A destination where winter gloves and scarves are not necessary has been achieved! Sanford is a town famous for the Amtrak AutoTrain Florida stop, the Central Florida Zoo and the home of my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Yes, it is infamous for the Trayvon Martin case.
We happily shed our winter outerwear and for the first time since we began our journey, took our bicycles out of the car.
Over the few relaxing days based in Sanford, we visited family including my mother-in-law and her partner in Ormond Beach. Their home faces a tributary to the Tomoka River which is a mix of fresh and salt water. Every day close to dusk there is a show of nature that is remarkable. Herons, Osprey, Snake birds all vie for their spot in the trees for the evening. The mullet fish jump as they are being chased by ducks and other predators, it is quite a sight!
A family dinner celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday at Billy’s in Ormond Beach capped the evening. It was a very good meal and we learned that across the street is The Casements which was the winter residence of J.D. Rockefeller from 1918-1937.
The flat non-potholed Florida streets and bike paths make for easygoing adventures. There are a series of bike paths that have been created over old rail lines referred to as rails to trails. The one we enjoyed was Springs to Springs. The flora and fauna in Florida is jungle-like. We stopped in Enterprise, Florida to admire Green Springs which has the hint of sulphur and the neon green water, a reaction to the limestone base, with the heavy jungle brush. This was a winter stop for many wealthy northerners in the early 1900’s.
A last minute decision and a twist in the road brought us to Pam and Rudy’s, my brother-in-law’s parents, on Stone Island.
Downtown Sanford is a quaint town with many antique stores and cafes; at one time it was a very busy port for Florida until the rails took over. We walked along the streets and had a bite to eat at The Breezeway. There was even a Star Wars display.
Near an exit off I-4 is an industrial lot that has a 15 foot replica of the M-TV moon man
and Wavey Bar-B-Que where the proprietor waves all day both warranted a stop.
The moon man is behind a chain link fence making a photograph difficult. Wavey’s was a big hit, there was lip smacking and fingers licked and some waving. I’m still not interested in trying meat, but the smoker smelled delicious.
DeLand is a short drive from Sanford. It is another small town with a quaint Main Street filled with small businesses and gift shops. We had a wonderful dinner with cousins who live there. They gave us some great suggestions of places to visit both in Florida and across the country. It has been amazing to visit with so much family.