Itchy Feet, Mildly Scratched

I have itchy feet. That’s the term I use when someone likes to travel…a lot. When you love to travel, I mean really love to travel, you can’t stay put for an extended period of time without feeling that internal tug to just get up and go. I have permanently itchy feet. It’s completely my parents fault. I’ve been traveling internationally since before my first birthday and if I don’t take one or two major trips a year, I get seriously restless and I feel the need to move. The Irishman knows when this is coming because I start calling him at work with increasing frequency asking questions like, “have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?” or, “I’ve always wanted to see Maine, what do you think?”

This is the first year since 2000 that I won’t be heading over to Greece and while I wouldn’t have been heading over for another couple of weeks, my feet are already seriously itchy at just the prospect of missing this trip. So, when my mom suggested that we take a day trip around Florida’s Panhandle, I jumped at the chance to pack a day bag, my camera, a thermos of coffee and head out the door. With kisses to my boys, we were off on a teeny, tiny road trip, but it felt great!

The great thing about traveling with my mom is that we both love to stop spontaneously when something catches our interest. The first random place that we stopped was close to Eglin Air Force Base when I saw some really cool (and old) military planes. We make a quick u-turn (ok, it wasn’t really that quick of a u-turn and it took a couple of detours to find out how to get onto the grounds where the planes were, but we eventually got there) and parked in a giant field of planes. Here are some of the pictures I took of these beautiful planes that I know nothing about (my husband and my father are currently shaking their heads in pity that I can’t distinguish an F-15 from a Thunderbird. Is a Thunderbird even a military plane?? It’s possible that I just made that up.)

Here’s an old propellor of a very large, old plane:

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And here’s a black plane, dare I say it’s either called a Blackbird or a Stealth fighter? I’m probably wrong about that, but I feel smarter when I make random guesses, so there you have it. By the way, why do I want to call every plane a “bird” of some type? That’s pretty stereotypical on my part. Just because it flies, doesn’t make it a bird. I apologize to any birds or planes I may have offended with my prejudice.

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And this thing was jutting out of the wing of the black (non-bird) plane:

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So, then we left the military aircraft museum, but came to a screetching halt just 20 minutes later when we saw this sign:

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(I took that picture with my telephoto lens from an adjacent shopping center). Once we stopped laughing long enough for my mom to put the car in gear, we continued on our drive. By this time, we were both getting kind of hungry so I started searching for places to eat using the GPS. We picked a place that sounded promising, but once we got there, it left a lot to be desired. Fortunately, they had free wi-fi internet service, so I grabbed my laptop and started researching restaurants in the area from the comfort of the passenger seat. We finally decided on a seafood restaurant that was situated right on the water. We had a horrible waitress, but a great view.

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After our lunch, we hopped onto Highway 30-A, which takes you along these quaint little towns along the water. When we got to Seaside, we decided to get out and walk around. They had this cute little post office there that I had to get a picture of.

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There was a 3 day JazzFest in progress (that’s what the metal structure and tent are behind the post office) so there was a lot of traffic there. As we were walking back to the car, I saw this Airstream trailer that was converted into an Organic juice stand and it was just lovely. If we hadn’t just eaten, I would have definitely bought something here:

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By this time, it was getting late in the day so we hopped back on the highway and headed home. I have to say that it was a wonderful trip and while my feet are still itchy, they’ve been at least mildly scratched.

Oh, and my mom and I are now planning our next trip…to Peru!

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