Monday, February 22, 2016

February 5, 2016 - Valdosta, GA & White Springs, FL

A very pretty morning, but still very chilly. It was 48˚ and the sky was so blue with nary a cloud in sight.  A perfect day for an outing.

We decided to drive up to Georgia, which is not too far from White Springs, FL.  Erwin suggested that we re-visit Lake Banks near Lakeland, GA.  We visited the lake a couple times in the past and Erwin thought it might be a perfect opportunity for Edith to take pictures of Cypress trees in the water.

We left White Springs around 10 am, got on Route 41, made few stops along the route for photo op.  We stopped in Statenville, FL because Edith saw a sign pointing to Old Jail Museum.  The museum was closed, probably permanently closed. Edith walked about the building taking pictures.  It was in the back of the building that she saw Halloween stuff.  Vines were sprawling around the windows. 

We got on GA-135 instead of GA-94 because we thought we had never gone on this route before.  However, we started to recognize some places and then remembered that we had been here before.  That is okay because we did not remember much from before. On this route there is an interesting looking cemetery. We almost missed it and Erwin made a U-turn to go back to the cemetery.

The cemetery is unnamed, but Edith saved the location in the GPS for future reference.  There were some very interesting epitaphs, shaped headstones.  Most of them were in good shape, only a couple were broken.  The ones that Edith liked so much are nestled in the way back by the wooded area making them look very spooky.

Before reaching the town center of Lakeland, GA we stopped at Hardee’s (Erwin’s favorite place for chicken tenders) to have lunch. We got a 5 piece combo that included french fries and a medium drink. Reasonable priced at $6.14.  Edith ate two tenders leaving the rest for Erwin.  While there Erwin received a phone call from Lori, our realtor, telling us the good news that an offer was made on our house. 

Lakeland town has a lot of murals on the buildings.  Edith got out, walked around looking for some interesting murals.  They tell stories of who people were and the work they were involved in.  Lakeland was previously named Milltown, but was changed in 1921.  The downtown looked somewhat deserted. One block where Erwin parked at, all stores except the corner store were empty. 

We stayed on Route 135 to Lake Banks. We were disappointed to see that the water level was low and the scene was not as pretty as we remembered. The drawdown occurs during the winter months and that made Lake Banks not so pretty. We came there at the wrong time of the year.  We took a 1/3 of a mile loop hiking trail.  Not much to see, but it was a lovely walk.  

From Lake Banks we continued on to Valdosta, GA.  Valdosta is where several of Edith’s relatives used to live in when she was a young girl.  Aunt Sarah and Uncle TJ were the ones Edith and her parents visited often.  Aunt Sarah was Edith’s momma’s older sister by a year and half.  Uncle TJ’s ancestors came from Lebanon.  Aunt Sarah was an excellent cook, always fixed Mid-Eastern dishes each time we visited in town.  Uncle TJ was a tall but a very gentle fellow.  They always had a jar of pistachio nuts tucked inside a cabinet in the porch/sunroom.  Edith would almost always eat all of them and she later would feel sick and complain to her parents about stomachache on way back home to Jacksonville, FL.

Valdosta is where some of Edith’s relatives attended Valdosta State College (now a University) many years ago. The University campus has changed so much since Edith last visited it in early 1990’s.  The campus has gotten bigger and more buildings have been added.  

Next to the University is the oldest cemetery, Sunset Hill, in this town.  In 2003 the cemetery was added to National Register of Historic Places.  It is at 110 N. Oak Street and has 66 acres. As soon as we pulled into the cemetery something caught Edith’s attention immediately. It was her relatives’ plot area.  Edith walked around checking for relatives and people she knew. There were Josephs (not related to Edith, but through marriage).  

Edith's Uncle TJ (Aunt Sarah's husband)
Aunt Sarah (Edith momma's sister)

We went shopping a bit before heading back to White Springs, FL.  We checked out Hobby Lobby and Books a Million and did not see anything that we wanted to buy.

The magazine rack was from the wall to the wall 
Would you buy and color it???
Another large stand of coloring books
We got on I-75 going South, took Exit 429 to Route 129.  It was already dusk when we arrived the campground. Erwin immediately built a campfire while Edith prepared tacos, a quick and easy dish. 

It was nice sitting by the campfire while sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Many campsites had campfires going on.  After all it was a cold night. The stars were shining brightly and we could see Orion clearly.  

We communicated back and forth with Lori all night via email and phone.  We needed to e-sign the revised contract on the house, but we did not have the right app that allows us to e-sign the secured documents via email.  Edith is usually good at figuring things out, but tonight she was technology challanged.  We plan on going back to Jacksonville, FL on Monday and we agreed to meet with Lori in the afternoon for us to sign the papers.  

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