Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tallahassee, Florida

There was one stop we had to make between leaving the Florida panhandle beaches and moving on to the RV rally in Perry, Georgia and that was to Tallahassee.  Since some good friends who have a beach house in the panhandle live in Tallahassee during the week, we thought it would be a good way to spend some time with them and see the capital city. 

Our stay was short so there was no time to waste.  Within half an hour of the motorhome being parked, we were on our way to a little hole-in-the-wall joint that I read about in a travel magazine.  Welcome to Bradley’s Country Store.  One step out of the car and the waft of smoked sausage reminded me of why we made the drive along the beautiful oak-lined, Spanish moss dripping country road out of town to this legendary joint dating back to 1927.     

The sausage hanging in the store are shipped all
around the country.  It may not look appetizing in this picture but it was delicious.
Our friend, T, nicely offered to take us to the Susina Plantation - an incredibly gorgeous farm where she trains horses for the owners.  That was an offer we could not refuse.  We loaded up all the dogs and headed to the country and we loved seeing the pine ladden property and being in the country for a few hours.  When T saddled up two horses Betsy's face lit up and she was thrilled to be back in the saddle again.  Meanwhile I attempted to tire out the dogs with a frisbee and some swim time in the pond.  Seems some dogs never tire.

The plantation dates back to 1841 where cotton, sweet potatoes, rice, and livestock made it a prominent plantation in the area.  Hard times fell on the plantation in the mid to late 1880's and owners changed hands. The original name, Cedar Grove, was changed to Susina when a New York doctor purchased it and renamed it for his wife Susan and the Italian plums called Susinas that grew on the property.  The main house is quite dramatic and the gardens around the property really make it shine.

Our busy morning in the country was followed by an afternoon trip downtown to see the capital buildings and a couple of museums.  Tallahassee was not the first capital city of Florida.  Previously, St. Augustine and Pensacola served as state capitals simultaneously since the state was divided into two political regions established way back during British rule.  Tallahassee was the midway point between these two cities and was the likely choice for a new capital (established in 1824). 

The old capital building is strikingly handsome with its inviting portico, dramatic dome, and charming red and white awnings (which were chosen to match colors of the state flag).  The building has undergone numerous renovations and expansions as the state's population and political needs grew.  The current building serves as a museum offering a glimpse at the state's political past. 

The museum houses replicas of the House and Senate Chambers depicting their
1902 character.  
Remember the "hanging chads" during the
2000 election?

A short walk away is the Museum of Florida History.  This free museum chronicles the history of Florida from the prehistoric mastodon to the Spanish arrival in the Civil War and into the modern era of industrial development.  We happened to be at the museum the day they were having the exhibit opening and reception for “The Lore of Florida Fishing” exhibit.  The clean and simple exhibit caught our eyes and we ventured in to take a closer look. 

The highlight of our Tallahassee visit was a trip to a farm our friends own that houses the “Kudu Lounge.”  The girls were getting ready for their annual dog party on the property and invited us to a cook-out the night before we had to leave.  While the dogs ran free and played we enjoyed the peaceful setting. It was paradise.  Minus elephants and giraffes walking across the empty fields we felt like we were back in Africa.

This Glamour Tent even has indoor plumbing and electric.

Kelly tending bar
Spirit and her BFF Leroy.  
We had a great time in Tallahassee and only wish it could have been longer.  Maybe we will stop back by on our way south again.  Seems like there is lots more to do that we just could not fit in during our busy two days.  Thanks a million Kelly and T.  You guys are the best!

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