Sad to leave Tarpon Springs, but it's time to head West. Today I made the run for the panhandle, not sure if I would run head on into a line of severe thunderstorms or not. It looked like they were passing to the North. Flipped on the Weather Channel as I was writing this and found the worst ones were passing over Pensacola. I'm in Destin, 48 miles to the East. Another close call.
I was going to stay in Tallahassee, but made such good time I thought I'd shoot for Pensacola. At the last possible point, I suddenly chose to head to the coast so that I could see Seaside and Blue Mountain Beach one more time. I misjudged the amount of daylight I'd have. By the time I got to Seaside, it was just about dark. Blue Mountain Beach, all I saw was that my favorite health food store was still there.
What I did see of Tallahassee I loved. What a cool town. Not too big, very clean and orderly, beautiful streets (not much traffic, either) and architecture, and tons of young people enjoying the sunny day. I'd go back in a second. I just didn't have the motivation to "figure out" a brand new city in one night. Not this time anyway.
Along the way I passed the other Gainesville. Gainesville, Florida. Tom Petty country. I kept seeing signs for route 441 and all I wanted to hear was American Girl. No such luck. The lyrics kept pounding in my head:
She stood alone on her balcony
Yeah, she could hear the cars roll by
Out on 441 like waves crashin' on the beach
I guess this will have to do.
Shortly after, I entered Tallahassee and started thinking of Aerosmith.
Take me back to a south Tallahassee
Down cross the bridge to my sweet sassafrassy
Can't stand up on my feet in the city
Got to get back to the real nitty gritty
People love to call these guys the "Bad Boys Of Boston" but they really got their start at Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire, which is where, for Tyler, the real nitty gritty really is. Anyway, I loved seeing Tallahassee today, even without this song playing.
Here are a few pics from 30-A, which is the really cool coastal road through some of the neatest places on the Gulf coast.
This was passing through Alys Beach. I think Ralph Lauren must have been here, along with a set designer for Stanley Kubrick.
The very stylized bike shop.
Some funky restaurant.
A mistake that came out kind of cool.
The Post Office in Seaside.
The white quartz sand is as white as ever after the BP spill. Very grateful for this. On a sunny day, it's dazzling.
Barefoot BBQ in Seaside. Had some "Ribs In A Bucket" and a beer.
I feel like I rushed through this part of the coast, but I can always return someday I suppose. In the meantime, I've got to get to Austin and then to Arizona, and looking forward to all of it.