We stayed overnight in Gainesville - an attractive university town and again the only place we could get a hotel room - and sampled a Japanese restaurant with a weird ordering system, which was surely not a successful tactic because that's all I can remember about the restaurant, except that I had softshell crab that was more soft than shell.
We drove though the strange little village of Micanopy, sleepy and shrouded in Spanish moss, not much there but antique shops and we always seem to pass through first thing in the morning when nothing's open.
I was sure there used to be a good second hand bookshop there but if there had been one, it had gone. There was an armour shop though.
As hubby would say, how about that! There's a slightly overgrown, middle-of-the-jungle look about Micanopy, which, no doubt, it cultivates to the fullest extent of its Old Florida credentials..
This is the land of oak canopies, the Spanish moss trailing like Miss Havisham's rags.
But pretty soon we were into posh equine territory.
I always wonder at the horse farms of Ocala, the place where racehorses from up north spend the winter. There are miles of them. Each with identical fences, each field home to a few dainty thoroughbreds. Each entrance grander than the last
And the last
Some Irish connections here maybe?
This time we did see something different - an interesting cross-country course, all fashioned from wood.
"Pull over!" I kept urging sister-in-law, always trying to capture that Stubbs-perfect horse scene. In a moving car with a cheap mobile phone this isn't always easy. We kept overshooting the best ones. Then finally I saw this. I think you get the picture.
Then south and west and over Tampa Bay on the Sunshine Skyway bridge. This is always a heart-lurching moment - not far to go now!
Then the obligatory stop to take a pic of the bridge. I must have umpteen of these.
An old man sat selling baseball caps in aid of old soldiers. We are indeed in one of the few places where youth doesn't reign supreme and quite right too.
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