On our way to the Florida panhandle we made one last stop in Georgia. We parked at the pricey Stone Mountain Resort. It is a huge theme park with a convention center and camping. We were a bit early in the season for the nightly fireworks or use of the pool but enjoyed a couple of long 10 mile bike rides within the hilly park and some historical buildings and bridges along the way.
Since we were in a suburb of Atlanta, a drive to downtown was in order. We found ourselves touring the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library for a couple of hours; a humble and understated library with nice landscaping around the perimeter. Next we wandered to the center of Atlanta where there is a park and monument to commemorate the 1996 Olympic Games. There were kids enjoying the warm weather and running through the plaza water spouts. As we enjoyed the view it became apparent we were in the shadows of the CNN Headquarters and wandered over. The tours for the day were over and Erin Burnett wasn’t around so we enjoyed a beer in the CNN bar before returning to Stone Mountain.
Now along the panhandle of Florida we found not much in the way of development. Low flatlands with scrub and some pine trees, which was a surprise. We stayed in a shady (I don’t mean tree shaded) place in Panacea but it was cheap. This was our base for a couple of days while we explored Panama City. It appears that Panama City is home to a huge Seabee Underwater Construction base and yet another city of family friendly amusement parks. The whole stretch of the panhandle appears to still be in recovery mode from the 2005 hurricane, Katrina. Many homes are still in shambles, empty lots that have been dozed and vacant lots with debris are still everywhere. Within months after we left this area they were hit again. It definitely has charm nonetheless.
Just south we stopped into Port Richey, Florida. At first we thought a night or two would be sufficient but ended up staying a week. The RV/mobile home park we stayed in is normally filled with snow birds each winter and spring so it was devoid of most RV’s by now and space was readily available. Due to close proximity to the south we enjoyed the gorgeous white sands and biking paths of Honeymoon Island, the surf and crowds on Clearwater beach (and Cuban restaurant on the bay), snorkeling in Tarpon Springs, biking on Bayshore Drive in Tampa and lots of warm sunshine. By now the jeans and long sleeve shirts have been stored and flip flops are part of our daily attire! I love summer