Since returning to the States from London, our plan was to remain in South Florida until a week or two before the estimated completion date of repairs to The Big Kahuna. The repair process took far longer than we expected, largely due to the delay in finding a transmission shop willing to work on our Allison, and the week involved in shipping it both to and from California for the actual work. We kept in contact with B & G Equipment, finally making the decision to begin working our way back towards Colorado when they reported that the transmission was ready to ship back from California. Our hope was that we would arrive in Colorado just after the transmission was installed and road tested.
So with our newly purchased Geo Tracker, Loki, we began our indirect road trip back to Greeley by heading up to Geneva, Florida to visit our family and friends in the Central Florida area. Uncle Bob and Aunt Terry were kind enough to host us again in one of their spare rooms at their lake house. We always enjoy our visits there, the hospitality is top notch, and we never get tired of waking up to the ludicrously loud whooping from the groups of Sandhill Cranes each morning.
During our three day stay we were able to visit with my son Jackson and his new bride Andrea, my Aunt Judy, and Rosemarie’s friends from her youthful years in New York, the Pinera’s. While in town I discovered a food truck event in Oviedo, and as a rabid fan of this mobile restaurant industry I was able to convince Jackson and Andrea to join there for my birthday. We brought Jackson a bottle of low production gin from London, which led to a lengthy afternoon of gin tasting from his collection. Having never had a taste for it, I was surprised how much better a high quality gin matched with a high quality tonic is compared to your basic version.
We finished our three day stay in Geneva with Uncle Bob packing our cooler with several packages of game meat, bison and venison, so that we would not starve during our next stage of the road trip. Thus prepared we headed north to Gainesville, FL, managing to take a route that avoided most of the traffic from the UF vs Tennessee home game while also affording us a much more enjoyable ride through the Ocala National Forest rather than the traditional I-75 route.
We stopped by daughter Andrea and Nate’s house for the afternoon before parking at Cousin Robb and Colleen’s house, where they opened up the twin’s playroom for us to crash in for a few days. We spent our time in Gainesville going to thrift shops with Andrea, geo-caching, and dining on Uncle Bob’s grilled venison, Colleen’s home cooked spaghetti squash, and Civilization’s excellent menu.
We headed north after a three day stay, thanking our cousins for their hospitality and apologizing to Colleen for having made Robb drink so much with us. He has the rest of the Fall to recover before we bring our bad influences back to Gainesville.