With today’s technology, travel planning has never been more exciting AND spontaneous. We love finding unusual places that are recommended on the internet or by locals. Here are a few places that we found on our road-trip across America from Oklahoma to Florida and back again, including shrimp and crab at The FREEZER!

Manci’s Antique Club           Daphne, Alabama
We stopped for the night in Mobile, searched DDD’s and discovered this “out-of-the-way” little place with a lot of character. It dates back to the 1920’s when it was a service station. It is named for an Italian immigrant named Frank Manci who purchased the building and opened a restaurant. It contains all of his collectibles – and there are a million things hanging on the walls and from the ceiling!

Wakulla Springs Lodge on National Registry of Historical Places near Tallahassee, FL

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Built in 1937 with only 27 guest rooms, Wakulla Springs Lodge has a rich history and was undoubtedly a luxury accommodation at that time.  Today it is like stepping back in time in some ways.  No TV’s in the rooms.  But the impact is to create a nature retreat and that it did.

While walking among the trees laden with Spanish moss, an owl on the ground flew into a tree where he let us come close and watch him for a long time.

Or wait a minute.  Were we watching him or was he watching us?  Either way, it was quite nice to walk after dinner and to see the world’s largest fresh water spring and an owl in its natural habitat…really natural habitat.

 

 

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Wakulla-Springs-find-the-owl-w-insert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FREEZER     Homosassa, FL   Lots of crab and shrimp!

 

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The GIRLS

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The GUYS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy & Karen - The TWINS

Kathy & Karen – The TWINS

They must not have to advertise because we don’t think they have a website and they haven’t posted on their FB page since 2011! When they brought the shrimp, we thought, “We can never eat all of that.” But guess what? Gone! We were definitely among locals. A guy named Don who saw Sarah hitting her crab with a mallet came over, grabbed a crab off the table with his bare hands and showed Sarah how to open it with the claw to retrieve the meat.  WOW! You definitely have to enjoy getting to know people quickly. We had a fabulous meal with these new friends in Homosassa!  When Don found out that Kathy was allergic to shellfish, he treated her to an entire bowl of super-delicious smoked whiting complete with an entire sleeve of saltine crackers.

The FREEZER came  by the name honestly and was a freezer at one time now with a Tiki Bar add-on.  But we ate at a picnic table in the freezer when someone who recognized, “they aren’t from here” steered us to an empty picnic table.  This place was recommended by Candy, our waitress at Grannie’s in Crystal River. Loved it all! But don’t say we didn’t warn you about Don!   And definitely do NOT wear white!!!


LODGE FACTORY STORE
        South Pittsburg, TN

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South Pittsburg, TN
Home of Lodge Factory Store

 

Driving through Tennessee, we saw a billboard for the factory store for LODGE Cast Iron. Kathy and Robert just remodeled their kitchen and had purchased induction burners so they were already in the hunt for pieces of cast iron. Perfect! LODGE Factory Store. We followed the signs which in itself was very interesting. South Pittsburg, TN does not have street signs except numbers that hang in the middle of each intersection. The signs post a single number: 1, 2, 3, 4. It works for me!

 

 

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The Twin Approach to Cooking
Cast Iron

The nice people who worked here were probably trying not to laugh when we would say, “How cool is that?!!!” We got to ooooo and ahhhhh over every possible skillet, pot, pan, griddle, bakeware, tableware, lid or kettle made from cast iron including specialty pieces like a guitar skillet. They had an entire room of “seconds” with very slight imperfections so we scoured the shelves for some of their most perfect “seconds”. We think cast iron is definitely making a comeback and they even had beautiful enamel on cast iron in all colors. We made our purchase and Kathy had her cast iron shipped back to Florida! SWEET! Good cookin’ with induction, gas or electric!

 

Fleet Street Pub NashvilleFleet Street Pub on world famous Printer’s Alley   Nashville, TN

After trying several restaurants that couldn’t seat us for 3 hours, we happened upon this pub.  What a great place!  It fits its billing as an English pub.  We can’t attest to the beer since we don’t drink, but check out this menu.  We had Strikers which were four different pastry-type meat cups with BBQ Chicken, Beef and Cheddar, Lamb and Vegetable – all with either horseradish or some other great flavor.  For dessert, we had bread pudding which was to die for and coffee with REAL cream – like cream that isn’t in a little disposable cup or half-n-half.  We had this wonderful Salad.  Shout out to our waitress Lila who treated us like British royalty.  Loved this place!  It’s a rare find in a city with a lot of bands and music which is great, but if you want a place to have a fine chat with friends, then this is the place!

Tottenham Seasonal Salad  
Beets two ways – pickled & roasted – with greens, red onion, goat cheese, herbs,
candied pecans, with a ginger-lemon vinaigrette    $6.50

Our TRIP ADVISOR tells us YES,

  • TAKE A CHANCE ON A LOCAL PLACE
  • GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH
  • SUPPORT SOME GREAT PEOPLE WHO OWN A LOCAL BUSINESS
  • PLAN AND MAKE RESERVATIONS, BUT DARE TO BE SPONTANEOUS AT TIMES
  • READ REVIEWS AND ENJOY WHAT YOU FIND!

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