Visiting Friends And Family & Florida – One Great Week For Sure! Day 168

When you have been on the road for nearly 6 months, it’s always exciting to have the opportunity to visit with family and friends that live along our path around the country. And did we ever get the chance to do exactly that over the course of our last 5 days in Florida!

We have been looking forward to our time in the Sunshine state for awhile. Not only for the chance to soak in a few bright rays, but to visit with so many of our friends and family who now call Florida home.

family and friends
Our visit through Florida brought a lot of sun – and a lot of great visits with friends and family!

Mary and I both have large extended families, and it just so happens they both have ties to Florida. Mary’s niece lives in Lakeland, while her Aunt lives down in Ft. Myers. Meanwhile, I have first cousins that live in Gainesville, Punta Gorda, and the Ft. Myers area as well.

A Surprise Visit

And if that wasn’t enough, we even had a surprise visit in the middle of it all from two of our favorite people in the whole world, our neighbors from back home! Below is a look at a few photos from all of the great visits over the last few days.

Visiting With Friends & Family

Our friends and family week started off with a visit with my first cousin Ruthie & her husband Dan in Gainesville. As we talked for hours at lunch, we both realized it had been at least 10 years since we had last visited in person!
family and friends
From Gainesville, it was on to Lakeland, Florida and a visit with Mary’s niece Alexis, and her adorable little daughter Annabelle. Mary last saw Annabelle as an infant, and as you can tell by the photo, loved getting the chance to hug on her again.
One of the biggest and best surprises of the week was having the opportunity to have brunch with two of our best friends from back in Ohio – our neighbors Craig and Bev! They happened to be on their way through Florida for vacation, and we had a great brunch together in Tampa.

On To Ft. Myers…

friends and family
Next up was a trip to Ft. Myers and a chance to see two of my first cousins and their wives all at one great lunch! It was so incredible to sit and catch up with Eddie Joe and Dee, & Jim and Dixie. I have so many fond memories of growing up with family reunions and visits to their houses. I didn’t realize it until another cousin pointed it our later, but Eddie Joe and I are the two bookends of a whole slew of cousins!
friends and family
And our last visit of the week was just a few more miles down the road in Ft. Myers with Mary’s Aunt Cheri. Cheri still lives in the same community where Mary’s parents lived in Florida, and it was nice to get to sit and visit and hear so many old stories. Mary still remembers fondly that it was Cheri that would take them and spoil them with a few treats at Dairy Queen back in the day!

One Perfect Week!

One thing is for sure, it was great catching up with so many of our friends and family. Although, with all of the lunches, we now need to double up our efforts on our bikes and hiking. Especially before we get to Savannah Georgia’s restaurant scene next week!

Happy Traveling – Jim and Mary


  • Day 168 of 365
  • States : 21/50
  • National Parks / Monuments : 20
  • Stayed In : Tampa, Florida
  • Miles Driven : 14.7
  • Total Trip Miles To Date : 17,960.2
  • Total Gallons Used : 1292.24
  • Biking Miles : 3.1
  • Biking Miles To Date : 164.6
  • Hiking Miles : 3.0
  • Hiking Miles To Date : 380.8

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