Day 1: St. Pete to Gulfport, MS

We hit the road 45 minutes early today, leaving St. Pete around 1:30pm.

So long, Tampa Bay!

We made great time – even with dog breaks! We had great driving weather throughout most of Florida and then hit storms around Pensacola. I made it to Tampa before I opened the Snacks. (A great record considering when I was a kid, I used to break into them before even leaving the driveway.)

Just south of Tallahassee, we passed a farm with a bunch of mini donkeys roaming around. Sadly, I couldn’t whip out my camera fast enough to take any pictures but that our first time seeing baby burros!

Before we left on this trip, I spent quite a bit of time on the Roadside America site – a giant database of random, unique, mostly odd and very memorable roadside sites and attractions. I mapped out our route to San Francisco and all of the fascinating sites along the way. Today, our first stop was in Tallahassee, FL to see a front yard full of whale sculptures… this site is literally called, ‘Yard Whales.’ It’s just a random Person’s front yard with giant whale and dolphin sculptures made to look like they’re swimming in the grass.

Raffles likes driving a whole lot more than stopping. She’s a little anxious and seems to think we’re going to leave her every time we stop

More rain through Alabama made us quickly discover the rain-sensing wipers on the Beamer. Way cool!

Just before 10:30pm we arrive at El Camino Chicken and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a giant chicken sculpture built into the back of a El Camino at a Citgo gas station. Weird!

For now, we’re resting peacefully in our hotel room. We snagged the last available pet-friendly room at the Hampton Inn in Gulfport, MS. We hope to hit the road early tomorrow for more site seeing and much more driving. Good night!

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