Sunday, August 15th - Day 43 - Appreciate Everything

Anna Maria Travel Blog

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I pulled into Tallahassee... It had been raining cats and dogs. I was soaked... and hungry.

I've decided to add a few chain restaurants to my repertoire while on this trip. I don't consider it wasting cuisine opportunities, I consider expanding my Ameican cultural awareness... So I've decided on a day I don't foresee much dinner potential, I'd hit a Waffle House and an IHOP (International House of Pancakes).

So I see a Waffle House as I enter Tallahassee and experience tells me that for a state capital, not too much will be going on tonight. No offense to any Tallahasseeans here but firstly, I don't know what you're called and 'tallahasseeans' is wrong, lol, but I'm sure there's some great things in your city, I just didn't see anything blatantly obvious pulling in or riding around. And the clerk at my Motel 6 laughed when I asked him to suggest something incredible I should see. He may not have been a member of the cultural elite though.

Waffle House had filled my mind with visions of belgian waffles piled sky high and covered with whip cream and diced bananas and cherries with chocolate sauce topped off with a gastrol intestinal orgasm...

I saw two types of waffles on the menu.. normal, and buttermilk-low cal. I could add some ingredients, so I chose chocolate and pecans. Then found they were added to the batter before being pressed into eternity.

'Waffle House' is totally misleading. It should legally have to change it's name to "All-American Diner' or something. They served all meals for the day, put very little emphasis on waffles, and looked like any quintessential  diner you see in movies.

In their defense I will say this... Best waffle I ever had for under $3. And I told the cook that. He was a screaming tribute to retired military line-cooks all over the nation. I didn't tell him that though. He may have taken it the wrong way.

After the breakfast I asked which movie theater to go to, Regal 12 or Movies 8... "which is better?" meaning which has better video and sound quality, right? Well, my waitress admitted she hadn't seen a movie in a long long time, and the other waitress rarely goes but usually goes to Regal 12 and "it's good"... here I am feeling sorry for myself at the thought of a night with out finer dining and a chic ultralounge with a good dj to hear on a Thursday night, and these good folks can rarely afford to see a movie. Shame on me. I should appreciate everything.

After settling in at the motel, and with the rain having stopped during my breakfast, I decided to peruse the town for something to do that night. I rode down around College street, the campus, the capital buildings so many times police probably had an APB out on my bike and I as a possible terrorist scouting targets. However, I found no restaurants, lounges, or nightclubs that tempted me to strike.

It was to be the greatest of all movie nights!!

I hate watching movies while on a vacation. What a waste, to do something you can do in your home town, or after 4 months, in your own home after the blu-ray release... But being as this vacation is so long, and that it did not seem that I would be missing anything, I headed to the theater.

SALT - Starring Angelina Jolie... interesting story, neat twists, decent action scenes, a little too much CGI. I'll give it a 55%

THE OTHER GUYS - starring will farrell and Markie Mark and the funky bunch... With cameos from Samuel L Jackson and The Rock. This was definitely funny with some awesome scenes, and moments. Hats off to Samuel L and Rock... they were hilarious. Sometimes I find myself waiting for Will Farrell's punchline. You know what I mean, when he does his verbal dialogues where he continues on and on while dryly saying strange but humorous things. Well, I always feel I'm sitting there with my mouth half open in anticipation to laugh hysterically, and usually I'm left with a flaccid chuckle coming out. And hearing Mark Wahlberg reciting some of these, not so much. But for the most part, entertaining, which is what I wanted. 70%

DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS - Starring Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd. This movie had some really hilarious moments! Having the dude from Flight of the Concords in it was an awesome addition! He's hilarious! (I felt sorry for his skinny sidekick from their duo though... where's he then if this guy is in hollywood? Uh ooohhhhhh....) There were moments though where I found the movie just painful! You know you're supposed to laugh but you are so ANGRY at the idiot ruining the guys life that you don't want to watch anymore! There's another movie like this, but I think it was the main character.. I forget... Anyway, 75%

Wow, three movies in one day... I deserve an award!

