We left West Palm and drove across the peninsula to Lauren’s home in St Pete. We chilled with her brother Johnny, discussed world travels with her mom, visited the Dali museum, played board games in cafes, waited too long for raw vegan food, watched the sunset on the beach, wasted money on arcade games on the boardwalk, and generally had a great time. We spent one evening at the Blueberry Patch, a post hippie haven going strong since 7/7/77. Despite the trenchant advice to “never follow a hippie to a second location”, we all made it out alive and no one’s mind was permanently altered. I saved my membership card for future visits.

Then we packed up the car one last time, driving north to Covington, the airport, and home. It was a great trip, and we’ll have to work hard to top it next year.

PS: 1/5/09 I haven’t gotten the photos yet from Ruth, but will insert them soon. Until then, dear reader, you will have to use your imagination.