The terrain between Cleveland and Florida is quite varied. We made it through the rolling hills of Southern Ohio and into the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia and Virginia. North Carolina was next in our line of states and it was here we planned to stop and spend the night.
Our stop in Dobson, NC, is near Mt. Airy better known as Mayberry, USA, where the Andy Griffith Show was modeled. The town has all the famous landmarks and memorabilia from the show. We awoke the next morning to streaks of sun coming in the window between the curtains. It promised to be a much better day.
We enjoyed views of the mountains of North Carolina as we drove farther south and then, as more and more the landscape became less mountainous, we crossed the border into South Carolina. There were lots of signs that advertised visits to old southern plantations but there was no time to stop if we were to keep to our schedule.
The grass became greener the farther south we traveled. The tall pines of the mountain area were now surrounded by other vegetation--trees with leaves. And then. . .a palm tree!
South Carolina passed quickly and we were into Georgia. Georgia was flat land, flat like the northern part of Ohio. The state is famous for its peaches but this was the wrong time of the year unfortunately to get any. By the late afternoon, we neared the Florida border. Now there were lots more palm trees.
Just over the border into the state of Florida is Amelia Island, home to Fernandino Beach. This would be our stop for the night. It has a colorful past that includes the Timucuan Indians, pirates, shrimpers, nobles and confederates. Fernandino Beach became an important seaport and evidence of that can still be seen around the area in its old Victorian homes.
The town is famous for its shrimp festival held in the spring. It is a tourist destination and during the winter is not quite as crowded as the vacation season. A cold breeze was blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean making the 60 degree temperature feel a little chilly. Still the sun was shining and it was much warmer than back home.
We strolled down the main street of town and marveled at the Spanish moss hanging in the trees. The moss doesn't hurt the trees unless it gets too thick and shades the leaves too much from the sun. Several antique shops on the main street of town were interesting to walk through. Old radios and cameras, posters, strange looking kitchen utensils, an old cash register, lots of things from the past to explore.
Just as we finished dinner, the sun was setting over the bay area on the west side of the island. It colored the sky and the water with glorious colors of pink and yellow and orange.
But excitement was building for Stanley. We had promised him a stop at the Kennedy Space Center. We would have to keep an eye on him. After all, a guy that flat could slip into a tight spot and be on his way into space in no time.