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7 Reasons It’s More Interesting to Drive to Florida

October 29, 2011

Spending 20 hours in a car rather than taking a 3 hour flight might sound a bit dull in today’s instantaneous world, but here’s a list of some of the things that would be misssed when flying from Ohio to Florida.

  1. The colorful fall foliage… from Ohio through West Virginia, and even northern Virginia, the colors of the trees were an array of yellow, burgundy and orange, spread out like a pattern on a quilt across the rolling hills and mountain sides. The clear blue cloudless sky intensified the effect making it a colorful show for 300 miles as each turn revealed more and more magnificent mountain views in West Virginia and Virginia.
  2. Cotton fields of South Carolina… Being that cotton is not a Midwestern crop, there aren’t any opportunities for Ohioans to see a cotton field first hand. The field along the highway was filled with short dark brown plants with contrasting white cotton popping out of its shell. There is no crop in northeast Ohio that even comes close, so it was quite an interesting site. And thought provoking to appreciate the work that goes into converting those cotton fields into clothing.
  3. Four foot sections of beef jerky… As a former vegetarian, I’ve never really been in the market for beef jerky, but I never before realized there could be enough variations, and a demand,  for eight feet of merchandise space in a small gas station convenience store for beef jerky. A good marketing example of knowing your customers and giving them what they want.
  4. South Carolina home-cooked southern country cookin’… That’s right no “g”. The slogan for Olde House Cafe in Waltersboro, SC  is “Country Cookin Makes you Good Lookin”. If that is true, we definitely walked out better lookin’ than when we went in! It doesn’t even make sense, but what great marketing! The fried chicken and the catfish stew were definitely favorites, along with the cheesy grits and banana pudding. I’m a firm believer in checking out the local culture and eating where the locals eat. So always head away from the highway for the good stuff! This local joint was recommended by reviewers on Google Navigation, the next social medium?
  5. Warm fresh baked cookies at the end of a long day… just like mom used to make. With today’s cost-cutting, stripped down airline service, pretzels are a luxury, but the Hampton Inn welcomes you at check-in with warm fresh-baked cookies! A good marketing strategy to warm your heart, fill your stomach, and maybe to give you a happy sugar high so you forget what you are paying for few hours of sleep before the next day’s journey. It’s all good nonetheless.
  6. Spanish moss hanging like Santa’s beard… Another non-Midwestern sight is seeing trees in South Carolina with long moss draping over them, like Halloween  decorations come to life. A unique site, telling you that you’ve crossed the Mason-Dixon line.
  7. Ice cream in a gas station… 32 flavors, all right there in the gas station along the highway, just down the road from the state prison. I eyed a couple of potential early-release candidates, that maybe hadn’t had a haircut in 3 to 5 (years), buying more cigarettes than gas.

Florida BeachAs South Carolina turns into Georgia, then Florida, the differences in the diverse landscape can be appreciated. The trees become more pine and palm, the air warms and you hear new nature sounds. First stop is the crab shack for Gulf shrimp and grouper tacos. Yes, we’ve arrived and it was a lot more interesting than getting on a 3 hour flight.

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