Go forward and name me a coward.

After we hit the highway on the finish of February and headed south, we have been positively fleeing the chilly.

As a lot as I really like our state, it does embrace winter far longer than is important.

After embarking on a 13-day highway journey to Florida’s Gulf Coast, with a couple of different stops, we got here house with some observations a couple of good, old style household automobile journey:

So that is what spring is like! Whereas it was freezing in Wisconsin once we left, as soon as we bought into Tennessee, the dogwood bushes have been blooming.

Random Wisconsin connection: There all the time must be one. This journey’s Badger state shoutout occurred on the Nice Southern Café in Seaside, Fla. After seeing images we posted on Fb from the Gulf Coast, Kevin Ervin commented, “Be sure to go to the Nice Southern for breakfast.” My reply: “We’re consuming there proper now.” Because the co-owner of Franks Diner, Ervin is aware of breakfast. My Nice Southern advice? The Fried Inexperienced Tomato Benedict or the home specialty, Grits a Ya Ya.

Persons are additionally studying…

Random Wisconsin connection II: We loved dinner one evening in Destin, Fla., with Bob and Sharon Acerbi, who reside simply down the road and occurred to be within the Sunshine State. Apparently, it is simpler to get collectively while you’re a thousand miles from house.

Vibrant lights: One of many nice pleasures of an American highway journey is seeing neon indicators — the kitschier, the higher. Glad to see this cool custom of garish neon indicators carries on. My favourite from this journey: At Wild Invoice’s Seaside Canine in Seaside.

Data, please: Talking of indicators, I respect the oldsters who put up informative signage — and I all the time learn it in locations like state and nationwide parks and a park bench in Tupelo, Miss., the place Elvis Presley as soon as carried out.

Talking of Tupelo’s native son: If you happen to’re in The King’s hometown, make sure that to pose with the Elvis statue, reaching out to his followers, even from the Nice Past.

How is that this nonetheless a factor? At a resort close to Nashville, Tenn., we spent the evening in a room that stunk of cigarettes. (Hadn’t encountered that in a number of years.) Usually, smoking all over the place — bars, eating places, sidewalks — is rather more frequent within the South than right here. 

Rolling alongside: Bicycling is a good way to discover the Gulf Coast space — made simpler by the various bike lanes and state parks within the space — and my husband, Rex, and I joined within the bicycle brigade of vacationers. Our biking tour was made simpler by renting ebikes, which make tackling even the hardest hills a breeze.

Actually? A complete museum? Summerdale, Ala., is house to The Spear Looking Museum. That looks like a little bit of a distinct segment market. The museum homes the “looking conquests” (lifeless animals) of Gene Morris, who the museum calls “the best spear hunter in trendy historical past.”

Stamp accumulating: We’ve been touring throughout the nation for nearly 20 years, visiting locations in our Nationwide Park System and including stamps in our Nationwide Park Passports. This journey was not designed to be a giant “stamping” expedition, however we did handle so as to add some ink to our passports at Gulf Islands Nationwide Seashore and the Natchez Hint Parkway, a nationwide scenic path. That is why you by no means go away house with out your park passports.

The highway much less traveled: If you happen to do drive on the Natchez Hint Parkway — a 444-mile route from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville, Tenn. — you will expertise a highway with out billboards, or any kind of business venues. As an alternative, you journey by way of a park-like setting dotted with nature trails, overlooks, a couple of guests facilities and many historic markers.

“Street journey energy don’t depend”: I learn that on a billboard in Missouri as soon as, and I hope it’s true, particularly since you do not journey to the South for the well being meals. Nobody likes to stay to a eating regimen whereas on trip, and on this area, they deep fry every thing from okra to shrimp to greens. How may I resist?

Rockets? In Alabama? You may look twice while you stumble upon a Saturn rocket at an Alabama relaxation cease. Belief me, it is actual. The rocket, looming over I-65, one mile south of the Tennessee border, means you are close to Huntsville, Ala., and the U.S. Area & Rocket Middle. We visited the attraction, which is the Official Customer Middle for NASA’s Marshall Area Flight Middle and likewise house to Area Camp and many cool artifacts like moon rocks and the Apollo 16 Command Module. And earlier than you ask, sure, they promote “Astronaut Ice Cream” within the present store. 

That is what makes this nation nice: You should buy sizzling canines out of an Airstream trailer in Florida and freeze-dried ice cream in Alabama — all in below two weeks — and nonetheless make it house in time to Spring Ahead as we seize an additional hour of daylight this weekend. No matter horrible issues are occurring on this planet, it is great to discover and have fun the quirky points of interest of the U.S. of A. Now, get on the market!

Have a query or a remark? E mail Liz at esnyder@kenoshanews.com or name her at 262-656-6271.