
Second, I was amazed to learn about the Spanish Missions in Florida – especially the one we visited in Tallahassee. Mission San Luis was a place where two cultures – Spanish and the indigenous Apalachee Indians lived side by side for three generations from 1656 to 1704. Read about the ball game the Apalachee Indians played. Here’s a photo of the council house. It could accommodate over 1,000 for meetings.
Finally, we spent a day at Wakulla Springs State Park. The scenery and wildlife – birds and alligators – were wonderful as expected. The unexpected thing, though was that several 1940’s Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller were filmed there. And, even cooler, the 1954 movie, The Creature from the Black Lagoon was filmed at this location.
We had many more pleasant and serendipitous discoveries. As I said, see my wife’s blog for more.
Here’s hoping the road trip metaphor holds for this next phase of life – filled with pleasant and serendipitous discoveries.