Speaking of which, I signed up for Twitter... my profile name is LongRider81... Follow me, I promise, I will tweet often and tweet hilarity. (No refunds)

The next day I made my way to Gainesville. I guess I had left my helmet down so it was resting on the neck foam... which was unable to air out. It smelt like rotting fish. Horrible... Now it's aired out and dried properly. Hopefully when it gets wet or sweated into after this it won't go back to smelling horrible.

Gainesville was a lot of fun. I lucked out and passed a cheap motel near downtown that didn't show up on a google map search for MOTEL... but showed up when their actual name Rush Lake Motel was entered.... too bad for them! They matched Motel 6's rate which was 4 miles out of downtown. Good by me!

Went out in the pouring rain and wearing a gortex jacket and cargo pants, my pants were SOAKED! ALERT! ALARMA!! CHECK YOUR PHONE!! Okay, working.. dry it off... still good.

Noticed some people all sitting around having laughs so I introduced myself and was welcome warmly to the table. They were all veterinary students. Good thing, because I had rabies.

I asked what restaurant would serve something that made me remember Florida, ya know, like gator or something. But they said 'Pizza'... from Satchel's. Because it's definitely a different experience. Well this one dude, said get a calzone cause they're so good, and the salads are good too. I assumed he meant get both. My golly... the calzone was so massive I was stuffed finishing it. It was probably a foot long! I didn't even start the salad. I brought it with me in hopes of eating it for breakfast.

And it was early enough that I would get to catch the new blockbuster all-star cast movie, THE EXPENDABLES - Starring Rocky, Jet Li, the guy from Snatch, Dulph Lundgren, The UFC guy, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, some black guy, and a cameo by a special somebody which I don't want to ruin the surprise of. I expected an over the top laugh-at-ourselves-and-our-careers-built-on-awful-hokey-action-movies... But I was shocked and dismayed to find the movie was a failed attempt by Sylvester Stallone to write and direct a smart big budget action movie... No hamming it up, no laughing at themselves, not much anyway... like they tried to rekindle everyone's careers with a legitimate film. FAIL! The action was pretty bland, the plot was awful, the development of the story ridiculous. 10% No seriously.

After that I found myself at Status, a trendy club filled with booming house and mixed top 40 music... awesome time.

The next day I ventured on to where I am staying now for a few days of R'n'R from this epic journey, Anna Maria. It's the northern point of an island and it's very nice, and quite peaceful. Well, hey, I wanted "rest and relaxation" but I'm not dead yet... unfortunately most of the island inhabitants and visitors are... Yes, this is the hotspot for retirees looking for beach fun and a chance to meander aimlessly in sand wearing bathing suits without having to worry about the slender, shapely bodies of the youth or the noise they often create to make disturb their time.

But I made the most of soft sand and sun, and ran the entirety of the beach. Look it up on googlemaps; Anna Maria, Florida. Zoom in, I started by Spruce St and ran north til I hit the house built out to the water, then ran south til parallel to 3012 F Ave near 31st ave... then had to run back.

Oh and at one point, near death by thirst, I saw a 'Beach Bistro', and knew here surely I could get some water. 

Then I saw the valets... Oh well, they stared at me in awe as I wandered into this place. Dark oak tables, fine china, elegant crystal... Yeah, standing sandy footed in nothing but Billabongs, this was the right place to get a bottle of water. I approached the bar "I can't serve you! You have no shirt on!" " shoes..." said his waiter with genuine sorrow. 

"Well then serve me from outside, because I have money and I want to buy some bottle water"

And they did. It was fancy, cost 4 dollars, came in glass...

Then I made a reservation with the hostess. All she had left for some one of my... social status... was 9:15. "That will be fine"... My foot was in the door.

I called back later and changed the reso to Sunday at 7pm. That's more like it. This time I'll be dressed appropriately. lol

Oh well, I will rest, relax, and restore.. this is the mid point of my journey and I've earned it.

Appreciate everything.

Take care, Ride safe

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Anna Maria
photo by: perfektewelle