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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Special moments and encounters ❤️

published 7th of june 2022

If you like endless white beaches, Florida's Forgotten Coast and St. George Island State Park are must-sees. We were there quite early (8:30 am) and had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the pristine beaches before the many weekend pilgrims and families arrived. Dogs are usually not allowed on the beach, but service dogs are always an exception.

So Lennox was allowed to come along this time too - the lucky guy. Which dog can claim to have pooped on a 22 km long nature reserve beach where dogs are forbidden. Of course we bagged his legacy and disposed of it professionally.

This day was also special for me, even if there was a bit of melancholy. How I would have liked to feel the sand under my feet and cool off in the sea. My footprints in the sand used to look different... Footprints are definitely more romantic than tire tracks. But I don't want to complain! Sitting on the beach, watching the waves, spotting beach crabs and listening to the sound of the sea was just beautiful.

After spending the whole morning in the state park until it got too crowded and, above all, too hot, we drove another 130 miles along the forgotten coast of Florida to Destin - obviously a very popular tourist spot. Here I fell in love with decoration shopping again before we spent the evening in a fancy beach restaurant.

I'll spare you the details of the uninteresting overnight stay in the Walmart parking lot. One or the other is probably wondering why we often stay at Walmart. That's because finding a place to stay isn't always easy, and Walmart allows campers to overnight while most lots prohibit it. This only marginally.

After 14 days in Florida it was time for the next state: Sweet Home Alabama! We noticed that in the area we drove through, almost everyone has a small lake in their huge front yard. The houses looked like the ones you see in the films set in the southern states: stately homes with pillars, the typical porch and the obligatory rocking chairs in front of the house. Since we drive almost exclusively on country roads, the differences between the states quickly become apparent. The disadvantage, the internet connection in the "backcountry" is usually just as modest as it is here in Germany. That sometimes drives me to despair, because whenever we don't have a specific destination yet (or "uncomfortable" routes are pending), I let Sebastian drive, then I have enough time on the way to find a new destination, the lack of network connection makes the whole thing extremely difficult. In Germany, I usually use the "Park4Night" app to find a parking space. So that day I searched for similar platforms and came across "Harvest Hosts". There you pay an annual fee of $99 and get access to free parking spaces provided by farms, wineries, breweries and similar institutions. For the sake of decency, you are expected to shop at the gift shops, farm shops, etc. and thus support the owners. A give and take. In Cedar Bluff I found our first "host". The reviews from our predecessors were good and the first contact was quick, very nice and uncomplicated. We were late though and didn't arrive until around 8pm. Nathan (our host) showed us where to park. We parked - although it was quite windy - under the trees directly at "Weiss Lake".

Compared to Florida, Alabama was almost chilly. A thunderstorm was announced. So our first chat with Nathan was pretty short. We thanked you for this wonderful place to stay and wished you a good night. On the way to the bus, small "sparks" appeared everywhere. It took us a moment to realize it was fireflies. Somehow magical these little guys 🥰

The storm stayed away and so we spent a super quiet night with a pleasant temperature! The next morning we were up early and Lennox & I were early at the lake.

Our host was also up early and stopped by to say "good morning". We showed him the 🚍 and he talked about himself and we about us and in no time the morning was over. And what remains when I think back to this day? A pleasant feeling of a warm-hearted chance encounter in a magical place... that's what makes it, right!? The memories of special moments and encounters ❤️

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