May 4, 2010- Like Kings

Kate Murr

I’m convinced he weather channel could learn a lot from the regulars at Waffle House. Save the drama for the hair, broadcasters, get the accurate description from our waitress, who says she can now fish off her front porch just as well as her back porch. Or Mr. Waffle Cook, who says there’s three feet of water standing on his road. Or Frank, who wears a safety belt for heavy lifting and reports that we didn’t get none out there. All the weather report necessary; no creepy music required.

We walked to breakfast in the rain, obviously. Then we gathered up our things as the sun popped out, and I blogged in the Executive Inn lobby where the owner bounced his three month old, and where the air smelled like delicious Indian food. I brought my own curry leaves on the trip, by the way. If a girl has to do without toilet paper 80% of the time, at least she can have her favorite spices handy.

On this day we hit a stride. We booked it. The kids napped and we made mad time, something like 13 miles per hour all the way to the Tom Thumb station in Ponce de Leon. Barbra, the uber friendly attendant, took the kids out back to pick blackberries, which are bigger and sweeter here than in Missouri. We’ve seen a lot of convenience stores on this journey, and Barbra’s has been the cleanest, most friendly, and healthiest (I’m counting the blackberries out back here) store we’ve visited to date.

By sunset we were exploring DeFuniak Springs. We were greeted in town by a man who called himself Bin Laden, and after we declined his offerings of pizza and gin, we took in the glow of the sunset by pedaling around Lake DeFuniak past the Chautauqua and on to the town’s Main Street, just north of the parked Caboose. Brady fell in love with the Caboose, and while he explored it with Jane and Stuart, I met Richard Murray, owner of the Hitching Post Café, who said we were welcome to pitch our tent behind his restaurant. When I returned to tell Stuart and the kids the good news that we weren’t homeless for the evening, he informed me that a childhood friend, Delores, had bought us a room at the Hotel DeFuniak for the evening. I let Richard know we would be by for coffee sometime mid-morning.

The hotel was beautiful. Everything was breakable and smelled like expensive soap. Cate, our gracious hostess, was intuitive and attentive. She was professional, yet sweet, and extremely inspirational (which I’ll get to in the next post).

Bikers, splurge for a stay at the Hotel DeFuniak and eat at the restaurant there. While the town is a beautiful place, the dinnertime choices at DeFuniak Springs are slim. I won’t go into details here, but I have nothing nice to say about our experience at the Golden Bowl, where the television makes persistent loud censor bleeps and flies come free with water.

After we made the mistake of eating out, Stuart visited the downstairs hotel restaurant for a glass of wine. The people there were lovely to him. They bought his wine and encouraged him to come back. He said the menu looked scrumptious.

We slept “like kings” in the Louis Suite beneath nymphs, princesses, and muses, that I can only imagine were as squeaky clean as we were, thanks to the unexpected gift of an old friend.

Thank you so much, Delores.

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