Sunday, March 18, 2007

March 2007 Road Trip Report, Part 2

Last Sunday we headed east on Interstate-10, then south on Interstate-75 for a 500-mile drive to Venice, Florida to visit friends we hadn't seen in many years. A few hours after we started we noticed the trees were showing signs of spring with pink leaf buds and some of the trees were in bloom with dramatic white or purple blossoms.

Florida Dogwood in bloomAs we got closer to Interstate-75 we saw lots of green foliage and now and then dogwood trees covered with big white flowers. By the time we got to Tampa it looked like spring everywhere. We were in another climate zone.

We spent the first night of the trip in Gainesville. We arrived in Venice on Monday afternoon. Our friends are in fine shape after all these years. And they have a beautiful home. For dinner they fixed us an English-style roast beef feast with Yorkshire Pudding, two kinds of potatoes and even parsnips. And trifle for dessert.

On Tuesday morning we headed back home via the beach road through Clearwater. We drove over a grand bridge to see Clearwater Beach but the view from the bridge was all that was worth seeing.

Back on the highway heading north we found the traffic congestion impossible. And the slow, boring commercial highway was drab to the point of depressing us.

Florida Route 52 signSo we found an escape route over to Interstate-75. We took Florida Route 52 and it is indeed an official escape route, a hurricane evacuation route -- and once we got to I-75 we sped north at 80 miles an hour on the freeway.

Hurricane evacuation route signWe had a long drive that day, almost 400 miles, and spent the night in Midway, 5 miles west of Tallahassee.

On the way home on Wednesday morning the scenery got less and less green and flowery. By the time we got back to Pensacola there were few signs of spring.

We got home before noon.

Driving distances:
Pensacola to Gainesville, 337 miles
Gainesville to Venice, 211 miles
Venice to Midway, 395 miles
Midway to Pensacola, 182 miles
Total for the trip, 1154 miles (1857 km)


Sim said...

I remember when I lived in Japan - the entire office went out for the day and we had picnics under the cherry blossom, enjoying life and each others company. I love seeing the new blossoms each year as it reminds me of good times

Kenyo said...

The dogwood trees around here are much the same as the cherry trees. They fill up with blossoms and when there isn't room for one more, all the petals fall off in the breeze -- like a snowstorm.