This was our first “Retired” Road trip. We left Chicago on 25 January, headed South-by-southeast. Plans were to stop in Atlanta, to visit Liz’s Brother and family. Then continue on to Bradenton, FLA, where some friends had a condo rented for a week.

The above was a loose guideline, only. We considered this trip to be the prototype for many future “retired” trips. “Retired” trips have only a couple of key requirements:

— If you don’t have to be anywhere in particular, you can’t be lost


— If there is no schedule, you can’t be late!

Bearing these key and overarching principles in mind, this trip “morphed.’ While we followed the above plan (very) loosely, here are some of the other things we accomplished along the way:

First night: Stopped in Fort Knox, KY and stayed in the GOLD VAULT INN

Stopped in Dalton, GA to visit some old friends…the Hendrys. We realized it had been at least 10 years…

In Atlanta we did the “usual” things such as the “World of Coke” (Why would anyone PAY to attend a 2-hour commercial?) and the Martin Luther King district. But we also did some REALLY COOL things. For example, did you know that the Centers for Disease Control has a FREE museum? Liz’s sister-in-law, Stephanie, works at the CDC and let us in on this secret…and the museum was VERY interesting.

On the way to Bradenton, we stopped in Gainesville to visit some of Liz’s former co-workers. There, we watched a Blackhawks game AND walked through a State Park where you could get within feet of very LARGE (and wild) alligators.

In Florida, we stayed in Bradenton, but visited Sarasota (The Ringling Museum).

We “Used up” Bradenton quicker than expected, so we elected to drive down to Pompano Beach to visit friends. On the way, we nearly ran out of gas in the Everglades!

Then we stopped at Daytona beach

Then to the Georgia Coast (again visiting the Hendrys)

Then home.

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