After we hit up seaside we were able to connect with Annie’s Aunt and Uncle who were down in the panhandle for a few weeks vacationing. It was wonderful connecting with them and celebrating my birthday with Annie’s family was also a bonus. After we meet up with them we headed out to Apalachicola National Forest. We were hoping for some nice camping in the open forest. Since a big chunk of Apalachicola is next to Tallahassee we thought it would be nice camp near the edge so we could enjoy the wilderness while still being close to coffee shops. Unfortunately we found Apalachicola to be unwelcoming. It was completely littered with trash and beer bottles. We could not find a single place to pull off the forest road without looking at rubbish.
So Rather than stay in that area, we went to Winter Gardens a little early for another service appointment. We had noticed that our house batteries were not charging and we needed a few other things fixed in the van. Fortunately everything was under warrantee and this place was the best service facility that we have experienced. They had wifi there and there were great coffee shops near by so we were able to get lots of work done while they fixed the van. They even let us sleep in their parking lot overnight.
After everything was analyzed on the van, they ordered parts and we headed to Tampa. Tampa was a great place for coffee shops and a few good beer bars. We were highly productive and got a lot done. At a place called Independent Bar we had a nice beer and got work done on their outside porch. We meet a guy by the name of Darwin. He talked our ear off for what seemed to be over an hour. He was a rock-climber road-biker kind of dude. He invited us over to his place for a group sweat with his friends. He also mentioned he wanted to smoke weed three times so we kindly declined as it is currently still illegal in Florida.
We also had our first service appointment to get the oil changed on the van. Tampa of Mercedes was the cheapest option in the Florida area for the service. We were extremely impressed with our service experience and now we’re set for another 20,000 miles.