April 23 - May 3: Florida

4/27 - Tallahassee (0 miles 2659 total)
0 miles by bike, but a bunch of miles by foot in tallahassee, FL
the day dawned beautifully in tallahassee...& the weather remained beautiful all day. not that we saw the dawn. on a layover day, we sleep past the usual 5:00 a.m. alarm time. but by 7:15 or so we were stirring...but barely.
we combined our wash loads, & roma took them off to the laundry room. sari & i don't like to dry our clothes in the dryer, so hang our laundry on a clothesline i brot along.
in this photo you can see our biking duds on the line out on the balcony of our room....& the bikes inside the room. we women bikers can trash even a place as nice as the marriott in short order. but you'll also notice the trees out there; our locale along the back of the marriott has made for a very restful stay; we've enjoyed listening to all the birds singing in those trees, too. unfortunately, some in our group were located near the rooms of a wedding party, so were kept awake much of last night.
at the bike store yesterday, sari & i had asked about places to eat in town while we were here. tec had recommended a couple spots, including 'andrew's' down near the capitol building. so late morning, sari & i decided to walk down that way along the apalachee parkway to check out the sunday brunch, which we'd heard was very good. even tho' roma didn't want to dine there, she wanted to walk, so joined us.
in this photo are sari (right) & roma, with the capitol building in the background. that skyscraper behind the capitol sure detracts from one's appreciation of the capitol from this angle, doesn't it?
roma had brot along a map, so quickly guided us to andrew's. it was obviously a popular spot; the sidewalk tables were almost full. the hostess said we'd have to wait for an outdoor table in the shade, but the wait wasn't long. roma decided to have a cup of coffee & stay to chat while sari & i ate. so sari & i went inside to collect our first platefuls of food. first we went to the row of tables that had the sausage & bacon, hash-brown potatoes, gravy, biscuits, muffins, french toast, & eggs benedict. not that we had all of it, but we made a real good try.
we went back out to our table, enjoyed that course, then back inside to have a custom-sliced piece of meat (pork is the one i chose...tho' i could've also had beef & turkey), & to choose from a bunch of tiny bins the ingredients for our custom-made omelet. we each had a little tag with our name on it, which we left atop our plateful of omelet ingredients for the fellow making the omelets. while there, we selected some items from the dessert table (including some chocolate mousse). back at our table outside, we sampled what we'd collected. it wasn't long before the waiter brot our omelets....full of spinach, mushrooms, salsa, onions, green pepper, & some other things that we'd chosen that we didn't even recognize. oh boy they were good!
in this photo, you see sari & me with our omelets.
very happy with a great meal, we got our checks, paid our bill, loaded up with our cameras, purses, & extra shirts, & went inside to use the restroom before continuing our walking tour of downtown tallahassee. but inside the restaurant on our way to the restrooms, against the far wall, i saw a row of bins containing lots of fresh fruit & some vegetable dishes. i asked a nearby waiter if those things were included in the brunch. he said, 'sure.' yikes. we'd missed a whole section of food! roma decided she didn't want to stick around to watch sari & me eat more food, so left. sari & i, however, returned to our table out front (which, fortunately, hadn't yet been cleared), left our stuff there, then went inside to get platesful of fresh strawberries, melon, & pineapple...& i also got some of a delicious sauteed vegetable melange. we went back outside & polished off those tidbits. i guess the lesson here is that it's not over 'til the fat lady eats her last forkful.
this time, we got all the way to the restroom without spotting more to eat, so used the facilities, then headed north along adams street in the direction of the governor's mansion. roma had given us general directions, but after a block or so, we were unsure. so we decided to ask some people in a nearby local bus terminal for directions to the mansion. the first 3 people we asked didn't know where it was! the 4th pointed on north & said it was 3 blocks away, so off we went.
along the street were some beautiful restored older buildings & some lovely plantings. in one front yard we saw a large magnolia tree. here's a photo of sari smelling a huge magnolia blossom that's almost as big as her head.
across the street was the governor's mansion. sari & i peered thru the fence toward the front door. an SUV was parked along the front porch. a fellow got out of it, & we wondered if he was concerned about us, since we could see cameras & other security equipment pointing at us. soon another fellow came out of the front door of the mansion & got into the SUV. then suddenly, the gates beside us swung open, & the SUV drove along the driveway & stopped alongside us. i don't read newspapers, but the face of the fellow in the passenger seat was familiar even to me. jeb bush leaned out the window to say hello. i said, "we're just admiring your house." & he said, "it's your house, too....if you're from florida." i said we weren't, but it was a nice house anyway. clearly on a tight schedule, he was whisked on down the street.
i took this photo to show where we'd been standing when this little incident occurred. by now, 2 mins after bush left, the gate had already swung shut.
sari & i walked back to the motel by late afternoon, & were on our way to applebee's with roma & others by 5:30. supper was ok (as if sari & i needed more food today), then we walked the half block back to the marriott by 7:15 or so for the map meeting, held in the motel lobby. we learned that the staff had scoped out the route out of town tomorrow, finding what they feel is a less trafficked route....& a beautiful one, at that. we also learned that we'll ride only 34 miles tomorrow instead of the 47 we thot were on the docket. we won't have breakfast 'til 7:30, & are being encouraged to leave the motel after 9 or 9:30, when morning traffic has slowed. sounds like a day we can handle.
after the map meeting, tec from the pro bike shop most of us visited yesterday was here to shuttle people to his other store--where the inventory of bikewear is plentiful. several shoppers jumped at the opportunity & are now there shopping.
then sandy made the BITCH socks presentation to gay for always "Being In The Calmest Humor." again the socks themselves aren't available for the photo, but otherwise, here are gay (left) & sandy. sandy commented on gay's ability to remain calm & serene at all times.
ant update: perhaps you remember that i talked about being attacked by ants twice the day before yesterday, but not suffering any ill effects. i find today that the ill effects evidently don't occur right after the ant attack, but a couple of days later. this evening my feet are covered with red bumps that itch like crazy. sari says they look like fire-ant bites. i'll definitely be on the alert for anthills from now on.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail me with your request, and I'll save your note and get back to you after the ride. Stay tuned....

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