Thursday, October 18, 2007


We are at a Wal-Mart in Tallahassee, Florida (map).

Once we had altered our plan to come to Tally, we set our sights on the Elks lodge here, which claimed to have six RV spaces with power and water. We thought that presented us with a good opportunity to settle in for a few days and get some things done, including doctor visits.

The lodge did, indeed, have six RV spaces, five of which had power and water. Unfortunately, they were in a heavily wooded section several hundred feet from the lodge, and there was no way we could get the satellite on line. We did try, though, and I will also say it was a very tight squeeze for Odyssey to get into and then out of the little campground. Too bad, really, because the location was otherwise perfect, with access to some dining options and a bus line half a block away that could likely whisk us to our club in town, or remote doctors' offices.

While we are definitely squarely in the category of "Internet junkies," we have been known to go for a few nights without access, particularly when some other aspect of the location is particularly appealing. But the main purpose of our visit to Tallahassee is to deal with doctor appointments, and to perhaps take care of some other business while in town, and this aspect of our lives is very much handled on the Internet. Doctor recommendations were expected to arrive by email (they did) and we use the 'net to look up addresses, plan routes, find mass transit routes and schedules, and all those sorts of things that full-timers struggled with before its advent.

So having direct access to the 'net from the comfort of our easy chairs was non-negotiable on this visit, and, after we established that it was not possible from the lodge, we thanked them and headed back out, coming here to this Wal-Mart. It turns out that there is a walk-in clinic just a couple miles from here, and we pulled out Chip* the scooter and I trundled Louise down there yesterday afternoon. While she was waiting her turn, I went back out to visit the local scooter shop, halfway between here and the clinic, to pick up a Givi tail trunk for the scoot.

The diagnosis was muscle-related low back pain, and Louise now has a pack of industrial-strength muscle relaxant to get her through the next few days and break the cycle. The clinic happened to be directly across the street from Olive Garden, and, naturally, we could not resist a dinner stop there before returning to the bus.

We have a club in Tallahassee, and we're going to see if we can get in for dinner tonight. It's on the FSU campus, attached to the stadium (as was the one in Austin), and I am hopeful they will let us just spend the night in the enormous parking lot there. If that does not work out, there is another Wal-Mart only a couple miles from there.

Since we're already in this part of the country, we are going to travel a few miles further east to Live Oak, where we have friends. Last time we visited, they suggested we return during one of the large festivals at their campground/music festival park, and it happens that one of the festivals, Magnoliafest, is next weekend. It remains to be seen whether we stay for the festival -- technically, Opal is canis non gratis during the festival itself, and so staying for the festival would mean keeping her somehow under the radar.

Once we are done there, we will head west. There are no Atlantic/Caribbean lows on the weather chart (99 dissipated), and our availability commitment with the Red Cross will expire at the end of the month. We are thinking that we'd like to spend some of the winter in Mexico, and will be headed in that direction.

* Did I forget to tell you I named the new scooter? Well, more precisely, Louise's brother named it, but it has stuck. At some point early on, we noticed that the handgrips and rubber floorboard cover were chocolate brown (odd, since these items are almost universally black in the two-wheeled world), which combined with the mint green color of the rest of the scooter to remind us of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream -- my favorite flavor growing up, and still one of my favorites today. So Chip it will be.


  1. As much as you love Olive Garden, I wonder if you have encountered Carraba's. If not, I recommend you keep you eyes open, especially now that you are in the southeast.

    Dave Gray
    Florence, SC

  2. Yeah, Dick. Right, anymore and we've got to pay royalties on the scooter name. O.k.


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